Arūnas Eitutis | 12 August 2021

9 Field Service Management Metrics You Should Know

Field service management software is a digital tool developed to help field service companies track technicians’ productivity, arrange calls, distribute tasks, track and plan routes, and ensure customer service quality. It’s a handy tool to optimize the productivity of your remote teams and motivate employees.
However, many field service businesses aren’t aware of the full FSM solution potential. In addition to business operation management, the software can also help you set field service key performance indicators (KPIs) for your team and empower employees by establishing bonus programs. 

What are Key Performance Indicators?

KPIs are a way to track and measure your business progress. You can set long-term KPIs to track your overall company’s performance and smaller objectives for different teams and departments. 

If used correctly, KPIs work as a guide for your business, leading it towards growth. Now, let’s talk specifically about field service KPIs.

Why is it important to set KPIs in field service?

KPIs work like guidelines for your business progress. Having SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-framed) KPIs gives you the point of reference to measure your progress. Strategic goals also motivate your team because employees have a better idea of their goals. And KPIs provide you with focus and consistency.

However, you might struggle to find the right tools to track your progress and performance.

It might sound obvious for a field service business to use FSM software to track how many tasks each employee performs, but it can do much more than that. This time, we want to walk you through four result-oriented KPIs to help you understand how smart goals can grow your business.

Service business KPIs for field technicians

First-time fix rate

The first-time fix rate indicates the percentage of time it takes for a technician to fix a customer’s problem at the first go without any additional help, preparation, or parts. Not only does this KPI show how prepared your team is, but it can also be translated into a customer success rate.

The faster the issue is fixed, the happier the clients are. While the industry average is 75, companies with a first-time fix rate above 80 ranks for 87% of customer satisfaction and 88% of customer retention.

While some repairs need more than one visit, the first-time fix rate shows the technician’s knowledge about the potential issue and expertise. However, technicians aren’t the only ones responsible for the preparation. The KPI also indicates a company’s know-how. You should be aware of the parts, equipment, and preparation needed for a successful first-time fix index. 

Setting it as a KPI not only motivates employees, but it can also save your company costs otherwise spent on repeated trips to fix issues or lost clients due to prolonged and unsatisfactory service.

Response time

One of the most important field service performance metrics is response time – the amount of time it takes to respond to different customer problems. This metric usually has the most impact on overall customer satisfaction as it indicates how prepared you are as a company to deal with adversity. 

The average response time to service can be measured by isolating the amount of time needed between the initial call for a problem and the technician arriving on site. The most common reasons for bad response time are operational inefficiency and poor service management.

Technician success rate

This KPI indicates how many successful tasks a technician performs within the set time frame. Several factors can determine it. One can be the number of tasks closed by a dispatcher. 

Many tasks on the agenda don’t necessarily mean the technician’s success rate is high. However, the more tasks are marked as completed by a client, the better is the KPI. 

Another factor to take into consideration is the tasks and rescheduling ratio and repeat visits. If a technician reschedules a lot of tasks because he or she can’t meet the set plan, it might signal that the technician lacks some skills, knowledge, or training. As a result, a low success rate might harm customer satisfaction.

Metrics like this one are good examples of the many meanings, levels, and interpretations associated with these findings. Let’s take our last point as an example. If the technician has a high number of repeat visits, one might think that it’s due to inability, inefficiency, or lack of expertise. What if it’s due to a heavy workload and working on multiple jobs at the same time? What if it’s because they lack the proper training? 

Performance metrics are not always a reflection of what is wrong with the employee, but what’s wrong with the company instead. In this case, offering an employee the chance to enhance their skill-set through training could be the reason another important stat sees improvement – employee retention. 

Don’t take performance metrics at face value – study, ask, investigate. The benefit of putting the time in is reaching your business goals. 

Key Performance Indicators

KPIs are a way to track and measure your business progress. You can set long-term KPIs to track your overall company’s performance and smaller objectives for different teams and departments.

Technician productivity rate

Technician performance and productivity rate might seem an apparent objective to follow, but it’s important to understand the metrics that help you achieve the most accurate results. You can track this data by the same closed task factor mentioned before. The more tasks a technician performs, the higher is their productivity. 

You might also want to include mean time to repair. This factor indicates how much time it takes for a technician to complete a task. Not only is it a good KPI to follow, but knowing your team’s mean time to repair can also help field service operations, setting schedules, and planning tasks more efficiently.

Tasks and visits completed within SLA rate

A service-level agreement (SLA) between a business and a client indicates a service provider’s billable hours, availability, and responsibilities. 

Tasks and visits completed within the SLA rate show your success in meeting the agreement. While it can’t always be perfect, you can set it up to 80-90%, depending on your team’s performance. Since management is also involved in meeting the agreement, this KPI can be used for multiple purposes.

Customer churn

Customer churn is the exact opposite of customer retention – how many customers are you losing over time? Tracking the performance of your field service workers is one way of assessing success and business growth but not the only one. 

Tracking field service metrics could extend to the overall business success and the impact it has on the customer base. If the field service team is doing their job at the highest level, customer satisfaction should be high and the churn rate low. 

While tracking the number of unhappy customers is a key aspect of field service metrics, extracting the reason why they leave is what you are actually looking for to boost business performance. 

There are a few things to consider to decrease this number and increase loyal customers:

  • Are new customers being onboarded properly? 
  • Are service calls subject to poor response time? Begin tracking average response time
  • Do your field service technicians need more training? 
  • Is the customer service for existing customers the same quality as for new customers? 
  • What are you doing to turn satisfied customers, into happy customers? 

There are so many parts of the customer lifecycle that need to be measured in order to find the reason why people are jumping ship that you begin to understand why good field service software is vital.  

Service Uptime / Downtime

Service uptime is when everything works properly for your customer base. Service downtime is when equipment fails to do what it’s supposed to do. Companies with the lowest downtimes are the ones that enjoy a high customer retention rate and higher overall business profitability. 

Tracking field service KPIs such as downtime proves to your customer base that you are actively working towards a better product and service. During downtime, customers expect the response time to be an all-time low as they are essentially losing money.

What’s more, you gain more clarity on how technicians spend their time which subsequently helps your performance metrics. To keep customers happy, here’s how you can improve uptime: 

  • Focus on decreasing response time 
  • Be proactive, not reactive to equipment and system maintenance 
  • Review internal procedures to see if there is anything you can do to improve low technician productivity

Technician Utilization

Technician utilization is one of the most important field service metrics as it measures the quality of output of your team’s entire job cycle.  It essentially measures what happens during billable hours. The more time your technicians spend on doing work that matters, the greater your total business revenue and business efficiency.

What are the factors leading to low technician utilization? 

  • Unnecessary travel time to the job site
  • Substandard field service management
  • Slow average response time
  • Poor scheduling
  • Unstructured field service operations

Technicians are your number one asset and in order for service delivery to be up to par, you need to get your different field service metrics right. 

Project profitability

The field service industry is unique in its makeup. Projects differ in size, nature, and requirements so you need to ensure job profitability each and every time. How do you do that? 

  • How much money are you spending? Record of expenses
  • Keep track of billable hours
  • What’s a project’s average time of completion? 
  • How many members are you using for the field service team?

Field service jobs are not standardized or templated which is why each initial call or first visit with a customer is a completely different use case than before. Job profitability is essential to your overall business growth which is why recording everything that comes in and everything that goes out for each job is one of the most critical metrics.

How to track KPIs with Frontu

KPIs are important for every team. Each member needs to know their responsibilities and goals to contribute to the overall progress of a company. And the right FSM software helps set more accurate and goal-oriented KPIs.

Frontu FSM solution allows you to track different metrics based on time, date, duration, and your customer base reviews. The system assesses the average time a technician needs to complete a task and puts additional information such as pictures to identify the client’s issue better. 

Comprehensive assessment points help set more accurate KPIs. These tools also provide more autonomy for technicians, building an empowered and autonomous workforce. 

Employee motivation is essential, and without knowing your team’s progress, you can’t set a proper motivation program. Some Frontu clients use our tool to set KPIs to create bonus systems. Our software tracks each individual technician, meaning there’s a low chance of mistakes and inaccuracies.

PRO-TIP

Field service metrics can accelerate your business progress, increase customer satisfaction and motivate the remote workforce.

Empower your team with the Frontu Field Service Management Software

Field service metrics can accelerate your business progress, increase customer satisfaction and motivate the remote workforce. Simultaneously, inaccurate field service technician goals can harm employees’ productivity by setting the wrong objectives. Knowing your team is the key to achieving your business goals.

Arūnas Eitutis
Founder & CEO

Arūnas is spearheading the Frontu efforts as the company’s CEO but still finds the time to share some of his knowledge, expertise and experience in the FSM sector through our blog.

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