Resolving field service issues quickly and effectively is precisely what field service organisations are required to do. One of the key metrics used to measure how well field service teams are performing is first-time fix rate (FTFR). In this post we highlight the importance of this simple metric and offer some tips you can use to make improvements.
First-time fix rate is simply a measure of how many field service calls are resolved on the first visit. A 100% FTFR indicates that every call-out has been totally resolved the first time a technician visited the site.
Research has shown that companies with FTFRs above 70% enjoyed a customer retention rate of around 86%. Whereas organisations with FTFRs below 70% had customer retention rates of only 76%.
When a customer reports a field service issue they want it to be resolved quickly. They want a technician to be on their site as soon as possible and they don’t want a repeat visit to be needed.
FTFR is closely correlated with customer satisfaction ratings. Field service organisations with high FTFRs tend to have high customer satisfaction scores.
Field service productivity is partly related to how many tasks field service personnel carry out in a given time period. Low first-time fix rates mean technicians are returning to customer site’s on multiple occasions which is time they could have used to respond to other tasks.
Every site visit involves costs for the field service organisation. Therefore, resolving issues on the first visit, enabling field service personnel to deal with more calls, is obviously good for revenue and profitability.
Striving to continuously improve first-time fix rate should be of high importance to all field service organisations. It saves costs, raises customer satisfaction and contributes toward winning repeat business. Here are some tips that will help increase first-time fix rate.
Managing and keeping track of mobile field service personnel is challenging. Ideally, dispatchers need to know exactly where all field service technicians and engineers are located to enable efficient task allocation.
Real-time engineer and technician tracking ensures the whereabouts of field service personnel is always known. This allows calls to be allocated to the most optimally located personnel so they can respond to a customer’s call and get to their site as quickly as possible.
As well as keeping track of where field service personnel are located it’s important to allocate calls to the most appropriately qualified and experienced field service engineers and technicians. While a customer would be very pleased to have a service technician quickly respond to their urgent call they wouldn’t be so happy if that technician didn’t have skills or know-how required to fix their fault.
Customer call management ensures that the right technicians and engineers, who are optimally located and appropriately trained and experienced, are always assigned. This helps ensure that faults are quickly resolved on the first visit.
One of the key factors often cited as a cause of poor first-time fix rate is the need for the right spare parts. While a field service engineer may have arrived at a customer site quickly, armed with the skills and experience necessary to speedily diagnose a fault, if they don’t have the parts they need to fix the problem the customer may not be very happy.
Monitoring and tracking spares inventories helps ensure that the parts required are always available exactly where and when they are needed.
Another factor that contributes to poor first-time fix rate is technicians not having access to all of the information they need to resolve a reported issue. Knowledge of the full field service history helps field service technicians in their task to diagnose and resolve customer issues.
Mobile access to customer service records enables field service personnel to easily review a site’s service history which will often help them resolve issues on the first visit.
The Red Zebra Field Service Management Software provides field service organisations with a collection of valuable tools that will boost first-time fix rate, save costs and increase profitability. Contact us to find out more.
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