There are a number of checks and balances that must be maintained to properly service equipment in the field. A field service worker must be aware of the customer support agreements (CSA), and they must be aware of the customer’s history, service status and details of warranties that are in place. They also must track on truck and be aware of off-truck inventory, while ensuring that any services rendered are properly invoiced. In an industry such as manufacturing, they must also ensure that checklists are followed for safety and compliance, all while managing travel and delivering quality service and training.
Failure to maintain standards for these tasks can be stressful. The more stressful a process is – or if there’s not a process in place at all – the more likely it is that a field service worker will burn out and move on to another employer who provides an easier work environment.
This churn can be very costly. With their exit, they take knowledge and possible customer relationships with them. And when dealing with specialized equipment, the range of qualified candidates may be limited; thereby lengthening the timeframe it may take to hire a replacement. In the meantime, your dispatchers struggle to provide coverage for requests, your remaining field workers feel additional pressure to perform, and your customers may suffer by receiving less than stellar care.
Financial impact of employee churn
The financial impact can be very damaging as well. For example, for an entry-level worker making $20.00 per hour/$41,600 per year:
- Hourly pay - $20.00 per hour
- 40% of their annual pay to rehire for their position
- $16,400 for the search, interviewing, on-boarding and training of their replacement
The more specialized the employee, the higher the percentage is to replace them, upwards of 400% of their annual pay. Note that this does not include the administrative and technology costs for their departure. The exit interview, resetting of equipment and passwords, and managing their customer relationships all add to the tally.
How to prevent employee churn
So how can you head off this churn and retain your field service workers? Reducing the stress they experience in daily operations is a key element. Moving from a paper-based system and optimizing your service chain provides a streamlined environment for both your field service workers and your back office (who may also be prone to churn due to inefficiencies). Field service management can:
- Connect your field operations with dispatch and your back office to ensure seamless, bidirectional communication
- Improve safety numbers by reducing distractions while en route
- Decrease frustration for field service workers by providing account history, agreements, contracts, and checklists within the application
- Improve first-time fix rates, enabling the worker to close a job out and focus on the next
- Reduce the travel time between jobs, delivering for greater efficiency and less time on the road and in potentially poor traffic conditions
Each of these points play a part in reducing the stress for your field service workers. It also helps them to feel more confident about each customer they service because they are equipped with the tools and information they need to deliver quality service.
Recruiting new employees
Some of your employees left because your process was painful. By employing field service management into your business, you will become the company qualified candidates seek, empowering your to choose from a wider selection and find those who fit your company’s culture and the needed expertise for the position. In addition, more candidates means a shorter search period.
In the job description, you can include that your business uses field service management process for operations. You may search for candidates that already have experience working with technology when making service calls; however, to ensure that you have the best opportunity to make the best placement, you could also note in the description that training is provided. An intuitive, easy-to-use system will ensure that with the right candidate, the learning curve will remain simple.
It’s worth noting that companies that have employed a field service management process into their operations have realized a 12% increase in staff retention. In addition service revenue increases by 17% and profitability by 32%, laying the foundation for additional growth.
Field service management can provide your business with the tools your field service workers need to better serve your customers. By reducing the stress in their day-to-day operations, a business not only makes it a more pleasant work environment for existing employees, but is empowered with an asset to recruit the best talent for your organization.
Join us for our FieldAware Summer Webinar Series, where you’ll gain valuable insight into service chain optimization and the benefits of field service management software. Learn more by visiting our registration page.