BlueFolder Blog

Best Practices for Scheduling Your Field Service Teams

Jan 15, 2021

Scheduling field service teams can be a hassle if you don’t quite know what you’re doing or if you don’t have the proper tools and resources in place. It’s essential to have excellent communication with field service technicians, faster-than-average response times, listen to customer feedback, analyze patterns to improve forecasting, manage orders effectively, and use strategic scheduling. Take a look at our best practices for scheduling field service teams so you can increase productivity and boost revenue.

Best Practices for Scheduling Field Service Teams

Improve Communication With Field Service Technicians

Field service technicians often work on their own in remote areas, which means it might be harder to make contact with them throughout the day. This is why it’s important to find ways to improve communication with field service technicians, which could mean doing things like offering a mentorship program for your field service teams to provide remote support.

You might also consider something like using technology that simplifies communication and making sure communication is consistent. For example, using a software program everyone has access to and can communicate effectively through is a huge productivity booster. You can also put policies in place to make communicating frequently a requirement for your field service technicians and the people managing them.

Improve Your Response Times

If you want your field service teams to deliver great service, one thing you need to do is improve your response times. When something happens, you want your field service teams deployed as quickly as possible. Your customers don’t want to wait around too long for your field service technicians — they want help fast.

Therefore, you need to find a way to shorten appointment windows and appointment times to provide the fastest possible response and service your teams possibly can. You might consider providing self-service options, like a customer portal, whenever possible so your customers can be empowered to more closely interact with your service team. Service dispatch software can also help with this, but more about this later.

Listen To Customer Feedback

Listening to customer feedback can help tremendously in more areas than one. Your customers are the backbone of your business so you’d do well to listen to what they have to say. Getting your customers’ input can give your leadership team insights to help improve customer satisfaction. You want to know what you’re getting right and what you’re getting wrong so you can improve going forward. You can collect customer feedback through:

  • Customer feedback surveys
  • Social media polls
  • Contact forms
  • Onsite activity
  • Exploratory customer interviews
  • Feedback from your website

Analyze Patterns To Improve Forecasting

Analyzing patterns can help you improve forecasting so you can plan for the unexpected, as much as you reasonably can. Note, for instance, if a certain type of weather will result in needing more technicians. Plan ahead for this so you don’t get your field service technicians into a situation they can’t handle — so they can work the most efficiently. You don’t want them spending too much time on a job when they really don’t need to. And you obviously don’t want to overwork them.

Use Strategic Scheduling

One of the best practices for scheduling field service teamsis using strategic scheduling. Collect data on how long certain jobs take, what certain types of jobs entail, the different routes to take, etc. Build your field service team’s schedules based on this data so they can take the most practical routes and so they can get the most done throughout each day. Doing this can help you save time, money, and resources.

Get a Robust Field Service Management Software

Field service management software can help you with work order management, scheduling, equipment tracking, billing, recurring jobs, and more. With it, you can create unlimited work orders and utilize powerful field service management features to help improve billing and maximize your efficiency all around.

Just some of the features you can utilize include:

  • A Customer Portal – A customizable portal where your customers or in-house technicians can issue work requests and get status updates quickly.
  • Field Service Dispatch & Scheduling – Get the ability to update technicians of work changes instantly, integrate your calendar, and automatically update Google Calendar and Outlook.
  • Assignment and Work Tracking – Build smart lists, create bulk work actions, and schedule recurring jobs with ease.
  • Field Service Dashboards – See work that’s behind schedule (as well as completed or assigned jobs) and see what each job is costing you (and what your profit will be).
  • Asset & Equipment Tracking – Track what equipment and assets need service in your or your customers’ facilities quickly and easily and add photos, warranty information, user manuals, serial numbers, and more.
  • Customization and Security – Manage user rights, create admins, keep audit trails of every interaction, and update work statuses during the lifecycle of work orders.

BlueFolder’s field service management software features are completely customizable, which allows you to create workflows customized to your specific needs. You can create custom fields to help you record, display, and report on specific data for each work order. For example, you can add custom field types like lists, text, yes/no fields (using checkboxes for true/false statements), numbers, and dates. Not to mention, you can integrate with other apps like QuickBooks, FreshBooks, and Xero.

Scheduling Field Service Teams Quickly and Efficiently

Now that you know some of the best practices for scheduling field service teams and some of the tools and resources to make it more efficient, you can do it with ease. With field service management software, you can accomplish all of the above. Managing your field service teams is quicker and more efficient with BlueFolder’s Field Service Management software. Your teams will be able to save more time and be more productive in the field. An automated workflow, integrations, and tools to help make managing field service teams a breeze when they’re out in the field are essential to your success. Get started today with a personalized one-on-one demo to see exactly how it can make your life just a little bit simpler.

By Jeff Emrich