Three Strategies to Build Technician Buy-In for Field Service Technology
Recruiting and retaining skilled technicians is always a top priority for field service firms, especially in today’s tight labor market. Next-gen mobile technologies – from smartphones and tablets to cloud-based apps and mobile printers – can go a long way toward attracting tech-savvy millennials and creating a positive, supportive workplace culture that keeps technicians of all ages engaged and satisfied.
Deploy the power of mobile technology
Mobile technology has the power to give technicians highly valued flexibility and freedom, boosting job satisfaction. Equipped with mobile devices and reliable wireless mobile printers, they can quickly and easily print a broad range of high-resolution invoices, receipts, instructions, special offers, photos and compliance documents, making customer transactions a breeze. Eliminating the need to provide handwritten paper documents helps increase accuracy, save time and reduce frustration – for technicians and customers.
With on-demand access to information on their mobile devices, technicians can respond faster to customer needs, resolve issues on the spot, answer questions, upsell services and comply more easily with any applicable health, safety or environmental regulations. Mobile technology makes it simple to send and receive data, work orders, instructions, customer information and route changes in real time, avoiding extra trips to the office and wasted trips to customers. Improving the workforce experience and increasing efficiency ultimately provides better customer experiences.
Earn technician buy-in
Building technician buy-in from the get-go is key to capitalizing effectively on mobile technology. Here are three strategies sure to help capture interest and deliver results:
Invest in solutions that can be adopted easily and help increase workflow efficiency.
Select mobile devices, printers and software that are easy to deploy and easy for technicians to use. Brother offers two thermal mobile printer options for field technicians – a full page PocketJet 7 series or a 4-inch format RuggedJet 4 series. The printers are compact yet lightweight enough to be carried in a backpack or mounted in a vehicle, and rugged enough to stand up to the daily wear and tear of being tossed in trucks, and subjected to harsh weather. Unlike inkjet printers, thermal printers eliminate the need to worry about running out of ink or toner, getting messy changing the ink, or having the ink freeze in cold climates – a definite plus for technicians on the go.
Device compatibility is a must to make it fast, simple and seamless for technicians to print documents anywhere, anytime, from virtually any device. Both Brother models offer easy pairing features such as MFi and AirPrint® that allow technicians to print directly from smartphones without downloading or installing drivers. Along with this all-important connectivity, they feature fast print speeds, long battery life, wireless or USB-powered docking stations and a custom-developed, cloud-based Mobile Deploy device management software app that enables remote configuration for faster, less costly deployment, integration and upgrades.
Provide efficiency and flexibility with an “Office-in-the-Cab.”
Technicians appreciate the freedom and flexibility of having high-speed, high-quality printing capabilities at their side. Networked wireless systems provide a convenient in-cab office, complete with real-time interactive communications and speedy, on-demand printing. This is especially critical where terrain can be rough and worksites few and far between. A well-equipped in-cab office means fewer stops and interruptions on the road and reduced administrative tasks. Simple in-cab technologies are helping technicians focus on completing jobs efficiently and providing the best customer experience.
Provide ongoing training so on-the-go technicians can optimize the benefits of the technology at their fingertips.
Any time you introduce new hardware or software, take the time to introduce it properly to your technicians – before, during and after the initial roll-out. Technicians need expert guidance and ample time to get familiar and comfortable with new features and capabilities. That way, they can use their devices with confidence, and take full advantage of mobile technology’s potential to make their work lives easier and more efficient.
Once the technology has been used in the field for a few weeks, check in with the technicians to get their feedback, answer questions and address any issues that may arise. Make sure they know who to call or turn to for troubleshooting when they’re out in the field. Periodic refreshers on how to make the most of their devices also can prove valuable and support job satisfaction.
Take a win-win-win approach
Empowering technicians with mobile printers and other next-gen mobile technologies provides flexibility and freedom that boosts job satisfaction, helping to attract and retain workers. Technicians gain the ability to work more productively, and more efficiently anticipate and respond to customer needs. In turn, improving the customer experience strengthens your competitive edge. That’s a win-win-win.
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