Transitioning from a cost center to a profit center can ensure the success of your field service organization in 2021. A ‘cost center’ is a division or operation within an organization that is tied to costs and does not directly control the revenue it generates. On the other hand, a ‘profit center’ has control over the revenue it generates, and is designed to continue generating more.
This blog post aims to help you achieve this transformation by outlining five actionable tips to reshape the way your field service organization realizes revenue growth.
5 Tips for Transitioning from a Cost Center to a Profit Center1. Understand and Focus on Your Value
Revenue is a direct result of customers paying for a valuable service. This means that in order to increase your revenue and make a profit, your field service organization needs to provide a useful service, and also articulate that value to customers. If your service is not valuable to customers, they will eventually leave. If you don’t provide a compelling enough explanation of your value, they will choose a competitor that does.
Before your field service organization can transform into a profit center, this value needs to be explicitly identified and explained. If your value isn’t immediately clear, think about what makes your services unique, how your services are better than your competitors, what customers say about your services, and what type of words you want to be associated with in your marketplace. Once you’ve identified this unique value, you can begin to incorporate it into your internal and external communications. By speaking in terms that emphasize your value, you reinforce your focus on revenue and jumpstart your transition to a profit center.2. Emphasize the Customer Experience
Providing a seamless customer experience illustrates that your customers are your main priority, which leads to improved competitive differentiation, customer loyalty, retention, and revenue. According to Salesforce research, 80% of customers say that the experience a company provides is as important as its products and services, with 57% reporting having stopped service with a company because a competitor provided a better experience. Likewise, customers with a positive emotional experience are six times more likely to buy, twelve times more likely to recommend the company and five times more likely to forgive a mistake.
Field service organizations can improve their customer experience by intentionally lessening friction along each step of the customer journey. In 2021, this includes empowering customers with a self-service customer portal. In fact, ServicePower was recognized in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Field Service Management in 2020 for its popular customer portal, highlighting the ability to shorten interaction times for customers and the time it takes to achieve ROI.3. Leverage Mobile Technology
Embracing the digital transformation is a critical component of transitioning to a profit center in any industry- and in the field service industry, leveraging mobile technology is more important than ever. With technicians consistently working on the go, their success is dependent on the ability to access real-time information about work orders, parts and inventory, and customer payments all on the road. Leveraging mobile technology ensures that every technician has access to this information, allowing them to provide the best service possible, every time. This improves both your first-time fix rate and your customer experience, increasing your ability to continuously drive revenue.4. Employ Internet of Things (IoT) Technology
Internet of Things (IoT) technology is disrupting the field service industry by expediting data sharing. With connected IoT devices that can send and receive data, the idea of waiting for a device to break before requesting service is a thing of the past. IoT triggers make predictive and proactive maintenance possible, meaning that your organization can proactively service critical repairs for your customers before they malfunction or cause inconvenient issues.
Furthermore, leveraging predictive maintenance technology is one of the Top 5 Field Service Trends in 2021. Looking forward, it is expected that customers will buy more devices to reduce the need for cumbersome last minute repairs, and the field service companies equipped for predictive maintenance will be set up to profit from this increase in revenue.5. Optimize Scheduling and Inventory
Optimizing scheduling and inventory management is critical to cutting down on needless costs that prevent a company from becoming a profit center. When there are last-minute changes to schedules, technicians are not assigned for the right jobs that align with their skills, or there is a lack of transparency into available parts and inventory for a job, time and money will inevitably be wasted fixing these mistakes.
Intelligent Schedule Optimization leverages AI technology to optimize complex service schedules in real-time, ensuring that last-minute changes do not negatively impact the service experience. With the use of configurable business restraints, the most qualified technician is selected for each service job. Moreover, intelligent inventory management enables technicians to retrieve the right parts for the job along the optimal route.
By scheduling and dispatching the most qualified technician for each job and ensuring that they have access to the information and parts they need, you can improve your first-time fix rate and your customer experience. Instead of wasting time and money fixing scheduling and inventory errors, you can provide better service and more of it. This increases your revenue and enables you to turn your valuable services into a profit center.
Ready to start your transition to a profit center? Get a custom demo with ServicePower and start improving your time to ROI.