New report reveals top priorities for Australian businesses with field-based workforces

Customer satisfaction is by far the top priority for Australian businesses operating field-based workforces, ahead of cost cutting and improving profitability, reveals a new report commissioned by field service management solutions provider Trimble.

The study aimed to 'deep dive into key industry issues, garner insight into the priority organisations place on field service operations, and to assess future business plans' across areas including service delivery and effective management of field-based employees, such as the transport industry.

A key finding of the report was that a customer-centric focus is more important than cutting costs; with only nine per cent of respondents indicating reducing costs as a key focus, compared with 88 per cent ranking customer satisfaction as their number one business priority, followed closely by customer retention (74 per cent).

Alongside the priority given to customer service, the research also found that Australian businesses are striving to increase workforce productivity (45 per cent), which reflects the importance businesses are placing on service delivery and their need to meet the growing expectations of customers.

When it came to enhancing driver safety levels, 32 per cent are applying telematics technology to help monitor and improve driver behaviour while 72 per cent relied on two-way communication technology and 63 per cent ran regular driver safety briefings.

Sustainability is also becoming increasingly important both internally and externally. The report reveals 71 per cent of respondents believe that sustainability will have a significant effect on their future business plans, and with the social awareness of consumers shifting to green, businesses recognise this is a key area of focus for the future. When looking at green credentials, monitoring fuel usage was felt to be a quick and easy way of providing significant reductions in CO2 emissions, as well as managing costs.

The industry study was carried out by Proteus, an independent market research agency, and involved in-depth interviews with 100 managers and directors of businesses with field services departments across multiple sectors.

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