Every field service business must deliver quality services and products to attract new customers and keep the current ones happy. However, quality service delivery can be challenging for any business. It can also be difficult for businesses to define what quality means. Quality is not something that you can simply plug into your work orders software and get results. It is defined by your customers, managers, and your technicians.
There are many ways to ensure quality. A lot of companies use Maintenance management software for sure-shot results. But as far as quality is concerned, there are questions that field service businesses can ask themselves and their customers in order to understand what quality actually means. It is possible that your customers' perception of quality is different from yours. So, consider asking these questions before assessing the quality of the service you provide and if there are improvements that you need to make.
What is quality for your customers?
This is certainly the most important question to answer. Your customer's opinion really matters. If your customers don’t believe you have quality products or services, they won’t approach you for help. So how does your customer define quality? Do they prefer faster service and higher first-time fixes? Do they attach value to preventative maintenance agreements that ensure their equipment works longer? Or are they more concerned about the quality of the equipment and parts you sell?
It is very likely that your customer's definition of quality is different from yours. You can import many different metrics into your work order program, such as first-time repair rates, mean repairs times, etc. to improve the quality of the services you offer. Not just that, this could also help you take a higher number of service calls. If you're getting more calls for repairs and installation, it could be a sign that you are providing quality service.
Are you ready to deliver quality?
This might seem like an odd question to ask since all businesses are most likely ready to deliver quality. However, a lot of field service businesses don't have the right infrastructure or processes to provide quality services.
What about you? Are you still using manual processes within your business? Do you still use paper-based schedules and work orders? If your answer to these questions is "yes", then your field service firm isn't yet ready to implement quality service programs.
First, eliminate manual processes and paper-based job orders with proper maintenance work order software. The best part is that everyone can use this software. Plus, you're automating the entire workflow. All this helps you offer better customer service.
Do you need a separate plan for quality or can your current business plan take care of it?
Every field service business has a business plan. It’s the foundation on which a business gets built. But, does that suffice? Should you have a separate plan for quality? Actually, both are essential. While an overall business plan is necessary, it's also important to have a plan that addresses the quality standards of the services you offer. How will you reach a high first-time fix rate? And how will it impact your overall business? How can work order software make it easier to process work orders and send invoices faster? How will it impact your overall business and cash flow? Infield service management, service quality and business planning should go hand-in-hand.
How much quality is too much?
You can never go overboard with quality. The more the better. But make sure you are providing the right kind and the best you can provide.
Say, you plan to attain a cent percent first-time fix rate, but your technicians keep driving back to the office to grab parts. In that case, are they really providing quality? It's not good to compromise on quality in one part of your service delivery in order to make it successful in another. You must consider all aspects of your service when implementing quality. And you can do so by using maintenance management system software.
It’s great that you aim at achieving a high fix rate, but also provide your technicians with a field service mobile app that will allow them to check their work orders every morning so they can get the parts they need ready before leaving for fieldwork. With software, optimizing their route becomes easy and they spend less time driving, and more time doing their jobs. Changes across the entire field service management team will help you provide the best quality service.
What is the best way to monitor quality?
As we stated, quality is not defined by a number. You can check reviewers of your company online. However, that doesn’t get deep into your field service business and gives you only a broad view of its image.
So, how can you monitor quality? Use field service management software to track your first-time fixes, products sold, and mean travel and repair times. You can also track technician utilization with this software. Not just that, if you have Key Performance Indicators set up, the software will help your business reach the quality targets that you have set. To identify if a technician is failing, you can get real-time feedback to correct and offer training to them to improve their work quality. Your people shouldn't be let down as your quality can suffer. Track all KPIs relevant to your business quality, and adjust as needed to keep customers satisfied.
Take the first step today!
While quality is not something that can happen overnight, you can at least take the first step today. Businesses that manage field services need to be more attentive to quality. Customers have more options than ever to find the service that they are looking for, thanks to increased competition in the field. Therefore, customer values have changed over time. More and more people are willing to spend on high-quality services. In fact, customers prefer to spend more on a high-quality service than a low-quality one they cannot trust. Use field service management software to monitor the quality of your business and keep track of it. Ask the right questions and create a quality strategy that best works for your business.