6 Ways Reduce Mean Time to Repair with Zinc

In field services, mobility is critical. While most field service workers rely on mobile devices for communication with teammates and the home office, few companies actually have an overall mobile communications strategy. That means companies aren’t leveraging the power of real-time mobile communication to reduce mean time to repair.

This year, effective communication should be a priority, not just for the benefit of your workforce but also for your customers. When field teams have real-time access to the answers and information they need on the job, it shows up in improvements to key metrics like mean time to repair and repeat visits.

To help demonstrate how communication translates to real business results, we’ve put together the key use cases that allow technicians to troubleshoot and share knowledge in real time.

1. Hotline Groups – Connect with the right expert instantly

Hotline Groups allow field teams to quickly access tribal knowledge and get immediate answers through a direct line of communication to colleagues, dispatchers, and product support experts who have the right knowledge.

With Hotline Groups, you can:

  • Connect employees directly with subject-matter experts instantly
  • Improve resolution times through real-time communication in all modes (text, voice, video, push-to-talk)
  • Bring structure to how employees ask questions and resolve issues
  • Maintain the privacy and confidentiality of users when required
  • Uncover tribal knowledge that should be shared broadly
  • Track wait times, resolution times, and view productivity reports

Using Hotline Groups, technicians have been able to resolve on-site issues faster and with far less frustration. No more calling around looking for the right person. No more email requests. No more waiting on hold. Watch the demo to see how it works.

2. Crowdsourced Answers – Tap into field knowledge

Sometimes the answer a technician needs might only be in the brain of one expert at the organization. What do you do when you don’t know who that person is? In Zinc, technicians are able to crowdsource answers in a dedicated group that everyone is a member of.

These groups, such as BioTek’s “Save My Bacon,” allow techs to find obscure information that may not be widely known across the field team. In utility companies, this can be extremely helpful when working on a piece of equipment that has been around for decades. With everyone in a Zinc group, technicians can tap the knowledge of the field instantly. For one Zinc customer, this meant finding out the correct fuse for a transformer and avoiding a potentially disastrous outage.

3. Video Calls – Get live help while working on a job

Zinc video call; reduce mean time to repairUnknown problems can crop up when working on installation or fix, such as cable wiring that a technician has never seen before. Being able to show someone what’s going on rather than trying to describe the situation over text is a big time saver.

When technicians are reaching out for help on Zinc, they can share photos and videos of what they are seeing or hop on a 1:1 video call to chat in real time and work through the resolution together. This helps techs get to a fix quicker and alleviates any miscommunication about the situation.

4. Content Hub – Access information and resources right in Zinc

When a technician needs to access a file, such as a product manual or an installation guide, they can pull it up directly in Zinc. Managers use Broadcasts to share important information, such as new guides and procedures, and these are available for technicians to reference at any time in their Broadcast feed, also known as the Content Hub.

Additionally, Zinc connects to your organization’s content management system such as Box or Google Drive, allowing you to search for and share files without ever leaving the Zinc app.Internal Communication guidelines

5. Parts Location – Find someone nearby who has the right part

No matter how full a truck is with parts and equipment, there are times when technicians don’t have the right part to finish a job. Rather than having to schedule a second visit, techs can share their location with their team to find someone nearby who has the needed part.

6. Contextual Conversations – Chat about specific objects like work orders

Zinc’s integrations into ServiceMax and Salesforce allow technicians to expedite the troubleshooting process by having all product information, experts, and prior technicians automatically connected in a group chat. When a technician has a question about a specific work order, they can pull up the dedicated group chat that already has the right people as members, and even add in additional team members who may be of help. With a historical record easily accessible in Zinc, technicians can get the information they faster, helping to reduce mean time to repair.

Will Zinc Help Me Reduce Mean Time to Repair?

Zinc is trusted by industry leaders such as DISH, CincinnatiBell, Marriott and Vivint Smart Home. To learn how Zinc can improve metrics at your business, schedule a demo here.

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.