Field Service Strategies: How To Survive and Thrive During Busy Times

 

HiRes1-300x30There’s nothing like a peak season work rush to put your field service management skills to the test. Sure, we usually prepare to meet the heightened demands of busy times, but we can do even better. Don’t just survive this time around – thrive!

Thrive by exceeding customer expectations during the next big rush. Even at its busiest, your field service team can deliver memorable experiences that create lasting relationships with new and otherwise seasonal clients. With the right tools, you can plan for higher revenue year-round.

Want to learn how? Read on…

Prioritize Your Field Service Technicians

Harness every billable minute during peak periods with highly experienced field techs that know their routes inside and out. “Keep a list of field technicians and their skill sets readily accessible,” says The Service Coach contributor Steven Teneriello.

By assigning “the right resource to the right job at the right time,” you reduce callbacks and customer frustration. With your list at hand, you can adapt your busy service dispatch schedule with confidence, knowing you’ve got the right tech en route.

Learn From Last Time

Take data from the last big rush and review procedures for:

-Routing

-Vehicle idling and maintenance

-Callbacks

-Scheduling

Assess these procedures for efficiency, productivity, and errors that could have been easily avoided. Did traffic effect lates? Are certain techs aligned with the number of callbacks during that period? These are issues you should repair now, to improve customer service quality.

Field service software solutions for scheduling, dispatch, and GPS tracking, are often equipped with data-collecting technologies to create custom reports for subscribers. This makes procedure analysis a breeze.

Be Realistic

When the appointment calls come flooding in during a busy time, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and cram the schedule so tight that nobody on staff gets to breathe for the week. This is not how we maintain happy, customer-delighting teams, or make procedures efficient. Try these strategies instead:

-Stagger scheduling to suit customers’ operating hours. For example, if your company services retail businesses, instead of assigning standard 9AM-5PM shifts, set techs for 10AM-6PM or 11AM-7PM rotations, to reflect the needs of your primary customers. This reduces overtime hours, and conveniences customers at the same time!

-Leave room for drive time. With Google Maps and a bit of common sense, you can ensure that your drivers aren’t speeding to meet appointments, or missing them while stuck in traffic.

Schedule Appointments By Neighborhood

Use scheduling and GPS tracking software for your field service organization to save time, reduce lates, and bank more billable hours by dispatching jobs by neighborhood.

Scheduling and GPS tracking go hand-in-hand here:

  1. Set your scheduling software to dispatch techs to a specific area, based on proximity to their own home.
  2. Have techs take their assigned vehicle home overnight. This eliminates down time during the “morning office shuffle” (Teneriello), reduces fuel costs, and cuts down inefficient payroll dollars.
  3. Use GPS tracking technology to ensure that the vehicles are being used for productive work purposes, and to keep techs aware of their accountability to the company.

Techs benefit from shorter commutes and more down time, which boosts their morale. Customers receive timely, happy service, and you maximize the number of appointments you take in during peak seasons.

Now you tell us: How do you stay on top of your game during busy times?

 

Reference

Teneriello, Steven. “Beat the Heat with These 4 Field Service Scheduling and Dispatch Tips.” 29 June 2011. Blog.TheServiceCoach.com

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