It can be a cliche to talk about how important time is to your life, but there are huge elements of truth to it. Since time is a precious, non-renewable resource, there’s much research on how successfully using time is the key to personal happiness.
Successfully using time is also a key to field service organization happiness. Here’s why.
If you were to make a list of the 10 things that irritate your customers the most, how far down the list would you get before you had something about scheduling or technicians being late for appointments? With most FSOs we work with, it’s a top two or three concern of their clients. Almost nothing annoys a customer more than waiting a long time for a technician.
Now, you won’t always be perfect in this regard. Heavy traffic happens. Car accidents happen. Presidents come to your town. There are dozens of reasons why your technicians might be late for an appointment -- and oftentimes, you don’t have control over them.
That’s why you need to assume control over the areas you can.
If you use Field Service Management scheduling tools, you come much closer to this reality.
FSM scheduling tools allow you to see all your technicians’ schedules on one interactive grid. If a new urgent customer call comes in, you know where all your techs are -- so you can reroute the one closest to the new need. If inventory is needed for a new job, you can route a technician closest to the inventory center. Because they all have GPS on their devices and in their trucks, you can also guide them away from traffic snarls.
All that is internal -- that’s how you deal with your technicians and their schedules and the adjustments that often need to be made.
The other major advantage of these tools is external, or how you deal with your customers.
If you have an app or another mobile aspect to your business (which you definitely should, but that’s a topic for another post), you can send push notifications and messages to customers about adjusted technician arrival times. If it’s going to be much later than they expected, you can call them and then send a message explaining the situation. The customer might still be frustrated, but it will be a lot better than a technician arriving 5 hours late with no context.
Schedule mix-ups are a mess for everyone. Controlling them is all about effective communication and using the technology at your disposal. FSM scheduling tools allow you to do both without distracting your employees from other business functions.
FSM scheduling tools are just one reason to buy FSM software, but we understand it can get costly. If you’re a small business with limited resources, this is even more true. We put together a checklist of reasons (and rationales) to help you convince your boss about the value of FSM software. Download it now -- and if you have any questions about your business model or market, let us know.