Though recent global events have launched customer demand for field services to sky-high numbers, it doesn’t mean there aren’t challenges along the way.
As field service companies strive to deliver top-quality service to customers, they encounter unique issues which might hinder their growth or productivity.
Ranging from streamlining payments to optimizing routes and smoothing out customer communication, field service companies have to navigate a multitude of daily tasks pertinent to their operations to succeed. Keep reading to learn more and how to work through them.
- What Are Field Service Companies?
- Current Industry Outlook for Field Service Companies
- Top 3 Field Service Challenges & Solutions
- Gain Insight Into More Field Service Industry Challenges & Solutions
What Are Field Service Companies?
Field service refers to jobs performed out in the field as opposed to on company property. Field service requires dispatching workers or contractors to specific locations—typically the customer’s location—to sell, install, repair, or maintain equipment or systems.
For example, pool cleaning businesses are field service companies because you obviously can’t bring your pool in for repair or maintenance. However, field service companies have rooted in nearly every industry, as 80% of the world’s workforce is now deskless and works in education, healthcare, hospitality, and more.
Current Industry Outlook for Field Service Companies
The global predictive maintenance market size is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25.2% during the forecast period, from $4 billion in 2020 to $12.3 billion by 2025.
This indicates tremendous growth for field service companies, especially those that operate in interval service industries, such as pool cleaning or lawn care.
Top 3 Field Service Challenges & Solutions
Running a streamlined field service business entails navigating an array of daily tasks to ensure operations continue. The top 3 challenges these businesses face include:
Issues with Invoicing & Billing
Billing and invoicing, which already presented challenges to business owners, became even more difficult this past year as both customers and field service companies sought out ways to avoid hands-on, personal interaction.
In research conducted by ProValet, regular service interval companies reported that invoicing customers and getting paid on time is their number one challenge. It can be difficult for customers to pay if that business is dependent on paper and pencil systems that require cash or check payments.
Field service interval companies report an urgent need for a system that offers automated invoicing, recurring invoices, and direct payments with QuickBooks Online and/or Stripe integration.
When customers are offered an easy way to pay their service provider, they are more apt to pay immediately instead of waiting days or weeks. This means the business gets paid faster and doesn’t waste time and resources chasing after customers for payment.
Sub-Par Route Optimization
The global route optimization software market is expected to grow from $2.50 billion in 2017 to $5.07 billion by 2023; this signals how companies are increasingly using geographic information systems (GIS) technology to optimize routes and save time and the fuel cost.
When operating a field service business, you don’t want your technicians to criss-cross town in a haphazard manner that wastes time, fuel, and accelerates the wear-and-tear on service vehicles. The routes your technicians drive every day should be optimized for efficiency so you can service more customers, deliver services in a timely manner, and ensure a wide array of needs can be met.
This is where GPS tracking for field service companies can be leveraged for success. By using sensor data and fleet telematics to track technicians’ schedules in real-time, companies can recover 20-30% of their time in the working day.
Once they’re on the road, a team of technicians can be easily monitored, routes can be integrated and planned out via Google Maps, and it’s possible to see who is at what job and track progress in real-time.
Poor Customer Communication
Business owners who want customers to keep using their service feel it’s important to ensure they’re involved in the process. After all, the customer self-service software market was valued at $7.20 billion in 2019, and it is expected to register a CAGR of 20.94% during the forecast period from 2020 to 2025. This projects significant growth in delivering solutions to ensure customer satisfaction, no matter the industry.
However, even those whose customers have a “set it and forget it” mindset report that they find it challenging to keep the channels of communication open for those times when customers want to interact. They understand that just one missed call or unopened email can result in a customer assuming they are not attentive to their needs, which makes them more likely to go somewhere else.
The customer communication problem facing many service businesses is further exacerbated by the fact that their communications are spread across multiple channels and are thus more likely to slip through the cracks.
Instead of trying to keep up with texts, emails, sticky notes, an office phone, and online form submissions, many field service company owners need an all-in-one solution within a client-facing app that would allow them to manage all communications from one place.
Gain Insight Into More Field Service Industry Challenges & Solutions
The ProValet team interviewed 200+ individual business owners nationwide to determine their main “pain points” in running their business on a day-to-day basis.
These top 3 challenges and solutions are only part of this extensive report titled “Top 5 Trends and Issues Affecting Regular-Interval Service Companies: Executive Overview of Trends and Issues Affecting a Fast-Growing Business Sector” that further details common issues and resolutions for field service companies.
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