In terms of hard numbers, many best-in-class service organizations rely on three key field service metrics.

First-Time Fix Rate (FTF) 

The first-time fix rate is one of the strongest measures of efficiency in field service. In a nutshell, FTF tells you how often field agents resolve problems during the initial visit to customer facilities. Keeping this number high is a critical part of running a world-class field service organization.

Fixing problems on the first call is one of the most effective ways to keep costs down. Real-time communication makes it easier.

  • Access to real-time inventory data reduces how frequently an agent doesn’t have the necessary parts on hand to do a job on the first visit.
  • Agents connected to internal social networks, knowledge bases, and analytics-driven customer insights can suggest relevant upsells, solve previously invisible problems, and deliver better customer service.
  • Using mobile devices to solve on-the-job problems via social networks and video conferencing magnifies impact.
  • The same technology can automate and document service calls. Field agents can use tablets and smart phones to capture signatures and photos, refer to bar codes to track parts and keep inventory updated, or access the knowledge base.

The effect? Improved ability to complete jobs the first time, in less time, and at a lower cost.

Mean Time to Service (MTTS) 

MTTS is the average amount of time your organization takes between scheduling a call and arriving on site. It measures your ability to have field agents arrive on time, to schedule with narrow service windows, and to make multiple calls.

Optimized routing practices can significantly drive MTTS down. For example, a field agent assigned to repair an MRI machine at a large hospital might get lost finding the right room. But an optimized solution can direct her to the first elevator on the right, up to the third floor, then to the second door on the left.

With a low MTTS driven by efficient practices, your company can become nimble, set more precise arrival times with your customers, and improve customer satisfaction.

Mean Time to Repair (MTTR)

Related to MTTS, MTTR is the average time required to repair failed equipment. Visibility into inventories in the field, along with the constant availability provided by mobile computing, can impact this metric by enabling your operation to consistently schedule the right resource, for the right job, at the right time. This means, for example, that you send a qualified agent to repair a failed MRI machine; that the likely parts needed are on hand; and that there’s time to complete the job that same day. Understanding each of these metrics enables field service organizations to keep track of their performance.

According to Aberdeen Group, best-in-class organizations actively look for ways to gain a better understanding of performance metrics like these. Be the best in your class.

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