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Field Service Workers – Managing the Challenges

Field Service Workers – Managing the Challenges
08 September 2021 | Updated 07 September 2021
 

Martin O'Neill from Klipboard summarises the biggest challenges faced by field service workers in 2021.

Many field service businesses are turning to technology to solve ongoing challenges such as managing client expectations and how to effectively respond to emergency callouts. 

Klipboard asked Field Service Professionals what are their biggest challenges and made some suggestions on how to overcome them:

 

The Biggest Challenges Faced in Field Service

 

The Field Service industry is a highly competitive industry. Most businesses in Field Service operate in service-driven, price-sensitive markets where success and failure is determined by how well your particular business reacts to changes in your industry.

That’s why the last 24 months have been particularly difficult for Field Service businesses. The COVID-19 pandemic brought with it new challenges and the clients of Field Service businesses relied heavily on the ability of their partners to adapt to the changing environment.

Traditional challenges such as responding to emergency call-outs, keeping the downtime of their clients equipment to a minimum, securing parts and materials for repairs haven’t gone away. They are now accompanied by the challenges introduced with the changing expectations of their clients.

We asked field service professionals to rank which common challenges concern them the most and pose the biggest obstacle to their business this year. The majority of Field Service professionals voted "Finding new Business" as the biggest challenge of 2021. All of these challenges impact most businesses on a regular basis and can hold you back from growing your business or stop you from spending more time with your clients.

 

"Traditional challenges such as responding to emergency call-outs, keeping the downtime of their clients equipment to a minimum, securing parts and materials for repairs haven’t gone away. They are now accompanied by the challenges introduced with the changing expectations of their clients."

 

1. Finding New Business

 

Of all the challenges faced in Field Service, finding new customers is the biggest concern for businesses.

The demands of their clients put constant pressure on businesses owners. Client expectations are high and they have to avoid dropping the ball or risk losing their business to a competitor.

Your customers are now used to an "always on" approach to business and life and the lines between the two have blurred.

A reliance on apps and increased usage of video conferencing means what your client expects from the service they get from their food delivery is no different to their expectations of a field service partner.

You can meet these expectations by introducing better communication and automated responses to your job management.

When it comes to finding new business there’s lots of tried and tested tactics that businesses use, here’s a few:

 

  • Offer new customers discounts
  • Ask for referrals
  • Reconnect with previous customers
  • Attend networking events
  • Keep your website and social media up to date
  • Set up your Google Reviews page
  • Get involved in the local community

 

2. Scheduling Jobs for Your Team

 

This will be a very relatable challenge for many but some might not even realise their current method isn’t working.

Many businesses are still trying to organise their team using a combination of email and Google or Outlook calendars – it’s causing confusion and is not creating a positive experience for their clients.

A smarter solution is Job Management Software with scheduling and dispatch features. Klipboard’s drag and drop scheduler is the perfect tool to fix these issues for two key reasons:

 

  1. It’s an easy to use, all in one platform that seamlessly connects the operative’s schedule to their job and client information.
  2. When you get an unexpected call-out you can react in real-time. Klipboard makes it easy to see who’s available at that moment.

 

Our drag and drop scheduler is changing how field services plan out their week and if the unexpected happens they won’t disappoint their client.

 

3. Handling Communication With Your Clients

 

The global pandemic is likely to be the main reason communication appears high on the list of challenges faced in Field Service. The lack of face to face contact with their customer and the reliance on digital communication is proving difficult for many. Emails get lost, sent to spam, forgotten about. However, despite this your customer is much likely to expect constant interaction with their field service provider than before.

In a recent Online Customer Experience survey conducted by Convince & Convert they discovered 80 per cent of B2B customers expect real-time interaction.

For businesses that don’t have measures in place, handling constant communication with their client is putting extra strain on them. You can deliver an "Uber like" experience by automating communications through your job management software.

 

4. Keeping up With Admin

 

Many Field Service businesses are paralysing themselves with the admin they create. Re-writing paper reports from the field, correcting mistakes from poorly written notes and the endless chore of managing quotes, invoices and outstanding payments is a time drain for many field service businesses.

Job Management Software allows you to digitalise everything, record signatures from the client at site, take photos and upload details about the work carried out, without having to re-enter it back in the office.

You can cut out a lot of the admin and more of the mistakes by using digital forms. These are created by you for your business, so they are fit for purpose and simple to use.

 

5. Managing Field Service Finances

 

The least picked challenge but nonetheless an issue for Field Service businesses is managing their finance admin.

Quoting, invoicing and Purchase Orders all need to be raised and handled in order to keep cash flow healthy.

Plenty has been written about the impact of unpaid invoices. Forward-thinking banking services provider Monzo has written an insightful article on the real human impact of late payments, particularly on small businesses.

Klipboard helps you juggle your jobs and your finance admin by making it easy to sync the two. All your quotes and invoices are instantly viewable on our dashboard and our integration with Xero makes finance reconciliation super simple.

Get up and running on Klipboard straight away by starting a free trial today. Meet the challenges faced in Field Service head on, spend more time with your client and start growing your business today. Learn more.

Picture: a photograph of an engineer working on a roof

Article written by Martin O'Neill | Published 08 September 2021

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