Have you heard about The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People? You probably have, because this book by Stephen Covey has sold more than 25 million copies worldwide since it was first published back in 1989. But why are we talking about books in a field service blog? Because it turns out that many of the ideas provided by Covey can be translated into the field service area.
So let’s take those seven basic points developed by Covey, and apply them to the most important elements in any field service organization. You’ll be surprised at how much you can improve with just a slight change in your mindset.
Adopt a proactive approach
The first piece of advice in Covey’s book is to be proactive. Adopting a proactive approach to the way you deliver service in your field service company can be the first step towards success, especially in the case of customers with similar profiles, who always require the same type of service.
By carefully analyzing data regarding services hired by those customers, you would be able to detect, for example, that a certain customer requires the replacement of the same pieces in their installation from time to time. You could use that information to foresee the moment those pieces are going to break, and proactively offer your services to replace them.
Put customers at the end (and beginning!) of your company
If we follow Covey’s second tip, we should begin our project with the end in mind. When we adapt this to the field service area, we know this means to have our customers present at all times: not only the end, but also at the beginning and during the whole process.
Customer feedback is key when it comes to detect and fix any operational issues within your workflow. The important thing here is to integrate this feedback in your service lifecycle management system, so that you can analyze the information gathered from customer comments and take action accordingly.
Learn to prioritize
Knowing what and how to prioritize is basic to any company manager, including those in the field service industry. Covey mentions the importance of putting first things first in his book, and if we want to apply this to field service, we should focus on several key points.
Having a well-organized team of technicians, be present in all scheduled jobs without fail, delivering awesome customer support… these are just a few of the elements that will require prioritizing. And if you start to feel a little overwhelmed, don’t worry: Synchroteam is here to help you!
When Covey talks about thinking “win-win” in his book, we can translate this into the field service area with something that helps both your employees and your customers: mobility.
Technicians out in the field who can access all the information they need through their mobile devices are surely going to deliver a better service. They can take a look at the customer’s history, ask a colleague for help or even invoice the customer right on the spot. And all this turns a regular service into a great service!
Have full control over your inventory
Now that we mention checking the inventory, Covey’s fifth tip talks about the need to understand. And in field service companies, you definitely need to fully understand your parts inventory.
Having a firm grasp of your stock means you can ensure you’ll always have the right parts for the right jobs and that your technicians will be able to track the location and status of every piece you need. Not to mention that it’ll also help you save money!
Integrate team, workflow and technology
Covey talks in his book about the benefits of synergizing, in other words, getting everyone on the same page. Something your field service company can surely benefit from.
Your technicians, workflow processes and even the software you use should work all together, with each other, and not against each other. Workflows, for example, need to be carefully planned to make work more effective – and not the other way round. Technology, on other side, cannot fix broken processes on its own.
Sharpen your scheduling
Last but not least, Covey recommends to “sharpen the saw”, meaning you should try to take the best out of each individual in your team.
Applying this to a field service company is quite easy. Make sure all of your employees are properly trained, and that you always dispatch the right technicians (with the required set of skills) to each job in your daily schedule.