PraxedoOur blog Empowering maintenance technicians to work more independently
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Empowering maintenance technicians to work more independently

Kieran Le Peron
October 4, 2018
4 min. read

The service industry is increasingly competitive. Customer demands are getting higher and higher, and quality of service levels must match expectations. To meet rising customer expectations, service companies must help technicians manage their service calls in a more independent way. Ensuring technicians act and behave in a certain way during service calls is far from easy, but good management is essential to ensure customer satisfaction. And adopting field service management software goes a long way toward ensuring good management.   The right field service management software becomes part of your overall strategy to digitise processes. With digital tools, you can enable technicians to work more in more independent and productive ways to increase service levels and service capacity.   If you’re still using paper for field service management, it’s time to make the switch. Your competitors likely already have.

Give maintenance technicians a business app

To help technicians work more independently in the field, give them a mobile app that allows them to quickly and easily send and receive all the information they need to complete each service call.  

Put key information at technicians’ fingertips

To quickly understand the situation and know which spare parts are needed, technicians must have information such as the site address, the name of the on-site contact, the type of equipment involved and the service history for the equipment at their fingertips.  

Accurately capture service data

Then, to accurately capture information and complete the service call without worrying about making process or input errors, the app must provide a pre-configured service report form. The form should include mandatory fields that can be completed using checkboxes and drop-down menus that are customised for each type of service.   The goal is to allow technicians to concentrate on their core task: working on the equipment. With a well-designed business app, technicians can easily enter accurate information that is instantly sent back to the service centre for processing when the report is completed. Technicians simply click the “Validate” button and the information is sent directly to the service company’s information system for invoicing.   With the app, technicians no longer need to return to the office to drop off dozens of paper reports. Because they’re no longer wasting time on unnecessary trips, they can concentrate on their service tasks.  

Increase first-time fix rates with collaboration

Finally, to work more independently, technicians should not have to depend on others to solve customer problems. The app should allow the technician to easily collaborate with an expert back at the service centre, or a senior technician, to quickly determine the right solution.   Depending on the customer issue, these communications may involve instant messaging or a chat session initiated from a photo or short video of the equipment the technician has provided from the customer site. When technicians can interact directly with support staff, they’re in a better position to resolve the issue on the first visit, much to the customer’s benefit.

Give dispatchers scheduling and monitoring capabilities

When field technicians have more autonomy, service companies need the ability to monitor their activities and performance with field service management software. With software that allows dispatchers to create the optimal schedules and monitor service status in real time, they know where each technician is. They have an overview of all current and future service activities at all times.  

Create technicians’ schedules in seconds

Dispatchers must be able to quickly and easily generate complex service schedules. That means the field service management software must offer an intelligent scheduling module that uses artificial intelligence technology to consider a wide variety of parameters, including the type of service to be delivered, site locations, skills required, technician availability, parts availability and others, and can suggest the optimal schedule in a few seconds.   Route optimisation is a key requirement. With a well-constructed route that optimises travel times, technicians spend less unproductive time in their vehicles and more time providing service to customers. Everybody wins.  

Track business metrics to measure performance

The field service management software must provide the ability to monitor customised business metrics in real time, and from a historical perspective, so you can analyse performance, identify trends and make the right operational decisions.  

Communicate with customers in real time

The software must also provide the ability to communicate with customers to inform them about service status, sending emails or text messages based on the service status the technician sets in the app.   For example, a text message can alert the customer that the technician is on his way. Then, when the technician has finished the service call, an email with the service report attached can be automatically sent to the customer. This close communication with customers helps you meet their expectations: no customer likes to be left in the dark.  

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