In field service, things change quickly. And that includes your company’s knowledge.
The ugly truth about knowledge management is that a knowledge base is outdated as soon as it’s published.
Installation manuals, parts lists, and technical information all need to be kept updated frequently.
Field service technicians lose faith in knowledge that’s inaccurate or outdated. Costly errors occur from ill-informed decisions. Incorrect parts are ordered. Time technicians don’t have is spent searching for the right answer.
All of this lowers their productivity, increases your service costs and frustrates your customers.
There’s no doubt that knowledgeable decision-making leads to more first-time fixes. And better business for you.
Get your priorities right
Trying to capture and manage all knowledge can be mind-blowing. It quickly becomes impossible, unless you have a more technological system in place (like AnswersAnywhere, dare I say?)
So, in the short-term, focus on the knowledge that your field service team actually NEEDS in order to service and fix the equipment.
It sounds simple, but you’d be amazed by how tangled up many businesses can become at this point.
Our advice? Speak to your field service team and establish these priorities with their involvement.
How to keep it current and accurate
Once your knowledge priorities are clear, identify the key personnel to involve. You’ll probably need to get different departments talking to each other and sharing resources.
This in itself, can be a big hurdle.
Try to develop a system that works for your business and your level of knowledge management. Ponder these questions:
* Where can updated files and documents be found?
* Who collates them?
* Who processes them?
* Should your documents be coded or tagged?
* Where will your updated knowledge be stored?
* How will this be communicated? To whom?
Look Towards the Future
Granted, it’s time-consuming to keep your knowledge current. Especially with limited technology and support. But the potential benefits to productivity, customer service, and profitability make it an essential task to master.
And consider this: future, game-changing technology such as AI is likely to depend on it.
Think about what your knowledge needs to look like. Would templates help the management process? Should lengthy documents be summarized? Scrolling through a 200-page manual to find the answer is hardly productive.
Also consider how and where you’ll store your current knowledge. A shared drive? A login section on your website? In the office, ready to support phone queries?
The more central, collated and systemized your knowledge is, the easier it will be to keep current and accurate.
How to transform your knowledge management system
If your present way of doing things is driving you and your field service team mad, consider a change that’ll make a huge difference. Ask me about our Discovery Workshop. It’s an affordable starting point for a daunting task.
Our knowledge experts will walk you through the process of identifying and utilizing your knowledge. We provide you with the people, technology and expertise needed for a knowledge management project. Essentially, we do all the work and you avoid all the stress!
The result is the ability to arm your field service team with the answer to everything. Instantly.
This is how you thrash those KPIs, once and for all.