Let’s be honest, there is nothing wrong with going after profits. That’s why you’re in business, to begin with. Every field service organization is after that next little bit of profit, carving out a revenue stream to make them a more profitable company overall. It is why field service management has focused so much on cost reduction tools, such as automation tools, Artificial Intelligence and field service management software. It’s all to try and reduce the number of time technicians and back-office staff are spending on tasks. And then putting that extra time onto other, expansion related activities.
But there are plenty of mistakes you can make in the pursuit of profit. Today’s field service organizations are under a lot of pressure to increase profits, and sometimes it leads them down a path to revenue leakage. Going the wrong way isn’t what anyone thought when after profits, but it can happen if you’re making these common mistakes.
Not investing in Field Service Management Software
Right from the start, one of the largest mistakes made is not investing in technology. Field service management software can be a tool that helps you avoid all the mistakes you are going to make. It offers a level of visibility into your business that you haven’t had before. Do you even know how much profit you are making on installation projects? How profitable are the preventative maintenance contracts you sign? Who is your most profitable technician and why are they the most profitable? These are all questions that field service organizations need to be asking themselves. But they also need the answers and field service management software will be able to provide them answers.
With field service management software, having access to this kind of analytics can point you in the right direction. Sometimes you don’t need to take on new business to be more profitable. You just need to better execute the processes you already do. Cutting down expenses adds more profit. And with Business Intelligence, you start to see problems before they become massive ones. You can make real-time decisions that will have a positive change in your business today. As opposed to finding them out weeks later and they have now become a trend.
Being a “Yes’ business without a plan
There is a saying that not all revenue is good revenue. Field service organizations who say yes to every job opportunity that comes might think they are earning revenue when really, they are running themselves thin. Some people just don’t like turning away a paying job. But if your business isn’t great at that kind of work, the profit margins might be so tiny and the upside so small that in the long run, you were better off saying no.
It’s common in project management, where field service organizations will take on an installation project that has slim margins in hopes they get the preventative maintenance contract as well. However, if it’s out of your range, it might be more valuable to pass on that project for something you excel at. Projects that you have an expertise in will be completed faster and come in under budget. As opposed to one you haven’t done before, where overhead may get costly and you need to bring in specialty assistance. It’s easier to charge more for the services you are great at and back it up with real results than taking on something you know very little about.
Opportunities with your own customers
Earning extra profit may just be a phone call away to your existing customers. If you ignore your customer data, you may be missing out on easy growth opportunities. Upselling to your customers is a way to generate more profit with someone you already have a relationship with. And you do that by looking into their data and seeing how a new service or product will benefit them. Perhaps you have a client who continues to call in for emergency repairs. That’s a great opportunity to upsell a preventative maintenance contract. Or if they keep having their equipment break down, there is a chance at a new installation.
By tracking your customer data, including equipment, you get a better insight into what they actually need. Don’t wait for the equipment to fail to offer your services. Beat the competition and be proactive in sales opportunities, rather than waiting for the customer to start the process. Field service management software can track all the little details, such as:
- How many service calls your taking for this customer?
- What is the nature of the calls?
- What parts are they using?
- Is equipment under warranty?
- Where is the equipment in its lifecycle?
Sometimes profit growth is just a phone call to a customer you already have.
Not looking inside your own business
Profit growth doesn’t always mean more service calls and more projects. Sometimes it’s just doing things better inside your own company. We mentioned with field service management software that it gives your business more tools to succeed by looking at analytics. But what field service management software can also do is start to reduce the time, expenses and processes that eat away at your profits and actually allow you to take on more service calls.
You can’t book more service calls for your technicians if you haven’t changed the scheduling and dispatch problems you had before. Using whiteboards and Outlook isn’t going to give your technicians an optimized schedule. By using things like routing tools to reduce driving, you not only save money on gas and repair expenses but also find the time to book more service calls with reduced travel. The same is said by giving technicians a mobile field service app to complete work orders. No more returning paper-based work orders to the office or having to pick up new ones when they change. Reduce the number of inefficiencies in your business and you will see profits increase, without having to increase the number of customers you have.
Stay focused on your customers
Every change you make will have an effect on your customers. Even adding field service management software to your business will change how you deal with customers. Don’t forget, without them, you have no profit, to begin with. Taking care of your customers properly is the best way to increase profit. It allows you to increase the price of service without worry they will leave. That’s because you have built a strong relationship and they know you can get the work done right, on-time and on budget. Field service management software will just make it easier for you to provide the highest level of customer service possible. And help you find new ways to increase profit, without it coming at the expense of your customers.