Insights gained from field reporting can significantly improve customer satisfaction and make operations more efficient. Here are some ideas to make your field reporting a success.
1. Define objectives and work backward
Good reporting processes have clear objectives and produce results that are easy to understand.
Working backward 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 share reporting results 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 adjustments 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 a 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 for sales. While they are at customer premises, could they report a renovation need? They might even estimate the potential work amount.
Make sure everybody understands 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 acknowledgment is often the best motivational boost.
5. Data access for clients
A great way to build trust is to give easy access to reports for clients. Shared dashboards show that you are making data-driven decisions and continuously improving.
Our users are sharing videos, pictures, and sound recordings more than ever. A picture can greatly reduce the need for writing and explaining. This leads to time savings and better understanding between onsite and office teams.
Want to learn more?
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