How to Master Field Communication
Technology has brought various innovations to field service management, but at the core of it, the management best practices developed by Peter Drucker in the 1970s still remain. The guru of all management gurus laid out the following principles:
- Define the mission
- Set the vision
- State the goals
- Use metrics carefully
- Treat employees as a valued resource
In this article, we will offer 3 tips to help field service management navigate “Communicate” in the world of endless field service technologies.
1. Use Technology That Simplifies Communication
Staying in touch with your engineers while they are on the job is crucial, which means choosing a platform that eases communication rather than complicating it is a must.
The pitfall of many enterprise-grade communication solutions is that the technology is difficult to use, resulting in low adoption rates. This translates to disconnected employees who feel they aren’t supported by their organization and eventually end up leaving.
The antidote to this is getting your team on an enterprise app that feels just like the consumer messaging apps your techs are used to. Another factor you’ll want to consider is having every mode of communication accessible in one place. If the way you communicate now requires you to bounce between different apps for messaging, calling, video calling, document sharing, etc., it’s time to find another solution.
With an all-in-one communication platform, you can dramatically cut down on wasted time and field tech frustration. It is estimated that businesses lose an average of $11,000 per employee per year due to inefficient communication. With the simplicity of having all work communications in one place, on whichever device is handy, you can expect to see your field service technicians’ performance skyrocket.
Kyle Christensen, the communications manager at Vivint Smart Homes saw this happen across his workforce after enlisting the help of Zinc. By using Zinc to connect field service teams in real-time, Vivint saw a 50 percent improvement in employee engagement and an impressive 37 percent reduction in time to service.
Essentially, making communication easy to do arms your workforce with the information they need and lets everyone focus on getting the job done well.
2. Make Communication Consistent
As we touched on above, field techs need to be kept in the loop to perform their best. So this tip is pretty simple – communicate often.
Field service management should regularly check in with field workers to ensure they have everything they need. Not only will you build relationships with your team, you will also find areas for improvement that could have been hidden from your viewpoint. Plus, when employees feel valued and heard, they are more productive, boosting the company’s financial performance.
Using an app that simplifies communication is really handy for being effective at regular communication. Sending out email blasts may feel good, but the truth is, just because you hit send doesn’t mean anybody actually read it. You have to reach your employees on their mobile devices, not their computers.
Mobile group messaging or top down broadcasts ensure your team receives your updates in real-time and opens up those vital two-way lines of communication.
3. Create a Culture That Values Diversity
The best teams are made up of people who see the world differently from each other but can work together in a constructive manner.
Solving problems and reacting quickly to situations is an important skill for field service teams. By communicating a team culture that values a diversity of ideas, thought processes, and professional backgrounds, you can develop a deeply connected and high-performing team.
This means understanding the differences between right and left brain thinks for example, and empowering techs to play to their strengths. Give them the ability to reach a solution through their own methods, rather than forcing an identical line of thinking on everyone.
With a culture that openly values the diversity of each technician’s backgrounds and cognitive preferences, understanding and respect triumph over angry clashes of opinion.
Strong communication across your team (and the entire field service organization) leads to more informed, engaged, and ultimately higher performing employees.
By giving all your techs an easy way to communicate, keeping them in-the-know, and valuing their differences, you are sure to see some impressive results.