Preparing Field Service Technicians for the Future

What do Field Service Technicians do?

A Field Service Technician’s job is one that repeatedly faces unpredictable situations in different environments under varying conditions.  Their primary duties are to install, repair, inspect, and maintain equipment while keeping customers satisfied. The majority of field service technicians are considered technical generalists, meaning that as the front line of field support, they service multiple product lines within a geographical area.  Some technicians provide service on as many as fifty different products from different design generations, configured with numerous features, some no longer supported by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM).  

Over time, most develop expertise servicing products they have spent more time on and have seen repeating failures and conditions.  Building that level of knowledge and experience is inevitably costly to service organizations.  Measurable indicators such as Mean Time To Repair (MTTR) and First Time Fix Rate (FTFR) show improvement as they gain time on the equipment, some sooner than others.

Field Service Management Leadership

Field Service Technicians Challenges and Needs

Managers who began their careers as field technicians and have moved up the ranks understand the challenges and the needs of field service technicians.  There are several practical theories on shortening the learning curve and reducing costly, less productive time.  One is to provide technicians what they need to be most effective.  It begins with comprehensive product training and by developing proficiency away from the customer’s site.  It takes time for a technician to regain credibility from the customer once it is lost, and sometimes, that time is never. 

 Customer interaction and company representation training are equally important.  A customer could be more tolerant if a professional relationship exists.  In addition to training, productive technicians need all the necessary tools, information, collaboration, and support.  Not all field technicians are alike, they have varying skill sets, and not all can fix everything on their own. However, with an advanced collaborative support system, they can help grow the business much more efficiently.

Field service expert using the mobile app photo capture feature on the job site

A Pathway to Higher Productivity for Field Service Technicians

The question is: What do field service technicians need today for tomorrow?  They need what the next-generation technology offers; access to relevant information on products, customers, and specifics relating to the assigned work at their fingertips.  According to a McKinsey study, field service technicians waste up to 40% of their workday on non-value activity, searching for information, instructions, and seeking support.  

Today’s advanced mobile applications give field service technicians direct access to essential resources and information in real-time.  They can provide updates, manage work orders, and track inventory using a field service mobile app keeping the back office updated without interruptions.  Today’s technology can help shorten the less experienced technician’s learning curve by providing remote mobile access to instructional videos, procedural checklists, relevant historical activity, and real-time collaborative knowledge sharing.  Technology continues to enable field service organizations to better serve their customers by improving field technicians’ productivity and effectiveness.

Is your field service workforce well-equipped to satisfy the ever-changing customer expectations and your organization’s operating goals and objectives?  Let FieldEquip help, contact us today!

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