The field service industry relies heavily on its workforce to generate new business as well as maintain existing business. Your field service personnel along with your customer service representatives, dispatchers and other employees keep your customers coming back and help to spread the good word about your business.
Workforce productivity is extremely important. When the job requests are piling up, there are a couple of options available to the managers and owners:
Hire more employees – there are obviously valid reasons for this decision, but in some cases the business may not be in a financial position to bring on new employees
Contract resources – your business can contract additional personnel, which can save on the benefits and other expenses of hiring. However this can also be quite costly when there is a need to keep within a tight budget
Improve productivity – making the best out of your existing workforce is by far the most prudent choice when expenses must be kept in line. But your workers are doing the best they can – what options are there?
Look carefully at the tools that your staff use on a regular basis – specifically the tools used to record incoming requests, prioritize, dispatch, assign and complete.
Do your customer service representatives use a paper-based system to take down requests? How much is spent on paper? How often do the requests get misinterpreted, misplaced, or misunderstood? How much does that cost in lost business or gratis work?
Does dispatch still use a phone and a scheduling board to manage and prioritize jobs? How often are jobs not scheduled, priorities mixed up, or phone calls missed? What does that cost in missed opportunities?
Can you field personnel easily communicate to dispatch or anyone in the office regarding an assignment or status? How often are calls missed only to find that another job was lost?
Through field service automation, you can track every request from the moment your CSR receives the call through completion and billing. With automation there is a significantly reduced chance of losing the request. Also with the right tracking software in place, dispatch will never have to shuffle through stacks of papers to prioritize or organize – everything is easily viewable and adjustable through a dashboard screen.
Finally, your field service personnel can communicate electronically using their smart phone, tablet or laptop to advise on their availability, location, and job status. No more missed calls or messages.
Productivity improvement equals a better bottom line for your company – and even more satisfaction for your customers.