What First Time Fix Rate Won't Tell You About Service Performance

And Other Findings from the Service Intelligence Benchmark Report

When was the last time you did a thorough analysis of your service KPIs -- everything from understanding how team performance is impacting customer satisfaction to how first time fix (FTF) rates are driving up service costs?

If you’re anything like most of the organizations we work with, you haven’t. 

Here at Aquant, we take a deep dive into data to help service organizations better understand how their operations compare to others in the industry and how to turn that knowledge into actionable recommendations to boost service performance. 

Based on an analysis of actual service records from more than 2 million work orders and long discussions with service leaders about pain points, budget concerns, and service delivery goals, Aquant released the 2020 Service Intelligence Benchmark Report.

A Key Takeaway: FTF Isn't the Best Way to Measure Success

Go beyond the basic stats, especially FTF rates, for an accurate snapshot of true service performance and costs. 

A breakdown of how service organizations measure up against the industry as a whole for FTF, according to the Service Intelligence Benchmark Report

For example, the study found that the average FTF is 75%, and that’s on par with previously published benchmark studies. However, this rate has been flat for about a decade, even after the widespread adoption of traditional field service management software. In addition, looking at FTF alone isn’t the best way to measure success. 

Here’s why it’s more important to understand the data behind the 25% of failed visits in greater detail. A failed first visit leads to, on average:

  • 2.6 total visits to resolve the service issue
  • 15 additional days in Mean Time to Resolution

What is the Cost of a 25% FTF Failure Rate?

From a cost and customer perspective, a 25% failure rate is a disaster. 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 are focusing on repeat visits for every one in four jobs. 

How Workforce Performance Impacts FTF Rates

On a recent webinar with Steve Chamberland, Director of Service Operations, BD Biosciences, he noted, “If you don't control first time fix, your customers are going to feel it.”

A few years ago, he notes the team had a FTF rate far below 90%, and after significant changes, they’ve boosted the level up to 90% with an aggressive goal to hit 95%. But before he could get there, he had to go beyond the numbers to understand what was causing the problem. 

“A big part of improving FTF had to do with improving the performance of our staff. We had to look at how to elevate the proficiency of our field engineers. So it's not just looking at data, but figuring out what needed to be done in order to move the needle and see service improvements.

Understand KPIs and Improve Service

In addition to looking at the truths and fictions behind FTF, the report also examined industry performance for 

  • Cost Per Success
  • Mean Time to Resolution
  • Mean Time Between Failures
  • Mean Time Between Visits 

Download the full report for key KPI analysis, as well as a more in-depth look at how service organizations can follow the lead of high-performing organizations like BD, by using data to help improve staff performance. 

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