The top 10 reasons most field service companies fail and how not to fall victim to these common pitfalls: Part 2

Don’t miss the podcast series for more details and conversation.

A collaboration series between Cilio Technologies and Berdan Consulting.

Many field service management companies struggle to find success. If yours is among them, it’s time to start thinking about why, and what improvements you need to make to turn things around.  

The first article in this four-part series covered Working IN the business instead of ON the business and why it’s so critical to make that shift. This time, we’ll focus on: (2) Understanding the cost of doing business, (3) The trouble with not communicating true value when quoting a price to potential customers, and (4) How the lack of follow up and proper communication with clients can be one of your downfalls.  

Here’s a closer look at the next three reasons field service companies ultimately fail. Use the tips provided to grow your business and finally achieve the success you’re after.  

2) Not understanding the true cost of doing business.  

When it comes to running a field service company, there are many variables that factor into the cost of doing business that often aren’t considered. It’s critical to look beyond the obvious product and labor costs and to think about other factors including insurance, vehicle maintenance, tools, training and rework, to name a few. Negative customer experiences also have a big impact, potentially leading to a major change to your income flow (and is why good, consistent communication is so important).  

To keep track of these variables, you need a step-by-step process that provides consistency and retention of margin—and that covers the entire experience, not just labor and craftmanship. Cilio’s CiO management software offers that, allowing for a customized layout and providing the steps necessary to track leaks in financial pipelines so you can take the appropriate action to seal them.  

Having this view of the business will help you better manage it, leading to increased growth. 

3) The company’s value isn’t being properly communicated. 

When you quote a job to potential customers, you must go beyond simply giving them a price and then hoping they accept. Instead, take the opportunity to talk with them about what makes you different from the other companies they’re considering. Sell yourself and the value of your experience. You’ll win a lot more bids this way—even when you’re not the cheapest option.  

In terms of cost, many customers only think about the “tools in hand” part of the project, but you know there’s so much more involved. Explaining what else they get for their money when they choose one of your contractors adds value to the cost of labor and is the real selling point. The key is to know your clients and the difference between what they want and what they need, and to be able to communicate how you can give them both. That’s how your estimate will stand out from the others sitting on their countertops, helping you win more jobs and grow your business.  

4) There’s not enough follow up.  

Effective communication is vital to any relationship, whether personal or professional. Yet, lack of communication is the No. 1 complaint clients have about their contractors. Remember, you’re being hired to work in someone’s home. Their personal space. They need to feel comfortable with the process, and that comfort comes from consistent, clear communication. That’s why it’s time to move away from the “say what you want to say” approach that so many field service businesses follow to the “say what needs to be said” approach that keeps customers better informed. 

Making this change will do wonders for your business. Customers will see the contractor performing the work as a professional, and as someone who cares about both their experience and the outcome. But how can you make this shift? You need the right software. Field service management software can capture all the points of the project that need to be communicated, and then automatically send the information to customers so they’re in the loop every step of the way—without adding extra work for you or your team. 

This level of communication will keep customers happy, even when there are hold ups or issues with the project. And happy customers are more likely to refer your business to family and friends, leading to further growth.  

The time to change is now 

Following these tips can help give you an edge in this competitive industry. Once you start making the right adjustments, you’ll bring in more customers and finally start experiencing success.  

The teams at Bill Berdan Consulting and Cilio Technologies can help. We want to give you the tools you need to avoid common pitfalls and build a thriving business.  

For more than 20 years, Berdan Consulting has coached small customer service and provisions businesses on how to develop and implement a vision of growth, guiding them through a customized plan designed to help them meet their clients’ needs.  

Cilio is the company behind field service management software that addresses order management challenges, helping installation service companies automate and streamline a variety of tasks to increase efficiencies and cut costs.   

Don’t hesitate to reach out to both companies if you have questions or need more guidance.  

Up next 

Check back soon for our next article. In Part 3 of this series, you’ll learn about the financial implications of exceeding the original job scope, the repercussions of refusing to embrace technology and all the time being wasted if you’re not automating certain tasks.  

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