Field Service Management Challenges: Step-by-Step Guide

Field service industry has been flourishing a lot lately. The field service management market will reach 8.06 billion USD by 2028 globally. Such growth rate prediction shows that the current market is expanding exponentially. 

The good news is the potential of the field service businesses will increase. The bad news is that it will develop more field service management challenges for the field service managers. 

What challenges will emerge for the field service business? Is it possible for the field service providers to overcome these challenges?

Let’s find out.

What is Field Service?

Field service is the work conducted outside of the company premises, on the location where the company’s products are installed. 

The services are provided at the customer’s location and can be related to the installation, management, and optimization of the supplier’s equipment. 

Field service technicians play an exciting role in making businesses reach their maximum potential by providing quality service. 

But this technology-driven world has led to an uplift in customer satisfaction levels. 

If a customer doesn’t like your service, they won’t hesitate to try another service.

Do you want that to happen? If not, you must be aware of the challenges you might face in the field service industry.

Why is Managing a Field Service Industry Challenging?

Field service organizations are a vast field to handle. 

It is not because there is some top-secret recipe to success, which none know. This industry has to deal with a variety of spheres that require a multi-management system. 

Everything in this industry is interdependent. That means failing at one will affect the whole workflow. There have to be continuous data updates for management and on-field staff simultaneously. Both are supposed to work in coordination. 

Field service organizations are supposed to prioritize customer satisfaction. But drastically changing market trends have made it tricky to meet customer expectations. Thus, survival without self-awareness and upgrading abilities is impossible. 

It sounds more like a restless paragraph. Do you feel that fear of losing your field service business to the modern market? It is bound to happen if you are unaware of the tactics to solve the challenges of changing market trends in the field service industry.

But you can relax for a while. Because here, you will get to know the challenges related to field service management. 

Moreover, the solutions to tackle those challenges will be provided step by step. So let’s start with the challenges.

What are the Challenges Involved in Field Service Management?

Field service management challenges are mostly interlinked. Mismanagement of one can cause many other challenges to occur simultaneously. 

So to address these challenges properly, one must be aware of the challenge source. Let’s explore five important challenges that must be addressed on time.

  1. Appointment conflicts

    Scheduling time to maintain workflow is an important step in the case of field service management. Wrong or careless scheduling can single-handedly ruin everything. 

    There is always some chance for human error, but there is no room for loss because of that error. 

    Here, a single error can lead you to a situation of downfall, where everything seems to fall apart. That’s because scheduling tasks and visits are more than just an appointment. 

    It holds back the time of the company and the customer. 

    A single delay in a scheduled visit can lead to rescheduling the whole task, waste of time, extra transportation charges, failure of field service delivery, and reduced operational efficiency.

    These challenges are unpredictable and can occur with both the customer and the company in different forms. They can cause significant issues further. 

    Some common sources that lead to appointment conflict are

    • Double booking for the same time
    • Job assigned to an unavailable technician
    • Unavailability of the customer at the premises
    • Overlapping jobs

    These conflicts will not only impact the company’s workflow but also lead to an unhappy customer. 

  2. Route planning

    This is an important step in field service management, as most of the fieldwork requires the movement of technicians from one location to another. 

    But route planning is not an easy job to do. One needs to identify the location and find the most efficient route to save time and fuel costs. In case of any blockage of road or traffic conjunction, rerouting is a must.

    Isn’t it a challenge to manage this manually? Some common sources leading to route planning challenges are:

    • Unavailability of real-time data
    • Unexpected traffic jams 
    • Road-blockage

    Hence, route planning is supposed to be done carefully to avoid such delays.

  3. Payment issues

    Do you still use paper slips and invoices? What if your customer refuses to pay on time? How will you manage your capital flow?

    Gone are the days when paper bills had supremacy. Nowadays, keeping paper quotes and invoice records will make the payment process lengthier than usual. 

    Moreover, in the digital cash era, who would bother to keep cash in pockets. Your inability to accept online cash is ultimately your loss.

    So basically, traditional payment methods invite a field service management challenge. The more you stick to old methods, the more issues you face in payments.

  4. First-time fix-rate

    The inability of a technician to solve the problem in the first visit is a field service challenge that costs you a significant amount and sources.

    This might happen due to a lack of knowledge and proper training. This means you will have to fix the issue on the cost of two or more visits, but the customer will pay the price for the scheduled visit only. 

    This will make your customers raise questions about your service quality and your field service representative. 

    This challenge is an inevitable question mark on your field service processes.

  5. Customer satisfaction

    Standing to customer expectations by providing excellent field service is not easy. 

    A customer’s feedback is of utmost importance as it can determine the spheres of improvement for the field service. 

    The inability to understand your customer’s feedback is yet another setback. Unclear and unnecessary phone calls will leave a bad impression, decreasing your brand value. 

    Other bad press influences through commercials and social media will decrease your chances of getting a new customer. If you cannot verify your brand image in the market, your company will face the consequences.

How to Overcome Field Service Management Challenges?

It is not easy to tackle the challenges related to field service management, but a proper understanding of the problem and following a strategic plan to overcome the challenges can surely help reduce them. 

Here’s a step-by-step guide on overcoming field service management challenges:

Scheduling challenges

Step 1: List down the schedules into smaller portions. Break the period from one month to one week and then from one week to one day. 

Step 2: Start adding the tasks to the limited period. Make sure every task added to the calendar is then cut down from the to-do list to avoid overlapping. 

Step 3: Save the calendar digitally and keep a paper print. For better communication and scheduling, copies and digital calendars can be provided to on-field technicians.

Step 4: Keep the calendar in front when taking appointment dates or scheduling news tasks. 

Customer satisfaction challenges

Step 1: List down your customer’s data representing their location, contact details, and service they took. 

Step 2: Try staying interactive with your customers. Establish a proper communication channel between you and your customer. 

Step 3: Keep them engaged with minimum calling and social media promotions. 

Step 4: Keep track of the feedback, and use it to implement further plans for customer satisfaction improvement.

Route planning challenges

Step 1: Track down all the orders in the sequence of the distance of their address list. 

Step 2: Schedule multiple deliveries for the same route. Using software that provides food planning and service management can be helpful.

Step 3: Check for the availability of the technicians according to the schedule, and then assign Locations and tasks. 

Step 4: In case of a failure in free service delivery, reroute and re-schedule the next task as early as possible. 

Overcoming challenges

  • Automation is the key that can help solve these challenges easily. Using field service management software is the most efficient manner to face and solve these challenges. 
  • A field service management software comes ready to use and can streamline your field service business. 
  • It can make it easier to create, edit, and plan schedules; find efficient routes; enable online payments and invoice generation, and record customers’ feedback. Hence, a field service management software can solve almost all field service management challenges.

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FAQs

Service management challenges are the hurdles that affect the normal workflow of a service management company. Since most of the service management pointers are interlinked, facing issues at one point can affect all the others.

Some common challenges involved in service management are

  • Appointment conflicts
  • Payment issues
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Route planning

To improve field services, one can:

  • Focus on better response time
  • Collect and analyze data
  • Increase communication and collaboration
  • Review field procedures
  • Optimize workflow
The main idea of field service is to dispatch the technicians to a location away from the company premises. The fieldwork is done at the customer’s location, where the products have been installed.

The challenges faced by field service personnel are:

  • Mismatching customers and customer service agents
  • Wrong scheduling and overlapping job assignments
  • Resolving customer complaints
  • Mismanagement of products and service

Can FieldCamp Solve Your Field Service Management Challenges?

A service scheduling and management software is supposed to fulfill your business needs. Businesses thrive on the details, and so does FieldCamp. FieldCamp is a field scheduling software designed to manage hectic fieldwork operations.

With FieldCamp, you can manage a technician’s schedules, monitor the status of completed jobs, make payments, generate invoices, and much more. 

It is advanced software that can manage everything, yet comes with a user-friendly interface. Without giving a second thought, you can with us and explore different features and functionalities for your business.

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