There’s no denying that field service companies are rapidly growing in popularity which makes it harder at succeeding early on. But what exactly does it mean to run a field service company today? What kind of expectations should field service clients have? And how can field service managers set their own expectations while also providing excellent client service? In this article, we’ll explore these questions and more. With the rise of technology, there has been a rise in the number of companies offering field services such as maintenance, technical support, repair, installation, monitoring — even security guard services. These businesses offer a wide range of different services in order to keep customers happy and productive.
As a field service owner or manager, it is essential to understand exactly what a customer expects from your organization. This will allow you to provide exceptional client service, increase profitability, build strong relationships, and create long-lasting partnerships.
1) Set realistic goals. Whether they’re short-term or long-term, field service organizations must be extremely clear about expectations regarding performance. If your goal is simply to make money without regard for customer satisfaction then you won’t succeed. You need to have clear, measurable expectations so you know when you’ve achieved them.
2) Know your competition. It seems obvious but many owners don’t realize just how much competition exists in any given market. Many companies compete on price alone. However, some field service businesses use other tactics to gain an edge. For example, one business might focus heavily on training new employees. Another might invest its resources into developing systems and processes. A third may specialize in niche markets, while another focuses almost entirely on small and mid-size businesses. The key here is not to try to emulate someone else. Instead, think about whether your field service firm offers something unique that sets it apart from the crowd.
3) Understand customer needs and desires. If you’re going to sell products, people tend to want three things out of those products: quality, reliability, and availability. Those concepts translate to field service firms. When running a successful field service business, it becomes very important to consider the following areas: Customer Satisfaction, Quality & Reliability, and Availability. How can you ensure both quality and availability? One way is to monitor service calls and respond promptly whenever possible. As far as reliability goes, some businesses specialize in providing only high-frequency maintenance activities. Others develop highly reliable processes and procedures for performing routine tasks.
4) Develop your brand. Most field service brands are built around a core value proposition that emphasizes customer care and responsiveness. Make sure you communicate your core values to others at all levels, including your staff. Your team members should feel empowered to help define and implement your strategy. They should believe in the mission behind the brand and act upon its principles consistently.
5) Offer flexible solutions. Although some customers would like to choose their suppliers based on price, most really appreciate having flexibility with pricing options. Consider giving customers the option to pay month-to-month instead of annually, making it easier to move costs into the future. There are many innovative ways to work with customers. Find what works best for you and your organization.
6) Be consistent. All great businesses are characterized by consistency. Field Service Pros need to be able to rely on their reputation throughout the industry. Customers will expect consistent results across all aspects of their experience. This also includes maintaining good communication between themselves, your company, and your field support personnel.
7) Communicate continuously. Field service pros need to constantly seek feedback from customers. Some industries require continuous communication. Other types of businesses can get away with less frequent communication, particularly if there’s no reason for customers to call back. Whatever method is used, however, it shouldn’t be sporadic. Customers should be able to count on receiving regular updates about everything from current prices, changes to policies, upcoming events, etc.
8 ) Never lose sight of why you started. Every business needs a compelling purpose. Do you want to make a difference through your products or does every day seem like “Groundhog Day”? Regardless, keep this thought front and center. Focusing on profit without a meaningful purpose isn’t sustainable. This means that even if you initially establish your business to earn money, you should always remember why you started in the first place.
9) Don’t forget the basics. Every field service business has several fundamental factors that must be kept intact. For example, field services companies should never overlook quality control measures. Field support professionals should have an established process for responding to customer complaints. And they should regularly evaluate how well they handle requests for information.
10) Seek outside counsel and technical expertise early. To avoid unnecessary mistakes and unforeseen issues, later on, field service businesses need to take proactive steps to ensure success. Whether it’s hiring key employees or consulting with local vendors regarding accounting and technology, these decisions should be made early on. Once you’ve settled on which direction to go, don’t hesitate to ask for advice from experts. You may find that the advice you receive leads you in a completely new direction.
It’s important to set expectations, but also understand everything can’t go perfectly. When things do go wrong, be sure to learn from each situation so you can improve upon it next time around. We know there are some rough times in field services, but if you can overcome them, you’ll see the rewards sooner rather than later. Set yourself up for success early on, even if it can be a little extra work.
I’m Shannon Walsh. I run an award-winning landscaping business with my husband in Massachusetts. I created ezbz.app because I wanted a simple, mobile way to make and manage work orders. Like many owner-operated companies, I used to spend my days landscaping, meeting with customers, managing the crews, and would still have to make sure the next day’s work orders were ready to go. I have saved so much time with ezbz.app that I started a second business. I love dogs, sleep, and the beach. Visit my LinkedIn to learn more about me.