Most field service organizations, or FSOs, are cost centers. However, some look to redefine their status from costing their company money to making their company money.
FSOs that successfully evolve from cost center to profit center take the following steps to boost revenue:
1. Define and articulate an outstanding service.
That starts with knowing what your customers want, i.e. faster response times, proactive service, real-time visibility, tailored solutions, less paperwork, and user-friendly interface, to name a few examples. In addition, have a good grasp of what makes your service unique and coveted in the marketplace. Then, communicate it to existing customers to remind them why they chose you and to prospective customers to inform them of what they could be getting if they make the switch.
2. Know what makes customers tick.
If customers have a difficult time dealing with your field service organization once, they will cringe at having to do it again. Identify and smooth over the rough patches in your customer’s journey from initial contract to service appointments. Then, look for ways to surprise and delight with value-add services and helpful interactions, worthy of referrals. It will bring you repeat business and referral business.
3. Improve internal systems and processes.
FSOs with a robust technology foundation, like Microsoft Dynamics 365, don’t have to rely on manual (a.k.a. error-prone and slow) steps to convey information, share data, and collaborate with team members. Implementing the right technology stack will increase internal alignment, productivity, and profits too.
4. Leverage technology for the sake of the customer.
Our reliance on mobile devices is increasing; we use it to access the Internet, check email, watch shows, monitor our heart rate and get directions. Mobile technology can also bridge the gap between the home office and field techs and between field techs and your customer. That level of connectivity sets you up for increased efficiency and a better customer experience. Imagine: your field tech has all the customer’s history on her mobile device, arrives with all the necessary parts in her truck, bills the customer right from her phone, and has the customer sign right there too.
5. Maximize the power of the Internet of Things (IoT).
Rather than reacting to customer requests, FSOs can proactively offer services before a customer calls to report an issue. IoT technology means that devices are connected, and as a result, they can send and receive data without the need for human intervention. So, the device can automatically inform FSOs of poor performance, which reduces downtime for your customer’s organization. The result? You’re a hero in your customer’s eyes.
6. Track data to uncover insights.
Customers are increasingly expecting personalization. FSOs that adopt technology that can gather and analyze customer data are better equipped to identify trends, customer likes and dislikes and cross-sell or upsell opportunities. Profit-oriented FSOs also correlate customer data with sales and profit margins to classify which customer groups and service offerings are most profitable and have greatest growth potential. Converting data into actionable insights leads to customer-centric experiences and revenue growth.
7. Understand that field techs are critical to success.
Remember that your field techs can be your most effective sales and marketing channel. They interface with the customer directly and they have a tremendous impact on the customer’s perception of your FSO. Train your field techs to be consultative, value-add partners and proactively helpful.
A path to profitability for field service organizations is possible. Make decisions that will increase revenue and reduce costs, and track key performance indicators so you can show an ROI.
Want more? Download the 9 ways to make your FSO a profit center!