15 Ways to Improve Work Performance of Your Field Service Teams

While 89% of customers prefer modern, on-demand technology to schedule their service needs, 46% of field service organizations struggle to meet customer satisfaction. One primary reason is that technicians are overwhelmed by their workload. This situation puts team leaders and managers in a tough spot as they try to keep customers happy, ensure technicians maintain quality of work without being overwhelmed, and keep the business profitable. Here, the line between thriving and merely surviving is remarkably thin.

What, then, is the critical differentiator? Simply put, it boils down to your team’s work performance.

If you’re nodding while reading this, you’re at the right place. Packed with actionable tips, tricks, and key areas for improvement, this is your one-stop shop to improve the work performance of your team. Remember, you play a crucial role in this process, and your efforts can make a significant difference.
First, let’s start by understanding…

What is Work Performance and Why it’s Important to Improve for field service providers

Work performance is all about how effectively your team can complete their tasks. It’s the difference between a job done and a job ‘well’ done.
It’s a combination of things like:

  • Are your technicians buzzing through jobs efficiently or getting stuck by delays and wasted time?
  • Do they usually fix things at first, making customers happy, or do customers have to call back because they’re upset?
  • Are they knocking out tasks left and right or struggling to keep up with the workload?

Improving work performance equates to a job well done by your field technicians or engineers. You help them reach this goal by guiding them to be smart about the things to improve at work—fixing problems on the first visit, managing their time well, or using their tools and resources wisely.

Here’s why improving work performance is so crucial in field service:

  • Happier Customers: Customers are more satisfied when technicians solve problems quickly and get the job done right the first time. It means fewer return trips and happier customers who stick with your services and recommend them to others.
  • More Jobs Done: If your technicians work more efficiently, they can handle more calls each day. This means your business can serve more customers without extra costs.
  • Lower Costs: Speaking of costs, when your technicians do their job well on the first try, it saves money. You spend less on fuel and other expenses like vehicle maintenance because there’s less back-and-forth travel.
  • Better Job Satisfaction: Technicians with the necessary tools and training are usually happier at work. This can lead to less staff turnover, saving your company from the costs and hassles of hiring and training new people.
  • Staying Ahead of Competitors: If your company is known for reliable and efficient service, you’ll stand out from the competition. That’s a big plus in any market.
  • Safety and Standards: Many field services must meet specific safety and quality standards. When your team performs well, you avoid fines and keep your staff and customers safer.

So, there you have it. Focusing on improving the performance of your field technicians is a win-win for everyone—from your staff and business to your customers.

Now that we understand the importance of work performance for your field service team let’s move on to the next step: identifying how to work to improve it.

15 Areas of Improvement at Work Examples for Employees on Field

Improving your team’s work performance is a high priority if you want to be a successful field service organization. You can do this by having a clear plan, organized workflows, and a system for using your team’s strengths.
I’ve categorized them into five different sections to guide you on the specific things to improve on at work:

Section 1: Setting the Foundation for High-Performance

1. Setting Clear Goals and Objectives (SMART goals)

Clear goals are crucial for directing the daily activities of your field workers and ensuring alignment with broader business objectives. Using the SMART framework helps ensure that goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound:

  • Specific: Clearly define what needs to be accomplished. For instance, state “Reduce the average response time to service calls by 10% within the next quarter.” as your goal.

Muhammad Imran, the Ex-team lead at Soltar, also highlights the importance of increased response time.

  • Measurable: Include precise amounts and deadlines so you can measure success.
  • Achievable: Ensure the field technician’s goal is attainable with available resources and time.
  • Relevant: Align goals with broader business objectives to ensure they contribute to the company’s success.
  • Time-bound: Set deadlines to create urgency and prompt action.

Bonus Tip: Get your team involved in setting SMART goals. It fosters ownership and motivates them to find creative solutions for achieving those targets.

2. Prioritizing Tasks Effectively

Field service industries face a unique challenge—a constant influx of jobs with varying degrees of urgency. For instance, a burst pipe would require immediate attention compared to a routine filter change. So, effectively prioritizing ensures critical tasks are tackled first, keeping customers happy and minimizing downtime. Here are some tips to help your team prioritize like pros:

  • Not all jobs are created equal: Urgent and important jobs like burst pipes get top priority. While you can schedule important but not urgent tasks, such as preventative maintenance, for a specific time, you can delegate or eliminate less urgent and unimportant tasks.
  • Consider the impact on the customer: A broken air conditioner on a sweltering day requires immediate attention compared to a dishwasher repair that can wait a day or two. This keeps customers happy and minimizes frustration.
  • Match the right technician to the job: Sending the right technician with the appropriate skills for the job increases the chance of resolving the issue on the first visit. Think of it this way: You can’t expect a plumber to fix an electrical problem. Similarly, a fresher can’t handle the complexities of an old tech; you need an experienced technician for the job.
  • Do similar things together: This way, your brain doesn’t have to switch gears as much, and you can get things done faster—for example, schedule appointments in a specific area for one day and batch your tasks feasibly. Also, the less time wasted juggling tasks, the more jobs are completed, and overall productivity is improved.

These two techniques enhance task prioritization:

  • The Eisenhower Matrix: In a field service organization, technicians often face many tasks ranging from urgent repairs to routine maintenance. Using the Eisenhower Matrix, managers can help technicians prioritize their tasks as follows:
  • Urgent and important tasks, like critical equipment failures, are addressed immediately.
  • Less urgent but still important tasks, such as preventive maintenance, are scheduled for later.
  • Tasks that are neither urgent nor important, like minor equipment adjustments, are either delegated to lower-level staff or postponed to free up time for critical activities.
Urgent and important tasks
  • Pareto Principle (80/20 rule): This approach focuses on completing 20% of tasks that yield 80% of the results. It allows you to allocate resources more efficiently, streamline processes, and deliver better customer service.
  • For instance, if 20% of equipment types account for 80% of service calls, technicians can prioritize training and resources for those specific equipment types.
  • Similarly, by identifying the top 20% of recurring issues that lead to service disruptions, organizations can implement proactive measures to address these root causes, thus reducing overall downtime.
Pareto principle

Bonus Tip: Regularly review and adjust your prioritization strategies as your business needs evolve.

3. Learning to Delegate Effectively

Delegation is not just about freeing up your time; it’s about empowering your team, building trust, and enhancing skills. Effective delegation involves:

  • Identifying Strengths and Weaknesses: Assign tasks based on individual strengths to maximize productivity.
  • Clear Instructions: Ensure that the team members understand the tasks fully.
  • Feedback: Maintain open lines of communication for feedback, helping to clarify expectations and improve task execution.

Bonus Tip: Start small! Delegate a few tasks first and gradually increase complexity as your team builds confidence.

Section 2: Developing Skills and Competencies

4. Continuous Learning and Skill Development:

In field service, staying updated with the latest technologies and methodologies is crucial to maintaining high service standards and adapting to new challenges. Continuous learning helps technicians troubleshoot more effectively and adapt to new equipment and protocols.

Encourage this by:

Delegation is not just about freeing up your time; it’s about empowering your team, building trust, and enhancing skills. Effective delegation involves:

  • Formal Training Programs: Invest in training workshops or online courses on new technologies, industry regulations, or soft skills like communication and customer service.
  • Knowledge-Sharing Sessions: Encourage experienced technicians to mentor new hires on how to improve work performance or share their expertise through team presentations.
  • On-the-Job Learning: Fieldwork itself can be a valuable learning experience. Capture job details and troubleshooting steps, allowing technicians to learn from their past experiences (or colleagues).

Bonus Tip: Make learning fun and engaging by gamifying training programs for client-facing teams (6% increase in clients) or offering rewards for completing courses.

5. Practicing Active Listening and Improving Communication Skills

Ever feel like your technicians are talking past customers or dispatchers are missing critical details during calls? The reason for this is a lack of communication.
Effective communication is vital in field services to accurately understand customer issues and ensure that solutions are clearly explained. It reduces errors and improves customer satisfaction.
Enhance practical communication skills through:

  • Active Listening: This goes beyond simply hearing words. Pay attention to body language, ask clarifying questions, and paraphrase customer concerns to ensure understanding.
  • Clear and Concise Communication: Avoid technical jargon and use simple language that customers can understand. Communicate your expectations clearly with technicians.
  • Empathy and Respect: Listen to customer concerns with empathy and acknowledge their frustration.
  • Role-Playing Exercises: Practice active listening and communication skills through role-playing scenarios that simulate everyday customer interactions.
  • Customer Feedback Analysis: Regularly analyze customer feedback to identify areas of improvement for communication.

Bonus Tip: Lead by example. In your interactions with your team and customers, demonstrate active listening and clear communication skills.

6. Fostering Problem-Solving and Decision-Making Skills

On-field workers face unexpected challenges on every job, from malfunctioning equipment to unforeseen circumstances. Equipping your technicians with strong problem-solving and decision-making skills is crucial for overcoming these hurdles, diagnosing issues accurately, and making informed decisions quickly. This is critical in field service roles where time and efficiency are prioritized.

To improve your team’s work performance, effectively develop these skills by:

  • Scenario-Based Training: Conduct training sessions that present technicians with realistic field service scenarios and challenge them to develop solutions.
  • Encourage Teamwork: Problem-solving doesn’t have to be a solo act. Promote collaboration by encouraging technicians to discuss challenges with colleagues and leverage each other’s expertise.
  • Knowledge Base Creation: Build a central repository of troubleshooting guides, equipment manuals, and best practices for technicians to access when faced with unfamiliar situations.
  • Recognizing and rewarding: 21.5% of employees who don’t feel recognized by their managers change jobs in 3 months. This shows why you should acknowledge and reward technicians who find creative solutions, motivating them to continue honing their skills and stick with you.

Pro Tip: Field Promax captures valuable data on every job, from completion times to customer feedback. This data empowers you to identify areas for improvement, optimize scheduling, and make informed business decisions.

7. Being Open to Feedback and Embracing Constructive Criticism:

Feedback is an everyday thing in the field service industry, where customer satisfaction is a top priority. So, technicians must understand the stark difference between constructive and negative criticism. Here’s how to create a culture of open communication where feedback is seen as an opportunity for growth, not a personal attack.

  • Psychological Safety: Create a safe space where employees feel comfortable offering feedback without fear of judgment.
  • Positive Reinforcement: Acknowledge and thank team members who provide constructive feedback and showcase how their input has led to positive changes.
  • Regular Performance Reviews: Use structured performance reviews to provide constructive feedback, helping technicians understand and improve service delivery.
  • Anonymous Feedback Tools: Utilize surveys or digital tools that allow for anonymous feedback, encouraging honest and productive responses from peers and customers.

Section 3: Leveraging Tools and Technology

8. Utilizing Field Service Management Software:

Field service operations often encounter challenges such as extensive paperwork, inefficient routing, and delayed invoicing, impacting customer satisfaction and operational efficiency. Implementing Field Service Management (FSM) software can address these issues by providing a comprehensive digital solution that streamlines scheduling, dispatching, and task management. Here’s how FSM software can transform your operations:

  • Streamlined Scheduling and Dispatching: Traditional manual scheduling is error-prone and inefficient. FieldProMax automates this process, enabling dispatchers to assign jobs based on technician skills, location, and availability. The targeted dispatching approach enhances the likelihood of resolving issues on the first visit, reduces travel time, and minimizes scheduling conflicts.
  • Enhanced Communication and Collaboration: FSM software acts as a central platform that improves interactions among dispatchers, technicians, and customers. By giving technicians access to job details, customer information, and resources on their mobile devices, FSM ensures that all parties are well-informed and coordinated, which enhances service quality and speed.
  • Improved Efficiency and Productivity: FieldProMax enables technicians to bypass traditional paperwork, utilize GPS navigation directly to job sites, and digitally capture job details and customer signatures. It significantly cuts administrative tasks and allows technicians to dedicate more time to actual service tasks, boosting productivity.
  • Data-Driven Decision Making: Utilizing the rich data collected by Field Promax, from job completion times to customer feedback, helps identify improvement areas, optimize resource allocation, and make informed strategic decisions. This continuous loop of feedback and adjustment drives overall business improvement.
Access customer history
9. Automating Workflow and Task Optimization:

Automating repetitive tasks within your workflow can significantly improve operational efficiency. Automation tools can handle tasks like sending appointment reminders, updating job statuses, and generating reports, which frees your team to focus on more complex issues. Here’s how you can improve work performance:

  • Identify Repetitive Tasks: Look at your processes and identify repetitive tasks that can be automated.
  • Implement Automation Tools: Integrate tools that can automate these tasks. Many field service management software comes with built-in automation capabilities.
Automatically notify your team
10. Harnessing Mobile Technology

Field service technicians can access real-time information, track work orders, and update job statuses using the latest mobile technology and apps. This on-the-go access to information boosts productivity and allows technicians to perform more effectively. Here are areas of improvement examples with Mobile tech:

  • Equip Your Team with Mobile Devices: Provide smartphones or tablets that handle the necessary apps and data.
  • Choose the Right Apps: Select the best mobile apps with features beneficial to your field service operations, such as GPS navigation, real-time communication, instant signature, and access to customer and job information.
Collect signatures
11. Batching Similar Tasks Together

Grouping similar tasks leads to more efficient handling of assignments and reduces the time and effort spent on task setup and execution. For example, scheduling all maintenance jobs in the same geographic area on the same day can minimize travel time and costs. Batching tasks is one of the most accessible areas of improvement at work that helps:

  • Analyze Your Tasks: Review your team’s tasks and identify similar ones that can be logically grouped.
  • Plan Your Schedule Accordingly: Organize your technicians’ schedules so that similar tasks are done in batches. This might mean assigning all inspections in one area to the same technician on the same day.

Guess what? You can do all this in one place with Field Promax to

  • Expedite service delivery
  • Improve first-time fix rates
  • Log all job data automatically
  • Increase technician efficiency
  • Enhance future performance analysis
  • Streamline customer feedback collection

Section 4: Cultivating a Positive Work Environment

12. Promoting Work-Life Balance

Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is crucial for field service technicians’ long-term productivity and well-being. These professionals often face irregular hours and emergency call-outs, leading to stress and burnout if not appropriately managed. To guide them on how to work with better balance, consider the following:

  • Flexible Scheduling: Wherever possible, offer flexible working hours or the option for technicians to have input on their schedules.
  • Avoid Burnouts: Encourage your team to take regular breaks during the day, especially during long shifts. Educate them about the signs of burnout and provide resources on managing stress.
  • Encouraging Time Off: Actively encourage employees to take their full allotment of leave days to recharge without interruption by any ‘quick’ on-field jobs.
13. Encouraging Team Collaboration and Support

A collaborative and supportive team environment boosts morale and increases overall productivity. In field services, where technicians often work independently, fostering a sense of team unity by using planners to view job status can be challenging but rewarding. Implement regular team meetings and use communication tools to keep everyone connected. Also, consider fun team-building activities that reinforce the team’s cohesion.

Communicate job status

Section 5: Tracking Performance and Making Adjustments

14. Implementing Performance Metrics and KPIs

While 58% of companies still use traditional spreadsheets to track performance, using software and automation to track performance through specific metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) is essential to understand

  • How well your field service operations are performing
  • Where and how they can improve work performance.
  • Which work improvement area/technician needs immediate attention?

For example, track metrics like job completion times, customer satisfaction scores, and repeat visit rates. Then, use this data to decide where to focus your improvement efforts.

15. Conducting Regular Performance Reviews

Periodic performance reviews are crucial for providing feedback and supporting professional development. In field services, this could involve reviewing a technician’s work efficiency, quality of service, and customer feedback. Regular reviews help identify gaps in skills or knowledge and establish plans for future development. Plus, Deloitte found that recognition boosts job performance and employee productivity by 14% compared to organizations that don’t.

Not just that, urge your team to self-assess their performance and give peer feedback to identify areas for improvement regularly. Self-assessment tools and regular one-on-one meetings with supervisors to discuss personal achievements and challenges can support this reflective practice.

Improve Work Performance Using Field Promax

Field service management is an increasingly competitive industry. It demands technicians and managers to address multiple areas of improvement to ensure the stability of its four pillars: efficiency, customer satisfaction, employee well-being, and business success.

By now, you’re aware of setting clear goals, prioritizing tasks effectively, and developing skills and competencies. Also, you can streamline your field service operations and deliver exceptional service with every interaction using tools and technology.

With its user-friendly interface and real-time reporting capabilities, FSM software like Field Promax simplifies your workflow with just a few clicks. Whether managing a team of technicians or communicating with customers on the go, our mobile-optimized platform ensures seamless operations.

The best part? When you use Field Promax, you don’t just identify areas for improvement but also implement targeted solutions to address them effectively.

Originally Published at:- FIELD PROMAX (Work performance of Field Service Team)