There are two types of people in the world, those who are on time and those who are late. This can also be said for field service organizations of the world, as there are those organizations who comply with SLAs and customer time expectations, and others who fall short. Field service organizations may think it’s okay to have one or two late or slow service times in a schedule of hundreds of technicians, however these few late arrivals can effect a business more than what may be assumed.
We recently spoke with Justin Guinn, market researcher at Software Advice, a web-based firm that reviews dispatch software to find out a bit more about their new study surrounding field service arrival times and customer service. Their study - Improve Service Provider Efficiency with GPS-Enabled Dispatch Software shows just how valuable an efficient schedule can be to an entire service organization.
What did your study find to be the impact of GPS-enable software on the efficiency of field service operations?
Our study found that GPS technology integrated within software has many positive impacts on field service operations. Not only does the software have a direct influence on increasing the bottom line, but it also enables certain functionalities that operators are coming to expect from field service scheduling companies. These functionalities include being able to track mobile workers en route to a job and alsoreceiving automated notifications with updated arrival times if a technician is running late. MostHow c importantly, our study shows that 95 percent of field service businesses see an increase in technician punctuality after adopting GPS-enabled software. Late technicians is a top customer pain point, so an increase in punctuality has lasting positive impacts.
Overall, did you find that this software saved organizations money?
GPS-enabled software (such as ClickSoftware) does indeed save field service business money. There are a few drivers for this savings. Primarily, more efficient street-level routing leads to shorter, quicker routes which cut down on fuel costs. Our study shows that 89 percent of field service businesses who’ve adopted GPS-enabled software see improvements in average fuel costs. If you’re able to reduce this cost by 5-10 percent across your entire fleet, that’s a lot of money saved. Not only do these smarter routes save businesses money in fuel costs, but the time saved with more efficient travelling can enable technicians to complete more work orders per day, thus generating more revenue. In fact, our study shows that 95 percent of field service companies see an increase in the average number of work orders completed per day after adopting GPS-enabled software.
How does the adoption of this technology affect the customer experience?
The adoption of this technology has a positive effect on the customer experience. For example, smarter routes and more efficient dispatching and scheduling software will lead to technicians arriving when they say they will arrive. As I mentioned before, that’s the top painpoint for consumers. In fact, we found two-thirds of consumers won’t do business with a field service company again if their technician is an hour late. So the increased punctuality GPS-enabled software provides is great for the consumer, which translates into sustained revenue streams for businesses.
Anything else that you found really surprising from your research?
We were surprised to see that although two-thirds of consumers won’t do business with a company again if a technician is an hour late to an appointment, 73 percent of consumers would be more likely to rehire that company if they received a notification featuring an updated arrival time. It seems that customers just want to be kept in the loop about what’s going on. Time is precious to all of us, and sending a notification like this is a great way for companies to respect consumer’s time while also increasing customer retention.
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