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What First Time Fix Rate Can’t Tell You About Service Performance

First Time Fix Rate (FTFR) is a standard KPI among service teams, but relying on FTFR alone creates blindspots for service leaders.

Most service organizations cannot measure how the workforce skills gap impacts FTFR. In turn, they can’t gauge how low FTFR drives up service costs and negatively impacts customer satisfaction.

Instead of relying on hunches, Aquant went to the source—data from more than 16.2 million work orders to create the 2023 Service Intelligence Benchmark ReportHere are key takeaways illuminating why service leaders need to look beyond FTFR if they want to gain insights into their organization’s performance.

FTFR isn’t the best way to measure service success

Go beyond the basic stats, especially FTFR rates, for an accurate snapshot of true service performance and costs.  FTFR remains stagnant for all but a handful of top-performing companies. Even with traditional field management software, FTFR has not improved.

Additionally, FTFR  should never be measured in isolation. On average, a failed first visit leads to:

  • 2.75 additional visits
  • 13 additional days added to Mean Time to Resolution (MTTR)

What is the cost of FTFR failure?

From a cost and customer perspective, failure rates can be disastrous. Beyond the KPIs, service leaders need to factor in labor costs for additional truck rolls, additional parts costs, machine downtime, customer dissatisfaction, and all the other jobs that aren’t being resolved if technicians focus on repeat visits for every one in four jobs. 

FTFR cannot measure customer sentiment

That’s especially true if organizations don’t measure FTFR in at least 30-day windows.

Trying to understand customer satisfaction by relying on FTFR creates a customer experience gap. That’s the difference between what customers expect and what your organization delivers. 

Our analysis shows that companies measuring FTFR in 7-day or 14-day windows are setting the stage for a wide experience gap, leading to frustrating customer experiences. Measuring FTFR in less than 30-day windows misses many repeat visits that are all related to the same root cause. Your records may show that an asset was serviced twice within a month, and both of those visits were successfully fixed on the first visit. Your customer likely disagrees.

How FTFR reporting creates service blindspots

How you measure FTFR impacts metrics. Instead of defining FTFR in arbitrary time increments (7 days, 14 days, or 21 days), think about it in terms of the natural service cycle. Our research shows that measuring in 30-day windows strips out false-positive FTFR. 

This is demonstrated in the example above.

  • If your FTFR is similar when measured at 7 days and 30 days, you have a small gap.
  • If your FTFR has a wide variation (usually a high rate at 7 days and a low rate at 30 days), you have a large gap.

If you have a large gap, your team is likely focused on hitting their numbers instead of focusing on great customer experiences.

The knowledge gap is increasing service costs

In 2023, service organizations faced even larger hiring challenges than in the past. This has left the industry with tens of thousands of unfilled jobs and caused service costs to increase.

  • The bottom 20% of the workforce (service challengers) costs organizations 67% more than the top quarter. 
  • The top 20% of the workforce (service heroes) has an 80% FTFR. The bottom 20% of the workforce (service challengers) has 61% FTFR.

To learn more, download the full 2023 Service Intelligence Benchmark Report. See KPI benchmarks for 110+ leading service organizations, access tips on methods to better analyze FTFR and other key KPIs, and drive meaningful change across your service organization.

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