19 Sep Are Your Techs Really Doing Their Jobs?
When staff is out in the field, it’s hard to get real feedback, unless it’s a negative experience. When those complaints roll in, you know what’s gone wrong and can take steps to address it.
Most of the time, unfortunately, you’re just hearing crickets, except maybe an occasional compliment from a proactive customer. But assuming “no news is good news” isn’t the best way to assess actual performance.
If you want accurate and well-rounded evaluations of field tech performance, you’ll need to create additional channels and opportunities to collect feedback. Here are a few ways to prompt customers to give you a better sense of how things are going in the field.
Follow-up courtesy calls
A quick call to check with customers after a site visit is a great way to convey customer centricity while gathering feedback on the visit. The call shouldn’t be an interrogation, but rather a quick interaction with a few questions for the customer, like:
- Were you satisfied with the experience?
- Do you have any remaining questions of issues?
- Is there anything we could do to improve?
Make the call as soon as possible following the service so the experience will still be fresh in the customer’s mind and – unlike a formal survey or interview – they won’t overthink their responses.
Online surveys are a cheap and easy way to solicit feedback. Send them to all your customers at once or distribute them individually after specific field service visits.
Each survey response needs to be tied back to a particular service call, otherwise there’s no way to know exactly which tech experience they’re referring to. Mix in a variety of yes/no, multiple choice, and open-ended questions to get quality feedback.
Stay away from questions that provide vague responses – if it’s not specific and actionable it won’t be very useful. Questions about the tech’s knowledge, professionalism, and communication are good areas to focus on.
If you have a standard playbook that field techs should be following on a service call, be sure to ask questions to verify they’re on point. Otherwise, it’s hard to know if they’re just checking boxes or actually performing each step.
End every interaction with a question
Create a culture of customer feedback by continually asking for it. By ending every interaction with open-ended questions soliciting input, there’s a better chance you’ll receive useful information that will help you hone your services.
A field tech’s real value is in their ability to complete tasks and solve issues quickly so they can move on to additional assignments. But given that field service work is a little more complicated than pizza delivery, speed isn’t the only measure that counts.
In addition to speediness, quality is as important when it comes to customer satisfaction. Not only do you want your field techs to get the job done, but you want it done right. The customer should be happy, and no return visits should be required.
Field service techs should be evaluated based on promptness, thoroughness, and accuracy.
Leveraging ‘Big Brother’ tactics
Another dimension of evaluating a tech’s efficiency is tracking where they actually are. Use GPS to monitor field service tech locations.
To separate travel time from actual site work, use workforce management tools that have techs “clock in” on a mobile application when they start a job and “clock out” when it’s finished. Cross-referenced with the type of task they’re deployed for, gives you a true apples-to-apples comparison.
Matching measurement to rewards
Regardless of which tactics you use to evaluate performance, the incentives available to those workers should be aligned to the KPIs being tracked. Whether it’s promotions, bonuses, or raises, management and the workforce should be on the same page about what’s expected and how that can impact employees’ careers and compensation.
Share reporting on field service metrics with your team. Showing how the entire team is performing, how different segments are doing, and then privately sharing everyone’s performance data to give managers an opportunity to step in…and techs a chance to step up.
Now that you’ve got a handle on evaluating your techs and maximizing their potential, you can turn your attention to retaining your client base. Building client loyalty is essential to growing a successful managed services practice, but most business clients aren’t engaged with their IT service providers. Click here to download our “MSP’s Quick-Start Guide to Building Client Loyalty” eBook.