Insight gained from field reporting can inrease sales, improve customer service and make operations more efficient. Here is some ideas to make your field reporting a success.
1. Define objectives and work backwards
Good reporting processes have clear objectives and produce results that are easy to understand.
Working backwards helps to plan the actual reporting process.
Picture your dream data set. Would a Yes/No statistic or a lot of open text answers help you make the decisions you need to make?
If you are sharing data with other stakeholders ask what is important to them.
2. Test and improve
Check that the report templates are logical and have phrases that are familiar with everybody.
After initial testing, interview users to make sure everyone is on the same page. Make adjustements based on feedback.
3. Make reporting easy
If the reporting process is smooth more people will do it.
Take a look at old data sets and see what kind of fields are empty. They most likely were hard to fill or seemed irrelevant for the respondents.
Try not to include open ended questions that do not support your objective. Instead use conditional questions, dropdowns and radio buttons.
One of our favorite data fields in Poimapper is what we call a “validation list”. It’s basically a search field that can contain an endless list of predefined answers. After every written letter the list of answer options is narrowed down until one is chosen.
Motivation can be a challenge especially when reporting is not part of the core work.
- Safety reporting. Reporting safety observations can easily feel like a fruitless extra task. How taking a picture of displaced traffic sign or missing safety equipment is ever going to make a difference?
- Maintenance workers capturing sales leads. It’s not the maintenance people who are typically responsible of sales. While they are at customer premises, could they report a renovation need? They might even estimate the potential work amount.
Make sure everybody understand the value of the data that is being collected.
Incentives and playful competition can be effective but after making an important safety observation or finding a new valuable lead, receiving swift praise and acknowledgement is often the best motivational boost.
5. Data access for clients
A great way to build trust is to give an easy access to reports for clients. Shared dashboards show that you are making data-driven decisions and continuously improving.
The amount of videos, pictures and sound recordings we share is increasing all the time. Simply because in many cases it works. People like to do it and it creates valuable understanding between onsite and offsite personnel.
Want to learn more?
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