We asked Field Service technicians and engineers what are their biggest challenges faced in field service in 2021?
Here’s a summary of those challenges, how to overcome them and why many field service businesses are turning to digital solutions to solve some of the same issues you might also be facing.
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 particular 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 down-time 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, here’s how they voted:
A 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.
In this report we will highlight what these challenges mean to your business and guide you towards solving a lot of these issues.
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 puts 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. If you would like to know more about that check this out.
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
If you’re interested in finding new revenue streams check out our article on some of the activities you could be doing: Learn more.
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:
- It’s an easy to use, all in one platform that seamlessly connects the operative’s schedule to their job and client information.
- 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 – Learn more.
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% of B2B customers expect real-time interaction.
For businesses that don’t have measures in the 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.
Klipboard will send out SMS and emails to your client to remind them of an upcoming service or even when your engineer is on their way. Our Client Portal is a sharable link you can use, so your client always has visibility of what jobs are coming up. Learn more.
4. Keeping up with the 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.
“Without Klipboard we would need to double our admin”
Fire Protection Services
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. Learn more.
5. Managing field service finances
The least picked challenge but none the less 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. Learn more.
We asked if you use Job Management Software
A lot of the challenges faced by field service businesses are more easily tackled by the smart implementation of job management software. However, less than half of all the people we surveyed said they use Job Management Software.
Despite many of the challenges faced in field service being job scheduling problems and increased admin, the slight majority of field service professionals surveyed don’t use software to help them.
What’s the most important factor when choosing a software partner?
We asked our respondents regardless if they use Job Management Software or not, what is the most important thing to them when choosing a field service software partner?
This highlighted the importance of software being easy to use (33% voted Ease of Use) and built with the engineer or technician in mind. Job Management Software has to be intuitive enough for everyone to pick up and run with it and adaptable to work in their specific industry (24% votes it Must work specifically for their market).
Klipboard is easy to use and smart enough to help you build your own forms, workflows and reports from scratch to match your particular needs. Alternatively you could simple use one of the many pre-made templates. It’s why we say, “Our platform, your way”.
Our dashboards give you complete visibility of your business from the jobs you’ve won, the status of your field finance finances and even a Client Portal that allows you client to see what jobs they have with you and even unpaid invoices and quote acceptance for future work.
Start a Free trial with Klipboard
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.
*Attest/Klipboard 2021. c.100 respondents all UK Based in Electrical Installation/Energy/Utilities/Oil & Gas/Engineering/Security sectors.