What Is First-Time Fix Rate & How to Improve Yours

A first-time fix rate (FTFR) measures the success of your field staff completing a job the first and only time they visit a site. 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 FTFR. FTFR has become an essential metric for delivering high levels of customer satisfaction.

Today, customers are placing convenience as a must-have. As expectations in customer experience increase across all industries, the competition to deliver convenience is stronger than ever. And, for field service operations, it’s no exception.

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What Is First-Time Fix Rate?

A first-time fix rate is a measurement used to track how often jobs are completed the first time around. FTFR applies when a 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 industry sits at 80%. So, if you’re achieving close to 90%, you should consider yourself a high achiever. If it’s less than 70%, you’re likely to be putting the success of your organisation at risk.

Why a High First-Time Fix Rate Is Important

Your first-time fix rate has a significant bearing on the success of your organisation. A recent study showed that companies with a FTFR 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 analyses 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 and be more confident to assess the true impact of FTFR.

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 first-time fix percentages, you can also expect other benefits such as:

Increased Productivity

Setting FTFR as a KPI in your performance reviews will help get more done in less time. By ensuring queries get resolved the first time around, workers will gain more time to complete further tasks. 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 come fewer site visits. This means wasting less time and fewer resources on the cost of expensive repeat visits. Also, by boosting customer retention rates, first-time fix rates will reduce the level of investment you make to acquire new customers.

Improved Efficiencies

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

How to Calculate Your First-Time Fix Rate

To calculate a first-time fix rate and get an accurate picture of how your field staff are performing, simply divide the total number of jobs fixed on the first visit by the total number of jobs performed. Once done, you’ll have your team’s FTFR.

How to Calculate Your First-Time Fix Rate

Once you’ve worked out the percentage of your first-time fixes, you can perform this calculation for individual tasks that have been assigned to technicians, engineers, and even office-based staff. This ensures teams are hitting targets and meeting their KPIs. If you notice one of your mobile workers with a poor FTFR compared to other workers, there could be an opportunity to provide individual training.

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5 Ways That Are Proven to Improve Your First-Time Fix Rate

1. Improve Inventory and Spare Parts Management

In today’s environment, competition is intense. So, if another company proves they can show up with all the right parts, you may miss out on a 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. Make Sure of Access to a Job

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. Of course, not being able to complete the job at the first site visit will impact your first-time fix rate.

3. Assign Your Best Skilled Workers

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

4. Improve Your Job Planning Process

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 another day. Remember, to qualify your FTFR, you need to ensure there are no follow-up jobs or call-backs.

5. Improve Communication Between Office and Field Staff

Inaccurate or improper diagnosis of issues can lead to many of the problems outlined above. Without a clear and precise diagnosis of issues, workers may have to return to the site. So, getting the diagnosis right the first time will save you time, money, and a lot of unnecessary frustration from customers.

Using Field Service Management Software to Increase Your FTFR

While there’s no single cure to resolve every risk that can damage your first-time fix rate, there are steps you can take to help improve it. This is achieved through the use of a digital service management system. Field Service Management Software provides the tools and capabilities to:

Deliver 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. Including working from a shared dashboard where job, customer, and inventory data is visible to all.

Improve Inventory Planning

Having access to inventory numbers in real-time will help field staff to streamline their operations and make better assessments of what’s needed to complete a job. If they know a spare part is available, they have a better chance of completing a job at the first time of asking.

Driving customer loyalty 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.