The top strategic action for two-thirds of service organisations is to improve the metrics or KPIs used to measure field service performance. But how do you know which metrics to measure?
It’s now possible for service organisation to collect more data than ever – from workforce performance figures to customer satisfaction rates, to cost per job and more. But often the data comes in various forms and from numerous sources. It is therefore understandable that only 18% of companies believe they have the skills necessary to turn the vast quantity of data they have into useful insight.
But it is important that we find ways to utilise the information because, used wisely, KPIs and analytics can greatly improve business performance.
Key performance indicators (KPIs) provide a way for businesses to measure their overall objectives against specific goals. Key performance indicators (KPIs) provide a way for businesses to measure their overall objectives against specific goals. These goals will decide the specific metrics that you select. In field service environments, organisations will find that most KPIs fall into three broad categories: customer satisfaction, operational efficiency and field worker performance. KPIs are particularly crucial if your business has problem areas, as they can then be identified and, by measuring progress over time, fixed and improved.
However, there are an almost infinite number of KPIs that you could select to measure performance. Crucially, they need to be tied to your overall organisation goals but, even then, it is useful to narrow the list down to begin with. We’ve outlined the four crucial metrics that you should be using to measure and analyse field service performance below. You can use this list to focus on which are most important for you.
1. Business Processes
Optimised business processes are at the heart of service delivery so should be continually assesssed. The goal will be to reduce the number of steps in a process in order to minimise the opportunity for delays and bottlenecks. The main unit of measurement for process is time: time to complete the process, billable time used, various steps in the process and delays in the process.
For example, any service business needs to know when their field workers are completing billable work in order to understand how non-billable activities affect their overall performance. Your field workers should be spending the optimal amount of time actually completing their scheduled jobs rather than with paperwork. Related to this, you’ll also want to keep an eye on overtime hours. Your goal should be to improve productivity while simultaneously reducing the number of overtime hours.
2. Service Delivery
Whether you’re providing a service to an external or internal customer, service deliery metrics need to be recorded. To get a true picture, you will need to match customer metrics against cost. After all, exemplary customer service is something to aim for but not at any financial cost. It is also critical to capture time-to-resolution and downtime.
For example, tracking travel, response and repair times is crucial in order to determine operational efficiency. Identifying KPIs around this allows you to improve efficiency – for example, by allowing you to identify issues responsible for long repair times. It can also indicate where additional training might be needed – for example, if a particular field engineer is taking longer to respond to calls than their colleagues. Plus, with mobile workforce management software, these scheduling KPIs can be tracked in real-time.
3. Customer Service
The metrics for customer service are closely related to service delivery metrics and some may in fact feed into both. The difference is that customer service must be viewed from the customer perspective and the handling of customer communication, the severity and quantity of complaints, and customer satisfaction scores and feedback. Combined, these factors can give a deep understanding of how your customer service is perceived and enjoyed by your customers.
As mentioned, all of the field service KPIs mentioned above are key to improving customer experience. Measuring the average time taken to respond to calls, for example, allows you to see where you can improve response times which, in turn, leads to improved customer satisfaction. However, you’ll also want to find a way to directly measure customer satisfaction – improving this leads to an increased customer retention rate and contributes to service revenue.
This measure offers a broader snapshot of your service operations. The factors you choose will vary as efficiency is very subjective. Ultimately, it will come down to how you define success. But one measure which should be consistently captured is around process delays – so the number of times an alert is raised, the number of reminders and the number of staff involved in a particular process.
More specifically, aside from the mobile workforce themselves, you’ll also need to measure field service KPIs related to parts and stock. Inventory management KPIs, like the number of ordered parts that are returned unused, can give you important insights about productivity and costs. Automated systems – such as those that allow for automatic re-ordering of parts, for example – can then help ypu solve any issues identified by analysing these KPIs.
Once you’ve decided on the field service KPIs that are most important to your organisation, you will then need to ensure that they are clearly communicated to your mobile workers and the broader field service team.
On an ongoing basis, it’s also important to implement a field service management system that can accurately track, measure and report on these KPIs and field service analytics. Each of these metrics should unlock more in-depth measures for further analysis. Clear actionable insights will be revealed as part of the analysis from which you can make evidence-based decisions and improve the process associated with that measure. It’s important that this exercise isn’t a one-off; to be effective it should be a constant cyclical review process and an integral part of your continuous improvement strategy.
Discover more about the role analytics could play in your organisation by downloading our white paper: The Metrics that Matter: How actionable analytics can transform field service management performance.