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26 March 2015

Five tips to speed up fault report handling

Are you amongst those who struggle to deal with fault reports in good time? Do you wonder how you are still going to fulfil Service Level Agreements (SLAs)? Do you sometimes close reports before the problem has been fully dealt with, simply to meet the KPI? On paper the process looks simple, from an incoming fault report up to and including its administrative conclusion, but in practice this ostensibly simple process can turn your service workflow to dust. The result is dissatisfied clients and unmotivated employees. Not to mention the huge pile of paperwork afterwards.

How to guide - How to speed up dealing with fault reports

Getting work orders done on time is challenging for many companies. This guide gives steps to cut down on processing times for maitenance work.

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Here are five tips that will help you improve customer satisfaction and the deployment of your technicians.

1. Ensure there is sufficient information

Never underestimate the power of information. Everyone understands that a well-informed technician is a productive one. Therefore a service organisation with the right information is a productive service organisation. SLA agreements differ between clients and it is impossible to know all the different response times for the various services by heart. A properly configured information system is thus more than just automated administration, as it provides a direct insight into which fault reports have priority and thus helps to set the correct priorities.

2. Opt for a fast resolution over a fast response

When assigning a fault report, the technician is often sought who can be on-site the quickest. Usually on the basis of the shortest travelling time to the fault location. This indeed produces a fast response time, but not always a fast resolution time. Which of these results actually helps the client? A fast response or a fast resolution? If the wrong technician is sent to a fault location, any savings on travelling expenses quickly evaporate. This is because a different – more appropriately qualified – technician needs to be sent to the fault location to actually resolve the problem. Resolving a fault immediately (first time around) ultimately yields the most benefits: high customer satisfaction and a more efficient deployment of technicians.

3. Use modern tools

One of the most frequently heard complaints in a service organisation is a lack of communication between the various players: technicians, planners, administration and even clients. Answering questions such as “What exactly is the problem?”, “Who must I see?”, “What has already been done?” and for example “Has the client accepted the work delivered?” produces a great deal of mutual (mis)communication, misunderstanding and waste of time. Paper work orders end up on a huge pile and it may sometimes take weeks before they are processed. Thanks to smartphones it has become much easier in recent years to communicate with all parties involved. Let your technicians use their mobile devices, equip them with an app and forget about paper work. Work orders can be provided electronically, all the relevant information (such as the service history) can be sent directly and technicians can deal with the work orders using an app. It becomes easier to fulfil SLA agreements and to assign work with a high priority to the right technician.

4. Encourage the use of social media

The idea that a technician is a lone wolf operating independently has become an anachronism. Social media ensure that technicians can connect easily with each other and with the back-office. Your technicians can get in touch with colleagues and experts quickly and easily if they are confronted with unfamiliar situations. Social media can contribute to resolving faults straight from the first visit.

5. Do away with the paperwork

This used to be a long and painful process, but the introduction of smart apps has made life a lot easier. With a work order application the technician can take care of the administration on the spot and ask the client to sign it off. Closing the work order on-site means that administration can complete the order with the details provided by the technician and the job can be labelled as completed.

Goodbye paperwork!

Nico van Dijk
Product Manager Maintenance Management