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Growing your field services business: Metrics that you should track

Image of Shatrujeet Swain
Shatrujeet Swain
Monitoring key metrics for field services

Providing a great service is an integral to building a successful HVAC business. With the advent of technology in the field services industry, the fourth industrial revolution, providing a great customer experience has become imperative to ensuring growth in the field service industry. In fact a recent research[1] suggests that 72% of organizations are prioritizing customer satisfaction in their field services business.

Tracking metrics is important in understanding the overall health of your business. While your organization might already have internal metrics to which teams keep tabs on, we have listed some of the key metrics which you must keep a careful eye on to know the overall experience of your customers.

The article also explores how having an effective HVAC would help you improve these metrics and deliver the experience which your customer now expects from you.

Call volume. One of the key metrics that you should be tracking to understand the health of your business should be the incoming call volume. The intent should ideally be to reduce the incoming call volume to your call center and to empower your customers with all the experience they would have with other on-demand services. Customers want service on their terms, and they want it to be as easy as placing an order for food delivery or requesting a ride through Uber – with an accurate, up-to-the-minute estimated time of arrival. If your dispatchers are still fielding a high volume of calls with scheduling requests and status updates, its time you evaluate a software application which could help you reduce the call volume and thereby significantly impacting the cost to service your customers.

Know your call volume

Self-service capabilities. As I have discussed in one of my earlier blogs, One of the biggest advantages of implementing a technology solution for your field services business is the fact that it allows the customer to feel that he is in control of the situation. Customers can make and change requests and access a knowledge base with answers to frequently asked questions, like how to access service history or when it’s time for asset maintenance.

Automated notifications. It's ideal to always keep customers engaged with automated updates via email, SMS, or the customer portal when a mobile worker is nearby or if there is a delay. Another aspect your organization could look to implement would include live tracking which provide the customers with the ability to see where a technician is on a map with an arrival calculation, quite similar to what one would be viewing on a ride-sharing app.

 

First-time fix rates. As mentioned in my previous article, the reason why this is important is to have a better understanding of the ongoing trend whether your technicians are able to resolve the issue in the first site visit. This not only has an impact on customer satisfaction, but also improves significantly impacts the bottom line. On the contrary, if your technicians are still struggling with the first visit resolution, its time the management could look to technology solutions to enhance their capabilities in the field:

  • Consolidated information. Giving technicians the access to job information, customer data, task details, asset history, connected device insight, and schedules from their mobile devices to prepare them would improve their performance

  • Ongoing support. Empowering mobile workers with helpful resources for more complex cases, such as knowledge articles and video tutorials available from their app. Additionally, offering the option for technicians to connect directly with a remote agent via phone or chat to walk through the issue in case the need arises.

Reduce cost per work order
 

Reduction in cost-to-service per order. Another metrics which would be important for your field service businesses to understand the overall trends in the cost to service per order. This would only be possible if, over time, your organization is able to drive efficiencies and improve productivity of your on-field technicians. You could possibly look at the following optimizations if you feel there is further scope to reduce the cost to service per order.

 

  • Time to invoice. Research suggests that most technicians still use paper based forms which then becomes the basis for invoicing. By giving your field technicians the ability to invoice through their app, they would be able to close the loop faster. This would also improve the customer satisfaction and reduce all the inefficiencies which manual entry on paper generates.

  • Optimizing process flow. Optimize field service with a simple flow of processes that require minimal effort through field service automation. Intelligent scheduling helps dispatchers assign the most skilled and available mobile workers and map out planning journeys that reduce windshield time and potential overtime costs.

  • Job status. Mobile workers log updates before, during, and after appointments to give dispatchers a real-time view of job status and effectively create planning journeys.

 

Technicians improving time-to-site. Another key metrics which would significantly enhance the customer satisfaction includes the technicians time to site. There are a number of technical interventions which could help improve the technicians time to site which could be built into the application you are designing for your field service management software. Some of them include:

  • Route optimization. This feature in the application helps dispatchers effectively manage each location, find the shortest routes, and facilitate planning journeys with a full map view from their screen.

  • Intelligent planning. Eliminate dispatcher bias by using intelligence with a full view of the field to assign the right mobile worker for each job based on location, availability, skill set, and equipment.

  • Geolocation tracking. Embed GPS technology into the field service app to navigate mobile workers to the shortest route to site and give dispatchers a bird’s eye view of resources in the field.

 
Know the no. of jobs per day

Number of jobs per day. Another metrics to track to understand the health of your field services business is the trend outlining the number of jobs per day on average each technician is able to complete. Needless to understand, this trend would have a significant impact on the profitability of the organization. A field service management solution would allow you the visibility the managers would need for your business. The advantage of the field service management solution would be that it would allow you to use data and analytics to assign field technicians on pre-set business rules which could take into consideration the location of the job, the skillset of the technician, the worker or equipment availability or the amount of inventory in-hand.

If for any reason, the trend indicating the number of jobs per day isn’t improving, it’s time to leverage on a field service management solution to leverage on data to improve this trend, which would in-turn reflect on the profitability numbers.

Customer satisfaction- This is perhaps the most important factor of the indicator of the health of your field services business. Usually the field service technicians have little or no-visibility on the customer satisfaction levels of the customers, unless of course there is a specific complain or recommendation about the service. Using technology solutions you could empower your customers to provide timely feedback seamlessly on the services they have been receiving. You can close the feedback loop with a short survey, open-ended questionnaire, or direct outreach on everything from appointment booking to the experience with a field technician.

 

Having a dedicated HVAC software like Steer would help you better track these KPI’s and help you understand points of improvement to ensure that your team is focused towards business growth.


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