New Years ResolutionHere we are already. It’s December and the holiday season’s in full swing. We’re all busy rushing around, getting food, decorations, and gifts ready for parties, preparing to enjoy some much anticipated time with family and friends. I love this time of year for many reasons, but one of my favorites is reflecting on the past year and making goals for the new one. Yup, it’s that exciting time when you get to start fresh and achieve the goals you’ve always wanted to achieve; live the life you’ve always wanted to live; run the sort of business you’ve always wanted to run. It’s time to make your 2014 New Year’s resolutions.

Now I know what you’re thinking: everyone always makes resolutions with illusions of grandeur, but no one actually follows through with them. Well, this year’s going to be different. We’ve done the research and have the know-how to help you determine some ambitious business resolutions, and more importantly, figure out how to follow through with them as the year continues. We’ll show you what areas will bring the biggest results and how you can use modern technology and field service software to finally fulfill in the following year those ambitious goals you set in December.

Your 2014 Field Service Resolutions

So, get ready. Get motivated. Here we go! Use the following resolutions and tips for a successful follow-through to ensure your success in 2014:

1. Improve customer satisfaction with existing personnel resources

With increasing demands to satisfy customers and growing competition in the industry, improving customer satisfaction should become your number one resolution if it’s not already. According to industry research, the number one customer complaint is that the technician didn’t fix the problem the first time. Therefore, if you want to improve customer satisfaction, you need to first improve first-time fix rates. With the right tools and technology, you can ensure you schedule the tech with the right skills, make sure he’s equipped with the right parts, and provide the proper tools to guide him if he gets stuck.

Once first-time fix rates rise, you can focus on tailoring service plans to individual customer needs and allow for customer self-service. For example, you can give customers access to your web service portals so they can log on, see the status of their work order, and even schedule new work orders.

2. Explore ways to do more with less

What better way to start a new business year than with a boost of productivity? Well, what about boosting productivity using fewer resources? This year, step up your efforts in the field by making it easier than ever to assign and close service calls while increasing technician utilization rates with a mobile field service application. With improved communication and between back office and the field, a mobile app allows techs to see all customer information and receive alerts as soon as they’re assigned a job. With this additional information, techs can perform various tasks, like quoting and closing work orders and selling service contracts in the field, all without needing to hire anyone new. Mobile apps let techs spend more time on billable work and less time idly driving or documenting information in the field, increasing technician utilization, while you follow through on your resolution to do more with less.

3. Utilize service data to drive decisions

Using data to back business decisions is one of the best moves you can make to become a more intelligent and effective service organization. Yet many companies fail to interpret data or take actions based on the data they’ve collected. Be easier on yourself in 2014 and invest in the right software that will collate and display your data in easy to read and interpret forms. Use the tools at your disposal to make intelligent business decisions and create workflows that allow you to have the data “think for you,” taking the pressure off as you try to make the best decisions for your company.

4. Take advantage of improved smart phone and tablet accessibility to improve efficiency
The age of mobility is upon us. Never have smart phones and tablets been more popular or more affordable. And with the rise of mobile devices in the consumer market comes the inevitable rise of mobile devices in the corporate realm, specifically in the field service industry. Instead of running from this trend, use it to your advantage in 2014. Embrace mobile devices into your operations and look into the benefits of a mobile application. Many companies, for example, are beginning BYOD (bring your own device) policies, taking advantage of the fact that most of their workers already have personal mobile devices they could be using in the field. With the low upfront cost of introducing mobile devices into your field service operations, there’s no excuse for falling behind by failing to follow through with this resolution.

5. Capitalize on recurring revenue

We all know that preventive maintenance contracts provide a valuable, consistent revenue stream for service organizations. But we also know that these contracts can be difficult to sell, manage, and schedule. In order to increase your number of service contracts and capitalize on their recurring revenue, make it a goal in 2014 to use the tools necessary to run successful preventive maintenance programs. In addition to the ability to sell and renew contracts and tailor them to customers’ unique needs with a mobile application that keeps techs in the know, field service software can also assist in data analysis to determine value pricing of service agreements and ROI. With a focus on preventive maintenance you can count on 2014 to be your most profitable year for service contracts yet.

Here’s to You

It can be tough to set the right goals and even tougher to meet them. But with the right attitude, the right tools, and the right support, 2014 can be your year to shine. Happy holidays! And good luck as you set out to follow through on the resolutions you’ve established. Here’s to 2014: your best service year yet. Cheers!

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This article originally appeared on MSI Data and has been republished with permission.