How to avoid the 5 biggest challenges facing field service businesses


Did you know that the field service industry is going through a growth spurt? The global field service management market is projected to be worth $7.10 billion (£5.9bn) by 2026, which is a $4.25 billion increase since pre-lockdown figures.

But what does that growth mean for your business? A lot of demand, but a lot of competition. Keeping ahead of the curve is more important now than ever, and businesses are racing to adopt new approaches to field service and operations.

This adds an extra set of challenges to the ones you’re used to as a field service manager: efficiency, communication and openness to new technology all come into their own as selling points when competing for new business.

Read on to discover how field service management software can address these challenges, and help you maintain a competitive advantage during this time of high demand and constant evolution.

1. Finding new business

Finding the next big job is always at the top of the list when it comes to the challenges facing field service managers. Even as you’re finishing one big job, you need to be bringing in the next one. And in this competitive landscape, it’s all the more important to keep your finger on the pulse when it comes to bringing in business!

Consistently winning jobs comes down to exceeding client expectations. These expectations are ever-changing, and businesses need to keep up with a very specific list of requirements in order to keep new customers coming in.

For example, we’re all getting used to regular updates on deliveries – from takeaway dinners to Amazon parcels. Your potential customers are no different and will respond well to companies offering technology to keep them in the loop. You can win them over with a client portal app, which will give regular updates and allow them to make or reschedule appointments.

At the core of these expectations is trust. Clients value honesty and dedication to the job,  allowing them to confidently trust you with their business. This means every point of contact counts, from your initial conversation to a quick and clear quote.

One of the most effective ways to demonstrate your company values is by sharing testimonials, reviews and referrals from previous satisfied customers. After all, 93% of consumers say that online reviews have an impact on their buying decisions.

2. Making data-based decisions

When it comes to avoiding field service challenges, it helps if you can anticipate them in advance. Success in the trade industry often comes down to understanding trends and using data to make the best possible decisions ahead of time.

Traditionally field service businesses rely on their employees to update documents and record key information, from inventory and costing to timesheets. If this sounds like your business, it might be time for a change! Manual data entry can be unreliable, and lead to poorly-informed decisions based on last week’s data.

Instead, you could upgrade to a field service management solution that gives you access to real-time data via a cloud-based system. This will give you a full picture of what’s going on across your business at a single glance. You can compare employees’ schedules, check your inventory, and calculate your costs all in one place, based on the most recent information.

This can reduce your response times, allowing you to make important decisions and adjustments on the go. Shorter response times mean happier customers and more likelihood of repeat business.

Accurate automated data collection can also lead to better reporting, based on real-time data, tracking the progress of your job from start to finish so you can monitor performance-driven results, make adjustments for optimum outcomes, and plan ahead for your next big job.

3. Managing assets

One of the biggest challenges for field service businesses of all sizes is dealing with equipment outages. Equipment is expensive, and poor maintenance management can result in unexpected expenses, lost productivity, hazardous working conditions for your employees, and dissatisfied customers.

Like it or not, the state of your tools and assets is central to what you can achieve as a business. From plant to power tools to vehicles, you need to closely manage your equipment, identifying its condition and preemptively booking it in for maintenance before it has a chance to malfunction on site.

Asset management software can help you avoid this issue altogether by automating your maintenance calendar and setting up regular notifications when it comes time to check assets in for a tune-up. 

This means you can plan around scheduled maintenance time by having spares at the ready, or scheduling work that doesn’t rely on the tool that’s in the shop. These preemptive measures help you to avoid unplanned downtime, maximising productivity and meeting deadlines.

Remember, a stitch in time saves nine! Regular preventative maintenance can help avoid costly breakdowns and replacements in the future, saving your business money and endless admin hassle.

4. Keeping customers informed

Let’s face it: things often change during a job. Your site can pose unforeseen issues, you may run into supply issues, or your customers may suggest a change. Through all this, it can be impossible to stick to your original deadlines and budgets.

Missed deadlines and unforeseen issues can cause frustration for your customers, potentially resulting in damaged relationships and bad reviews. But what if we told you that simply improving your communication processes could keep your customers on your side?

Field service management software can make sure your customers stay at the heart of your work, allowing them to track your progress in real-time, receive updates and notifications, and make and change appointments – all from a user-friendly portal.

By keeping your customers in the loop, you can set realistic expectations and then meet them, rather than making optimistic estimates then falling behind. You can also help customers prepare ahead of time for any interruptions or outages, minimising frustration.

Better communication builds trust, bolsters your company values, and increases the likelihood of customer referrals and recommendations.

5. Finding time for admin

A lot of the work that keeps a field service business running doesn’t actually happen in the field. We’re talking about the endless admin that keeps you and your team working overtime, filling in forms, rewriting reports, typing up handwritten notes, and managing finances.

Sometimes it feels like administrative tasks are keeping you from focusing on what really matters, whether that’s bagging the next big job or not working late to be with your family. But what if we told you that you were actually creating unnecessary drains on your time and productivity?

You can drastically cut down your admin time by investing in good all-in-one field service management software like Workever. This essential tool can automate repetitive tasks like form filling and allow you to create and complete records on the go.

From updating details about jobs in the field to filling in forms and recording client signatures, your fieldworkers will have more freedom than ever via the Workever app. Meanwhile our seamless field service management workflow will input their data into the right fields, making tasks like job costing, invoicing, inventory management and scheduling take a fraction of the time.

This simple step carries a lot of benefits, reducing the chance of errors, increasing your team’s productivity, and achieving faster turnaround times for your work orders and regular tasks. The only question left to ask is what will you do with all that spare time?

Rise to the challenge with Workever

Workever’s all-in-one field service management software puts your business ahead of the competition, helping you confidently win the jobs you want without worrying about common challenges.

Save yourself hours of admin work every week, improve customer communication and satisfaction, and keep your whole team in the loop with a cloud-based database and mobile apps.

The world of field service work is constantly changing, but with a good field service management solution in your toolbelt, you can come out on top. Start your free trial today and take field service challenges in your stride.

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