Blog Posts

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 First Time Fix Rates alone creates blindspots for service leaders.

Most service organizations cannot measure how the workforce skills gap impacts First Time Fix (FTF) Rates. In turn, they can’t gauge how a low FTF Rate 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 Field Service Benchmark Report. The following key takeaways illuminate why service leaders must look beyond FTF Rate to gain insights into their organization’s performance.

FTF Rate isn’t the best way to measure service success.

Go beyond the basic stats, especially FTF Rate, for an accurate snapshot of service performance and costs. FTF Rates remain stagnant for all but a handful of top-performing companies. Even with traditional field management software, FTF Rates have not improved.

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

  • 2.75 additional visits
  • 13 additional days added to Resolution Time

What is the cost of FTF Rate 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, extra 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. 

FTF Rate cannot measure customer sentiment.

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

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

Our analysis shows that companies measuring FTF Rates in 7-day or 14-day windows set the stage for a broad experience gap, leading to frustrating customer experiences. Measuring FTF Rates in less than 30-day windows misses many repeat visits related to the exact 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.

Your FTF Rate reporting may be creating service blindspots.

The way you measure FTF Rates impacts metrics. Instead of defining FTF Rates in arbitrary increments (7 days, 14 days, or 21 days), consider the natural service cycle. Our research shows that measuring in 30-day windows strips out false-positive FTF Rates. 

This is demonstrated in the example above.

  • If your FTF Rate is similar when measured at 7 and 30 days, you have a small gap.
  • If your FTF Rate 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 great customer experiences.

The knowledge gap is increasing service costs.

In 2023, service organizations faced even more considerable 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% FTF Rate. The bottom 20% of the workforce (service challengers) has 61% FTF Rate.

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