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How to improve first-time fix rate with customer engagement

Here we discuss about one way to improve first-time fix rates that you might not have considered: implementing customer engagement software. This includes self-service portals, real-time ETA tracking and two-way communication.

Phone displaying real-time ETA for customer appointment

For field service companies, first-time fix rate (FTFR) is sometimes treated as the holy grail of KPIs. 

And while we recommend focusing on a broader range of KPIs (here’s 9 to start with), there’s a reason FTFR is most folks’ favourite. 

That’s because it can say a lot about many different aspects of your business. If FTFR is down, that means technicians are having to go on-site multiple times before jobs get done. That could be because of poor technician performance, bad job data about the problems the customer was experiencing, missing tools, no-access appointments, or a number of other reasons.

Regardless of the cause, poor performance on FTFR costs you time and money and correlates with low customer satisfaction. 

Today, we’re talking about one way to improve first-time fix rates that you might not have considered: implementing customer engagement software.

This software includes features like:

  • Self-service portals for appointment management
  • Real-time ETA tracking and appointment reminder software
  • Two-way communication between customers and technicians

Let’s explore how these features can help you improve FTFR. 


Self-service portals for appointment management

One customer doesn’t answer the door for their appointment even though your technician arrived on time. Another has more issues than they initially reported, and your technician didn’t bring the right equipment. 

In both cases, your FTFR takes a hit. And in both cases, there’s nothing you could have done about it. 

Or is there? 

Customer engagement software can help reduce instances like this by providing a self-service portal for customers to manage their appointments. 

With a self-service portal, customers can confirm, change, or cancel their appointments without calling in. Reducing the friction associated with changing an appointment helps reduce no-access visits. 

It also prevents technicians from wasting time on failed appointments, enabling them to handle more jobs faster. 

If this sounds straightforward, that’s because it is. An appointment portal is easy to implement and integrate with your field service management software, and you can let your customers access it via a web browser on their desktop or mobile. 

Another benefit of self-service appointment management portals is the ability for customers to update their job information. If an issue changes or gets worse after the first time they’ve called in, they can simply log on and add additional information. With that in hand, you can ensure your technicians are prepared to handle every issue the customer throws at them. 

You can even set up workflows that notify customers to update their job information at the same time that you’re reminding them of their appointment. Easy!


Real-time ETA tracking and appointment reminder software

When a no-access appointment brings down your FTFR, it’s easy to blame the customer. 

But the service provider needs to accept their share of the responsibility. If you’re still giving huge appointment windows and not providing any real-time tracking information, then you’re not meeting the needs of the modern customer. 

Through food delivery and rideshare apps, customers have become used to tracking their service provider’s location down to the minute. They need real-time updates based on actual data, whether they’re getting them delivered via text message or checking their technician’s live location on a map. 

Customer engagement software lets you satisfy these needs. Through real-time technician tracking and automated appointment reminders, you can show them exactly when they can expect their appointment to begin and reduce failed appointments. 

In fact, after implementing Localz customer engagement software, one property services company noticed a 45% reduction in failed appointments. 


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Two-way communication between customers and technicians

Often, poor first-time fix rate performance can be traced back to a lack of communication. 

A customer is slow on their feet and will take some time to answer the door. A gate code has changed. There’s a road hazard that will prevent the technician from driving up to the site. 

Without a customer engagement platform that enables two-way communication, the only way for a customer to communicate any of this to their technician is to first call into your support line and (more than likely) wait on hold — at which point it will be too late to matter. 

By safely enabling two-way communication through an easy web interface, you can let customers and technicians text message each other directly (while avoiding any potentially messy exchanging of phone numbers). 

When you equip customers with a way to share important information with their technicians, you’re also equipping technicians with the information they need to solve problems the first time. 


Improve first-time fix rate with Localz

Localz is customer engagement software for field service companies. Integrate Localz with your job data, and you can easily enable features like real-time ETA tracking, automated appointment reminders, two-way communication, and self-service portals. 

If you care about improving FTFR and customer satisfaction, why not explore adding customer engagement software to your field service management toolbox?