Field service scheduling is a critical aspect of the service industry. The role of a dispatcher is vital to delivering a customer experience that sets service organizations apart from the competition. Unfortunately, there are common mistakes made by service organizations that can severely impact the efficiency of their process, leading to poor customer experiences and ultimately, reduced revenue.

Here are the three biggest field service scheduling mistakes that you should avoid and how software can help.

Mistake #1: Dispatching Technicians Without Troubleshooting

Dispatchers need to ensure that they are providing the best schedule to customers while complying with business objectives and ensuring that field technicians are utilized efficiently. One of the most significant mistakes that dispatchers make is dispatching technicians without first attempting to troubleshoot the problem remotely.

When a dispatcher receives a service request, they should look at the corresponding asset and service history and ensure that the request gets routed to the remote engineering team so they can attempt to troubleshoot the problem immediately without dispatching a technician. If that is not possible, they should ensure that everything such as parts, people, tools, resources, and information is in place before dispatching the technician and confirming the appointment with the customer. Field service scheduling and dispatch software can help dispatchers manage these tasks.

This way, technicians can quickly resolve the issue on their first visit, reducing the need for repeat visits and improving the customer experience.

Mistake #2: Relying on Manual Processes

Manual scheduling processes are time-consuming, laborious, and inefficient. Talented and informed dispatchers work wonders with the daily schedule, but what happens when the number of technicians and work orders goes up, or sudden service requests arrive from customer contacts and IoT-enabled assets? Without the proper field service job scheduling software, this can be a nightmare.

To achieve the best results for customers and ensure cost-effective service delivery, service organizations cannot rely on dispatcher experience alone. They must provide their dispatchers with the right tools and knowledge. Field service scheduling software enables dispatchers to respond to incoming service requests and provide the best schedule to customers. It also enables them to comply with business objectives and ensure that field technicians are utilized efficiently. Without software, dispatchers are inefficient, with no visibility or automation. This can result in fewer revenue-generating activities happening each day (tech utilization), longer times to put together a schedule, and the inability to reroute technicians to nearby jobs.

Mistake #3: Not Being Able to Provide Optimized Driving Routes

Providing optimized driving routes is critical to ensuring efficient utilization of time by technicians. Dispatchers need to work through the complex matrices of availability, eligibility, and skill inventories to schedule and send the right technician. This helps to manage work orders efficiently, increase utilization rates, and ensure customer delight. Not being able to provide optimized driving routes can result in lower tech utilization, risk SLA compliance (getting the job done in the contracted time allotted), and poor customer experience when techs show up late or completely miss the appointment.

It’s essential to avoid these three common mistakes in field service scheduling. By investing in digital transformation and prioritizing the customer experience, service organizations can stay ahead of the competition. Dispatchers play an important role in the scheduling process and should be provided with the right tools and knowledge to perform their jobs efficiently. By troubleshooting before dispatching technicians, relying on field service scheduling software, and providing optimized driving routes, service organizations can ensure efficient utilization of time by technicians, increase utilization rates, and guarantee customer satisfaction. Don’t fall behind in the increasingly commoditized service market—invest in the right tools and processes to streamline your process.

To learn more about how you can empower dispatchers and planners to handle every scheduling scenario with maximum efficiency, read our Scheduling and Optimization data sheet.

ABOUT Wendy Tai

Wendy TaiWendy Tai is a director of product marketing at ServiceMax. She works closely with product, marketing, and partner teams to message, position, and drive the go-to-market for ServiceMax products. Wendy has 10+ years of experience in marketing and product marketing at both startups and large corporations, most recently launching emerging technology products in augmented reality and 3D for Adobe Systems and Hewlett-Packard. Wendy holds a BA in Communications from the University of California, Berkeley.