Field service organisations need to become more efficient and fix a problem on the first visit, according to a new study commissioned by Trimble, the building construction solutions provider.

The study, which surveyed 2,000 adults in the UK, revealed that 52% considered fixing the problem on the first visit to be the leading factor in determining their satisfaction. Yet, one in four participants reported that a return visit was required. The most common reason for a return visit was that the tradesperson lacked the appropriate tools or parts (40%), while some tradespeople were revealed to be lacking the appropriate skills (27%).

"Clearly, operating a skilled and efficient mobile workforce is critical to meeting customer expectations. To achieve that, organisations need real-time access to information about the performance of workers in the field," said John Cameron, general manager of Trimble's Field service management division.

"There is technology available that provides technicians with the visibility they need to get to the right place at the right time, with the information they need to do their job correctly the first time. Customer expectations are only going to increase, so having the infrastructure in place to meet and exceed these expectations is critical to keeping customers happy."

Respondents are also unhappy with wait times. More than 50% considered one to three hours an acceptable appointment window, yet few had experienced this, with 32% reporting wait times of between four and nine hours. Forty percent of consumers claimed their biggest frustration with using a service provider was long appointment slots.