Streamlining the scheduling process for a mobile workforce can be tricky. But, when done correctly, it can increase productivity and communication between mobile service providers and administrative staff.
Service businesses with mobile service providers should take care when scheduling their employees. Failing to recognize the unique aspects that come with a mobile workforce could lead to potential challenges.
Common Mobile Workforce Scheduling Challenges
1. Lack of schedule visibility
It’s hard to know how to schedule employees if you don’t have a clear idea of what each individual provider’s availability looks like. This lack of visibility could be due to manual spreadsheets being used or inadequate scheduling tools not designed to handle the complexities of businesses providing on-location, virtual, and remote services.
Poor work schedule visibility means the team can’t react swiftly to unplanned scenarios, such as a provider calling in sick. Without an easy way to view providers’ availabilities, finding a replacement can be difficult and potentially lead to a no-show and a disappointed customer.
Having a clear overview of your mobile workers schedules is important for understanding when and where they’re available so you can make adjustments accordingly to keep customers happy!
2. Poor Communication between mobile workers and admins
Another challenge that comes with managing a mobile workforce is ineffective communication between mobile workers themselves and between them and administrative staff. There’s text, email, Slack, and dozens of other methods of communication that might be used by providers and admins.
If an official messaging channel hasn’t been established, this leaves you vulnerable to miscommunication of delays, availability changes, unplanned sick days, and travel zone changes. The last thing you want is a customer not receiving a service because a provider couldn’t make it and the admin team wasn’t able to provide a replacement because they never got the message to begin with!
Access to real-time communication tools and a clear, gold-standard method of messaging will help prevent frustration and reduce scheduling fiascos that result in dissatisfied customers.
3. Ineffective service matching
Without a good way to view providers’ skills and certifications, there’s risk of assigning a booking to a mobile worker who’s not trained for the job.
This can lead to a poor customer service experience and burnout from workers constantly being forced to scramble and provide services they’re not properly certified for.
With Marketbox, provider’s skills and certifications are publicly displayed for customers to see in the booking flow and easily managed on the back-end.
4. Hindered productivity due to manual processes
Manually entering and updating availability takes administrative time away from customer service and other tasks. It’s hard to be efficient when the only way to track down an appropriately certified provider for a service means scouring through spreadsheets. Not to mention it can lead to inaccuracies like provider-customer matching, scheduling and travel zone availability.
Redirect your time towards tasks that move your business forward, and leverage a scheduling system that allows providers to update their own availability, skills and certifications, and gives administrators access to all mobile worker’s schedules.
5. Lost sales due to mobile worker unavailability
Perhaps the worst scheduling challenge involves lost revenue because a provider wasn’t available and a new worker wasn’t assigned to the appointment. This has implications beyond losing out on a sale though. It could seriously impact credibility and cause a recurring customer to opt for a more reliable business (like a competitor) or leave a negative review that then turns off potential clients.
This is why it’s so crucial to use a scheduling tool that can automatically replace a mobile worker that’s unavailable. So you’ll never have to worry about missing a service appointment again.
Quick tips for how to best schedule mobile employees
- Have your mobile workers set their own availabilities
- Allow your mobile workers create individual travel zones
- Give your mobile workers the option to accept or decline booking requests
- Send automatic reminders and schedule agendas
- Encourage customers to schedule appointments themselves
Take your scheduling game to the next level by leveraging a scheduling software
Combat the challenges of scheduling a mobile workforce with scheduling tools with the following features:
- Service Matching Capabilities
- Birds-eye overview of provider schedules
- A user-friendly interface
The best way to avoid the pitfalls of mobile workforce scheduling is by leveraging a tool that streamlines the process.
Platforms like MarketBox give mobile service providers the ability to create their own availabilities, while still giving administrative staff access to their schedules, travel zones, and qualifications.
A great scheduling platform will eliminate the need for manual processes and even boost sales and operational efficiency.
Schedule your mobile workforce with ease and book a demo with MarketBox today!