The global field service industry is booming. According to data, the global field service management industry generated $5.2 billion in revenue in 2021. This number is expected to grow to $29.9 billion by 2031, marking a CAGR of 19.2% between 2022 and 2031.
However, employee retention remains to be a big problem. Data shows companies lose about $11 billion annually due to employee turnover.
What can you do to stop the exodus in your field service business?
You need to invest in field service management software. Investing in field service management software can help improve employee retention through better performance management, increased efficiency, better access to information, and better communication.
Here’s a look into employee retention, why it matters to your field service business, and how field service management software can help keep your crew in your business longer.
Why Is Employee Retention Important?
Acquiring new talent is expensive. According to a study, it takes about two years to train a new employee to match the productivity of former talent.
Onboarding a new crew member also takes time. Data shows that hiring a new employee can take up to 42 days.
Field service technicians don’t just leave a business because they’ve found greener pastures. Field employees can easily get stressed and overworked, attributing to most of them quitting their jobs.
Retaining existing talent ensures that you have a well-trained and adequate workforce to handle work orders and deliver quick and excellent customer service.
What Causes High Employee Turnover in Field Service Teams?
Your technicians are at the frontline of driving your business. They must handle clients and potential customers well since those interactions can make or break your business. This puts them on the firing line, resulting in the following situations that can make them quit.
Lack of organization in your field service team will lead to highly unorganized tasks. Your crew needs to know when they’ve been assigned a work order, the job site, and when they should complete it.
Also, they should be assigned work orders within locations near each other. For instance, if there’re tasks A, B, and C, it is impractical for the crew to tackle jobs A and B, then C if A and C are close and B is an hour’s drive away.
Lack of proper field service management leads to hectic schedules that can overwork the crew and cause burnouts. It takes a lot of effort to fulfill a work order on time, given the coordination, transit, quality compliance, and document handling needed.
Often, your crew will need top-notch management or a software aid to ensure their schedules are not too tight.
Lack of Proper Training
Running a field service business requires constantly assessing where each employee lacks individually and upskilling them to improve productivity. Without clear insight into the kind of work orders they fulfill, your business might offer improper training to its workforce, leading to stunted employee growth that can make them dissatisfied with their jobs.
Unrealistic Accountability and Targets
Proper service delivery is essential to success in the field service industry. Your crew must often work to certain accountability standards and targets to ensure proper service delivery that will lead to satisfied customers.
However, most field service businesses suffer from unrealistic targets and accountability, which leads to project failures. 44% of projects will fail due to poor communication, 25% due to poor compliance with deadlines, and 31% due to low technician morale.
High Overhead Expenses
Fulfilling work orders involves a lot of travel between job sites. Often, your crew will have to cater for this transport out of pocket before the business reimburses them. A failure or delay in reimbursement leads to stress and dissatisfaction from your technicians.
How Can You Retain Your Field Service Technicians?
You can take several general steps to improve the retention of your field service technicians. They include the following:
Provide Competitive Benefits and Compensation
Trying to underpay your technicians to save some money has detrimental long-term effects. Results from one survey show that an employer can spend an equivalent of six to nine months of an employee’s salary on training their replacement adequately.
Also, your business suffers from significant strains and lapses in productivity, leading to reduced work order fulfillment and projects.
Therefore, you should aim to pay your crew competitive compensation and benefits to keep them around for longer. This includes 401k, vacations, and healthcare policies.
Have Clear Goals and Expectations for Your Technicians
Your crew gets frustrated when their roles and responsibilities are unclear, leading to demotivation and job dissatisfaction. You should set realistic expectations and communicate your targets with your crew.
Therefore, they feel more motivated and engaged in their work, leading to better performance.
Provide Various Opportunities for Growth
Your crew is investing much time and hard work to make your field service business successful. Therefore, they want to see a return on their investment through career development. According to one study, 68% of workers view training and development as the most important policy in the workplace.
Therefore, give your crew a definitive path to advance their career and skills through job shadowing, cross-training, and mentorship programs.
Encourage a Healthy Work-Life Balance
Being a field service technician is a stressful job. Deadlines are often tight, and your crew has to deal with customers of varying attitudes and retain their professionalism. A healthy work-life balance helps tame workplace stress, leading to more productive employees and lower turnover since they feel valued by the company.
How Field Service Management Software Can Help Improve Employee Retention
Implementing the strategies above will help boost employee retention. Equally, investing in field service management software can help bolster employee retention in the following ways.
Smart Task Assignment
Field service management software makes it easier to schedule tasks and assign a work order to a crew member in advance so that they can plan their route and schedule for the day.
The software assigns the work orders keeping in mind the technician’s route, location, skills, and schedule. Therefore, they have a more flexible and less stressful schedule to work with.
Better Performance Management
Field service management software allows you to actively track and develop productivity and performance reports for each crew member. Therefore, you clearly understand each technician’s strengths and weaknesses.
With this accurate information, you can offer each crew member relevant training and career development, leading to better growth and job satisfaction.
Better Expense Reimbursement
Field service management software allows you to track expenses and reimburse your employees for their travel expenses on time. Your crew can log their expenses on the system, allowing you to reimburse them immediately.
Also, you can handle invoicing conflicts better since the records are well-provided and stored.
It’s getting more expensive to run a service business. Customers want streamlined processes without waiting long for work order fulfillment or getting canceled appointments. Research shows that 65% of high-performing service organizations have resorted to automation and software to streamline their processes.
Consequently, field service technicians are under less pressure since their work is better organized, leading to high productivity.
Better Access to Information
Your field service techs rely on accurate information to impress clients and complete work orders quickly. Most field service management software is mobile, meaning your crew has fast access to accurate customer information that can help them deliver excellent services and make them more satisfied with their jobs.
Through the mobile app, technicians can get notifications, alerts, and updates about work orders, such as the status, location, and schedule changes. They can also access necessary client information and avoid excess paperwork when logging their time and work order status.
Your crew can also track inventory, such as the tools and equipment needed for a work order, and ensure they’re available on-site.
A field service business has the crew at the job site and the admin team in the office. The two must be synced up for efficient and effective service delivery.
Field service management software facilitates seamless communication between your crew and the back-office team, leading to harmonious working and quality services.
Easier Data Capturing
Field service management software makes it much easier for technicians to capture site data in images and notes and communicate important information to other crew members or the team at the office.
Easier data capturing reduces the workplace stress of explaining various issues at the job site, facilitating better communication and faster service delivery.
Invest in An Effective Field Service Management Software
Field service management software is more than a tool for digitizing your field service business’s processes. It can also facilitate better employee retention by making work easier and more enjoyable for your crew. Grab your field service management software only from a reliable vendor.
Garrett Wilson is the President and Co-Founder of FieldBin. FieldBin is a field service invoicing software designed for trade business owners. The software allows professionals in the fields of Plumbing, HVAC, Electricians, Roofing, and Commercial Cleaning to solve their back-office nightmares quickly. Garrett has expertise in Marketing and Project Management, with experience in multiple industries, including cyber security, healthcare, and manufacturing.