Medium-sized businesses may feel trapped in a common dilemma. These businesses are too big to make do with free technology solutions, and need improved options to grow. But they are also not large enough to be able to pay enterprise-level pricing for high-end technological solutions. Almost all mid-sized businesses in the field service sector face this dilemma. However, to ensure company growth in an ever competitive field service business ecosystem, technological interventions like service management software are a must for field service businesses. In fact, all field service businesses, regardless of their size, must use tools to improve and scale in order to remain competitive.
In the absence of proper technological support, field services might face the following three challenges—
Growing profits can feel like a difficult task when so much of the time is spent managing the logistics and paperwork associated with client contracts. The whole process can get thrown out of whack once the company begins to grow. This could mean handling a larger workforce, modification in the pattern of work dispatch, in addition to changes in pricing and invoicing. It can also be difficult to prioritize different jobs as your company grows, especially if there is no standard way to get high-alert jobs to the front.
If customers' information, such as past service calls, location and preferences, is not easily accessible, customer service can also become difficult. So, essentially, a lack of efficiency in the back-end can be costly as well as time-consuming. If it is paper-based, it could also lead to human error.
According to McKinsey & Company research, increasing customer satisfaction can increase revenue by up to 15% and lower the cost of servicing customers by up to 20%. It sounds great, but how do medium-sized field service businesses connect with their customers?
Field service management software is a proven solution. This software manages a lot of back end work that can cut down on back-office time field service businesses spend, and increase efficiency. You can also easily change or reassign work orders by managing them centrally. Software enabled management of field service brings about a great deal of improvement in areas like dispatch, repair, and invoicing. Businesses can also easily access customer history to offer enhanced and proactive service.
Inefficiencies in terms of logistics
Logistics is another challenge in manually managed field services. Finding the right technician for a job itself is a daunting task as diverse skills, certifications and training may be required for different types of jobs. Whether HVAC or IT, every industry faces the challenge of getting the correct field service worker to the correct location on time. So, how can field service companies ensure that technicians don't have to travel too far between two consecutive service locations? How can they make sure they take the most efficient routes possible?
Field Service News reports that 50% to 60% of service man-hours go unutilized in travel time. How can we reduce high travel costs and inefficient logistics? Field service management software is one solution. It considerably reduces total time spent on travel.
Field management software allows managers to quickly find the closest technician by using a skillset search. As a result, technicians with the right skillset can arrive on time for the job best suited for them, and can work longer productive hours as they are not wasting time on travel. What is the result? Field service companies are able to cut down on unnecessary expenses.
Field force productivity
When technicians are sent out without the necessary tools and information to perform their jobs, they miserably fail. Technicians arriving at service sites without knowing their customer's past and the details of the order (including any modifications since the first time they received it) often cause poor customer experiences. This is a bad sign for the field services company. Worse, customers who are not satisfied with their service may end up filing a complaint.
Service management software bundled with a mobile app can be used to communicate with field technicians. Not only is communication possible but also updates and notifications can readily be made. This software also allows for the handling of emergency requests and the re-prioritization of work.
A technician can use the mobile app to check tasks and inspection checklists. This tool makes technicians more efficient and helps them plan what tools they will need for a specific task. This resource can also help technicians determine the steps they need to follow to complete the service call. This is helpful for technicians and the management alike.
Everything boils down to customer satisfaction
Subpar work leads to unhappy customers. Gartner reports that 70% of companies consider customer satisfaction to be the primary benefit from service management software. If you haven’t reaped this benefit yet, now is the time to do so.
Your field service business's long-term and short term growth will depend on how you approach field services today. And that is why it's important to overcome the above-mentioned challenges by using the suggestions offered. This will allow you to grow your service as well as offer more value to customers.