In an era of economic uncertainty the service P&L has never been more critical...
As we move into a post-pandemic world, the need for improving the service to cash cycle is more important than ever before…
Across the globe, many economies are still struggling to recover from the massive outlay of extended lockdowns and loss of productivity. Meanwhile additional societal and geopolitical pressures are driving the costs of operating a field service business to all-time highs.
While this is a threat to almost all businesses, it is a particular concern for smaller and medium organisations that may not have the deep pockets of their enterprise-level peers to mitigate such rising costs.
In such a backdrop, service organisations must be able to reduce the period it takes to go from service delivery to receiving payment.
However, this is something of a double-edged sword. Remember, cash flow is as crucial to our customers as it is to our organisation, so ensuring that every interaction leaves a positive customer experience is critical – service has to be completed quickly and efficiently if we are to have any hope of ensuring a fast service to cash cycle.
Our field service technicians and engineers have to hit every key positive aspect of the service experience.
They must be professional in their appearance, well informed, have access to any required spare parts, and be able to communicate with the customer in a solution-orientated manner.
Even before the engineer’s arrival, the customer support channels must prove reliable in their appointment planning, whether automated or manual. ETAs must be accurate, as should any quotes both in relation to the time and costs.
Ultimately, delivering service excellence is a simple yet pivotal part of ensuring that your organisation is paid on time.
To achieve this, we have to make sure that we empower our field service engineers and technicians to deliver their best service at every job.
We have to ensure that our field service workers have all information at hand to complete the positive customer experience and are equipped to produce an invoice at the point of service completion with a correct total price for provided services. This invoice must include as a minimum:
- Contracted rates,
- Material included in the contract,
- Materials to be charged,
- Correct and complete additional charges in situations related to warranty
- Relevant tax details
Incorrect and incomplete invoices are a sure-fire way to delay payment, as are workflows requiring the field service engineer or technician to notify an additional team member of the job completion.
Such approaches are commonplace enough but are relics of an earlier analogue era. In a world of digitalisation and automation, there isn’t any need for additional processes to be in place when it comes to delivering an invoice upon completion of work. This should be baked into the field service workers’ onsite task list.
Depending on the industry and the customer’s service contract, it may even be appropriate to collect payment directly at the end of the service call. Your field service engineer or technician needs to be able to process the payment correctly in front of the customer and produce a receipt of payment, but again the technology is widely available to enable this.
Indeed, why not take one step further? If your field service worker has delighted the customer, this is the perfect opportunity for cross-selling or upselling future services – breaking the cycle of payment at the end of the service cycle and placing it at the beginning of future service cycles.
This final suggestion, of course, is dependent on establishing new service revenue strategies and processes. Indeed, the technology side of this equation is perhaps the most straightforward aspect to resolve.
However, it is just a small glimpse of how, by tackling the challenge of reducing the service to cash cycle, we can go further and be more proactive in securing future revenues while getting closer to the customer as we deliver a best-in-class service experience.
Fortunately, with modern FSM technology, this is undoubtedly achievable. In this white paper, published in partnership with GoMocha, we shall explore the challenges of long service to cash cycles, how we can improve the cash to service cycle, boost the service P&L and leverage FSM technology to generate improved service revenues by delighting our customers.
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