Written by 9:44 am Digital Transformation, Feature

How to Improve Performance Measurement in Field Service with Service Intelligence

Field service and its workforce are evolving—and at a rapid pace. Today, it’s more important than ever to understand if your performance management methods are evolving to fit these new needs. 

If you had to answer a few key questions about your service organization, would you be able to do so without manually pulling labor-intensive reports? For example, do you know:

  • What is your field service organization’s First Time Fix Rate?
  • Which customers have received the most service visits with the least successful outcomes?
  • Who are your highest and lowest-performing technicians? Do you have visibility into areas where they have large pockets of knowledge, and what areas they may need training?
  • Which parts or assets are costing you the most money in terms of repairs or maintenance in the field?

If you can’t answer these questions at a glance, you are missing important information about your customers and your workforce. While measuring workforce performance and customer satisfaction has historically been problematic, there are now effective ways to gain more in-depth insights into your business using the service data your organization produces every day.

Why Service Leaders Need Greater Visibility and Tracking of Field Service KPIs

If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. 

That’s especially true for field service organizations in 2022 that are facing dramatic transformations. A number of challenges, including COVID-19, have accelerated the speed of change, including:

  • Industry-wide workforce labor shortages
  • A major skills gap between new recruits and those exiting the workforce
  • Increasingly complex equipment
  • A need to increase the number of first-call or remote resolutions—which reduces truck rolls and labor costs

Many service organizations needed to make adjustments due to the above list of challenges, and some of that has impacted the customer experience. The way organizations provide service today often misses the mark regarding customer expectations. This leads to a customer experience gap.

The Importance of Modern Analytics and Measurement for Field Service Management

Field service organizations won’t understand how to proactively improve service performance without an excellent understanding of the landscape as a whole—including everything from specific field tech performance to machine usage and breakdown rates. It all starts with establishing baseline measurements, or snapshots of your service habits and outcomes as they stand.

To form these measurements, you need to take a close look at your organization’s data, sifting through a large pool of numbers to spot hidden patterns—including areas of celebration or concern. This type of assessment can help you set priorities, determine which practices you want to keep or improve, and get you into the practice of keeping tabs on your KPIs.

Which are the best Analytics Systems for Field Service?

To try to get a pulse on their service teams, service leaders are increasingly adopting analytics or business intelligence (BI) dashboards to measure their workforce, parts performance, and customer satisfaction. Some are trying—and often struggling—to build these systems in-house, which typically requires more than a year and a team of data scientists. 

Those who have deployed basic business intelligence dashboards that weren’t built specifically with service in mind have found they have impressive-looking charts, but those charts are not able to provide anything more in-depth than the Excel spreadsheet they used a decade ago. BI dashboards are not created equally. If they aren’t custom-built for service, they may have blind spots, including:

  • Limited and inefficient views into trends and root causes
  • Simple visual analytics that cannot diagnose and fix issues, as well as provide actionable insights
  • Insufficient data – if the system cannot process and analyze documents such as case notes, field service technician reports, or other handwritten materials, the data output is incomplete, and you’ll still need to read over these materials manually.

Service Intelligence is Business Intelligence Created for Service

A better way to understand your business is to measure it holistically. Your organization may be using a variety of data points, including KPIs like First Time Fix Rate, Cost Per Success, and Net Promoter Score, to measure the success of your products, services, and processes. But relying solely on average service KPIs can be risky. 

Download the Aquant 2022 Service Intelligence Benchmark Report for detailed information on how a powerful service intelligence tool provides the insights needed to understand your field service performance metrics. Plus, see how you compare to your industry peers.

In the report, we analyzed service data from more than six million work orders to understand service performance beyond KPI measurement. We found that knowing your KPIs—by number or average performance—is not the same as understanding what those numbers reveal about customer satisfaction, employee skill level, or overall service performance. Averages don’t disclose the specific details you need to make critical service decisions. 

The report looks closely at how service organizations perform using common metrics like:

  • First Time Fix
  • Cost Per Succes
  • Mean Time to Resolution
  • Mean Time Between Failures
  • Mean Time Between Visits

How Holistic Analytics are Redefining What it Means to be a Best-in-Class Field Service Organization

To excel, today’s service organizations need to look beyond traditional workforce management software and basic BI tools. Service Intelligence software gathers all your service data, analyzes it using Service AI, and then provides executives, technicians, and agents the critical info they need, exactly when they need it. It lets you transform reactive service into proactive solutions that let you grow your business, become a revenue generator, and build brand loyalty. 

Service Intelligence software measures every aspect of service. Here’s how:

1. See a complete view of field service workforce performance. 

  • Objectively measure performance
  • Identify needs for company-wide training or see where individual technicians need a boost
  • See where your technicians are spending too much time or where parts costs are escalating
  • Get insights into how technicians are performing by asset, even on the newest equipment 

2. Measure asset performance in the field.

  • ID which assets are experiencing the most breakdowns 
  • Understand when assets are not being repaired correctly, and how those issues are leading to repeat visits or overage on parts costs
  • Keep track of your asset’s main KPIs, PM effectiveness, and cost trends to understand its overall health.

3. Track customer satisfaction beyond NPS.

  • Identify customers at risk and prevent customer escalations before they happen
  • Benefit from natural language processing that can surface customer insights from written records and alert you to the most critical areas that require attention
  • Understand the overall state of a customer by simply looking at trends in their risk score. Their risk score is calculated by aggregating their KPIs and their respective trends, the agents that worked on that customer, asset health, and more.

How to Take the Next Steps to Measure Your Service Organization’s Performance

If you are using standard BI or analytics platforms, you’ll need to do the following to get a deep view of your service organization. 

  1. Identify the KPIs you need to measure based on business objectives. As mentioned above, some of the most common KPIs include First Time Fix, Cost Per Success, and Mean Time to Resolution. However, you should also be tracking customer satisfaction, too.
  2. Determine the data points you will need to track and analyze so you can create a comprehensive picture of your service organization. Those data points may include:
    • Asset ID
    • Unique part ID
    • Event type or failure description
    • Field employee identification
    • Asset installation date
    • Field tech visit date 
    • Visit duration
  3. Plan how to combine all of these data points and build your reporting dashboard so it’s easily accessible.
  4. Prepare to resource the build. Will you require a data team and expert field technicians who spend 12 – 18 months building and reviewing the data?
  5. Plan a cadence & process for reviewing the data and write down a list of what insights you expect to surface.

There is a shorter and more cost-efficient solution to building an analytics system in-house. You can integrate data from multiple sources with Service Insights. Because Aquant’s Service Insight was built by a team that is experts in data and field service, you’ll instantly get a pulse on your organization after uploading data.

Service Insights let you track service performance data across every aspect of your organization. Then, make better, data-backed decisions that improve overall service delivery. This helps you:

  • Objectively understand technician performance to identify training needs
  • Review visit data & prevent customer escalations before they start
  • Understand product performance & zero in on cost drivers

Service Insights is an intuitive, AI system that will provide actionable information with much less data than you think you may need. You can start using Service Insights with a small data upload, which allows you to avoid:

  • A team of data scientists
  • Having your reporting needs deprioritized by IT
  • Lengthy builds
  • Sidelining your best field technicians to help build the system 

Sign up for a pilot of Service Insights to see what actionable insights are waiting just below the surface.

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