Growing Your Field Service Business: Key Metrics That You Should Track
Updated: Oct 29, 2020
By: Siddharth Wadehra, Head of Research
In our previous article, we have discussed great service and customer satisfaction as integral factors in building a successful field service business. Indeed, with the advent of technology in the field services industry, the fourth industrial revolution, providing great customer experience has become imperative to ensure growth in the field service industry. In fact, a recent research suggests that 72% of organizations are prioritizing customer satisfaction in their field services business.
Tracking metrics is important to understand the overall health and the direction of your business. While your organization might already have internal metrics which your internal teams are monitoring, we have listed some of the key metrics that your organization must keep a careful eye on to know the overall experience of your customers. This article also explores how having an effective field management solution can help you improve these metrics and deliver the experience that your customers now expect from you.
One of the key metrics that you should be tracking to understand the health of your business is the incoming call volume. The intent should ideally be to reduce the incoming call volume to your call center and to empower your customers with on-demand services. Customers want service on their terms, and they want it to be as easy as placing an order for food delivery or requesting a ride through Uber – with an accurate, up-to-the-minute estimated time of arrival. If your dispatchers are still fielding a high volume of calls with scheduling requests and status updates, it’s time you evaluate a field service management software that can help you reduce the call volume and thereby significantly cut the cost to service your customers.
Self-Service Capabilities - One of the biggest advantages of implementing a technology solution for your field services business is the fact that it allows the customer to feel that he is in control of the situation. Customers can make and change requests and access a knowledge base with answers to frequently asked questions, like how to access service history or when it’s time for asset maintenance.
Automated Notifications - It’s ideal to always keep customers engaged with automated updates via email, SMS, or the customer portal when a mobile worker is nearby or if there is a delay. Another aspect your organization could look to implement would include live tracking which provide the customers with the ability to see where a technician is on a map with an arrival calculation, quite similar to what one would be viewing on a ride-sharing app.
First-Time Fix Rates
The reason why this metric is important is to have a better understanding of the ongoing trend on whether your technicians are able to resolve the issue in the first site visit. This does not only have an impact on customer satisfaction, but also significantly improves the bottom line. On the contrary, if your technicians are still struggling with the first visit resolution, it’s time the management should consider technology solutions to enhance their capabilities in the field:
Consolidated Information - Giving technicians the access to job information, customer data, task details, asset history, connected device insight, and schedules from their mobile devices to prepare them can improve their performance
Ongoing Support - Empowering mobile workers with helpful resources for more complex cases such as knowledge articles and video tutorials available from their app. Additionally, offering the option for technicians to connect directly with a remote agent via phone or chat to walk through the issue in case the need arises is ideal.
Cost-to-Service per Order
Another important metric for your field service business is the trends in the cost-to-service per order. This is only possible if, over time, your organization is able to drive efficiencies and improve productivity of your on-field technicians. You could possibly look at the following optimizations if you feel there is further scope to reduce the cost to service per order.
Time to Invoice - Research suggests that most technicians still use paper forms which then becomes the basis for invoicing. By giving your field technicians the ability to invoice through their app, they would be able to close the loop faster. This would also improve the customer satisfaction and reduce all the inefficiencies which manual entry on paper generates.
Optimizing Process Flow - Optimize field service with a simple flow of processes that require minimal effort through field service automation. Intelligent scheduling helps dispatchers assign the most skilled and available mobile workers and map out planning journeys that reduce windshield time and potential overtime costs.
Job Status - Mobile workers log updates before, during, and after appointments to give dispatchers a real-time view of job status and to effectively create planning journeys.
Another key metric that significantly enhances the customer satisfaction includes the technicians time to site. There are a number of technical interventions which could help improve the technician’s time to site which could be built into the application you are designing for your field service management software. Some of them include:
Route Optimization - This feature in the application helps dispatchers effectively manage each location, find the shortest routes, and facilitate planning journeys with a full map view from their screen.
Intelligent Planning - Eliminate dispatcher bias by using intelligence with a full view of the field to assign the right mobile worker for each job based on location, availability, skill set, and equipment.
Geolocation Tracking - Embed GPS technology into the field service app to navigate mobile workers to the shortest route to site and give dispatchers a bird’s eye view of resources in the field.
Number of Jobs per Day
Another metric to monitor is the trend outlining the number of jobs per day on average that each technician is able to complete. Needless to say, this trend would have a significant impact on the profitability of the organization. A field service management solution will give managers the visibility they need for the business. The advantage of a field service management solution would be that it allows you to use data and analytics to assign field technicians on pre-set business rules which takes into consideration the location of the job, the skillset of the technician, the worker or equipment availability, or the amount of inventory in-hand.
If, for any reason, the trend indicating the number of jobs per day isn’t improving, it’s time to leverage on a field service management solution to leverage on data to improve this trend, which would in-turn reflect on the profitability numbers.
This is perhaps the most important factor in understanding the health of your field services business. Usually the field service technicians have little or no visibility on the customer satisfaction levels of the customers, unless, of course, there is a specific complain or recommendation about the service. Using field service management solutions, you can empower your customers to provide timely feedback seamlessly on the services they have been receiving. You can close the feedback loop with a short survey, open-ended questionnaire, or direct outreach on everything from appointment booking to the experience with a field technician.
While there are a number of other metrics which you might be using to track the performance and health of your business, our list provides the key factors your organization should be looking to improve on. Using a field services management solution will have a direct impact on all the key metrics that you would want your business to track.
Steer No-Code Development Platform’s field service management solutions built using a no-code platform would be the ideal for customization for your unique business needs. What’s more is the fact that the license of the platforms allows you to build more applications at no additional cost and they could help digitize and automate other support functions of your field service business – whether its finance, sales, or HR. By allowing citizen developers to prototype ideas into minimum viable products, you foster a culture of innovation and customer centricity in your organization.
Sign up for a free trial HERE to explore how Steer Platform’s field service management solution might positively impact the key metrics for your business. Feel free to reach out to our team HERE for a FREE exploratory consultation in case you might have further questions which you might need support on.