Today’s field service leaders face a growing number of challenges, many of them not dissimilar to those faced by their predecessors. However, the simultaneous arrival of economic, operational, and technical challenges is straining many field service organizations. In this post we will examine the trends shaping these challenges, and why leaders are increasingly adopting new strategic approaches to overcome these challenges.
A Weak Economic Outlook for 2023
This past year saw record levels of inflation and uncertain fuel prices. While a growing number of service leaders intend to make their organization’s revenue generating or closer to revenue neutral, at present, most service organizations are a new expense on the balance sheet. With weakening consumer spending, slowing corporate purchase patterns and an overall weak economic outlook, operational efficiency will remain a primary objective for all service organizations.
3 Challenges Field Service Leaders Are Facing
Service Improvement Challenges
Customers today expect frictionless, convenient service across every transaction. However, meeting these customer expectations is easier said than done. Heading into 2023, service leaders recognize the need to improve both their customer experience and the need for technological innovations to do so. Multiple studies have shown service leaders are focusing on improving customer centricity, personalization, and customer experience. The data also clearly shows that service leaders believe that they need to offer new innovations and better service.
Delivering these improvements while meeting cost-reduction targets is challenging even for the most experienced field service organizations.
Operational and Staffing Challenges
Labor challenges are nothing new. However, the face of the field service team is changing, and with it, the technical and operational considerations. Digital-native millennials have a different approach to work and expect more from their leadership. At the same time, many field service organizations rely heavily on contractors with less relevant experience and accountability. Managing and optimizing this workforce presents a number of challenges and opportunities. Further complicating matters is the inherent ecological impact of a mobile field service organization. With over 90% of field service leaders concerned with sustainability objectives, optimizing and virtualizing field service operations are no longer a vision but today’s reality.
These challenges bring with them new opportunities. Digitally connected field service teams can be better tracked, managed, and optimized using digital technologies. This ranges from IoT monitors and GPS trackers to mobile apps and increasingly, mobile phone and mobile device cameras. These operational changes will require new, innovative approaches to solving both old and new challenges.
Often, service leaders look to new technologies to optimize visibility, and improve performance and agility. Budgeting for new technology initiatives while under substantial financial pressure can be very challenging.
However, making the decision to purchase technology is simply the starting point. The data indicates that enterprises continue to be challenged with integrating new tech with legacy environments, as well as with the adoption of new technology. Planning for success while facing these headwinds is no simple task.
Staring Down the Challenges
With a weak economic outlook forecast in the near term as 2023 begins, the companies that forge ahead with technology solutions can end up better positioned than their competition a year from now. A proven technology that offers improvement in dealing with customers will make companies stronger and boost their brand. Adoption of the technology within the service organization needs to be comprehensive and everybody needs to be on board. Let the idea of bringing everybody on your team to face these challenges together be your main goal for the coming year.