While it’s important to think outside the box and look for new ways to succeed, there are still tried-and-true best practices of field service management that every organization should incorporate into their business. The following 5 best practices will help you improve processes, strengthen employee performance and grow revenue.

1. Identify and Document Problems

Business improvements don’t happen on their own. Stand out field service organizations are proactive in identifying training gaps, operational inefficiencies and service delivery bottlenecks. Staying in front of these problems allows field service management to be more effective and efficient during each interaction with the customer.

To identify problems, management needs to have their finger on the pulse of their service teams. Stay involved in conversations happening among field service teams and regularly ask for honest feedback on operations and processes. It’s often the employees who work closest to the customer that have the most valuable insights.

Make sure to keep track of the ideas and feedback in a document that can easily be shared up the chain to ease the process of getting improvements rolled out.

2. Empower Your Mobile Workforce

Your most important asset is your workforce, especially the ones out in the field, working with customers. Equipping your workforce with the proper training and technology that allows them to excel on the job is key. Most companies realize the importance of having a mobile field service management solution, but fewer understand the importance of real-time communication and collaboration.

A good field service management solution will get the right technician to the right door at the right time, but when they run into a never-before-seen problem at the customer site, where do they turn? Do they wait on hold for 20 minutes to talk to a support agent, or send an email and wait around for an answer? These are the most common methods for field communication but are far from the most effective. With the proliferation of mobile devices into 95% of Americans’ hands, there is no excuse not to leverage a modern way of getting answers out to in the field.

Zinc content hub; field service management

Zinc Real-Time Communication empowers deskless workers with real-time answers and information sharing using messaging, voice, video, content sharing, broadcasts and hotlines.

With Zinc, field service techs can easily reach out to the office for assistance or contact a fellow worker who can help troubleshoot an issue without being on location. Through cloud storage integrations, workers can access previous service history, vital documents, or digital guides to perform tasks better.

Transforming the way field teams communicate has a big impact on the way the business runs. Companies like DISH, Cincinnati Bell and Vivint Smart Home, have seen big improvements in metrics such as mean time to service, first time fix, job duration, repeat rate and employee engagement.

3. Listen for Feedback from Customers

One of the most important best practices of field service management is to always listen to your customers. Customer satisfaction is the always top of mind, but improvements shouldn’t be developed just from a bubble within the company. Solicit outside perspectives from customers to gain a better understanding of what is working well and what needs attention.

With an understanding of business processes through the lenses of employees, customers, and leadership, leaders can make more informed decisions that move the company forward.

4. Respect Loyal Customers

It is easy to get wrapped up in growing the business and acquiring new customers, but in a marketplace flooded with choices, caring for your existing customer base must also be an area of focus. Not only are happy customers your most trusted brand advocates – they make a direct impact on your bottom line in a few ways. Loyal customers:

  • Refer new business
  • Understand and appreciate your value and thus cost less to service
  • Advocate on your behalf
  • Can be an opportunity for cross-selling and up-selling

Implement customer success programs that ensure loyal customers aren’t forgotten and left to wander. Specialized service agreements, pricing policies and pricing groups can be used to ensure the right customers receive the right level of attention and service.

5. Integrate Field Service Management With Existing Systems

While standalone software applications can be used on their own to support business processes, the real benefits are materialized when multiple systems can communicate with each other. By integrating your field service management software with other systems, you can automate mundane tasks and make your technicians’ workflows even more streamlined.

When techs have to bounce around different applications get all the information they need for a job, it wastes time and creates a frustrating experience. For example, with Zinc, technicians are able to view the history of a work order and discuss it with relevant coworkers without having to leave the app, as well as view files, share photos and videos of what they are seeing.

This streamlined experience means teams can work better, faster, smarter to help the company reach its goals.

ABOUT Kristen Wells

Kristen is the senior manager of corporate communications at PTC and editor of Field Service Digital. She is passionate about elevating the stories of women in field service and improving communication between the field and the office. Prior to ServiceMax, Kristen held content marketing roles at startups such as Zinc and cielo24. Kristen holds a B.A. in Communication with an emphasis on Professional Writing from the University of California, Santa Barbara.