How to manage a field team
Managing a field team can be difficult but if done well it can be very effective.
It is essential that field teams are treated with the same attention to detail as those who are office based so that the team feels valued.
Here are some top tips for how to manage a team that works out in the field rather than from an office.
Provide multiple points of contact
Points of contact are so crucial when managing field teams, both for the customer and the team themselves.
For team members
Make sure that they are aware of the various ways they are able to contact you throughout the week. Having multiple methods of communication can be effective, for example, emergency issues may be dealt with via phone whereas reporting may be done via email. Whether your team is performing a solar panel installation or delivering a sales pitch to a client, it is important that they are confident that they are able to contact you easily should any problems arise.
When managing a field team, one of the hardest challenges can be ensuring effective communication with customers as teams are often on the go. It is crucial that customers can contact someone who isn’t working out, should there be any issues. For example, if customers can only contact your field team this could cause problems if there are signal or traffic challenges. Therefore, providing customers with contact details to someone who is office/home based permanently is preferable.
Instill clear values
When a team works out in the field, they are responsible for representing your brand. This is done through the tidiness of their work to the politeness of their manner. Instilling clear company values in your team is essential to making sure that you maintain a positive brand image and receive good customer reviews and referrals.
Consider creating a company handbook or holding bi-annual meetings to deliver talks on company values and how team members should be conducting themselves.
Listen to feedback
As well as instilling company values into your team, it is also crucial to listen to feedback from both the team and the customers.
Listening to feedback from your team is vital for maintaining a good staff retention rate. Informally checking in with your team to see how they are getting on. It is also advisable to send out a more formalised feedback forms, which could even be made anonymous, to allow team members a dedicated space for providing their honest feedback. Be sure to address feedback with the team to reassure them that you are taking their suggestions and opinions on board.
For any business, customer feedback is crucial but is it particularly important if you are managing a field team as it may be that you have limited contact with the customers yourself. Provide customers with an easy way to give their feedback. This can then be used for both continuous improvement and testimonials for marketing purposes. Be sure to seek customers’ permission before publishing their feedback.
Field teams often travel frequently, meaning they have less time to be completing admin tasks throughout the working week. Automating as many processes as possible is an effective way to free up some of their time and empower your team.
Ask the team if there is anything that they would like to be automated to guarantee that anything you implement is going to be of use to them.