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October 1, 2020

 

5 Quality Assurance Tips for Field Service Businesses

How do you maintain a high standard of quality when your team works in the field, unsupervised? Start with these five tips!

Your business is only as good as the services you offer, the quality of which should remain consistent to all customers, regardless of the kind of work done. Quality assurance—the ability to maintain a consistent and repeatable standard—is a core component of any business. Allowing your customer to know what to expect, who to expect, and when to expect them will help you maintain a solid relationship and good professional reputation.

This article will cover five key points related to maintaining quality assurance in the field service industry.

1. Know your customer.

Before starting a job, you’ll want to research the customer. Review the specifics of the location and type of work needed. Companies with a good system for data integrity have an advantage here. If you don’t have a lot of information on your customers, come up with a list of questions to ask them when they call in to schedule work (or for techs to answer when they get to the job site).

For example, a tech can easily record wether or not a customer has pets, and the disposition of those pets (does the dog bark/bite/etc.?). Keeping these kinds of detailed records for future work lets the customer know you value them and value doing a thorough job. 

Want a fast way to develop reliable forms and questions for customers? Sit down with your field technicians and ask them what they look for when they prepare to do a job. Develop a priority list of questions and aim to get these answered before the job begins. Throw them in a spreadsheet, or even build a fillable PDF to take things to the next level.

2. Record detailed job information.

While on the job, you should know what to expect. Technicians going into the field should have the ability to start working right away, without asking the customer to repeat the details of their service request. Ideally, your office dispatchers will go a step further than simply providing a normal work order. Instead, they should including descriptions/diagrams of the areas that need serviced. These can play a big part in providing key details to technicians and will allow technicians to work with confidence, minimizing guesswork. 

3. Call ahead.

Customers should know when a service tech will arrive to their job site. Initially, when scheduling work for a customer, you may let them know when to expect their appointment. Take this a step further and set up a call ahead at a pre-determined time for your work. Normally this would be the day before to make sure the customer is ready for you to arrive. No one wants their customers forgetting to make themselves available on the day of service.

4. Make follow up calls.

Post-service follow ups ensure the customer got taken care of in a satisfactory way. One of the biggest components of quality assurance involves collecting information. Treating this the same way as the initial service call helps you develop metrics to track workflow and the efficiency of your technicians. For extra data, assign ratings (e.g. 1-5) that you can easily chart.

Good example questions for follow up calls include:

  1. Did the technician leave the site as they found it? Any mess or things out of place?
  2. Did you feel like the work was completed in a timely manner?
  3. Is there any recommendations you might make for the next time we do work for you?

5. Ask for reviews.

Post-work communication doesn’t have to end with a follow up call or standardized QA survey. You can also let customers know the various ways they can leave you reviews. This lets them offer feedback in a way that can help promote your business. Even a bad review has some value; it can point you in the direction of fixing issues with your business or process. Pushing customers towards posting public reviews results in a boosted web presence, which can drive more business.

How do I get started?

Of course, all these quality assurance techniques are easier said than done. Fortunately, modern service businesses have a do-it-all tool to help with all five points described above: field service management software. Field service software like Smart Service can provide techs quality customer information, give them detailed work orders, remind office staff to call ahead (and follow up after service), and even help your business acquire new reviews. To discover some of the other ways Smart Service can boost your business, request a free demo today.