An FTF is an ideal situation for service providers. Referring to the percentage of service issues resolved on a single visit, high FTF rates mean that providers can diagnose issues, problem solve and deploy solutions as quickly as possible. But as technicians know, FTFs aren’t as common as we’d like. It’s hard to get the measure of a problem in a single visit. Nevertheless, it’s a crucial metric that heavily influences business profitability and the overall customer experience you provide. As such, it pays to take a look at your service workflows and see where you might be able to improve.
Back Up Your Team With Custom Resources and Materials
There’s a surprising amount of variance in machinery product lines, and technicians can’t be expected to know them all. This makes it hard for field technicians to achieve a FTF—particularly when the client has retrofitted their product with customizations or different configurations that the technician might not be familiar with.
But who said that technicians had to know everything to achieve a first-time fix? They don’t need all the details—they just need a way to instantly access resources in the field that can provide the instructions they need. With new market tools, such as augmented reality (AR) remote assistance, technicians can use mobile devices or peripherals to access any resources they need right in the field.
These platforms can be integrated with your back-office knowledge systems to provide insight into any kind of problem a field technician might encounter for that client’s specific product. And better still, you save details about each configuration and log any custom modules they have. This is a great way to prepare your technicians ahead of time and show them exactly what to expect when they arrive on-site.
Your Expert In Real-Time
But this isn’t the only way to improve your technician skillsets. New tools have emerged in the marketplace that let on-site technicians coordinate with off-site experts, allowing field technicians to tap into expert knowledge from anywhere. For example, AR field service platforms let technicians view high-resolution visual displays for each piece of machinery they’re assessing, and transmit that information to others.
This type of consultation can drastically improve FTFs by expanding each technician’s service capabilities. When you can tap into multiple minds for each client call, it’s far easier to find quick resolutions without returning home. Of course, you’ll need an AR-supported software platform to pull this off, but it’s a type of problem-solving strategy you won’t find anywhere else.
Prepare In Advance for Quick First Time Fix
How many times has one of your technicians gone out into the field to find that a first time fix was indeed possible—if only he had the right part on hand? This is pretty common when technicians don’t come prepared, but with the help of augmented reality service tools, technicians can make sure that they’re ready for anything.
Rather than waiting to diagnose problems until technicians are in the field, why not coordinate with those already on-site? Augmented reality platforms for field services enable on-site operators to capture rich contextual information about the machine’s problem, identify obvious issues, and determine which parts might be necessary. All of this data can be sent through the platform to the field service technician, giving them all the details they’ll need to come prepared to the client’s site. This strategy alone can produce huge boosts to FTF rates, particularly for small, recurring issues that don’t require significant intervention.
Improve FTFs Through Ongoing Improvement
Improving FTFs is a process of continuous improvement. It requires a coordinated effort from all team members across the team’s scheduling, workflows, communication methods, and technology use. Don’t expect it to happen overnight—but with enough time, and the right service technology behind you, you’ll gain levels of service efficiency that your competitors can’t match.