ClickSoftware | 11.16.17
Summary >

Spring is on the way, and with it comes baseball. In many ways, Major League Baseball (MLB) general managers and field service business program managers face similar challenges. In baseball, every player, position, recruiting decision, lineup, or coaching choice must be evaluated with scrutiny. Today’s teams can’t win by relying on a top closing pitcher, or home-run hitter. The game has become too competitive.

Likewise, field service business program managers can’t rely on a handful of top field techs, or IT gurus to make service run smoothly. The team, processes, and player metrics must be closely managed and measured to ensure the entire organization is meeting modern customer expectations.

Like a general manager who tracks relevant player metrics, you should be keeping a close eye on key performance indicators (KPIs) associated with your workforce mobility and service optimization. Great managers (whether in business or baseball), value and act on the numbers.

Below, we outline four key KPIs, and uncover how you can leverage each.

KPI #1: Customer Satisfaction Scores

The Sultan of Swat, Hammerin’ Hank Aaron, Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio all gained fame, and nicknames from the enormous crowds who swelled the stands, desperate to get a glimpse of their skills.

In field service, your customers are your crowd. And their satisfaction is the most important metric. Dozens of methods exist for collecting their opinions, including on-site surveys, email communication, chatbots, and phone calls.

The first step towards hitting home runs with customers is ensuring data accuracy. Here are key considerations for getting an accurate customer snapshot:

  • When possible, gain immediate feedback on customer interactions (e.g. immediate follow up emails). If you wait too long post-service, the customer might not remember the details of service.
  • Offer multiple options for delivering their feedback (e.g. social media, email, phone). Whether they weigh in on technician performance, or overall satisfaction, different customers prefer to communicate in different channels.
  • Collecting feedback across multiple service touchpoints, at different stages of the service journey (e.g. pre and post service) can help identify potential issues with the performance of field techs, and uncover steps along the customer journey that need attention.

Now it’s time to look for outliers.

The natural inclination in business intelligence is obsessing over problems. Low customer satisfaction scores yield essential insights. But deeply examining the satisfied customers will be more important to hitting home runs. It’s best to replicate your wins, instead of just cutting your losses. Once you have accurate customer data in hand, try the following:

  • Isolate common factors (e.g. field techs showing up late, jobs taking longer than expected, explanation of service prior to arrival, too many return visits)
  • Map specific tech performance compared to customer satisfaction (e.g. what are the strengths and weaknesses of specific field techs performing service for highly satisfied customers, compared to dissatisfied customers)

KPI #2 Job Completion Ratio

In baseball, players have to get on base a reliable percentage of the time if they wish to stay in the starting lineup. In field service, techs should be completing jobs at a rate you have identified as effective, if they want a place on the team. But remember, a good manager inspires his or her field techs to action in a positive fashion.

At an individual level, tracking job completions per day, per week, or per month is a solid starting point. But maximizing operations efficiencies also means diving deeper into the numbers. If a tech completes 30% fewer jobs than average, you must find out why.

Here are some methods for tracking an effective job completion ratio:

  • Start by logging job types for each service professional
  • Now log job completions in each category
  • Next, log time to completion (e.g. a single visit takes 3 hours, versus 3 weeks)
  • Finally, compare job completions to open jobs
  • Find correlations between job types, techs, and speedy resolution
  • Replicate success

KPI #3: First Response Rate

In baseball, you need reliable hitters – especially ones that hit well when it really counts. In service, techs that close out jobs on the first visit are your true all-stars.

Gaining insight into first-time resolutions requires collaboration across multiple systems and roles. Techs, dispatch, and even leadership, all lend a hand in ensuring first-time resolutions happen. Techs must be empowered with parts descriptions, customer details, and previous service activities if they will close out a job on the first visit.

Begin to log answers to the following questions:

  • What’s your average response time to cases?
  • What percentage of cases get resolved in a single response to a customer?
  • Which customers aren’t getting a fast response, and why?
  • Which techs are resolving complaints in a single visit, and how are they achieving this?

With answers to these questions in hand, the next step is replicating scenarios that produce first-time resolutions. This typically includes gathering as much information as possible from the customer prior to service. Ask for parts descriptions, serial numbers, pictures, past issues, and more. Then, equip your field techs with this information before they arrive at the customer location.

KPI #4: Percent of Jobs Requiring Re-work

In baseball, pitchers have a limited number of throws they can handle, before their arms give out. If they keep throwing balls and walking hitters, they get pulled from the game. In field service, techs that leave service sites without properly completing a job are just like the pitcher that walks too many batters. Nothing is more frustrating.

Of all our KPIs, this metric stands to have the most negative impact of all others discussed. If a job requires re-work, customer satisfaction scores will drop. Additionally, first-time resolution rates will suffer, and jobs completed per week will drop.

Here’s how you can keep this essential KPI in check:

  • Examine jobs that require a rework at the technician level.

Do certain technicians have a significantly higher percentage of jobs that require a rework? If so, this could suggest that the technician’s workload should be adjusted to fit that technician’s skill set. It could also mean that they require deeper training.

  • Identify characteristics that lead to a rework.

Is the technician arriving on site with the proper knowledge of the job required? Is there a lack of customer insight?

If there are specific job types that require re-work, this may suggest a broader disconnect between technician, dispatch, and customer.

By closely examining key moneyball optimization metrics, field service pros can identify opportunities to improve processes.

To get the latest methods for analyzing and measuring your field service management metrics, visit our blog at