Written by 6:00 am Digital Transformation, Feature

What First Time Fix Rate Can’t Tell You About Service Performance

First time fix (FTF) is a standard KPI among service teams, but relying on FTF alone creates blindspots for service leaders.

First time fix (FTF) is a standard KPI among service teams, but relying on FTF alone creates blindspots for service leaders.

Most service organizations cannot measure how the workforce skills gap impacts FTF. In turn, they can’t gauge how low FTF rates drive up service costs and negatively impact customer satisfaction.

Instead of relying on hunches, Aquant went to the source—data from more than 6 million work orders to create the 2022 Service Intelligence Benchmark ReportHere are key takeaways illuminating why service leaders need to look beyond FTF rates if they want to gain insights into their organization’s performance.

FTF isn’t the best way to measure service success

Go beyond the basic stats, especially FTF rates, for an accurate snapshot of true service performance and costs. 

FTF rates have hovered around 75% for over a decade—and remain stagnant for all but a handful of top-performing companies. Even with traditional field management software, FTF rates have not improved.

Additionally, FTF rates should never be measured in isolation. On average, a failed first visit leads to:

  • 2.5 additional visits
  • 20 days mean time to resolution (MTTR)

What is the cost of a 25% FTF failure rate?

From a cost and customer perspective, a 25% failure rate is a disaster. Beyond the KPIs, service leaders need to factor in labor costs for additional truck rolls, additional parts costs, machine downtime, customer dissatisfaction, and all the other jobs that aren’t being resolved if technicians focus on repeat visits for every one in four jobs. 

FTF cannot measure customer sentiment

That’s especially true if organizations don’t measure FTF in at least 30-day windows.

Trying to understand customer satisfaction by relying on FTF rate creates a customer experience gap. That’s the difference between what customers expect and what your organization delivers. 

Our analysis shows that companies measuring FTF rates in 7-day or 14-day windows are setting the stage for a wide experience gap, leading to frustrating customer experiences. Measuring FTF in less than 30-day windows misses many repeat visits that are all related to the same root cause. Your records may show that an asset was serviced twice within a month, and both of those visits were successfully fixed on the first visit. Your customer likely disagrees.

How FTF reporting creates service blindspots

First time fix over time

FTF declines as the tracking period increases

How you measure FTF impacts your FTF rate. Instead of defining FTF in arbitrary time increments (7 days, 14 days, or 21 days), think about it in terms of the natural service cycle. Our research shows that measuring in 30-day windows strips out false-positive FTF rates.

Understand where your organization falls on the Customer Experience Gap chart.

  • If your FTF rate is similar when measured at 7 days and 30 days, you have a small gap
  • If your FTF rate has a wide variation (usually a high rate at 7 days and a low rate at 30 days), you have a large gap

If you have a large gap, your team is likely focused on hitting their numbers instead of focusing on great customer experiences.

The knowledge gap is reducing FTF and increasing service costs

In 2022, service organizations faced even larger hiring challenges than in the past. This has left the industry with tens of thousands of unfilled jobs and caused service costs to increase.

  • The bottom quarter of the workforce costs organizations 84% more than the top quarter. That’s 4% higher than 2020
  • The top 20% of the workforce (service heroes) has a 75% FTF rate. The bottom 20% of the workforce (service challengers) has a FTF rate of 59%

Learn more. Download the full 2022 Service Intelligence Benchmark Report. See KPI benchmarks for more than 75 leading service organizations. Access tips on how to better analyze FTF and other key KPIs. Drive meaningful change in your service organization.

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