Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on November 27, 2018, and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
Life as a field technician is complex; it’s up to management to easier.
I rarely find myself on job-review and career-advice sites (such as Indeed, Glassdoor, and CareerBliss). Still, the other day I stumbled across some feedback that field technicians provided about their work and employers. It was gratifying to know that the majority found plenty to like about both their work and their companies.
Of course, not everything they mentioned was all about sunshine and success on the job; hard work often requires long hours in dirty, dangerous, or otherwise objectionable conditions. But by and large, they articulated benefits they derive from their work in the field – benefits far beyond job security and health insurance.
Have you ever considered the upside of field service work?
In addition to the often-mentioned good pay and benefits, there were statements about camaraderie among their co-workers and the opportunity to “always be learning and growing.” Other upbeat or compelling reasons to join a field service crew follow:
- Dynamic work environment. Really feel like I’m contributing to customers and to the company.
- What we’re doing is really helping customers, and the communities rely on us, too.
- The dynamic work environment is always changing, so if you like to think outside the box and troubleshoot equipment, you will thrive.
- The work is hard, but it’s an amazing feeling when the job is done and the equipment is back in business.
- Dealing with customers is my favorite part of the job. I meet so many interesting people.
- Field technicians learn something every day. It’s a great experience working in this environment.
Although most field technicians are generally positive about their work in the field, that doesn’t mean managers should assume technicians will always deliver great customer service – or expect that they’ll become loyal, long-term employees. Rather, managers need to hear and acknowledge their negative feedback, address their concerns, and heed their suggestions for improvement.
Listen to the day-to-day obstacles that field technicians face.
Field service managers know that if field service technicians are unhappy, it’s more likely that they’ll deliver less-than-stellar service to the customer. That, in turn, can lead to lower productivity, customer dissatisfaction (or defection) and reduced profit margins. Consider typical feedback from technicians about the frustrations and concerns associated with field service and ask yourself if your technicians might be experiencing some or all of them:
- Obtaining parts can be a challenge, making it difficult to complete jobs on schedule.
- Traveling to customer locations can be a drag.
- There’s a feeling of isolation on the job that can be challenging.
- We weren’t given the right tools to get jobs done according to plan, then we looked bad.
- We want to show up at the site with everything we need to complete the job on the first visit.
- Simplify the CRM and improve access to information about customer history and the equipment we’re servicing.
- Some managers have a hard time communicating exactly what they want from us.
Evaluate the tools and technology you’ve provided your teams.
Technician studies like the “2016 Salesforce Connected Service Study” and The Service Council’s “Field Service 2016: The Technician’s Feedback Report” found that nearly half of field technicians were dissatisfied with their current tools. In addition, field technicians said that “they’re not fast enough.” They reported that they want to complete a significant percentage of their post-job work – like viewing or updating their schedule or writing notes – remotely.
Technicians expect access to the information they need in real-time – regardless of whether they’re in the office or with a. And they want access to this “knowledge base” on their mobile devices. “The technology is there,” said one technician about his work in the field, “so we should be able to use it to our advantage.” With a proper field service management software that’s easy to customize – and one with a powerful mobile app – technicians have all the modern functionality they need to do their jobs.
Try our powerful and easy-to-use mobile field service solution for free!
Equipped with the right technology, technicians in the field will complete jobs quickly and efficiently. And when they have access to all the most current information about the equipment and the customer on a mighty mobile app, their performance improves – as does their job satisfaction.
It’s irrefutable: on-time completion of jobs makes technicians happy, ensures customer satisfaction, and protects the organization’s reputation as a top-notch service provider. The good news is that it’s easier than ever to provide tools that make technicians’ work more accessible. So take the first step toward technician productivity and happiness by scheduling a customized demo of FMP360, calling 240-403-6001, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.