How to Increase First-Time Fix Rate (FTFR) to Boost Field Service Customer Satisfaction

Delivering positive outcomes for customers is a top priority for any high-performing field service company, and one effective way to drive customer satisfaction is by monitoring your organisation’s First-Time Fix Rate (FTFR). FTFR measures how often field service managers and technicians are resolving problems the first and only time they visit a site. For the convenience it delivers to the customer, FTFR has become an essential metric for delivering high levels of customer satisfaction.

Today, customers in every industry are placing convenience at the top of their wish lists. In fact, a study by Deloitte ranked ‘convenience’ as one of the most important aspects of holiday shoppers’ buying experiences. And, as expectations in customer experience increase across all industries, the competition to deliver convenience is stronger than ever. For field service management, it’s no exception.

What Is FTFR (First-Time Fix Rate)?

In essence, a First-Time Fix Rate is a measurement used to track how often your Field Service Organisation (FSO) is resolving a customer issue the first time around. FTFR applies when a manager or technician fixes a problem straight away. Without the need for additional parts, data, information, or enlisting the support of experts.

It’s also worth noting that no repeat visits or secondary call-outs can be included.

The average percentage score for FTFR across the Field Service Management industry sits at 80%. So, if you’re achieving close to 90%, you should consider yourself a high achiever. If it’s any less than 70%, you’re likely to be putting the success of your organisation at risk.

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Why Is a High FTFR Important In Service Management?

Your FTFR has a significant bearing on the success of your organisation. From a recent study, FSO’s with FTFR’s of over 70% achieved customer retention rates of 86%.

Why is a high FTFR important in field service management

Where customer retention links to customer satisfaction, knowing your CSAT score is important too. Short for ‘Customer Satisfaction’, CSAT analyzes how well your customers view your performance. So, it’s of high importance that you deploy regular surveys to gain your client’s feedback. With this, you can create your CSAT score. This way, you’ll be more confident to assess the true impact of FTFR on your CSAT scores.

What’s more, good levels of customer satisfaction will impact your overall bottom line. For example, best-in-class field service providers that hit 90% greater CSAT scores were able to increase their revenue margins by 30%.

So, while you should expect to see an increase in customer loyalty as a result of high FTFR percentages, you can also expect other benefits such as:

Increased Productivity

Setting FTFR as a KPI in your Field Service manager or technician’s performance reviews will help them get more done in less time. By ensuring queries get resolved the first time around, technicians will gain more time to complete further tasks. And, when technicians are freed up to focus on first-time visits and not repeat visits, you’ll improve your response time on future service requests.

Reduced Costs and Increased Profitability

With higher FTFR rates comes fewer site visits. So, for your FSO, this means wasting less time and fewer resources on the cost of expensive repeat visits. Also, by boosting customer retention rates, higher FTFR percentages will reduce the level of investment your FSO makes to acquire new customers.

Improved Efficiencies

By running an FSO that commits to achieving high FTFR scores, you will demonstrate to clients how much you care about delivering high-quality outcomes. Increased efficiencies in your service will also lead to better CSAT scores. This improves customer retention and reduces the risk of losing clients.

5 Factors to Improve Your Technicians’ FTFR

1. Lack of Spare Parts

In today’s environment, competition is intense. So, if another firm proves they can show up with all the right parts, you may miss out on that client’s business. Gone are those days when engineers would say they ‘need to order in a new part’ and let the customer wait another week. Getting the right parts for the job makes a huge difference.

2. Unavailable Assets

When your technician can’t gain access to a site it’s frustrating for everyone. Not only that, it’s a very expensive cost to your business. Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence in the industry. And, of course, not being able to complete the job at the first site visit will reduce your first-time fix rate.

3. Inappropriate Skillsets

Ideally, all your Field Service Managers and technicians would carry the necessary skills to fix any job. In practice, however, things are never that simple. And when more experienced technicians are in demand, your FTFR is will be at risk when less experienced engineers get left to attend first-time jobs.

4. Poor Planning

Leaving technicians without enough time to complete a job can reduce your FTFR. If there isn’t enough time or the site’s about to close, there’s a good chance they’ll need to return to finish the job. Remember, to qualify your FTFR score, you need to ensure there are no follow-up jobs or call-backs.

5. Ineffective Communication

Inaccurate or improper diagnosis of issues can lead to many of the problems outlined above. Without a clear and precise diagnosis of issues, your technician may have to return to the site. So, getting the diagnosis right the first time will save your FSO time, money, and a lot of unnecessary frustration for your engineers and clients.

Summary: How You Can Improve Your First-Time Fix Rate

While there’s no single cure to resolve every risk, there are several steps you can take to improve your FTFR. Including:

Robust Planning Methods

Using data to review service history and client information will help you to better forecast future needs. Also, consider how IoT monitoring could benefit your operation and fast-track improvements to your FTFR.

Drive Collaboration Between Teams

Your technicians and managers must be able to communicate with ease. Let them access technology that enables real-time communication and collaboration.

Improve Inventory Planning

Having access to inventories in real-time will help your technicians to streamline their operations and make better assessments of what’s needed to complete a job.

Invest In Training and Skills Sharing

Giving your staff development opportunities is critical to their success and retention. By making use of FSM tools, you’ll find it easier to analyze any gaps in their skills or experience, and inform any action you should take to improve their practice.

Driving customer loyalty in an FSO relies on high levels of first-time fix rates. FTFR’s also work to improve productivity and support your field service engineers to deliver exceptional results.

Using the right Field Management Software can give you the platform you need to reduce any risk to your FTFR and drive improvements. Our extensive field service management software buyer’s guide will give you all the information you need to choose the best solution for your needs.