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Defining Field Tech Job Satisfaction

16 Jul, 2008 By: Jerry Newberry imageSource

Defining Field Tech Job Satisfaction

Nationally, only 23% of copier techs are actually satisfied with their

A recent industry survey is cause for concern. It lists field technicians in
the copier industry near the bottom in job satisfaction. Nationally, only 23% of
copier technicians are satisfied with their job. Of the copy technicians
surveyed, 29% were actively and 62% were passively looking for a new job.  The
top reason listed? Stress!  What type of stress? Read on.

Eye-Opener to Presidents and Service management

It’s not job responsibilities or pay that is the leading cause of the
dissatisfaction but, surprisingly, it’s work-related stress. The kind of stress
that’s directly connected to inefficiencies within an organization. In my 24
years in service, I have seen much throughout hundreds of companies (both at
Global Imaging and the  corporations we have under BEI PROS). The reasons are
common throughout the majority of the  industry. The good news is, all or most
of these issues can be resolved. How?

Building a solid field service structure, and focusing on clear
responsibilities and expectations at all levels of the service organization, is
the solution. Example: it is common (for us) to take on a client that is
operating with upwards of 70-80% more call activity than they should have, based
on company size, geographical coverage area, and products serviced. In a
majority of (our) customers, we can cut all activity in half within the first 90
days of implementing a customized action plan.  In some cases, quicker.

The primary causes of the stress that impacts field service, service
management, the dispatch & parts department are:

  • Call activity is not reviewed regularly by management, dispatch, etc.
    (should be a managers screen saver).
  • Companies aren’t creating an environment for success within field service
    (performing territory analysis  to drive FCE).
  • Failure to clearly define the role of the parts department and how it
    effects customer satisfaction and field productivity.
  • Not putting enough emphasis on the importance of product reliability in
    the field (define minimum call procedures and performing follow-ups to ensure
  • Developing the right field service structure with clear spans of control
    for supervisory personnel. As well as defining the “must do” responsibilities
    at this level.
  • Dispatch positions must have clearly defined roles - but know these roles
    are different than what most companies think!

The chart is a small example of companies that have seen major reductions.
This type of reduction in activity greatly reduces the tech’s work stress and
drives a level of responsiveness to your customers that may not exist at this
time. A definite win-win.

Many service managers look at their monthly productivity numbers to assess
how they are doing. This is too long of a time interval to use for monitoring
the effectiveness of your service organization.  Our strategy is to tell service
managers that their productivity numbers should be viewed as frequently as the
screen saver on your computer. Daily monitoring of their/your productivity
numbers is necessary in order to drive the results needed within your service
organization.  If implemented correctly, your service action plan will improve
your gross profit in service at the same time you are reducing the stress level
of your service technicians.

The very issues that are causing your tech’s to be stressed and dissatisfied
with their job are the very same issues that are driving down your gross profit
in service! First call effectiveness, adherence to total call processes,
incompletes, call backs and machine reliability are key area’s that must be
turned around in order to achieve the reduction in service calls and the
reduction in stress level that exist within your service team.  Daily focus to
improve these areas will positively impact your gross profit in service and
result in increased customer satisfaction. In addition, by monitoring these key
areas daily, making adjustments as needed, you will ensure you stay on top of
the performance of your service organization. This will put you on the path of
driving down your call activity and generate an atmosphere that your service
techs will enjoy working in.  Yes, we have only scratched the surface, but you
can achieve a successful turn-around. This area of opportunity needs to be

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