Best Practices for a Successful Field Service Implementation

Although every field service organization has its own unique needs and processes, reviewing field service industry best practices can help create more effective operations and productive personnel. We’ve compiled some of our top tips and created some best practices that offer guidance for organizations seeking to improve processes and grow revenue.

1. Automate the creation of work/service orders wherever possible

This will allow your dispatchers to focus on the outliers, emergencies, or high value work.

  • Focus on automating the creation of any work that is regularly scheduled. You can begin by looking at a static recurring schedule or looking at usage monitored by real time data from smart devices.
  • Automate the scheduling of those auto-created work orders wherever possible

2. Establish an Accurate Service Estimate and Stick to it

Customers don’t want to wait around for your field service technicians to show up. Providing them with a small and accurate window in which you will arrive is very important to the customer. But sticking to that window is even more important. Imagine waiting for your cable guy to show up between the hours of 8 and 5. If you can’t meet your promised service times, the customer will find someone who will, and they are willing to pay more for it.

3. Don’t Ask your Field Technicians to Become Data Entry People

Technicians didn’t get into their line of work because they like to write. Provide them with tools that give them the information they need to accomplish their jobs quickly and easily. In addition, reducing the amount of data required to support the overall workflow (i.e. a technician should only have to mark the work as complete, not write an explanation around what was done).

4. View your Technician’s Experience as an Asset, and Not a Liability

Focus on leveraging that experience to offer customers advice, which could lead to upsell opportunities. Also focus on ways to ‘democratize’ that experience; make the experience and knowledge of the more tenured workers available to all, thus increasing coverage and scale. Leveraging collaboration tools allow the experienced technicians to work with less experienced ones, passing that knowledge along in the meantime. Collaboration can take many forms, from posting on forums/communities, writing KB articles, or even leveraging Microsoft’s HoloLens. Imagine the ability to virtually guide a remote technician through a complex procedure, while the tenured tech sits at home in complete comfort. Being able to offer experienced technicians an alternate career path is also a big differentiator from an employer perspective. You’ll be better able to retain that experience.

5. Take Advantage of the Mobile Device Technology

Whether you have a ‘bring your own device’ policy or a mobile standard, mobile devices have become a cheap and imperative tool in Field Service Management. Two things come to mind here:

  1. Leverage the device to capture details about work sites and/or items (photos, audio recording, GPS settings, altimeters). This is another clever way to save technicians from becoming data entry people.
  2. Use signature capture to shorten the work-to-cash cycle, or to improve the organizations invoice process

6. Be ‘Smart’ About it

You can leverage smart technologies to be able to monitor and predict equipment or asset failure. This not only is a great service to offer to your customers, which will increase customer satisfaction and loyalty, but it’s also a potential new revenue stream. Utilizing proactive service vs. reactive service is more cost efficient as you get to decide when to replace/repair equipment, rather than making an extra emergency trip once something fails.

If you’re in the Field Service industry considering new implementations in the near future, let our Business Transformation team evaluate your business to maximize the effort and increase the success rate. Contact us here.

Author: Travis Pullen, Engagement Manager

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