Measuring the efficacy of your field service business means keeping track of a lot of moving parts. And, depending on the type of business you run — construction, HVAC, waste disposal, wireless communications, and so on — the metrics you'll need to measure will be different.
However, there are a few core components that every field service-based business will need to track. To understand what these are and how to measure them, we've put together a comprehensive list that works for any FSM company, large or small.
The Average Time It Takes Your FSM Business to Respond to Every Call
The period from the time you dispatch a driver to the time your technician arrives at the customer's home or business is a critical measure of how good your customer service is. What's more, routinely late response times can indicate that the system you're using to schedule appointments is not as efficient as it could be.
This response time, known in the industry as mean time to service (MTTS), is the factor that determines how long your customers have to wait. When these periods are longer than they should be, it may mean that you need to hire more technicians or drivers to meet the demand for your service. A long wait also negatively impacts how customers feel about your service and company.
When making an effort to improve MTTS, try to focus on:
- A quick method for scheduling that can manage changes on the fly and reroute drivers as needed to handle emergencies
- Optimized routes for drivers that ensure no one has to travel too far to get to a customer quickly during an emergency
- A GPS tracking or electronic logging device (ELD) field service management software that can create contingency routes when roads are blocked, allowing technicians to still make their appointments on time
- Hire more technicians if your team is spread too thin
Properly Deploying Your Technicians for Active Work
It is critical to correctly measure your technicians’ billable hours in the field, working in client homes and businesses. Without an accurate measure of your technicians’ and drivers’ active versus idle time, you will almost certainly lose revenue.
To reduce idle time, you will need to have a way to reduce time spent idling in traffic and stuck in the wake of accidents and other hazards. With the right GPS trackers or electronic logging devices (ELDs) onboard your fleet vehicles, coupled with the right field service management software, you can avoid such idle time.
You can also:
- Reduce the time it takes to get from one job to the next, thanks to contingency routing
- Reduce time for drivers to return to your yard or warehouse to pick parts they need for specific jobs
- Reduce time to finish paperwork and logs, thanks to automated systems found in ELDs
- Reduce the time it takes to get to emergency calls with more efficient real-time rerouting
Managing Customer Retention Through Enhanced Support
A question any thriving field service-based business should ask itself is, "How many customers might we have lost because we weren’t mindful of their needs?"
Customer retention can be hard to consider because it cuts right to the core of how well you run your operation. Of course, there will always be customers whose unhappiness is out of your control. But in most instances, there are a few key reasons for having lost customers.
Here are a few areas where field service management solutions like Azuga's FSM software can help with customer retention:
- Offering enhanced customer support by providing better connectivity to your phone agents and chatbots
- Enhancing your overall response times to service calls through better routing, rerouting, and emergency response times
- Assigning the most experienced technicians to the most complex jobs to ensure satisfied customers
But there are places where technology cannot help with customer retention. This is where it's up to you to hire the best and brightest, as well as the kindest and most punctual. Customers will always be happier when their technicians arrive when they are supposed to. But they also appreciate human kindness and a technician who is willing to talk through any of the issues they may be having.
Especially now, when so many customers are likely to feel cut off from the rest of the world, compassionate technicians are critical to the success of your business. Azuga's field service management solutions, fleet tracking software, and other resources can ensure your customers are more likely to be taken care of promptly. Still, it’s up to your hiring manager to determine that the technicians you bring on board will be the kind of people who understand that quality customer service starts with their attitude and consideration.