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Discover how to automate employee scheduling, and how to optimize your scheduling process

How to Automate Employee Scheduling

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.

Easy ways to optimize employee scheduling

  1. Allow mobile service providers to set their own availabilities
  2. Allow your mobile workers create individual travel zones
  3. Give providers the option to accept or decline booking requests
  4. Send automatic reminders and schedule agendas
  5. Enable customers to schedule appointments themselves with online booking options

How to automate employee scheduling for mobile workers

Scheduling mobile workers doesn't have to be difficult, or require hours spent pouring over spreadsheets and lists to find out who works where and when they're available!

Scheduling software designed for mobile workers helps eliminate the challenges of scheduling employees who work across multiple locations. Look for a scheduling tool with the following features:

  • Travel zones so providers (or admin) can configure service areas for individual providers
  • Service Matching Capabilities
  • Birds-eye overview of provider schedules
  • A user-friendly interface

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

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.

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 job scheduling software 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 service job scheduling software that can automatically replace a mobile worker that’s unavailable. So you’ll never have to worry about missing a service appointment again.

Conclusion

For a scalable solution, automating employee scheduling of mobile workers is the way to go. With the right software, it's makes a complicated task straightforward and can save you and your team hours per month.

Scheduling software like MarketBox makes schedules employees (and services) across multiple locations easy. The platform gives mobile workers the freedom to control when and where they work, while providing administrative staff a streamlined way to manage day-to-day operations.

To find out how MarketBox can help you streamline the management of your mobile workforce, book a demo today

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