- field technicians
What are the ideal qualities of field technicians?
Meticulous. Punctual. Friendly. The ideal field technician uses a number of these interpersonal skills to communicate and interact with customers every day. They also use digital tools to both manage their field service activities and help them adapt to each unique client need.
Customers are delighted by technician effectiveness. They want technicians to arrive on site on time, accurately diagnose problems and complete the repair as quickly as possible.
Customers look for technicians that carefully follow predefined procedures and check and double-check the status of materials and services. If an anomaly or potential failure is detected due to wear and tear, they appreciate technicians that quickly complete the repair or replace the defective part. In fact, speed is particularly important if the issue has halted production or the company’s ability to provide service to its customers.
However, the technician’s ability to use empathy to analyze situations and willingness to utilize the appropriate tools and steps required to resolve issues, are what clients value most. A meticulous approach to dealing with their problems, especially for preventive maintenance activities, is what makes the experience a memorable one.
Technicians need strong interpersonal skills
Maintenance technicians are in constant contact with customers. As a result, they must remain calm, pleasant and approachable, even when faced with stressed or angry people. Writing skills are also required to provide clear and concise descriptions of the services provided.
Most technical documents and user manuals are written solely in English. Being able to read and understand instructions is essential for field technicians in any industry. They use these resources daily and must acquire enough knowledge to monitor and maintain customer equipment on an ongoing basis.
Good physical shape
It helps when technicians are in good physical condition. Particularly those that spend most of their time working in the field, and are exposed to a wide variety of weather conditions and work environments.
They must deal with the fatigue associated with early mornings, frequent road trips, and carrying heavy items. In addition, the stress that comes with schedule changes due to last-minute emergencies can add up.
Technicians are empowered by technology
Technology helps bring their interpersonal skills to life. It enables them to handle real life situations, which can be stressful at times, at customer sites.
New technologies mean that technicians are no longer alone in the field and the ideal field technician can now handle two scenarios — working autonomously, and as part of a team. They’re in constant contact with colleagues back at the service center. According to an Aberdeen Group study, 65% of best-in-class field service management companies ensure close contact between technicians in the field and the main office, compared to 42% on average.
Always connected to the service center
Technicians’ mobile devices become like an umbilical cord that connects them to their desk-bound colleagues. They can use voice, text and video to communicate. They can even send photos or diagrams to other mobile team members who can analyze and comment on the pictures to help refine problem diagnosis.
With the ability to share information in these ways, technicians benefit from precise and detailed recommendations that help to increase their first-time fix rate.
Today’s field technicians appreciate smart mobile tools that make their lives easier in the field. By facilitating their communication with other members of their team, technicians are happier and more productive on-the-job.
Punctuality with access to real-time data
Mobile devices enable far more than collaboration capabilities. Technicians who are punctual use intelligent tools to help them deliver timely service. They get notified about schedule changes and use integrated GPS to get to their next appointment on time, through the mobile app.
Geolocation capabilities in the technician’s vehicle also help to improve punctuality. For example, if the technician expects to arrive late for whatever reason, customers can be advised in advance via text or email.
The ability to use real-time information is an important differentiating factor in terms of quality of service. According to another study, 55% of leading field service companies provide real-time technician location and status information, compared to 31% for other companies.
Highly efficient and informed
Mobile devices also help them improve efficiency by reducing service time. Informed technicians use their device to consult necessary documents and technical manuals, even when they are in areas with no network access. For example, Praxedo has online/offline functionality which means the technician can input data or fill our work order details with no internet connection, and the information syncs as soon as a cell signal is re-established.
Technicians can also use the mobile app to determine whether they are carrying the required spare parts in their vehicle. If the parts are not in the vehicle, technicians can extend their search to check the stock status at the nearest location and reserve or order the required part.
Accelerated billing means the company gets paid faster
Empowered technicians help their companies get paid more rapidly. They use their mobile device to complete work order reports with easy-to-use drop-down menus and checkboxes that are configured in advance to simplify the submission process. They can also have customers validate the report by providing an electronic signature on-site.
Using that same device, technicians capture all of their hours — start and end time, work times, break times, etc. This information is sent directly to the service company’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to avoid the risk of errors and double entries and to accelerate the billing process.
When connected to a payment module, the technician’s mobile device also becomes an electronic payment terminal (EPT). Now, the billing process can start immediately at the customer site by simply scanning a barcode that corresponds to the services performed.
Highly trained technicians are essential in the service industry
It’s crucial for maintenance technicians to be constantly trained for the industry they serve. However, this becomes difficult with technicians constantly on the road. If they visit the headquarters for in-person training, service continuity can be affected. Again, mobile devices are a key part of the solution.
Mobile learning is a subcategory of e-learning. With mobile learning, you can provide training content that is customized for mobile devices. The term micro-learning is also used for tutorials that are designed for mobile and are less than two minutes in length. These very short training sessions can be supplemented with longer sessions on desktop computers when it makes sense for technicians to return to the service center.
Technicians need mobile tools to help them be their best selves
Service companies look for certain traits when hiring new field technicians. However, the tools they use to communicate, see their schedules, gather information and submit work order reports must highlight their best characteristics in the face of the customer.
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