Trust is an essential component of a good relationship between an organization and its employees. When employees can rely on the strength, capability, and truth of their employer, they tend to have higher overall morale, increased production, and better job satisfaction.
In fact, according to the Harvard Business Review, workers at companies with a high level of trust report 74% less stress than their counterparts at low-trust organizations. They also report benefits such as:
- 106% more energy
- 76% more engagement
- 50% more productivity
- 40% less burnout
But around 33% of employees don’t trust their employers. If your business includes field service management and field technicians, one way to foster trust is by using the right tools. Learn more about field service management software below and how it can help you build trust with your technicians.
Why Is Field Service Management Important?
Field service management helps you keep track of all your field resources, including people and skills, equipment, parts, and tools. It lets you schedule resources to fit the needs of clients and the jobs that need to be completed while also supporting field teams with the right level of communication and training resources.
Some benefits of field service management include:
- Proactive scheduling that reduces stress for everyone. Field service management is proactive rather than reactive. It takes into account as many factors as possible to ensure jobs are scheduled with the right employees, equipment and tools. With the right data, you can also ensure that jobs are scheduled in a practical manner. This reduces the need for unplanned overtime and cuts down on field reps having to rush to get an untenable amount of work done each day.
- Reduced job times with increased accuracy. When you understand the job at hand and send the best resources the first time, work can be completed faster and with greater excellence. That allows more work to get done each day and reduces the times field service teams have to return to job sites to correct or complete work that wasn’t done right.
- Empowered field service reps that feel more confident in doing their jobs. Strong field service management provides reps with the tools and information they need to make decisions in the field, empowering them to have pride and ownership in their work. This increases worker satisfaction and has a knock-on effect for factors such as quality.
- Decreased costs (and increased profits). All of these benefits add up to numerous potentials for cost savings. Greater efficiencies and reductions in rework mean positive benefits for your bottom line.
- Better customer satisfaction and confidence in your company. Field service reps who are equipped to do the job and able to answer questions and communicate quickly and accurately with the home office increase customer confidence in your company. And jobs that are done faster and correctly leave clients more satisfied with the work, resulting in greater loyalty and positive word-of-mouth marketing.
How Do You Manage a Field Service Team?
Managing a field team involves scheduling and dispatching people to the right jobs. Commonly, field teams install or repair assets for others, but you might also have people on your teams that offer estimates or quotes. Other types of fieldwork can include moving, pest control, landscaping, and even onsite document destruction.
Some ways you manage field technicians and teams include:
- Scheduling is done at a big-picture level — such as weekly — and then tweaked daily and even hourly. Creating the schedule should involve matching the right resources with appropriate jobs and taking into account work and transit times to avoid overloading teams. Ongoing tweaks to the schedule are used to work in new jobs and update schedules to reflect bottlenecks or unplanned delays.
- Dispatching involves coordinating teams in the field and ensuring everyone has updated information and schedules. This can include tasks ranging from calling a team to let them know about a traffic jam to rerouting teams if someone cancels a job.
- Field service tracking keeps all the pieces on the board so management is aware of what assets are in the field, which work orders were completed, what customers are waiting and where people may need assistance.
- Keeping track of tools, parts and equipment is important too. If you have one machine capable of a job, you can’t schedule two of those job types at the same time, and you need to know where all your physical assets are so you can check them back in at the end of the day and send them out in working order again the next day.
- Contract management. Contracts also need to be managed. You want to know that work was completed as agreed and ensure any service-level agreements are met. For example, if you have a corporate client with an SLA that technicians will arrive onsite within 24 hours of any call for repairs, you need a process to ensure that happens or you could face SLA fees or lose the contract.
What Does Field Service Management Software Do?
Field service software helps you do everything covered in the section above without tedious (and mistake-prone) manual processes. Good field service software can automate much of the scheduling process, so you aren’t stuck for hours putting together a puzzle of moving parts for every week. It also lets you slide new jobs into the schedule and automatically allocates the best resources while modifying the schedule for existing jobs to account for new additions.
At the same time, field service software helps you build trust with your field technicians. Automations and other technology that make it easier to get the right people to the right jobs with realistic time frames reduce frantic phone calls and rescheduling. These solutions also set your techs up for success because they’re not trying to handle two days’ worth of work in one due to scheduling mistakes.
What Is Mobile Field Service Management?
Mobile field service management tools put all these benefits in the hands of your technicians. They’re able to see documents and work orders and review scheduling needs right from mobile devices like tablets. Dispatch can send road instructions and communication updates in real-time, and field technicians can look up contracts and other information on job sites.
By ensuring your field technicians have holistic information about jobs, you empower them to complete work and answer customer questions with confidence.
Mobile field service management tools also support better communication processes. Your field staff can use communication channels, including direct messages or group threads within your software, to get fast answers from the right people when they have a need for assistance in the field. They can also provide information, pictures or video to dispatch or in-office management, creating a more accurate picture of a job site and supporting better management of the job in the future.
Have You Asked Field Technicians What They Want From a Field Service Management Tool?
Field service management and field technician trust go hand-in-hand, but you do need to ensure you’re choosing a tool that works for everyone. Asking your field service teams what they want or need from a field service management software is a great idea. While you might pick a software solution that’s great at scheduling from a management perspective, your team might feel like it’s lacking in communication options or find it clunky and hard-to-use in the field.
When vetting field service software, start with the needs of your business and team. Then move on to choosing software that’s right for you. Involving your field service reps in the process is a great way to start building trust right away.
Ready to start reviewing solutions for your team? Book a free demo with Visual Planning to see what our field service management tool can do for you.
Manale is passionate about digital marketing. She joined STILOG I.S.T in 2018.
She brings SEO & SEA expertise, email marketing and creative content marketing to create a great brand experience for Visual Planning customers.