New Year… New Employee Training Tips for Field Service Technicians

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A well-trained field ser­vice team is the face of a com­pany. When a tech­ni­cian arrives at a busi­ness or res­i­dence for trou­bleshoot­ing and repair, the impres­sion he or she leaves will be more telling than a company’s snazzy brand promises or expen­sive com­mer­cials. If the tech­ni­cian is highly com­pe­tent, cour­te­ous, and goes above-and-beyond to help the cus­tomer, chances are, the cus­tomer is going to be left with a pos­i­tive impres­sion of the com­pany, and will most likely keep using the company’s ser­vice or prod­ucts. In con­trast, a poorly trained tech­ni­cian who doesn’t com­plete the job prop­erly, is rude, or who doesn’t have good peo­ple skills will have the oppo­site effect on the customer.

Train­ing your field tech­ni­cians thor­oughly is essen­tial for your company’s rep­u­ta­tion and dri­ving cus­tomer loy­alty. Since it’s a new year, let’s explore some new employee train­ing tips for your field ser­vice technicians.



The train­ing trickle-down effect

In large orga­ni­za­tions with hun­dreds of field ser­vice tech­ni­cians, send­ing every tech through advanced train­ing courses may not be eco­nom­i­cally fea­si­ble. With rapid changes in tech­nol­ogy, or with con­tin­u­ous updates to your prod­ucts, keep­ing your whole team up-to-speed may sim­ply not be an option. If you feel con­strained by the type of train­ing you can offer your whole team, choose your top tech­ni­cians and invest in their train­ing – on a fre­quent basis. Des­ig­nate them to be train­ing lead­ers within the com­pany who can teach their new skills to the other tech­ni­cians in your orga­ni­za­tion. The key here is to make sure your com­pany is still invest­ing in state-of-the-art train­ing pro­grams – but use your own man­power and develop processes to ensure that the whole team can ben­e­fit from the high-level training.

Use tech­nol­ogy to con­nect every­one in the field

If your field reps come across a prob­lem they can’t solve, empower them through enterprise-level inter­nal com­mu­ni­ca­tion pro­grams so they can instantly con­nect to other employ­ees to get help and assist with trou­bleshoot­ing. Invest in tablets so that field reps can con­nect to the net­work while they’re in the field and get advice from other reps, or con­nect to their train­ing mod­ules. The cost of tablets or smart­phones will be much less expen­sive in the long run than pay­ing for reps to resched­ule the call if they are unable to trou­bleshoot on the spot.

Time your field train­ing so it flows with the workflow

The height of your busy sea­son is def­i­nitely not the time to invest in train­ing for your field ser­vice tech­ni­cians, nor is at the end of a busy field day. Struc­ture your train­ing ses­sions way in advance dur­ing your slower sea­sons, or sched­ule train­ing on a rotat­ing basis with your tech­ni­cians so they can focus on field train­ing – and just field train­ing – instead of try­ing to fit it in between their nor­mal work­load. If you want to offer weekly refresh­ers or check in with your team, des­ig­nate a morn­ing where you can sit down with the team for cof­fee – before they go out into the field. Give your team breath­ing room and a lighter work­load when you want to offer field train­ing tips so they can focus on the train­ing with­out the dis­trac­tions of a heavy work­load; they’ll be more recep­tive to learn­ing and more relaxed.



Train­ing for field ser­vice tech­ni­cians is an invest­ment, not a cost

Invest­ing in your field ser­vice tech­ni­cians has been shown to improve field res­o­lu­tion times, increase the num­ber of ser­vice calls tech­ni­cians can han­dle in a day, and improve your cus­tomer ser­vice scores. With a lit­tle strat­egy behind your field train­ing invest­ment, you will be able to max­i­mize your train­ing dol­lars and improve your field tech­ni­cian train­ing pro­gram. Spend your train­ing dol­lars wisely by des­ig­nat­ing top per­form­ers to train, and invest in tech­nol­ogy that keeps every­one in your orga­ni­za­tion con­nected. Finally, sched­ule your field train­ing times accord­ingly so that your team can get the max­i­mum ben­e­fit from the train­ing sessions.

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