Here are a couple of investments that will have lasting, positive effects for your workers and your field service organization:
1. Invest in Training
While training technicians on the job may seem obvious, routine training is easy to overlook in service organizations, especially busy ones. Providing continuous training for your technicians, whether it’s in person or online, will help them master various repairs, inspection processes, solidify their understanding of the operation and ensure they have the skillset needed to fulfill your customers’ maintenance agreements. If you need to teach new topics quickly, facilitate a newsletter or company blog that details trending product issues and provides instructions/tools needed to address those issues.
2. Invest in a Comprehensive Field Service Solution that Includes Mobile
Making your technicians’ jobs easier and work-lives happier will lead to a more productive organization and ensure employee loyalty. That’s why investing in a field service management software and mobile solution is imperative; it allows your techs to work better and faster. With a mobile app at their fingertips, techs can:
· View schedules in real-time
· Update technician status and labor time
· Track and manage assets and inventory
· Gain full access to service & work-order history
· View warranty and contract details
· Access repair instructions
· Perform inspections
3. Invest in Knowledge Sharing and Collaboration Tools
Field service companies must eliminate the tribal knowledge within their organization. Invest in an automated solution to collect, centralize, and organize all your data and documentation so it’s always up to date and accessible to anyone in the company. You can also have your senior-level technicians grow your documentation library by having them create troubleshooting guides and videos while on the job which can be shared and viewed by newer technicians. It is important to promote a team-based culture and communication programs to encourage greater levels of collaboration among field technicians. With your best technicians’ wisdom stored in a company-wide database, you won’t lose that expert knowledge when they do retire or leave the company.
4. Prevent Employee Churn
Measure your field technician’s status frequently. Knowing what drives your technicians is integral to ensuring you can keep them around for the long haul and prevent a premature exit from the team. More and more service organizations are beginning to monitor and measure their field service team’s engagement and, more importantly, acting on what they gather. If you don’t know there is a problem, you won’t be able to address it.
5. Show Your Appreciation
One of the best ways to improve employee relationships is by showing them they’re appreciated and preparing them with the right training and tools. Your technicians will thank you with their hard work and loyalty.
6. Establish Mentors and Coaches
Retain retiring workers in part-time training or technical support roles and as mentors and coaches to pass along knowledge. Retiring workers and top field technicians can help shape and train the next crop of workers. Underperforming organizations don’t even know who their top technicians are and therefore don’t know they should both keep those employees and give them ways to help the entire team learn how to excel at service. Mentorship programs will play a bigger role in service as the wave of millennials coming into the workforce continues to grow and the baby boomers retire. Build a bridge between your expert workers and the next wave of technicians.
When key employees leave your field service company, they take their individual knowledge, expertise and customer relationships with them. You must do everything you can to keep your top people on your team for as long as you can.