Many customers have stories of poor service whether it is from plumbers, electricians or HVAC technicians. Some common complaints include long wait times, long service times, and return trips by technicians. Despite the unpredictable nature of all field service industries, there are many ways to improve your operations and provide the best customer service. Making a few tweaks and adjustments will result in far more efficient processes and will allow your business to serve as many customers as possible. Here are 5 tips for optimizing your service business to ensure customer satisfaction, as well as a smoother and more efficient overall operation.
Reduce Travel Time
The time spent on the road moving from one job to another, or back and forth to the office is a waste of both time and money. Your technicians will often make multiple trips to the office for additional equipment, to clock in and out, or to drop off paperwork. There are many ways to reduce travel time, and by doing so, you can help ensure that technicians are staying productive while on the job. Investing in integrated software, scheduling applications and a robust dispatch system is the first step. In addition, utilizing GPS and mobile technology will help dispatchers react to last minute changes, send the closest technician and adjust technician schedules in real time. Creating efficient schedules is the first step in reducing travel time, and ensuring that all technicians are traveling small distances between jobs is key. In addition, bridging the communication channel between the technicians and dispatchers will work to increase the information flow.
Slash the Number of No Fault Found Dispatches
A technician may be dispatched to repair something that could have otherwise been fixed by the client in the first place. In order to reduce the number of No Fault Found Dispatches (NFFD), ensure that your dispatch team is carefully taking customers through the diagnosis, detection and solutions before sending a technician. In order to effectively use your technicians, dispatchers must be trained on simple matters in the field to better understand the severity of a given issue, and to make the best decision possible regarding how to respond. Reducing the number of NFFD trips provides more flexibility for your technicians and eliminates unnecessary and preventable mistakes.
Increase First Time Visit Completion Rates
Also known as First Call Resolution (FCR), this refers to providing technicians with the most appropriate tools that will ensure problems are resolved on the first visit to the site. Studies show that repeat visits to an existing client’s premises cost an extra 24% on top of the initial total cost delegated to the task. Although there is a high likelihood that a new task may not be completed on the first time visit, minimizing the time for the next visit would save a substantial amount of money in the long run. Repeat visits also do not help with client relations, and are often regarded as a disturbance. First time completion rates improve customer satisfaction in the long run and this is vital in customer retention. Tips for increased First Call Resolution include ensuring that all technician trucks are stocked appropriately and making sure technicians know their schedule ahead of time.
Consider a Service Management Software
Rather than relying on traditional modes of communication and paperwork that bog down technicians, consider implementing a service management software solution. Modern service management solutions come equipped with the necessary tools to be successful, including GPS tracking, mobile capabilities and customizable dispatch boards. Through mobile apps, technicians can clock in and out and capture customer signatures from the field, eliminating unnecessary trips to the office. Furthermore, a service management software solution will help store and track customer information making it much easier for technicians to look up service history, making them more productive and efficient while in the field. With an integrated solution, the field and the office become unified, which makes the dispatch process much easier. In addition, your business will realize other benefits, which include reduced billing cycles and integration with payroll and accounting, making for a much smoother process overall.