How to resolve field service calls the very first time

Here we go, the colour printer is acting up again. Yesterday, the images were clear with bright colors … Yet this morning, the blue turns green and the red becomes orange …!

A technician already came the day before yesterday. Was it for the same problem or to replace another part? What was the name of the technician? He seemed a little bit lost, didn’t he? Why did they send us this guy?

A key indicator of field service organisations’ performance is the incident resolution rate during the first intervention, or as it is called, First Time Fix Rate (FTFR). This is a simple calculation that shows whether the staff who visited the site were able to fulfill their task in one single visit.

A high FTFR demonstrates that the entire value chain, from the initial call made to solving the problem, works. A low or declining FTFR implies that there is a problem or several problems that need to be addressed.

A good diagnosis of the issue by call center staff allows for superior sorting of the overall problems. The triage process is the basis for proper problem assignment, scheduling client appointments with enough documentation, and much else.

The success of each step depends in part on the previous step: a badly assigned case does not lead directly to poor resolution, but may cause delays in service delivery. This may result in the technician having to return to correct the problem multiple times or in a violation of the service agreement.

For a micro perspective of the process, the FTFR lets you monitor the performance of the service organization and apply the required improvements, if needed.

For a macro perspective of the process, a review of the distribution or staff dispatch allows managers to ensure that all the parameters or selection criteria for assignments are respected. For example, the staff skills needed to perform an action, the required time, the availability of parts, equipment and resources, geographical location of the customer and resources, etc.

With limited inventory, only 3 or 4 technicians on the road and just a few vehicles, it is difficult, but realistic to manage the assignments manually or with basic application support. However, the operation becomes almost impossible when the organization grows or number of service plans increase, as the inventory, the fleet or the service areas are expanding.

Complimentary Webinar: Best Practices for Field Operations Productivity

How can you be sure you have sent the right person – at the right time – with the right equipment?

According to a study by the Aberdeen Group (*) The “best in class” field service companies have a FTFR of over 90%. Have you attained such levels? Where do you stand compared to the best? How does your competition rank? Is your organization equipped to meet the challenges or the requirements of the job?

To step up to these challenges, to avoid losing customers and to improve team performance, Dynamics 365 offers a range of solutions and facilitates the process for field service companies.

The planning and distribution functions (“schedule and dispatch”) are at the heart of the solution, which is part of an impressive spectrum of features, ranging from full CRM inventory management, through to route planning and a self-service portal.

We invite you to continue your thinking and find some answers to your questions by downloading our eBook “Working in Chaos” on the business challenges and concerns related to the management of field service teams.

We also invite you to come see us at the event “Overcome Chaos” to be held on November 11th in Microsoft’s offices in Montreal. We will have the chance to discuss issues you may have and will take the opportunity to demonstrate the power of the Dynamics 365 solution.

(*) Source – Aberdeen 2016 Field Service Workforce Management Study

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