The top 10 reasons most field service companies fail and how not to fall victim to these common pitfalls: Part 4

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

A collaboration series between Cilio Technologies and Berdan Consulting.

The field service industry is competitive. Those who don’t adapt to change or who refuse to invest in the technologies designed to advance field service management will fall behind—and many won’t survive. Don’t let that be your story.  

We put together this four-part series to help businesses that are struggling finally find success. We’ve covered a lot of ground, first looking at the importance of working IN the business instead of ON the business. Then, in the second article, we tackled understanding the cost of doing business, the trouble with not communicating true value when quoting a price to potential customers, and how the lack of follow up and proper communication with clients can be a downfall.  

Last time we focused on the dangers of exceeding the original job scope, how refusing to embrace technology will hurt your business and the problem with not automating tasks. To wrap up the series, we look at the impact of refusing to change, the importance of building a strong team and why it’s so critical to talk that team up to potential customers.  

Are you ready to elevate your business? Read on for our last set of common pitfalls and expert tips on how to avoid them.  

8) The owner refuses to change.  

Many people struggle with change. The fear of the unknown holds them back and keeps them from meeting their full potential. Field service business owners are no different. Many contractors are willing to live with their current struggles rather than deal with the perceived new struggles that come with change. They pass on new materials and software that could save them time and money, for example, convincing themselves it’s better to stay the course. In reality, it’s detrimental to their business.  

And many of these owners are also short sighted. They focus on solving problems today, but fail to look for long-term solutions that can build success for the future. Those with this mentality and a resistance to change will certainly struggle to stay afloat.  

Once you embrace change, you’ll start to see results. Implementing technologies like field service management software, for example, will allow you to automate tasks, freeing up more time in your day, and even help attract new, younger talent that would expect to be using their phone versus working off paper. Your business will benefit from improved efficiencies, customers will have a better experience and employees will come to work happier each day—all critical to growing your business.  

If you want to move forward, you must embrace change. Otherwise, you’ll be left behind.   

9) The owner hasn’t prioritized building a strong team.  

Many business owners put off hiring new employees or turning over current staff who aren’t meeting expectations. Both are tedious processes that most don’t enjoy, but avoiding them can lead to failed business models.  

The key is finding and hiring the right people from the start. Anyone you bring on board should not only be competent, but also enthusiastic about doing their part to grow the business, whether they’re office staff or installers.  

To attract and keep quality employees, you must create an inclusive, calm environment where everyone is supported. Make expectations clear and provide proper training. If everyone feels valued, you’ll find more employees stay loyal and are motivated to perform at a high level.  

It’s also important to focus on growing talent versus buying it. When hiring installers, for example, look for people who have potential to excel in the trade, and then make them part of your team. How? One way is to create and promote an apprenticeship. You’ll have a whole new pool of candidates who are interested in the field but just don’t have the training yet. And those who go through the program will be familiar with your processes and culture, so they’ll be ready to hit the ground running on their first official day.  

Wherever you find talent, one key to success is making expectations clear. You can do that in the form of detailed job descriptions that clearly lists responsibilities. Don’t stop there, though. Ensure each job has a clear scope of work, with a clearly defined process of how crews should handle client asks that fall outside of it. Remember, it’s processes, not people, that fail.  

10) Owners don’t talk up their team enough.  

Don’t be afraid to let customers know what to expect from their talented installer. Talk your installers up early in the sales cycle and make their experience in the industry clear. Show pictures of work they’ve done in the past or share stories from happy clients. There will likely be multiple companies competing to win the customer’s work. Showcasing your team is a proven way to be more personal to the customer, where you become known as PEOPLE instead of just another company delivering a quote. Set the stage and get customers excited about the install and, just as importantly, the individual(s) doing the work.  

Through field service management software, you can even automate sending customers a photo of the technician scheduled for the job so they know without a doubt who’s coming. You also can make the process a bit more personal by texting the day of to let them know the installer is on the way.  

Grow your business  

When put into practice, the tips we’ve offered through this four-part series will help your business excel in this competitive industry. But, if you want more guidance, the teams at Bill Berdan Consulting and Cilio Technologies can provide it.  

For more than 20 years, Berdan Consulting has coached 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.   

Reach out if you have questions or would like more advice. We’re always happy to help.

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