What are service technicians?

Service technicians are skilled workers that perform technical services on company and client equipment, including installation, upkeep, and repairs.

Nothing lasts forever. And when businesses and customers rely on essential hardware and equipment, they must accept the fact that eventually that equipment will fail. At the same time, new hardware often demands special training and unique skill sets if it is to be installed and configured to established specifications. Businesses that provide service support for hardware products need personnel with the right expertise who can perform maintenance and repairs in the field.

Service technicians are the equipment management and maintenance experts within a company who take responsibility for ensuring that vital internal and external hardware is functioning properly. Regardless of individual expertise or the specific industries they operate in, the primary function of any service technician is to handle service and repairs—whenever and wherever they might be needed.

As previously stated, service technicians are responsible for the installation, maintenance, repairs, upgrading, replacement, and removal of equipment for a company. When the equipment is located off-site, these tasks are handled by field technicians—a subset of service technicians.

Service technicians are the first and last line of defense in keeping hardware operating optimally. To this end, they must be intimately familiar with all relevant company products and equipment, able to effectively conduct analysis and diagnostics to identify possible issues, and know how to correctly operate all necessary tools to complete their assigned tasks. Specific responsibilities of service technicians include:

Equipment installation

Service technicians are involved with the installation of hardware and products. This means that they must understand not only how to install equipment, but also how to properly configure the equipment and integrate it with any existing systems. Once the hardware has been installed, service technicians are also responsible for performing initial tests to ensure that everything is functioning properly.

Routine maintenance

Performing routine maintenance is the most common job of service technicians. This includes following any established procedures, performing quality control, and conducting post-maintenance equipment tests.

Diagnosis and repair

Service technicians must be capable of thoroughly inspecting malfunctioning equipment and accurately diagnosing points of failure. Once all issues have been identified, the service technician must then create a repair solution, and secure any tools, parts, materials, or resources they may need to complete the repair task.

Documentation

In many cases, the service technician may be the only company employee on-site at the time of the work order. As such, every service technician must be able to fill out detailed reports on services that have been performed, along with clearly communicating any other relevant information.

Customer support

Field service agents are a major point of contact for clients and customers, acting as the in-field face of the organization they represent. To ensure a positive customer experience, service technicians should be trained in interpersonal skills. They should understand how to communicate with customers in a friendly and professional manner, educate users on proper device operation and maintenance, and clearly explain any issues involving equipment and repairs.

Compliance

In performing their duties, service technicians must be sure to keep their work and the equipment they maintain in full compliance with all regulatory laws and company policies. This includes meeting all relevant city, state, and federal regulations and requirements.

Most individuals who become service technicians must first gain at least a technical certification or an associate's degree. That said, some service technicians with only a high-school diploma or GED are still able to positions. In most cases, having relevant experience helps increase hiring chances. Approximately a fifth of service technicians have bachelor's degrees or higher. 

Beyond having the appropriate educational background, service technicians generally demonstrate certain skills and traits. These include the following:

Graphic outlining what it takes to become a service technician.

Equipment expertise

Service technicians should be familiar with the construction and purpose of all relevant technologies and equipment. They should also understand how to use a range of tools to help perform their tasks.

Soft skills

Field service technicians who work at off-site locations should be able to answer customer questions, explain procedures, and communicate billing and other information with customers. In many cases, they will be required to work in less-than-ideal conditions and should be able to responsibly manage stress while doing so.

Physical fitness

Service technicians may be required to lift and move heavy equipment, as well as work in confined spaces. Prospective technicians should be physically fit and in good health.

Time management capability

Although preventive maintenance, equipment installation, and upgrades can all be scheduled ahead of time, it’s not possible to accurately predict when equipment will fail. Service technicians must remain flexible enough to accommodate unexpected hardware issues when they arise, including after-hours or at extremely short notice. Proper time management allows service technicians to work around unstable schedules.

Technical document proficiency

Often, service technicians will encounter unknown issues or equipment they have no experience using. Service personnel should be able to quickly read and comprehend blueprints and other technical documents.

Attention to safety

Service technicians must always remain compliant with established safety protocols. They should demonstrate attention to detail and apply best practices whenever operating or working on company equipment.

When the equipment your business and your customers depend on fails, there’s a lot riding on your service technicians. Field Service Management from ServiceNow gives you the technology you need to manage all your service technician teams and tasks. Built on the award-winning Now Platform® and designed to operate seamlessly with Customer Service Management and IT Service Management, Field Service Management easily connects vital field processes with customer service and help desk solutions, for a complete, customer-focused approach to field service. 

Additionally, Field Service Management from ServiceNow provides automated scheduling and resource management tools, so that you can always make sure that high-urgency tasks are being prioritized and that the right work orders are being assigned to the technicians best suited to the job. Native apps give field personnel essential resources and support directly from their mobile devices, and customer-facing portals allow clients to schedule appointments and receive updates. Advanced reporting and analytics tools automatically collect and present data, using intuitive, real-time dashboards. And this is only the beginning.

See how ServiceNow is optimizing how Service Technicians operate; try Field Service Management today!

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