COVID-19 Aftermath and Risk Management Tips for Field Service Businesses
Risk management could be the key to ensuring sustainability in the field service business in the post-COVID era. Learn more about the risk management system and get the ultimate tips to implement this in your business strategy right in this blog.
By | Joy Gomez
In the history of humankind, there are certain watershed moments when we realize that the world as we know it will never be the same. 2020 was such a time in all our lives. The global pandemic of COVID-19 brought an upheaval that affected every aspect of human life. Eventually, it resulted in a grave economic crisis for the better part of the world, leaving businesses reeling worldwide. The domain of field service business was not beyond its fatal grip either.
To take the challenge head-on and continue your business growth in the upcoming days, therefore, businesses need to re-strategize. To this end, risk management is going to be one of the most significant tools to field service business owners. In this blog, you will find out the importance of risk management in field service management, the emerging trends in the industry, and how to use them to your advantage to develop a sound risk management system. So, let’s dive right in.
Field Service Management in the Post-COVID World
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the field service business was steadily growing over the years. Adapting to new technologies and coping with changing market trends, the industry was slowly, but surely branching out into new areas of business. However, with the threat of the Corona Virus looming large, things went haywire in a matter of days.
The said industry largely runs on individual expertise and on-site operations. However, the lockdown and social distancing protocols became a major obstacle in this process. In most cases, technicians were unable to go to the job sites to inspect and carry out the work orders. Even when the protocols were lifted, most people avoided personal visits on the account of health concerns. Besides, it is obvious that you could never accommodate too many technicians in your office without worrying about catching the virus. All in all, it became a major disruption to the usual business process.
Now, as the world is gradually emerging from the crisis and resuming its usual course, economic and technical experts across the planet are trying to fathom the damage this pandemic has caused to businesses all over the world. Similarly, the field service industry is also taking stock of its strength. However, to sail over the hard times, one has to figure out what the future has in store, and how to combat the aftermath.
This is where risk management comes into the picture. As the owner of a service-related business, you need to be prepared with a sound risk management strategy if you are to keep up with the changing market scenario. It is essential for ensuring sustainability. Besides, if you can implement the strategy successfully, it could be instrumental in your business growth.
Before we start discussing the ways you can harness the power of risk management, let us first talk about what risk management is and why it is important in field service management.
Risk Management in the Field Service Industry
The importance of risk management in Field Service Management can never be emphasized enough. A successful business model must consist of a risk management strategy that helps the organization consider the full range of risks it might face. It also helps the company to examine the cascading impact the risks might have on the company’s strategic goals. The key benefit of having a risk management strategy in place is to have the ability to handle the risks and their effects efficiently, preferably before the disaster has taken a toll on the business.
For the field service industry, the need for an efficient risk management system is even more pressing. The people working in this domain usually have to deal with sudden challenges on a daily basis. You never know when you will get an emergency service request. Neither can you fully forecast what your work order will demand. A thousand things can go wrong while you are working in the field. Therefore, you must be equipped to deal with any unprecedented challenges round the clock.
Now, when something like the aftermath of COVID-19 is added to the mix, you need to up your game to survive the disaster. This means you must be ready to take on both your regular risks and unprecedented challenges like the effects of the pandemic. In order to do so, you must be aware of the emerging trends of the industry. In the following section, you will learn more about these trends and the tips to work them to your benefit. So, keep reading.
Tips to Combat the Effects of COVID-19
- Build Seamless Communication Channels
The pandemic may have restricted people to physically visit one another, but this did not stop our roofs from leaking or the alarm systems from malfunctioning. Naturally. People looked for field services during the raging pandemic, but the health concerns have forced them to adapt to new ways. They are now looking for services with minimum physical contact. This means if you can provide your customers with digital communication channels, they are more likely to choose your company over businesses that still follow traditional communication methods.
Especially in the new normal, when the millennials are even refusing to pick up their phones and talk, giving them options to contact you through messages, emails, chat boxes, etc., is definitely a smart move. At the same time, you need to ensure that the communication channels are seamless. So, if there are to be any further disasters like this, you will always be well within the reach of your customers.
In this regard, we must mention digital tools like Field Promax. This is a smart, cloud-based field service software that allows you to conduct all your business operations in one place. Moreover, it provides you with a custom link that you can attach to your website. Whenever a customer raises a service request or asks for an estimate, the link takes their query directly to the system. From there, you can easily turn the service request into a work order and dispatch technicians accordingly. The software also allows you to send the invoice to the customer. Thus, it gives you the freedom to conduct the entire business digitally, without requiring physical contact at any point (sans the actual service part, of course!).
- Enable Remote Collaboration
The most prominent trend in the marketplace following the aftermath of COVID-19 has been remote collaboration. Instead of meeting people one-on-one, companies are shifting to digital tools to work together from remote locations. While you must visit customers personally to attend to their work requests, you can collaborate with your team of technicians through these digital tools.
In this regard, we must mention the emergence of field service management software. This innovative technology is rapidly replacing the traditional paper-based business process in the field service industry. But more importantly, they offer integrated mobile applications that keep your technicians connected with the office no matter where they are. They can clock in and clock out, check their schedules, update job status, send invoices, and do much more.
- Leverage Data for Better Decision-Making
In the post-COVID era, experts forecast that there will be an increasing emphasis on data collection, triage, and diagnosis in the field service industry. It will ensure when you dispatch a technician against an issue, the problem is appropriately diagnosed and the technician can achieve higher first-time fix-rates. To achieve this, you would require comprehensive customer data as well as a clear picture of your resources.
During any crisis, be it another lockdown or a hurricane, having sufficient data means your company can make better decisions based on facts. For instance, if you have the proper information about the issue, you can decide which technician will be the best fit for the job. On the other hand, if your technicians know where their next appointment is or what items they will need for the job, their tasks become easier as well.
Field Promax is a great tool to help you in this regard. As we discussed earlier, this software solution organizes all your data in one place that you can use for various purposes, such as creating work orders, managing schedules, dispatching technicians, and so on. It also integrates with QuickBooks, meaning you can import all the necessary data from the leading accounting software to carry out these tasks as well.
To sum up the discussion, it is evident that digital tools and technologies are going to be the driving force in risk management for the field service industry. Therefore, if you are still stuck with pen, paper, and excel sheets, it is high time to buckle up and get things in order. Learn more about your industry-specific market trends, research what your competitors are changing in their business models, analyze your current strength and weaknesses, and chalk out a plan to take the future head-on.
But before you do any of that, invest in premium Field Service Management Software. This will make your job easier and save you time and effort from tedious paper works so that you can put them to good use to build a better, more resilient risk management plan.
My world is made up of codes. It is the central element that drives my universe. I am a self-taught, process-driven programmer with a creative bent of mind. Since I was an engineering student, I dreamt of creating something unique. To satiate my creative appetite, I took to coding. Blessed with abundant support and generous scholarships from my employers, I simultaneously worked full-time and pursued my dream. My passion and high productivity helped me in my journey as well. Finally, I created Field Promax to follow my drive of coding and streamlining processes; and do more of what I know best—coding.