By Rick Agajanian, WorkWave
2020 presented more challenges and hardships than any of us were prepared for, but I do believe if you look closely, there were some positives among all the adversity. As field services are considered essential, the challenges technicians faced last year have forced growth upon service organizations that I am excited to see come to fruition. Elements of increased open-mindedness, greater creativity and agility, a collective surrender of comfort zones, and growth of augmented reality will spur these companies forth as 2021 continues to unfold.
As we head further into 2021, it's no longer about survival, it's about growth. How can we improve service capabilities to guarantee better customer engagement and productivity during a time of both physical and economic restrictions? Here are four predictions:
The "Openness To Change" Within The Field Service Businesses Will Stick Post-Pandemic
During the peak of the COVID-19 outbreak, field service companies and customers alike have had to get very comfortable with doing business differently. From a business perspective, companies are becoming open to being far more agile than ever before in terms of making faster decisions, being more flexible in meeting customer needs, and implementing and deploying technology that can help with business continuity. Customers also have become comfortable with the idea of remote service to minimize exposure. It’s crucial to keep in mind that serving customers today, specifically within the pest industry, compared to before the effects of COVID-19 have forever changed regarding customer expectations. Pre-pandemic, customers were far more adamant about having a field service technician on-site to complete a job. In 2021, I anticipate seeing more of this “openness to change” really stick amongst field service businesses and their customers simply because of this collective experience.
FSM Is Working Harder To Empower Employees In 2021
Organic growth amongst field technicians has declined drastically over the past few months due to changes in population demographics and prolonged unemployment from the global pandemic. Many companies are combating employees being out for long periods of time for health reasons and are finding themselves unable to meet customer demands. With that in mind, ensuring employees’ health and safety will be viewed as a competitive advantage within the field service industry in 2021. They are now even more focused on empowering their employees and giving them the confidence to be more self-aware and say “no” when feeling unsafe or ill on the job.
Augmented Reality Will Support Field Service Technicians In Every Aspect Of Their Work
Modern field service businesses are now being faced with a demographic shift in their workforce. Seasoned employees are reaching retirement age and younger technicians are beginning to take their place. To fill this gap, businesses need a way to simultaneously document the knowledge of the outgoing workforce and attract and train the new generation. In 2020, the technology that encouraged this knowledge transfer and allowed remote work and remote service to take flight was augmented reality. As we head further into 2021, we’ll see the need for this technology increase and become a strong value proposition for both internal and external parties. Field service companies who are lagging will need to get up to speed with augmented reality so when a crisis strikes, companies can persist with remote work and remote service if necessary.
Gaining New Customers And Growing Business
COVID has brought together several forces that collectively will assist in gaining new customers and growing business. First, it has created greater customer intimacy. Companies have gained more knowledge about what their customers want, but also how they operate. This greater understanding inevitably leads to the discovery of additional opportunities to provide value. According to WorkWave’s 2021 Pest Control Industry Survey, 71 percent of pest control business owners ranked driving leads and obtaining new customers as their top business goal for 2021. Businesses now more than ever need to remember that the customer experience is critical to sustaining the growth of a company. By building positive relationships with your customers and fostering brand loyalty and affinity, you can gain new customers and ensure a significant reputation in your field.
Field service is no longer reactive, it’s proactive. If your goal is to empower employees, increase customer engagement, and transform field service into a profit-generating arm of your business, these growing field service trends can help you pivot in the wake of COVID-19.
About The Author
Rick Agajanian leads the strategic direction of Workwave's product portfolio as the Vice President of Product Management. Rick is focused on creating great user experiences and leveraging the power of SaaS software to improve the operational efficiency for Workwave's clients.
For nearly 40 years, WorkWave has been building best practices into its market-leading field service and last-mile software solutions to allow companies to increase revenue and profit and become best-in-class operators who can outpace their competition. Its solutions empower service-oriented companies to reach their full potential through scalable, cloud-based software solutions that support every stage of a business life cycle, including marketing, sales, service delivery, customer interaction, and financial transactions. WorkWave is a trusted partner for thousands of customers across a wide variety of industries, including pest control, lawn care, cleaning, HVAC, plumbing and electrical, and last-mile delivery. WorkWave’s award-winning culture and solutions have been recognized in the SaaS Awards, the Cloud Awards, the American Business Awards, the NJBIZ Best Places to Work Awards, and the Stevie Awards for Great Employers.
WorkWave is a division of global enterprise applications provider IFS. For more information, visit workwave.com.