What Field Technicians Want
Ask any professional what they want more of in their work, and they’ll tell you: satisfaction. They want to work with the smartest people on the most challenging problems using the best tools.
For a salesperson, this could mean landing a marquee customer supported by a great operations team using a pristine CRM.
For a physician, this could mean developing a new protocol for a life-threatening condition using the latest research and lab equipment.
For a field service technician, it means solving customer problems using proven methods enabled by highly usable mobile technology.
Good news. There are a lot of satisfied field techs.
A little more than a year ago, The Service Council (TSC) conducted a study that captures the field technician’s perspective. More than 90 percent of the technicians surveyed by TSC say they would recommend the profession of field service. Better still, this level of enthusiasm is consistent across all experience levels; even the most seasoned field techs happily recommend their line of work.
Why? Field service technicians do three valuable things every day: bring in revenue; drive repeat business; and solve customer problems. Of the three, field technicians’ favorite is solving customer problems. More than three-quarters of techs say that it’s the part of their day they like best. Somewhat paradoxically, however, the TSC survey also reveals that only 31% of field techs enjoy dealing with customers and less than a quarter enjoy performing repairs.
How can it be that technicians enjoy solving customer problems but don’t like interacting with them and fixing things?
The answer is in how techs work most effectively. Dealing with customers and performing repairs on equipment are easiest when technicians have the information they need. Answering customer questions what happened, how long something is going to take and whether they should expect a recurrence depends on data. Similarly, repairs depend on an accessible and current knowledge base. As it turns out, handling customer questions and conducting repairs are actually functions of solving customer problems.
Process-based mobile applications are at the core of a field workforce’s productivity and efficiency, and they can be the difference between an unmet SLA and a happy customer. The key distinction of process-based apps is that they mold to the organization’s existing field processes and procedures while reinforcing best practices. The more process-oriented field apps are, the more effective techs are in completing tasks and fulfilling work orders. Solving customer problems begins and ends with the technician’s ability to adhere to customer-facing workflows and deliver efficient and effective service.
Not surprisingly, field technicians’ least favorite parts of their day are paperwork and having to look for information they need while onsite. Even the most basic mobile field service apps can address these needs. Real and lasting value is created when mobile field service apps put the customer at the center.
This article first appeared on Field Technologies Online.