If you run a service-based business, you know how challenging it can be to manage the onsite aspects of your job.
Most work done in the home services industry happens within customers’ personal spaces. Because of this, these field services need higher levels of professionalism. A survey found that 66% of customers want businesses to respect and meet their expectations.
A field service management (FSM) system can help meet this rise in demand.
A good FSM system organizes things like scheduling, dispatching, and inventory. It helps technicians provide premium services.
It also enables employees to focus on the job while the details are covered and accounted for.
Let’s look at how you can use FSM in your business.
Why Is Field Service Management Important?
Home service companies often offer a wide range of services. Technicians, therefore, juggle many tasks. Field service management is used to help keep track of resources and coordination.
FSM provides centralized systems to manage onsite operations. These systems help to manage and organize operations. They can be an essential tool for home service providers.
Ensuring Customer Satisfaction
FSM solutions help to improve the customer experience. You’ll improve communication, scheduling, and payments. And they get smoother, more professional service in the end.
Field service management can help your business keep up with these demands.
FSM can help save businesses money by:
- Optimizing routes to save fuel and time
- Ensuring time and resources are used wisely
- Reducing the need for administrative staff
- Increasing revenue by improving the customer experience
Increasing Field Service Job Efficiency
Service management combines fieldwork and office operations. Many businesses have had great results since using FSM systems. About 75% have seen an increase in employee productivity.
These systems reduce the need for busy work. This gives employees more time and energy to focus on the job.
Maximizing Company Scalability
As your company grows, FSM can help you scale your business. FSM can provide data to inform decisions. Companies can use the data to see how well they’re doing. Then, either add or decrease services.
FSM can streamline operations. Business owners are more able to meet client demands swiftly and efficiently.
Using effective field service systems can help your business stand out. Only 42% of businesses are using field service management software.
These systems can improve business functions and draw in more customers. Using them helps you stay ahead of competitors.
Essential Elements of Field Service Management
FSM simplifies the process of implementing services. You know ahead of time that technicians have everything they need to complete a job. Once a job is scheduled, you’ll reduce the risk of mishaps, late arrivals, or scheduling conflicts.
Field service management tools help with:
Scheduling and Dispatching
Schedule jobs according to an employee’s skills, location, and routes. FSM can then dispatch workers that are closest to job sites.
Work Order Management
Field service systems help funnel work orders. These systems help businesses categorize and navigate busy workloads.
Base categories on availability, resources, and job size. The added organization ensures employees are not assigned jobs without the necessary resources.
Customer communication is accessible to all employees through FSM. Collect any communication into one location. Condensing it prevents information from being overlooked.
FSM even sends reminders to customers about upcoming appointments. This allows easy cancellation, changes, and a heads-up for clients and technicians.
Real-Time Technician Tracking
Locate technicians while they’re in the field with GPS trackers. Tracking improves response time, scheduling, and routing.
Customers can also access the location of their technician. They can stay informed of estimated arrival.
Technicians can communicate any reason they may be late. Customers can then plan around arrival times.
Technician tracking services also allow for real-time routing between jobs. It can account for traffic and other conditions. The routes can be adjusted for faster arrival times.
With an efficient route, technicians can save time and fuel. Which, in turn, saves money.
Track inventory while on the job. FSM helps make sure employees have the equipment they need. Reports also show when you need to restock, so you’re never without.
Comprehensive Data Reporting
Condense all data and business reports into one place. FSM allows access to statistics. The data includes things like sales, feedback, and revenue.
Organize and simplify everyday asset management. Business owners can access asset information in the FSM database.
Many companies still complete field service work by hand. Yet, 80% of technicians feel mobile FSM technologies will boost productivity. Mobile services let technicians access client files and add data from anywhere.
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What Is Field Service Management Software?
Field service management software helps coordinate job components. The software supports operations through user-friendly, automated databases.
These systems help manage the moving parts of field service operations. They free up technicians to focus on the work rather than organization.
Client files, company data, and inventory details are often needed on the job. Field service software provides real-time access to important data.
Software can improve the employee and customer experience in areas like:
Automated Invoicing and Payments
Field service software can be integrated with programs like Quickbooks. So, field technicians can manage customer accounts from the job site. Improved payment methods can simplify the customer experience.
Managing Customer Expectations
Technology is becoming more integrated into our daily lives. Because of this, customers are beginning to expect a streamlined experience. A high number (89%) of customers expect on-demand technology for scheduling.
Lessening the Load for Field Service Technicians
FSM software reduces the need for technicians to manage the little details. According to recent research, FSM leads to increased employee productivity.
Reduce the need for busy work. Then, employees can focus on the job at hand.
Reducing Scheduling Conflicts
Reduce scheduling errors by using advanced work order management. Technicians are scheduled based on their skills and the proximity of each job.
GPS Fleet-Tracking Capabilities
Fleet-tracking software can give you a real-time map of a technician’s location. This helps with route planning and ensuring employee safety. FSM software can dispatch the closest employees to job sites.
Access to Service History
Mobile technologies give employees access to a client’s file from anywhere. Over 50% of employees see not having access to a site’s service history as their greatest obstacle.
Technicians can view history and data to make sure that they are up to date before each job.
Performance Management and Indicators
Business owners can access statistics that show how well their company is doing. This data-driven software produces stats that show various performance indicators.
This data also shows where an employee, service, or financial investment could improve. Business leaders can use this information to boost performance.
Tedious automated tasks can be simplified through FSM. There’s no need for many data systems. This software can condense it all together. All company and client data will be accessible from one place.
How to Pick the Right Field Service Management Software for Your Business
Selecting the right field service management system can feel daunting. Many software companies are offering FSM. Yet, they each offer varying services.
It’s important to concentrate on what your business needs are. Then, compare them with what different FSM solutions actually provide.
Here are a few ways to navigate your options:
Know What You Want and Where You Need Help.
Identify what aspects of field service management could improve your business. Run performance reports or request input from technicians. Technicians might offer insight into some of the day-to-day functions that need improvement.
Knowing what you want to focus on will help you dial in what you’re looking for.
Match Pain Points to Product Features.
Next, match those weaker areas with product features. As mentioned above, FSM services can specialize in different things.
Do you need help with scheduling or with product inventory? Both? If you can identify what areas you want to automate, you can focus on software that caters to those needs.
Research the Credibility of the Company.
Like any business, FSM software can take time to build reputable services. It’s good to know how long the business has been around.
Consider reading customer reviews. This will give you a good idea of how happy their customers are.
Evaluate the Price Points of Each FSM Software.
Know your budget and stick with it. If you’re trying to streamline services to save money, you want to choose your program wisely.
Smaller companies can expect to pay around $20 a month or $500 a year. Larger companies are looking at around $300 a month to $5,000 a year. These prices vary based on the services provided.
Research Mobile Management Services.
Investigate which services offer the best mobile management options. Make sure that these services work with the devices that your technicians use in the field. These systems should be easily accessible to the whole team.
Integrate Pre-Existing Software.
Before you choose FSM software, check that it is compatible with your other software. Your business’s CRM, billing, and API software should integrate smoothly.
Complicated integration processes are a headache. Try to find a system that can merge your software easily. It shouldn’t create a technological mess.
Field Service Management (FSM) Solution vs. Mobile Workforce Management (MWM) Solution
These two software options are similar but have some distinct differences.
FSM focuses on the onsite activities of service technicians and employees. MWM is designed to manage the entire mobile workforce.
FSM is better for increasing productivity. It also excels at improving customer satisfaction and managing field operations.
MWM is geared toward performance management, shipping tracking, and task management.
FSM may be the better choice for companies that are service-based. MWM caters more to companies whose operations are entirely mobile.
4 Tips to Improve Field Service Operations
FSM should be a helpful tool for your business. But before you make major decisions, there are a few steps you can take to prepare.
Organize Your Schedule.
This is a great first step to improving company operations. Efficient scheduling creates more efficient job execution.
- Group services together. Find jobs that are in similar neighborhoods or require similar equipment.
- Assign the right employee to the right job. Consider location, skill set, and availability.
- Minimize travel times by routing between jobs.
Appoint and Train a Field Service Manager.
Assigning someone specifically to this role. Create a team leader who helps keep everyone on track. They can oversee and set the standard for field service practices.
This manager can also handle the details that FSM software might otherwise organize.
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Get Your Employees on Board.
Establish a field service manager. Then you can start to train your employees. More training and technological information is desired by 75% of field technicians.
Your business may use FSM software or not. Either way, your employees should all be up to date. This is a huge step towards guaranteeing a quality customer experience.
Use Select Services.
Field service management covers a large scope of processes and technologies. You may want to start with the basics. Get familiar with how you want to handle FSM. It can look different for every company.
Choosing what services you want to integrate can depend on many variables. Consider company size, services, affordability, and scalability when deciding.