Do you run a business with sales staff or service technicians that spend a lot of time on the road? How do you keep track of them and make sure that they’re where they say they’re going to be?
A good external sales rep or service tech is worth their weight in gold in bringing in new business and keeping your customers happy. You rely on them to pound the pavement, deliver the goods and keep your services humming. But having a mobile workforce brings with it visibility problems. You are placing a lot of trust in your staff to do the right thing and even the most professional and experienced rep might slip occasionally.
So how do you keep them accountable without micromanaging or becoming big brother? These simple tips will help you keep your field staff safe and productive while reducing unnecessary expenses.
1. Measure Results, Not Actions
Micromanaging mobile workers is frustrating and time consuming…for both parties. Management spend hours trying to oversee the employee while the staff member spends hours on mindless reports and by-the-minute timesheets. It’s a recipe for disaster and can seriously impact your staff retention. Instead of measuring hours and actions, focus on goals and results. This allows your staff member to focus on the destination while showing that you trust them to make their own way there.
2. Keep Communication Lines Open
Whether your business involves deliveries, service calls or sales appointments, keeping your mobile workforce connected with head office is vital to improve communications and keep the business running smoothly. Avoid leaving your external staff out in the cold but giving them multiple forms of communication, whether it’s via mobile phones, a web-based CRM, two-way radios, messenger apps or email. By keeping the lines of communication open, your external staff will know what’s required of them and that they have the backing of head office to achieve their goals. Wherever possible, encourage staff to offer feedback or recommendations to help improve communication channels between internal and external staff.
3. Use Technology to Your Advantage
The most useful piece of technology for a mobile workforce is a GPS tracking system installed in each vehicle. Having a tracker in the car is not about monitoring your staff’s every move, instead you can increase productivity by sourcing more efficient routes, streamline dispatching and provide accurate ETAs to customers. GPS trackers eliminate the risk of fuel theft, unauthorised vehicle use and can help manage fuel expenses, maintenance and overtime claims. Most importantly, tracking technology keeps your staff safe, especially in situations of sole or remote workers. Finally, GPS tracking eliminates the need for paper log books and time sheets – something your staff will thank you for.
Combined with a great CRM or scheduling program, you can streamline some of the most onerous tasks to do with your fleet, while reducing costs and increasing customer satisfaction.
If you’d like to discuss GPS tracking or would like more information about keeping your mobile workforce accountable, contact Fleetdynamics today.