Autonomous Technicians
Arūnas Eitutis | 15 August 2021

How can Autonomous Technicians Help Your Business Withstand Crises?

Field service companies have begun embracing workforce autonomy after decades of falling victim to micromanagement and poor operational tactics. If the past year has shown us anything, it’s the importance of fortifying your workforce to operate remotely and autonomously. A modern,  independent company can no longer turn a blind eye to autonomous tech. 

What is an autonomous technician?

An autonomous technician is an employee that can work, operate and deliver results independently and remotely, without the help and support of headquarters.  To help field technicians reach autonomous status, companies usually equip them with advanced digital tools that provide them with features like routes, automated scheduling, task updates, digital signatures, reporting, and more. 

Field service management software is the most suitable breed of technology for an autonomous and resilient field service workforce. The hardest share of the job in field service companies falls on technicians’ shoulders. 

Not only are they responsible to install, repair, and maintain equipment, but they also have to accommodate customer needs, educate clients about equipment, and be prepared to upsell additional products and services. They are holding the steering wheel of the entire business and supporting them in every shape, way, and form you can is absolutely paramount. 

However, tools alone won’t work if your business processes don’t accommodate technicians. You might want to reframe your business operations to put more focus on technicians, providing them with the necessary functionality. Simplifying and expediting company operations goes along the way.

  • Autonomous technician is an employee that can work, operate and deliver results independently and remotely, without the help and support of headquarters.

Why does autonomy matter?

Besides a potential increase in revenue and better customer relationships, workplace autonomy boosts employee morale and productivity.

Fewer back-office expenses

Autonomous technicians rely less on their back-office because the right tools ensure smooth company process automation and provide employees with the necessary knowledge to perform their job independently. Instead of wasting time on tasks that can be easily automated, back-office employees can focus on more important and complicated tasks, saving time and expenses. 

Employee satisfaction

If you equip your employees with the latest digital tools that allow them to handle even the most complex tasks, technicians are more likely to be satisfied with their work. Autonomy increases feelings of ownership and loyalty, improving technicians’ decision-making process. Front line workers that have everything they need to navigate their schedule uninterruptedly will reach the end of their day feeling satisfied, productive, and proud of having achieved a lot. 

Productivity boost

You might be wondering how giving more responsibility to employees boosts their productivity. Well, that’s quite simple, as without micromanaging, autonomous technicians can perform better because they feel the ownership of their work. Many studies show that independence in the workplace increases employee productivity and performance quality. 

How to make your workforce more autonomous

A little effort goes a long way in building a more flexible and autonomous team. You can find many ways that work for your team, but we want to give you some suggestions that worked for Frontu clients.

Smart scheduling

Ditch outdated paper calendars and notebooks -for team scheduling to be effective, you might want to consider getting smart tools. FSM software can be a useful addition to your digital tool library. 

Improved employee scheduling prevents overbooking or double-booking technicians. An agile FSM solution allows tracking tasks for each individual technician and clearly seeing them in real-time on the calendar. 

You should be able to allocate tasks based on a technician’s skills and work history. Smart scheduling can also tell you which technician is available and closest to the location that needs attention.

Bonus systems

Rewards programs motivate employees to achieve work goals based on bonus rewards. It can be anything from a money bonus to additional vacation days or gifts, as long as it meets your team’s needs. 

However, bonus systems won’t work if they don’t match your team’s capabilities and goals. Here’s an article that can help you build a goal-oriented bonus system.

Functionality to increase autonomy

Your digital tools should have enough features to serve an independent technician. FSM software allows technicians to access customer details with work history and their past requirements. The advanced solution gives your team a knowledge base and quick access to data related to the specific issue. 

We aim to fully equip a remote workforce with special functionalities to make technicians less dependent on the back office. Frontu app enables your workforce to work smarter and be more resilient, saving time, resources and improving customer service. 

How can field service companies benefit from mobile and autonomous technicians?

Better 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 in the first go without any additional help, preparation, or parts. 

If your team needs to come back to the back office for each tiny detail, you can’t expect to have a high first-time fix rate. When technicians have a knowledge base, client details, and support in their hands, they become less dependent on the back office and can deliver better and faster results.

Better technician success rate

The rate indicates how many successful tasks a technician performs within a set time frame. 

If a technician reschedules many tasks because he or she can’t meet the set plan, it might signal that the employee lacks some skills or knowledge.

FSM tool ensures that technicians have all the necessary information related to a client and issues reported. Smart scheduling can improve the technician success rate and ensure they complete all tasks in a set time frame. 

More upsell opportunities

Technicians are often an unused resource for upselling your products or services to existing clients. Technicians know customers because they communicate face-to-face. They understand customers’ needs and can offer tailored solutions. 

If technicians have the functionality they need to upsell additional products, they become trusted advisors and have more influence over decision-making.

Learn more about increasing your upselling opportunities.

Frontu FSM mobile assistant

An empowered workforce leads to business success. There are many different ways to motivate your team, but improving their working conditions makes a significant impact. 

Empower your field service technicians with advanced tools. Smart scheduling, digital functionality, and bonus systems can help you achieve that. Frontu offers all these features to make your technicians more autonomous and agile. 
Frontu digital assistance tool keeps technicians prepared, knowledgeable, and ready to act. See how Frontu functionality could improve your field service operations and workforce productivity – book a demo.

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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