How To Improve The First-Time Fix Rate And Reduce Return Visits In Field Service?

Field service can make or break a customer’s perception of a company. Poor service not only leads to unhappy customers but also costs companies significant amounts in return visits and lost productivity. Improving the first-time fix rate and reducing return visits are critical to delivering outstanding field service and keeping customers satisfied.

First-time fix rate or FTFR, But what does it mean?

Simply put, the FTFR is a metric used to measure the success of field service technicians in resolving customer issues on their first visit.

A high FTFR means that technicians can resolve issues effectively and efficiently on their first visit, improving customer satisfaction and reducing the overall cost of service.

So How is the FTFR Calculated? 

It’s a simple formula: the number of successful first-time fixes divided by the total number of service calls. The resulting percentage represents the FTFR. 

Having a high FTFR is not just about saving time and money. It’s also about delivering top-notch customer service.

Understanding the Root Causes of Return Visits

Before taking steps to improve first-time fix rates and reduce return visits, it’s essential to understand why they occur. Common causes include:

  • Inadequate training for technicians
  • Insufficient information about the issue
  • Incomplete or incorrect diagnoses
  • Improper or outdated tools and equipment

Building a Strong Foundation for Field Service Success

To ensure your field service team is equipped to tackle any job and deliver first-time fixes, consider implementing the following best practices:

  • Provide comprehensive and ongoing training for technicians.
  • Ensure technicians have access to accurate and up-to-date information about the equipment and products they service.
  • Invest in modern and reliable tools and equipment.
  • Encourage communication and collaboration between technicians, dispatchers, and other support staff.

Empowering Technicians with Technology

Leveraging technology can help improve first-time fix rates and reduce return visits. Consider implementing the following solutions:

Field service management software:

This type of software provides technicians with real-time access to customer and equipment information, as well as diagnostic tools, while they are on the job. It offers a suite of features designed to increase your first-time fix rate (FTFR) and reduce return visits.

By providing comprehensive information about the job at hand, technicians can ensure that the repair is done right the first time. Additionally, by using features like parts management, they can ensure to have the right parts on hand to repair, reducing the need for return visits.

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) technologies: AR and VR can provide technicians with visual aids and interactive simulations to help diagnose and repair complex issues.

IoT-connected equipment: Internet of Things (IoT) technology allows the equipment to communicate with technicians, providing real-time information about performance and potential issues.

Encouraging Continuous Improvement

Improving first-time fix rates and reducing return visits is an ongoing process. 

Encourage your field service team to continuously improve by:

  • Measuring and tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) such as first-time fix rates and return visit rates.
  • Encouraging technicians to provide feedback on the challenges they face in the field and what can be improved.
  • Celebrating successes and recognizing the achievements of your team.


Improving first-time fix rates and reducing return visits requires a multi-faceted approach that involves equipping technicians with the right tools, information, and training. By building a strong foundation for field service success, empowering technicians with advanced field service management software, and encouraging continuous improvement, you can deliver outstanding field service and keep customers satisfied. Upgrade your service today and experience the benefits of field service management software for yourself!

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