Mobile technology is a hot topic in field service. However, few organizations are leveraging it to its fullest potential in order to reduce first-time fix rates and improve customer satisfaction.
Field service has evolved significantly in the last few years and, in order to keep up, so has the technology. Gone are the days when the service organization was nothing more than a cost center and companies could rely on reactive maintenance to stay afloat. Now, the service organization is viewed as a highly important (and profitable!) piece of the puzzle and providing service excellence plays a central role in a company’s overall strategy for success.
With the immense changes that field service has undergone, one thing remains the same: the importance of the first-time fix rate. Not only does a high first-time fix rate mean fewer truck rolls, more jobs completed and lower service costs, but it also directly impacts customer satisfaction. At 61%, the number one complaint from customers is that the technician didn’t resolve the issue.
Think about that – 61% of customer complaints are directly related to an organization’s first-time fix rates! It’s no wonder that Aberdeen Group names best-in-class field service organizations as those with a 90% first-time fix rate.
While accomplishing a fix rate worthy of the best in class has beleaguered service organizations for years, what was once a difficult challenge is now accomplishable through field service technology; mainly around the availability of mobile tools.
Knowledge Base Solutions to Improve Fix Rates
The importance of mobile technology is a hot topic in field service and most – if not all— organizations are well-aware that they need to harness this trend if they want to avoid becoming an industry laggard.
Mobile technology is helping service centers remove paper-based process while giving management insight into field performance and resources, and providing technicians with the most up-to-date work order and job information while in the field.
However, there is still one area of field service mobility that is hugely overlooked. And funny enough, it’s also the one area that has the potential to directly affect an organization’s first-time fix rates: mobile parts identification and technical information apps.
A recent study by The Service Council noted that time spent looking for information is a top concern for field service technicians, with over 30% of techs ranking it as the top pressure in their job. In addition, Aberdeen Group has found that 19% of first-time fixes are missed due to lack of technical and parts information at the point of service. It stands to reason that providing technicians with this information is the fastest track to improved first-time fix rates and happier customers.
What Do Your Field Service Technicians Need?
So, what does an organization look for in a mobile parts and technical information tool? Here are some key characteristics the solution must have:
- Online/offline capabilities – In order to drive your first-time fix rates up, your techs have to be able to access the information they need at the point of service, whether or not they’re able to connect to the internet.
- Intuitive, searchable, interactive UI: The tech needs to quickly find the information they need. This includes being able to search large quantities of information, click on related hyperlinks, zoom in on exploded diagrams and locate part numbers easily.
- Continuous optimization: Parts and technical knowledge are only useful if it’s current and up-to-date. Any mobile parts app must have the capability to be updated frequently so technicians are getting the most current and reliable information available when on site.
Adopting a mobile solution with the above characteristics will ensure that field service technicians will have access to the critical decision-making information they need to repair the equipment the first time. Technicians are the key to happy customers and providing them with the mobile tools necessary at the point of service is necessary if service organizations want to see a leap in their first-time fix rates and their satisfied customers.