Today’s organizations that are heavily reliant on field service technicians are looking to replace an aging workforce in a digital age – and 53% of field service organizations report that this is proving to be a challenge. These companies face a time when turnover rates across industries hover at around 10.9% on average, with the field technician workforce turnover being one of the highest ones out there – coming in at a whopping 10.8%. As today’s workforce grows increasingly accustomed to a digitized lifestyle, younger hires have different expectations, and prefer to avoid manual tasks. This said, appealing to young talent is challenging in and of itself, and retaining it can often seem like an uphill battle.
So how do you provide value to and incentivize younger generations to work in field service while also providing a solution that’s appealing to the experienced field technicians?
With this in mind, technician enablement and change management are top of mind for service leaders. Experienced technicians are generally reluctant to use new tools, and tend to default to tried and true methods if the new tool is complicated or requires a long time to explain and train. Field technicians need an application that’s intuitive and helps them do their job better – without slowing them down. That said, many of these processes are inherently inefficient: so simply digitizing paper forms doesn’t improve or optimize work speed, it just changes the medium. Instead, organizations should look for a platform capable of capturing data and automatically populating fields, freeing technicians from unnecessary manual tasks.
Organizations need to consider adopting a field service enablement solution that can help them work smarter and faster across all company levels and employee lifecycles. The hurdle that comes up shortly after onboarding is completed is ensuring that field reps aren’t simply taking in the information they learn during training, but are actually retaining it. What can help here is providing technicians with palatable content that’s also prescriptive and easy to follow, freeing workers from having to rely on remembering instructions and steps.
Further, the prevalence of tribal knowledge across the workforce makes it difficult for all hires to access specific methods and strategies that vetted workers have established, but don’t have time to share. A modern, easy-to-use solution enables your team to bring all this information to the surface, so that everyone can be an expert. Streamlining education and training and putting all of this information in the hands of a technician allows them to access relevant data whenever, whenever – ultimately saving them those extra calls to the back office for support.
The biggest challenge is that while some field service management software seems enterprise-ready, platforms are not always up-to-date with today’s technician needs. Many were architected with scalability as their main goal, which led to compromises in their end user (technician) UI features. This one-size-fits-all approach created rigidity within field service workflows, ultimately hindering instead of helping technician productivity. It also created another challenge: creating buy-in for new tools from seasoned field reps.
The first step to this is creating buy-in across your tech field force by demonstrating how your field reps can personally benefit from new tech in ways that go beyond routine task completions. The most convincing and powerful technician enablement platforms will be those that successfully lower the amount of steps necessary to complete a task. For example, field service organizations should aim to reduce friction by automating tasks such as collecting data or by simplifying processes like uploading site photos. Instead of relying on attaching manually created PDF files, users could upload inside the app with the tap of a button.
Ultimately, choosing a modern field service enablement solution for your field service team isn’t just about finding a scalable, one-size-fits-all product. Zinier’s customizable, AI-driven solution helps prevent technician burnout and drives field force efficiency by taking into account both legacy field reps and up-and-coming ones.