The top strategic action for two-thirds of service organisations is to improve the metrics or key performance indicators (KPIs) used to measure field service performance. But how do you know which field service metrics to measure?
It’s now possible for service organisations to collect more data than ever – from workforce performance figures to customer satisfaction rates, cost per job and more. But often the data comes in various forms and from many sources, making it challenging to compile and organise in a manner which is understandable and can result in an overall business strategy. It is therefore understandable that only 18% of service companies believe they have the skills necessary to turn the vast quantity of data they have into useful insight.
But it’s important that we utilise the information because, used wisely, field service KPIs and analytics can improve the performance of field service businesses.
What are KPI’s Used For?
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 for better service profitability.
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 field service 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.
4 Field Service KPI Examples
Below is our list of the 4 key field service KPI examples that organisations use to measure performance.
1. Business Processes
Optimised business processes are at the heart of service delivery so should be continually assessed – which can be done through workflow management software. The goal will be to reduce the number of steps in a process 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 and delays in the process.
For example, any service business needs to know when their field workers are completing billable work to understand how non-billable activities affect their overall performance. Your field workers should spend the optimal time completing their scheduled jobs rather than filling in 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 so you can look after your bottom line.
2. Service Delivery
Whether you’re providing a service to an external or internal customer, service delivery metrics need to be recorded. To get a true picture, you will need to match customer metrics against cost. 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 mobile engineer travel, response and repair times is crucial 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 show 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, the 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 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 leads to improved customer satisfaction. However, you’ll also want 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 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.
Aside from the mobile workforce themselves, you also must 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 you solve any issues identified by analysing these KPIs.
Benefits of KPIs for Field Service Workers
Although field service KIPs are mostly used from a management perspective, they can cause significant improvements for your workforce as well. Managers can use the collected data to incentivise employees, setting realistic but ambitious targets, depending on the current performance. Managers who use accurate data can base their decision making on accurate performance and achievements.
How To Benefit From Your Field Service 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 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.