Best Practices in Managing Outsourced Field Service

Best Practices in Managing Outsourced Field Service

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Field service management software has been one of the biggest developments in the last five years. Its integration into many top-level service organisations has seen them grow at unprecedented rates due to a number of technological and communications-based advances.

As a result, more field service directors and business owners are investigating how to incorporate field service management solutions into their operations. Understanding why this technology is so effective goes hand in hand with making the most of it. Fortunately, we have some advice on formulating a business strategy that properly utilises field service software through best practices.

Manage appointments

Field management software is about efficiency, and one of the most effective ways to make a system more efficient is to automate administrative tasks. Essentially, a task that does not need direct human engagement in order to be completed could potentially be automated, savings costs as well as streamlining certain customer engagements.

Using field service automation software, businesses can put the power of scheduling right in the hands of their clients. The setup is important. This would include ensuring that your system prevents double bookings, and creates enough space between scheduled appointments that technicians can manage time and travel between them, as well as burn out.

Essentially, that’s what best practices come down to – not just having the technology, but finding where the bottlenecks and potential obstacles are, and proactively addressing them so that operations can focus on providing customers with their services.

Standby technician

Have backup technicians on standby

If inconvenient scheduling could potentially become a problem, having a backup technician ready to be dispatched could solve a lot of problems. Field service jobs can have complications, and the biggest ones are massively time consuming. Leaving a job undone could be damaging for brand reputation as well as customer relations, but even where it’s impossible to avoid, stabilising the problem can take time too.

A standby technician can ease the burden on the customer, the technician, and the business in multiple ways. If technicians are able to dedicate extra time to complications, customers still receive value for the dispatch. Appointments with other clients can be met too.

The temptation here, of course, might be to think that a standby technician would be even more effective if they dispatched to other clients, essentially having all workers dispatched at the same time. However, this defeats the purpose of the standby technician’s flexibility, especially if they run into complications too.

Create a clear service outline

In order to properly perform a service in the field, there will obviously need to be a clear progression pathway with various checkpoints to show that progress is being made up until the job is done. This progress doesn’t necessarily need to detail the minutiae of field service work, but by using work order management software, the macro details of a field service dispatch can be tracked.

This gives director and owners the option of sharing the tracked progress with customers in the interest of a more transparent process and to facilitate real-time communication of operations.

This communication can buy leniency for the problems that do arise. When customers feel included in the process, they can be given the information required to put them at ease and assure them that things are still on track.

This tracking can include dispatch time, travel time to and from the service site, time spent at the service site, and any additional travel while the job is in progress. These metrics can be used to hone down every other part of the operation if there is clear bottlenecking, or if the service range is too wide to be effectively managed.

Ultimately, these practices are all good in theory but it will come down to application. The top service organisations have taken the time to understand how they fit within their own unique models. When that approach is taken, field service software can truly excel.

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