Running a field service organization is more complicated than managing the operations of many other types of business. Beyond accounting, customer service, marketing, administration, and the many other functions of a typical business, there’s also considerations of the technicians out in the field. Keeping track of scheduling, inventory, equipment, and customer satisfaction can feel like a whole second business in itself!
With so much to do, field service managers and business owners might feel like keeping up is all they can achieve. Boosting efficiency and quality won’t just improve your business and customer loyalty but will also make life easier! If you’re wondering how to improve your field services, read on.
Customer Expectations of Field Service Industry
Field service is one industry where customer expectations are quickly growing beyond the current capabilities of many businesses. With eCommerce and mobile technology transforming experiences in service industries like retail, hospitality, and even finance and healthcare, field services like HVAC, plumbing, and electrical are expected to keep up. Here are just some of the customer expectations field service organizations might be struggling to meet:
- Shorter Appointment Windows: An all-day appointment window is no longer acceptable to many customers. In fact, some are even willing to pay more for guaranteed arrival time. However, businesses must then be able to make good on those promises.
- Real-Time Service Updates: When a technician is running late, customers increasingly expect to be informed by text or email. Some field service organizations are standing out from the competition by sending a photo of the technician for security and privacy reasons.
- Fully-Connected and Informed Technicians: When the service professional appears on site, the customer expects they will know what service is needed and have the information to perform it. This includes knowing the service history, and access to the right inventory and equipment.
Field Service Industry Statistics
It’s not just our opinion that field services businesses are struggling to meet modern customer expectations. Studies and statistics reveal how well the field service industry is doing.
- 46% of field service industry leaders are concerned about meeting customer expectations.[i]
- 50% of field service organizations say quickly re-routing technicians to emergency calls is the most important success factor. 48% say informing everyone on the team of these schedule changes is the second-most important.[ii]
- 82% of customers have taken their business elsewhere after poor service.[iii]
- 32% of field service organizations are not achieving 80% customer satisfaction.[iv]
These statistics reveal the challenges and opportunities facing field services organizations today. Organizations know what factors drive their success and when they are not meeting customer expectations. The good news is, there is technology that helps field services companies go above and beyond to do even more for their employees, contractors, and customers.
Field Service Company Technology Opportunities
52% of field services companies are still doing things manually.[v] But technology and automation represent massive potential to alleviate many of the growing pains field services are going through. Field service management software allows companies to access new functionality and service opportunities. These include:
- Optimized Emergency Service Scheduling and Routing: Knowing each technicians’ schedule and location allows emergency jobs to be scheduled to the best possible expert. Along the way, GPS can help these workers choose the best and fastest route to avoid delays.
- On-Demand Service and Inventory Records: Once an expert arrives on-site, mobile devices like tablets or smartphones can provide them with a full picture of the service history. Integrated records allow the technician to see what parts and machinery are available and give customers an accurate idea of the timeline of repairs and service.
- Accurate Pricing and Billing: Integrated inventory also allows technicians to give customers a full understanding of pricing information. On the administrative side, the real-time reporting from the job site allows highly accurate billing. Plus, technology empowers repeatable invoicing that reduces manual labor each month.
- Customer Feedback Requests: Technology also allows field services companies to naturally solicit feedback from their customers to understand when things are going well and what can be improved.
The market for field services management software is expected to grow 11% by 2025 as technology like Internet of Things and automation gets more refined.[vi] As devices are able to communicate proactively with humans, it’s even possible that machinery like air conditioners, heaters, water softeners and more will communicate with technicians proactively to notify when service is needed. Innovations like these are just some of the reasons why field services companies must act now to implement technology and grow with the possibilities over time.
Best Software for Field Service Organizations
Choosing the best field services management software doesn’t have to feel like guesswork. At Circle City Software Solutions, our decades of experience helping businesses transition from manual to digital processes has given us a lot of insight. We stand behind the Acumatica field service management software platform as a highly-customizable out-of-the-box solution that can improve your field services after just a six-week setup period. We listen to the needs of your business and tailor the features and functions to meet your needs, all while keeping budget and timeline front of mind. We’d love to talk with you about why Acumatica is the right software choice to improve your field services now, and in the future.
[i] Gogh Solutions
[ii] Verizon Connect
[v] Technology Advice
[vi] Markets and Markets