As recent headlines across top news sources indicate, inflation is a critical concern for numerous industries, including the field service industry. Moreover, global inflation is projected to increase by 6.7% in 2022, compounded by a decrease in global growth from 5.7% in 2021 to 2.9% in 2022. Likewise, resourceful field service leaders are already starting to look for actionable initiatives to combat inflation and prepare their companies for success in the future.
In this blog post, we’ll cover key highlights from ServicePower’s proprietary white paper, Fighting Inflation with Field Service Management; moreover, we’ve distilled the white paper into the top 4 tips to fight inflation in the field service industry. Equipped with this knowledge, field service leaders will be able to cut costs, drive efficiency, reduce risks, increase customer retention, and ultimately, improve field service ROI.
Top 4 Tips to Fight Inflation in the Field Service Industry1. Reduce Costs Through Technology
Implementing innovative field service management technology is integral to mitigating the negative impacts of inflation. By leveraging cloud-based, AI-driven field service management software, field service organizations (FSOs) are empowered to automate complex workflows, optimize efficiencies, and enhance the customer experience. Further, these benefits ultimately lead to increased productivity, reduced costs, and optimized ROI.
For instance, AI-driven scheduling and dispatching software ensures that the most qualified field service technicians are dispatched for every service job. With route optimization, parts and inventory management, and real-time access to customer data, technicians are able to arrive at appointments on time and are equipped to fix difficult issues on the first try. In addition, Augmented Reality (AR) can be used to help technicians superimpose 3D visualizations of part numbers or instructions over real-world equipment, as well as enabling remote diagnostics and triaging. For the detailed benefits of cost reduction through field service technology, download the full whitepaper, Fighting Inflation with Field Service Management.2. Drive Resource Efficiency
Reducing manual workflows and service redundancies are both critical factors in promoting the efficient use of resources and combating inflation. Furthermore, with manual workflows, there is a higher chance of incurring costly human errors, especially with fluctuating demand for services and the last-minute nature of service scheduling. By deploying the right field service management solution, FSOs are enabled to implement efficient workflows that are immune to the negative impacts of these last-minute changes. In fact, some field service software can increase the number of service calls completed per day, and even obviate repeat service visits and equipment downtime completely.
By pairing with IoT smart-home devices, advanced field service software allows FSOs to provide predictive maintenance services. This means that field technicians can remotely analyze equipment that needs to be repaired or replaced, even before any issue arises that could potentially lead to equipment failure or downtime. IoT-driven servitization is key to driving resource efficiency, as well as both technician and customer satisfaction.3. Reduce Risks and Increase Safety
Risks can be costly, dangerous, and negatively affect an FSO’s reputation and bottom line. With risks across operations, technician management, and customer service, FSOs need a software solution that can reduce risks across the entire organization. FSOs that invest in comprehensive training and onboarding software can build a safer and more skilled workforce that is less prone to workplace accidents. Cloud-based software can decrease the risks associated with organizing and storing technician and customer data. For instance, modern safety software with cyber security features can manage workforce device access, as well as mitigate sensitive data leaks.
In addition, eliminating duplicate or fraudulent claims can drive significant savings for FSOs. For instance, one ServicePower customer realized over $30 million in annual savings by eliminating fraudulent claims. While analyzing vast amounts of data is immensely difficult manual work, field service software can seamlessly and securely analyze every service transaction, providing accurate and safe results that reduce costly risks for FSOs.4. Improve Customer Retention
While customer churn has always been a critical concern for FSOs, it’s more important than ever with inflation on the rise. Since customer churn and inflation can both hurt FSO's profit margins, it’s essential that FSOs do not allow customer churn to increase during times of inflation. Likewise, FSOs must make an intentional effort to optimize their customer experience in order to increase customer satisfaction, loyalty, and retention. For instance, 89% of consumers have stopped doing business with a company after they experience poor customer service.
Field service software helps modernize the customer experience and demonstrates a “customer-first” strategy that provides numerous benefits. Software with a self-service customer portal is proven to optimize the customer experience by empowering customers to manage their own schedules, communicate with technicians via online messaging, and provide timely service feedback. ServicePower’s self-service customer portal has been recognized as visionary by Gartner for five years in a row, highlighting its ability to shorten interaction times for customers.
Securing Field Service Profits and Success in the Future
Combating inflation is a notoriously difficult task without the right tools; however, field service management software is the right tool to make this task easier. Armed with intelligent field service management software, FSOs will be prepared to implement cost-saving strategies that secure field service profitability and success. Powered by cutting-edge technology, field service leaders can reduce costs, drive resource efficiency, reduce risks, and improve profits via customer retention.
To learn more about fighting inflation with field service management software, download the comprehensive industry whitepaper.