Running a field service business is all about coordination. You must coordinate your services between customer scheduling needs and practical daily routes for your service teams. It makes no sense to send your trucks zig-zagging across the city or spending hours idle only to rush between appointments later when you have more efficient scheduling solutions. Field service efficiency is all about how you build your service schedules and the routes each vehicle takes to provide those services.
Schedule inefficiently, and your routes will bear the brunt. Route inefficiently, and your teams will spend more time in traffic than providing services.
If you are looking for ways to improve the efficiency of your field service schedules, you've come to the right place. Whether you're dealing with communication delay or impractical service routes, we can help.
Let's take a look at the top six ways to improve your scheduling.
Grouping Local Service Calls
When you have service calls all over your city or multi-city region, crafting practical routes is essential for offering efficient service. The closer one client is to the next, the better.
Ideally, your goal is to shorten the drive-time from service to service. Long drive times increase the risk of being stuck in traffic and increase the amount of time your team is on the clock (and on the road) while also not providing any services.
By clustering or grouping your calls by region, you ensure that each team can provide more rapid service to the customers without losing hours to cross-town traffic or even risking lateness due to en-route delays.
Build your routes each day based on the service locations. Start by mapping each service in a day, then build a route that "connects the dots" with the most efficient traffic flow possible.
Offering Customers Time Slots by Region
You may also want to use a regional filter for how to make your schedules. Some services offer specific time slots to customers while others will give a day and service hours, locking down the final schedule later in the process. If your business offers time slots, consider filtering your slots by region.
This will allow you to more precisely target your routes and ensure that customers are served efficiently based on where your services vehicles will be. Customers also prefer time slots because it gives them a more finite and reliable way to plan their day.
For example, you may reserve the morning for north-region customers, late morning for east-region customer, afternoon for south-region customers, and so on.
This allows your vehicles to work a practical route, and for you to pre-schedule customers without risking an impractical zig-zag route as customers all over the city pick their own times.
Quick Updates for Rescheduling and Cancellations
Your teams need to know when a customer has rescheduled or canceled a service on the same day, and they need to know fast. When a customer reschedules or cancels, the entire route can change.
Not only is there now a gap in the schedule you handed out at the beginning of the day, but the team can also lose time driving to a now-unscheduled location if they're not aware of the change.
Your team needs instant communication when a customer changes the schedule so that the drivers know where to go next and how to take the most efficient route.
The last thing you want is for a team to knock on an unscheduled door or be late to a reschedule because they routed to a cancelation.
The right communication devices and software for your business will ensure that the team receives new routes and schedule changes on time.
[Continued in Part 2]