5 Ways to Better Understand Your Field Service Engineers

No matter what service you provide, the success of each operation relies on the performance of your field service engineers. Although each engineer has different responsibilities, they share the same objective; to deliver a good customer experience. Essentially, this goal is your responsibility and it requires you to track, monitor, and measure your engineer in the most efficient way possible.

As a team leader, it’s your job to track the performance and availability of your workforce. This includes everything from customer retention rates to real-time vehicle tracking. Enabling you to see what’s working, what’s not working, and what needs improving.

In this guide, we’ve identified the five best ways to truly understand the performance of your engineers with the help of Field Service Management Software.

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What Type of Field Jobs Do You Do?

1. Job Completion Percentage

Job completion percentage is based on the number of jobs an engineer is assigned, divided by the number of jobs they complete. Making it a key metric to understand how well your workers are performing in the field.

Measuring a field service engineer’s job completion rate is easy, with the right tools. Each worker is automatically assigned a job and given the client’s details via a shared ticketing system. Managers can then track their workers as they travel to a job, complete the work, and take payment.

This allows you to have a complete overview of how long a job takes and if it is completed.

As well as job completion, you can also track a worker’s Mean Time to Complete. This refers to how long it takes an engineer to complete a job on average.

2. First-Time Fix Rates

The best way to guarantee a good customer experience is by successfully completing a job the first time of asking. This is also known as a first-time fix rate (FTFR).

FTFR can impact several variables within a field service business, including:

  • Customer retention/Client renewals
  • Customer experience
  • Engineer training

Tracking your field service engineer’s FTFR is key to knowing how successful they are in the field. It also helps you to better understand if you’re assigning the best-skilled engineers.

How to Calculate Your First-Time Fix Rate

Businesses with a first-time fix rate greater than 70% are likely to see a customer retention rate of up to 86%.

The average first-time fix rate in the field service industry is 80%. Knowing this benchmark, you can compare how your engineers are performing. If they boast an FTFR of 80% or above, they’re high achievers. Whereas if it’s 80% or below, your operation could be at risk and needs correcting.

3. Real-Time Location Tracking

As well as tracking performance metrics, a field service management system enables you to physically track your engineers when away from the office. By using mobile devices and GPS trackers, you can gauge where an engineer is in real-time. This lets you know:

  • What engineer is closest to the next job
  • When they’re at a job
  • How long they’ve been off-site
  • If they’re stuck in traffic on their way to a customer

Tracking your mobile workforce allows you to improve certain aspects of the operation. It lets you assign the nearest engineer to a job and help avoid delays. As well as understanding a worker’s driver behaviour in an attempt to reduce fuel costs.

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What Type of Field Jobs Do You Do?

4. Track Your Field Service Engineer’s Average Response Time

An engineer’s average response time refers to how quickly they answer an emergency call. It is the measurement of the time taken between a job being assigned and the time it takes for an engineer to arrive on site.

If you’re noticing a downtrend in your average response time KPIs, this can affect various aspects of your operation. Such as:

  • Call-out delays
  • Losing customers
  • Missing out on completing more jobs
  • Poor staff productivity

One way to improve the average response times of your field service engineers is to use a field service management tool. This helps to automate the job scheduling process and instantly provides workers with the right job data. Making sure jobs are completed on time, workers are scheduled more efficiently, and clients are satisfied.

5. Reschedule Ratio

A reschedule ratio measures the number of times an engineer reschedules a task compared to the number of tasks assigned. This metric helps to highlight the quality of a worker’s service.

Having a high reschedule ratio can be damaging in two ways:

  • You’re spending more on multiple site visits
  • Your customers will lose faith in the service you provide

Tracking an engineer’s reschedule ratio will help define the number of quality field workers you have. By generating individual reports, you can see which field service engineers need more training. As well as which ones are costing your operation the most when it comes to site revisits and incomplete jobs.

What Is the Role of a Field Service Engineer?

A field service engineer will perform installations, repairs, and maintenance tasks away from the office. Whether that be in a customer’s home or on commercial premises. Engineers are assigned jobs, they travel to sites, they complete work orders, and they provide updates to office-based staff.

Sounds like a straightforward role, right? Not exactly.

A field service engineer must wear many hats. Not only do they need to fix problems with equipment and infrastructure, but they must also carry out various administrative duties and be the face of the business. A field service engineer’s responsibilities include:

  • Troubleshooting problems
  • Accurately diagnosing faults
  • Providing technical advice to clients
  • Delivering excellent all-round service
  • Conducting reports

What Value Does a Field Service Engineer Add to Your Operation?

There are two main reasons why field service engineers are important to improving your operations:

1. They Add Revenue

Engineers bring in revenue through the success of their work. The more jobs that are completed per day, the more profit you will make.

Your priority should be to ensure that your field service engineers are as productive as possible every day. That means focusing on route optimisation, job scheduling, and empowering your engineers with the knowledge, tools, and resources they need to do their job well.

2. They Enhance the Customer Experience

Your engineers might be the only faces your customers see. This is why soft skills, such as people management, are one of the top three must-have skills for modern field service engineers.

A good or bad experience with your engineers could affect a customer’s decision to stay with you or switch to a competitor. An engineer that turns up late or fails to fix the problem first-time isn’t going to provide customers with a good experience. This is especially the case if your customer is then forced to wait another 14 days for resolution – the average time needed if a first-time fix isn’t achieved.

Customers want their problems solved as quickly as possible. To meet their expectations, you must ensure your engineers turn up on time and fix the problem first-time. When it’s not possible to do that, any replacement parts should be ordered instantly and another appointment made.