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AIRe Link’s ultimate summer survival guide for field service teams 

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Summer is right around the corner – are you and your team prepared? While most are eagerly anticipating the hot sunny days, beach trips, ice cream and the joys of the season, summer can become one of the busiest and most stressful time periods for field service teams. It’s best to plan ahead so your team can navigate the potentially chaotic months without becoming overwhelmed. 

Not to worry, the experts at AIRe Link have put together the ultimate summer survival guide field service teams can follow so you aren’t caught out in the heat and get through summer like a much-needed cool breeze. 

Techniques to prepare for the summer period

Your customers are sure to grant their staff vacation during the summer period. When problems occur, they may rely on your team more frequently, especially when their experienced personnel are unavailable. That’s one reason why the summer period might become busier than expected. It’s best to be prepared for any sudden surge in support requests. 

1) Review last summer’s data to get ahead of the surge

Getting ahead of the surge is more than just staying afloat, it’s about being proactive and prepared for busy periods, so your team thrives. Field service teams with experience from previous summers already have a significant advantage. You already know when to expect a surge in support requests and when operations typically slow down. If this is your first summer as a service team, focus on the other techniques for now. Rest assured, by next year, you’ll have valuable data to help guide you in your planning. 

By analysing last year’s data, you can make informed decisions for the upcoming summer months. Review the number of support requests handled to identify potential busy periods and pinpoint the most common problems customers faced. Refresh your teams training on these common issues so your customers receive rapid first-time fixes throughout the summer months. Comparing response times and customer satisfaction levels is also a good idea to identify areas where workflow adjustments can be made to speed up service response times. 

2) Craft a summer action plan alongside your team

Crafting a summer action plan alongside your entire team is one way to navigate summer with confidence, ensuring everyone knows what to do should support requests suddenly surge, and best of all, everyone can voice their idea’s, so the best possible plan is developed. Start by specifying which service calls warrant top priority status. Consider the urgency of requests, potential hazards posed by broken equipment, customer needs, and estimated repair times.  

Develop a reliable tracking system to monitor support requests from initial first contact through to resolution so none slip through the cracks going unresolved. Additionally consider how your team will tackle support requests. Can you save time and money by resolving issues remotely avoiding unnecessary on-site visits? Could the remote diagnoses first approach be used to gather more information before sending engineers on-site to speed up service delivery times and increase first time fix rates?  

Team planning their summer strategy

Don’t forget to plan your summer schedule

Collaborate with your human resources departments to review last summer’s data and identify your busiest periods. Strategically develop shift patterns to ensure you have enough staff during peak times. Aim for a balanced mix of experience levels per shift and pair employees who work well together. Should issues require escalation your experienced technicians are available to prevent bottlenecks, so customers always receive speedy fixes, even during peak times. 

3) Get your team to submit time off requests now

It’s common employees during the summer months will request time off to enjoy the warm weather with loved ones or for personal leisure activities. To maintain smooth operations, get your team to submit their time-off requests now. The longer they wait the more likely workflows are to be disrupted or employees left feeling upset when their request is rejected. 

Don’t forget to make sure you always have enough staff to cover daily operations but ensure employees are granted some time off to properly enjoy the summer period. 

Allow working from home

It might not be possible to grant everyone their time-off requests, but you can offer the next best alternative, the option to work from home. With cloud-based remote visual support tools like AIRe Link, technicians can guide customers through repairs remotely from anywhere in the world. 

Now your employees can spend more time with loved ones during the summer, boosting their happiness. At the same time, if their expertise is required, they can quickly connect with customers through AIRe Link and deliver the same quality support, but from the comfort of their own homes. It’s a win win! 

Have independent service technicians on standby

It might be a good idea to also consider having independent service technicians on standby in case the workload increases more than you expected. If you’ve identified gaps in your summer schedule where you might be short staffed, these technicians can support your team to maintain excellent levels of service. Best of all, you only need to pay them when you utilize their skills. Having independent technicians ready to go incurs no extra cost but can be the ultimate life saver. 

4) Review your inventory levels and undertake maintenance tasks now

Before the summer rush sets in it’s a good idea to check your inventory levels and undertake any maintenance tasks required. Make sure the vehicles your team rely on are serviced so they don’t break down unexpectedly. Double check everything in your storage area is counted and organized properly. Order anything you’re running low on, so you have enough supplies to get through the summer. Having a well-organized storage area makes it easy to identify low stock levels during busy periods so you can order more before you run out to prevent operation delays. 

By identifying equipment, spare parts, tools and more you are low on will save time and frustration in the future. The last thing you need is during a busy surge is for a customer to require a spare part you don’t have, that will take weeks to arrive. Customers are sure to be happy when the spare part required can be installed right away without the need to wait for delivery. 

Field service worker checking their stock levels

Tips to thrive during the summer rush

1) Encourage your team to take breaks so burnout is avoided

During busy periods your team might feel taking a break isn’t the priority. However, it’s crucial to ensure your team takes proper breaks to prevent burnout. While it may not seem like the best idea to have technicians taking breaks during hectic periods, it is often essential to ensure long-term success and guarantee customers receive high quality support each time 

When employees work for long periods of time, they might experience a significant drop in productivity which can have a bigger impact on overall productivity than if they had taken a break earlier. Encourage breaks within your team to maintain a productive, happy work environment that allows employees to recharge before tackling more support requests. 

2) Test out AIRe Link’s remote diagnoses first approach

Streamline your operations by integrating remote visual support into your summer plan. Try AIRe Link’s remote diagnosis-first approach, designed to save time, cut operating costs, reduce onsite visits a enhance resolution workflows. With this strategy your service team visually connects with customers upon receiving a support request. They see what the customer sees so can diagnose their problem a identify the root cause. In many cases, technicians can guide the customer through a remote resolution, all without going on-site. 

Should customer problems be too complex for a remote fix, then the remote diagnoses first approach can be used to prevent multiple trips, increase first time fix rates and get customers solutions faster than before. Media created during the diagnoses stage such as videos and images are saved within your AIRe Link library. Have your technicians forward this media and other relevant information to the attending engineer. This ensures that before the engineer arrives, they already know what problem is present so can bring the correct tools and equipment a arrive with a solution already in mind 

Your customers are sure to delighted with faster resolutions and prompt attention to their problem. Best of all you can test out the approach for 30 days with AIRe Link’s free trail. 

3) Keep your customers updated

Should your team become overwhelmed by a sudden surge in support requests, focus on maintaining positive relations by keeping your customers updated. Remember, it’s better to under-promise and over-deliver. Good communication means being clear and proactively reaching out to customers. Be honest about potential delays and provide clear realistic timeframes for on-site visits. If traffic is an issue, be sure to have the engineer call ahead to let them know. 

Utilize emails, text messages and phone calls to keep your customers up to date. For urgent issues such as changes to appointments, it’s best to call ahead so you guarantee they’ve received the message, and the conversation can be personalised to address any concerns. If delays are unavoidable, apologize sincerely and consider offering a discount on their next visit to keep them happy and retain their business. Remember, clear communication is a great way to build trust and loyalty with your customers setting the foundation for long-term service agreements. 

Don’t forget to attract new customers this summer

Don’t forget while the summer period might be busier than usual, it presents an opportunity to attract new customers for life. Keep in mind your competitors might also struggle to keep up with demand during busy periods. Their customers might already be frustrated at the level of service and are looking for a new service team to support them. 

Take full advantage of your competitors’ weaknesses and attract new customers during the summer months. Fully exploit this opportunity by showcasing your team’s reliability and the value you deliver. A good idea might be to bundle popular services into a discounted package or offer limited time discounted service contracts to incentivise new customers. 

Field service team making a new business partner

Wrapping up our survival guide

In summary, the key to surviving busy summer months lies in proactive planning and strategic execution. From optimizing employee schedules, leveraging remote technologies to addressing inventory management and customer communication concerns. Every aspect plays a role in ensuring operations run smoothly. By implementing these strategies and adapting to changing demand, your field service team will not only survive during summer, you’ll thrive. 

Still need more information? Checkout our top 8 ways field service teams can prepare for the holiday season and review our guide on mastering the holiday rush for extra tips, tricks a strategies you can incorporate into workflows. Don’t forget to give AIRe Link a try for free with our 30-day trial to fully test out the strategies outlined. 

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