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Earning profit is very important in the realm of business because no company can remain in business without, first of all, breaking even, and then turning a profit. The profitability of your business impacts a host of other factors such as whether you can secure financing from a bank or attract investors to fund your operations and grow your business.
Many field service businesses today are actively looking for ways to turn their operations into significant revenue generators. This is because a majority of service centers have long been operating at minimal profit margins or as outright cost centers—that is, parts of a business that do not generate revenue directly but still incur costs to the business
Hence, there is now widespread recognition in the field service industry of the need to re-strategize and find ways to shift the departments in a business from cost centers to profit centers. The easy formula to achieve this contains two elements: reduce costs and begin generating revenue. However, in today’s business economy, making this shift involves a lot more than that.
In this post, we will be examining two major tips for shifting field services from cost centers to profit centers in order to increase the profitability of your field service business.
1. Your Field Service Technicians are Your Hidden SalesForce
Not many people knew this before, but your clientele will always be more likely to trust the expertise of your field service technicians than a salesman with a lesser level of know-how in the sphere of your particular service. While out on the job and dealing with customers, your field service technicians exhibit their knowledge and skill to the customers. This makes it easy for clients to trust any advice that your technicians may offer, putting them in a great position to recommend and even upsell further services and products to the clients.
Therefore, like field service business owners or managers, you need to equip your technicians with everything that they need to be the perfect salesmen, from necessary technology to adequate information and client data. In addition, you must train your technicians to be able to identify sales opportunities as well as ensure that they know the quickest and most effective ways to make a further sale with a customer. Most importantly, your field technicians should be providing the best services possible so that the customers stay happy and satisfied, leading to improved customer retention rates and higher long-term profits.
For your customers to want to pay for your services, they must first recognize the great value your services bring to them. Thus, you must identify this value and commit to ensuring that your business continuously provides the level of service that is worthy of your customers’ hard-earned dollars.
2. The Value of Technology
As originally mentioned, shifting from cost centers to profit ones requires innovation that reduces costs and generates more revenue. One of the things that this implies is improving business efficacy at every turn and one way to do this is by embracing technology. By implementing the right technology, you can gain useful business insights into the areas where unnecessary spending is taking place and where money can be saved e.g. through the renegotiation of certain supplier contracts.
Let’s look at a few top examples. The implementation of predictive maintenance tech (IoT) enables the shift of field service management from a reactive approach to a proactive approach where professionals are deployed before any issues may even arise or before a customer even knows about a problem. This will help your business to save on repair costs, prevent downtimes, and boost customer satisfaction.
Effective time tracking software is another excellent tech solution to facilitate the increase of field service profits. Time tracking software enables your technicians to keep highly accurate data which is invaluable for processes such as scheduling, wage calculations, project management, and so much more. Effective project management and scheduling boost productivity which will, in turn, boost profitability. Accurate hourly wage calculations help to prevent losses in the form of overpaying or mistakes in the form of underpaying; plus, when employees know that all their paid hours will be accounted for, this enhances their productivity.
A final example is the integration of CRM (customer relationship management) tech, which is a technology for the management of all your business relationships and interactions with customers, including potential customers. This tech helps to optimize the scheduling and dispatch of the appropriate technician(s) to respond to a customer call, identify possible upsell opportunities, and ensure the dispatched technician is equipped with all the necessary information required to resolve all issues on the first visit.
The ability to effectively achieve customer satisfaction will not only put your field service ahead of the rest but also increase your profitability. Therefore, your field technicians need to be furnished with all the essentials to achieve this customer satisfaction and ultimately transform your field service operations from a cost center to a profit center that can compete and win in today’s service economy. Try Atto now to equip your workforce and start turning your business from a cost center to a profit center!