The times, they are a-changin’ for many of us. That includes field service technicians who have watched their roles and responsibilities morph as the world evolved around them. The industry is getting younger, heavier on technology, and more customer-centric than ever. So, what does it take to be a success in the new realm of field service? Here are the top five key skills for modern field service technicians.
The types of technology used vary based on the specific field the tech is working in. Nevertheless, there are some forms of technology that span across the industry. Field service companies have pivoted to internet-connected phones and tablets.
Mobile devices are the most often used to access specialized field service software. It handles everything from work order flow to dispatching and routing, inventory management, and even billing and payments. Software loaded on a mobile phone is designed to help make the user more efficient. Field service heads should take care to ensure field techs receive correct training to use the software effectively. When hiring new field techs, look for curiosity and a willingness to learn. This will make training easier down the road.
Field service techs aren’t the only ones who have undergone a change. Modern customers share an attitude that has percolated through society over time: Everyone, including your customers, need or are accustomed to instant gratification. Customers in the past may have been fine with waiting for answers or a job to finish. But the modern customer, they expect a response now. As a result, field service business employees at every level must be able and willing to play customer service rep.
Good customer service should be displayed from the initial greeting through the completion of the job. This includes politely and promptly answering questions the customer may have. This skill is especially important in handling customers irritated by a long wait. Or customers who get upset with that work they deem unsatisfactory.
This next one is another soft skill and an extension of our point on customer service. It seems obvious, but every tech on every job is a representative of the company—and the tech must be willing to own that role. The modern field service tech must show up to work in a clean uniform and tidy appearance with a friendly demeanor. If they drive a company vehicle, they should be accountable for safe operation and cleanliness. Some fleet companies enforce this with a hotline that other drivers on the road can call to report erratic or dangerous driving.
With this skill, we aren’t saying that a technician should be able (or even asked) to replace the company’s sales staff. Modern field service techs should have some basic sales skills in their tool kit. The tech is already on-site at a customer’s home or business, presenting a unique opportunity to upsell a customer on a mutually beneficial product or service. This type of offer could be anything from an extended warranty to a product upgrade. The important thing is a technician has to be prepared with information about the customer and their unique situation. Asking their customer how the business can help them. As with most things involving field service management, attention to detail is everything.
For modern field service techs, the products and processes used within the scope of their job are changing rapidly. So, their skills need to stay current with those changes. Technicians will need to know this information to answer customer questions. Having a generalized knowledge about products can make them better at their job. Techs must learn quickly and stay agile when changes start.
At EnSight+, we know what types of skills field service technicians need because we work with them. All the time. We offer customizable field service software that helps field service companies more effectively manage their mobile workforce.
If you’d like to learn how EnSight+ can help your company, book a free demo today.
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