This year affected many businesses differently; however, it taught us many lessons that we can take into 2021. Among those important lessons is resilience, as this year has brought some unexpected challenges that we didn’t plan for. We often enjoy predictability and the comforts of our routine, but 2020 showed us how easily all of that could change and the scale to which it can change.
Facing challenges head-on and finding ways to combat them is vital for growing your business and also a way to discover weak spots within the business. Depending on your perspective, these challenges can allow you to identify any weaknesses in your business plan to better prepare for the future and any market changes.
When issues come, it’s the adaptable, hopeful, and forward-looking companies that rise above, flourish, and emerge stronger than before.
Now that we’re at the very end of this year, we’ve compiled the best field service tips and lessons of this year. Let’s apply these lessons in 2021, prepared to deal with anything that comes our way.
Nobody is surprised by this tip, as it’s one of the best field service tips of this year. Remote management is nothing new to field services companies since many technicians spend most of their time outside the office. Therefore, this tip has always been important, but in 2020, it’s become even more relevant. When it comes to information transparency, accountability, and data security, tools such as management software have proved helpful.
However, maintaining a constant level of high productivity may become challenging. As we move into 2021, remote work/WFH is the new normal, and we may find that our workforce might start struggling to stay productive as monotony and fatigue sets in.
Focus More on the Customer
Keeping the customer experience impactful was a powerful lesson this year. When COVID hit, many field service companies discovered new ways to maintain customer experience while keeping services safe and reliable.
In 2021, customers will be more accustomed to this experience; therefore, there will be even more emphasis on providing a safe and dependable service. When you ensure a customer-centric approach, you will be set apart from your competitors and the go-to for any related services that you offer.
For leadership, one of the most crucial tips is clear communication, especially at scale. Whenever new information surfaces that impacts your team, it’s important to share this information in a timely, cohesive, and transparent manner with all employees and technicians.
A good practice is to establish daily or weekly updates for your team; that way, communication lines stay open and essential information can be easily relayed. When communicating new procedures or protocols, be sure that terminology is clear and consistent to avoid confusion.
Clear communication with customers is crucial, as well. Since there are safety measures to be met, customers must know what preventative measures to take before a technician’s in-home visit.
Perhaps one of the biggest lessons this year is the importance of technology. You most likely already use technology, but this year proved just how important technology is for management, scheduling, and productivity.
For the small to medium-sized companies and independent contractors, embracing technology might mean finding new tools to handle different tasks. To others, it may mean switching to digital bookkeeping or invoicing to increase productivity and efficiency. For a contractor with multiple equipment pieces, upgrading to a new fleet management system could be incredibly helpful. Smaller technological implementations, such as setting up a website, and email, or a Facebook page can be a way to incorporate more technology into your business.
Embracing technology means looking for ways to improve your efficiency or productivity with tools that will work best for you.
Mental Health Training
Mental health affects field service workers at a higher rate than other industries. Many technicians are struggling with mental health simply because it’s not being talked about. Also, everything that occurred this year added to the stress of mental health. Field services are an essential sector, so many technicians were on the frontlines during the pandemic, keeping customers’ homes safe.
The first step to solve this would be to breakdown the stigma of mental health within the industry. Have your technicians talk about their emotional wellbeing. If companies begin emphasizing mental health as much as they do physical health, it creates a space that welcomes and encourages those conversations.
Build Authentic Relationships Outside of the Office
The importance of authentic relationships is critical for every business. These relationships shouldn’t just be with customers; it should extend to employees, managers, and the local community.
Authentic relationships are the most essential factor in building trust. It can make or break a company or be the reason why a customer doesn’t return. Also, they improve the workplace culture and contribute to mental health, as mentioned before.
When your company values authentic relationships, not only does it attract new prospects, but it helps your company stand out from the rest. In addition, when your company truly cares about its customers, community, and employees openly, it builds a strong reputation within the industry.
2020 has been a rough year for many of us, but let’s use this year to move forward confidently into 2021. Let’s remember the trials and tribulations we went through and find ways to learn and grow from them. Not only will these field service tips help guide you into 2021; they will help you stay on top of emerging trends that come.