Barrett Coakley | 08.28.19

According to an American Express survey, 33% of Americans say they’ll consider switching companies after just a single instance of poor service. These high expectations are the new norm and companies now compete directly on providing a superior customer experience. According to Gartner, 81% of firms say they expect to be competing mostly or completely on the basis of CX. However, it can be difficult at times to properly staff your field service teams due to worker shortages, skill gaps and seasonality. That is why it is important to utilize contractors to supplement your field team in order to plug any gaps that could lead to unhappy customers. Here are 3 benefits of utilizing a contingent workforce.

Control Labor Costs

Controlling overhead costs is an important job for everyone at a company. There needs to be a balance between how many technicians you have versus the amount of work that needs to completed. Contingent workers can help provide a method to augment your team while also controlling costs since contractors are typically less expensive than full time employees. Compensation for a fully loaded technician is almost twice his or her salary when accounting for salary + taxes + benefits. With contractors, a firm does not have to absorb these expenses on a full time basis and, in addition, a contractor is typically only paid for the job they complete. This enables a team to control costs while still delivering good service.

Fill Worker Gaps

Contract workers can help fill worker gaps in 2 important ways, as follows:

  • Seasonality: If your business is seasonal, or experiences peaks in demands during certain time periods, it makes more sense to outsource than hire employees you won’t need year-round. Seasonal utilitiessuch as oil and gas providers will also have more demand during the winter season when people need their homes heated. Instead of hiring and training new employees for a short demand period, businesses could outsource to increase flexibility during these time periods.
  • Worker Shortages: One of the most strategic concerns among field service executives is the shortage of skilled workers. According to The Service Council, 50% of service leaders indicated that they were currently facing a shortage of resources to adequately meet service demand and this situation is predicted to only get worse as more baby boomers retire. Utilizing a contingent workforce can help fill this gap.

Specialized Skills

For jobs that require special skills missing from your team, you can outsource contractors with the skills you need. Let say only slim percentage of your customers have smart refrigerators. Instead of hiring a full-time technician with the skills to repair smart fridges that you’ll rarely use, you can just contract out those jobs. The opposite also applies. You could outsource for work that doesn’t require much skills and save the more knowledge-intensive work for your internal employees.

Tying it All Together

While contingent workers provide many benefits, there are some things you need to put in place to properly utilize them. One of the most important tools is a FSM solution that has a contractor management component. A FSM solution with contractor management functionality gives service providers and their contractors greater visibility and control over the service the end customer receives. Contractor Management functionality helps service providers:

  • Gain visibility and easily define and adjust the capacity of your contractors
  • Receive real-time insight to work progress by contractors
  • Provide a unified customer experience to protect brand and reputation

In a market where the customer experience is becoming a main competitive differentiator, it is important that field service organizations utilize everything they can to deliver on their service promise and a contractor management strategy is a key component of this pledge.