Recently, Software Advice, a site where businesses research field service software, released results from a survey they conducted on the use of GPS within the field service industry. Software Advice performs research on hundreds of categories, I’d say ranging from A to Z, but really it ranges from Accounting to Warehouse Management.
Anyway, they put together a study in which they interviewed both field service business owners and their customers. They wanted to get a better idea of how GPS-enabled software has affected both the service provider and their customers. Some of the general findings might not come as a surprise, such as, customers don’t like waiting around for service techs. But the results of some of their other questions show how GPS-enabled software can help improve customer satisfaction and also have very real business ramifications. Here are six of the key findings of Software Advice’s research (and one benefit we have found!):
67% of customers won’t tolerate lateness of an hour
One of the biggest customer complaints is having to wait for a service tech. Software Advice asked field service customers how late was too late for them. 67% of customers surveyed said they would not hire a company again if they were an hour late and even more so, 36% of customers wouldn’t rehire a company if they were 30 minutes late!
This means that customers not only want field service companies to be on time, but expect it. Otherwise they will simply find another company.
Updated Arrival Notifications Increase Consumers’ Likeliness to Re-Hire
One factor that made a customer more likely to re-hire a company was if they received arrival notifications. Software Advice points out that the “eight-hour arrival” window is a dreaded thing for consumers, but if they are updated regularly, it becomes less of an issue.
Field Service Business Responses
Businesses Using GPS-Enabled Software Have More Punctual Technicians
GPS benefits service businesses because it gives someone in the back office a single pane of glass view of where their field techs are at all times. So if an issue does arise that a scheduled tech might be late, an office manager or dispatcher is then able to effectively reroute techs as needed.
90 percent of business operators say the number of work orders completed on time have increased. Tying this back to the previous point, if a tech is going to be late, the home office is able to notify that customer that the tech won’t be on time and that is better than letting the customer wait.
Businesses Using GPS Software Benefit From More Efficient Technician Travel
89% of businesses indicated that they saved on fuel costs after implementing a GPS solution and 92% saw their work order travel time decrease. Not only does GPS create more efficiency, it also helps in promoting safety. Most solutions allow users to create notifications if their truck or other vehicle is speeding, turning sharply or even hard brakes.
Mobile Technicians Using GPS-Enabled Software Complete More Work Orders
The businesses using GPS-enabled software wind up finishing more work during the day. Since the technology increases service technician punctuality overall, it makes sense that the number of finished work orders would increase. The interesting part of this is that 31% said it significantly increased their work order numbers and another 40% said they saw a moderate increase.
Mobile Apps Facilitate Communication Throughout the Service Experience
This is an important aspect of keeping your existing customers satisfied and also how you create more referrals for your business. Mobile apps that service techs use in the field increase their efficiency and also allow you to collect important customer data that can be used for decision making in the future.
For instance, our software allows service techs to see any special notes or needs that a customer might have in relation to the service they are providing. If a tech goes out on an irrigation job, they will be able to see any notes related to that property. Maybe the customer has a mean dog, maybe the customer is a little hard of hearing, really it can be anything important about the job that the service tech should see.
Bonus: Possible Lower Insurance Rates
Now don’t quote me on this, because we have only seen this occur in the short time that we have offered our GPS feature, HindSite Tracker to a few of our customers. But some have actually had their insurance rates go down on their business policies once they told their insurance provider that they use GPS!