How to Improve the Performance of Field Service Technicians (in 5 Easy Steps)

You win or lose in the home services business with your field service technicians.

Their performance will dictate the performance of your entire business, from customer experience through to profitability, cash flow, and your own happiness.

Here are five things you can do right away that will help you, help them.

1. Introduce a Profit Sharing Program

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Rhys Green

Even if there isn’t much (or any) profit to share yet. Do this. It will lead to you making more money, your customers being happier and make it easier to recruit and retain the best techs. It should be simple and allow your techs to make great money if they perform well. Have them calculate it at the end of every day and submit it for payment.

If you’re keeping it really simple, base it exclusively on productivity with a condition of payment being the achievement of a customer experience metric. See the footnotes below called “Performance Metrics for Field Service Technicians” for some examples of what you could measure here.

2. Use Some Science

The selection and motivation of people can feel more art than science. However, there are some great tools with strong scientific backing that can help you better understand your people and thus better motivate them.

Programs such as Culture Index and Disc bring years of psychological research together with easily interpreted results to help you take a lot of the guesswork out of predicting how well someone is going to work when you’re not watching.

3. Onboard Them Well

Widely accepted as important, just as widely skipped or done poorly.

Onboarding is the best opportunity you have to set expectations and get your employees ready to perform. Starbucks estimated a $16.7m loss for one day’s worth of racial bias training. Admittedly a very good cause, but it goes to show you how seriously the very best take their training programs.

A good onboarding program will take into account at least the first six weeks of a new team member’s tenure, involve self-directed learning, hands-on learning and a little bit of classroom-style education. It will also be the same every time.

4. Give Them Career Development

It’s true, you’re taking a risk and spending money to train this person. Why can’t they just do their job and be happy about it? Would you?

Some people are very happy working hard to be the very best at what they’re doing right now. Others want to be running your company. If you’re going to keep either of these people happy and performing, you’re going to need to invest time and effort in developing them. At the very least meet with them once a month for a one on one.

To run with the best:

  • Host regular upskill training sessions
  • Bring in guest speakers on topics your team wants to learn about
  • Meet with them once a week one on one and promote from within as much as you can

5. Ask for Their Help

Your technicians know your customers and your business better than anyone else.

Set up something a good friend of mine, Michel Falcon, talks about all the time: An Employee Advisory Council.

This is something he does in his restaurants and has implemented in some of the largest companies in the world. You can do it too. It’s simple. Have your techs select a couple of representatives from within their ranks. Meet with them quarterly. Ask them what’s going on, what’s working and what isn’t. Ask them what they’d like to see happen, to change, or have you keep doing. Then implement their feedback where you can. It’s a win-win. Your business will be better and your techs will be happier and higher-performing.

Performance Metrics for Field Service Technicians

Productivity =

  • Jobs per hour
  • Jobs per day
  • Revenue per hour
  • Revenue per day

Customer Experience =

  • # of complaints as % of jobs completed
  • Net Promoter Score
  • Online review rating

Bottom Line

If you implement these five things over the next six weeks (before you hit the height of your busy season) you will have a more profitable, easier to manage season than you’ve ever had before.

Rhys Green is a business operations advisor who has made a career in fast-growing, profitable service businesses. In his time with 1-800-Got-Junk? he led a franchise to 70% year-over-year growth and won Franchise of the Year. With You Move Me, Rhys was a key contributor to its launch and led operations to build it to $24m within 4 years. He now leads the Vonigo Growth Program, which helps ambitious businesses accelerate growth.

Want to learn more about how to grow your service business or franchise? Join the Vonigo Growth Program.