COVID-19 has permanently reshaped consumer behaviours and expectations – especially when it comes to mobile businesses.
While this global shift has proved fatal for some businesses, for others it has been a golden opportunity for rapid growth and the roll-out of new services.
The businesses charging successfully into 2021 are those that have kept up with the new customer demands of getting what they want, when they want, and where they want it – usually, straight to their doorstep.
Harrison Lingard, CEO of service management software, fieldd, learned the craft of selling while being a real estate agent in Perth, for Blackburne and Davey Scarborough. He has since worked in Canada and Melbourne.
fieldd was built in Perth more than five years ago. The initial beta version was built to disrupt the mobile car washing space with Refresh (another company the team runs). As Refresh handled over 800 car cleans a month across 51 contractors, they then decided to white label the solution, and fieldd was born.
Harrison then moved to Melbourne to continue expanding fieldd as a platform. He opened an HQ in Vancouver, Canada, last year in April, and scaled the company during Covid.
Meanwhile, founding partner Garo Tanzi still runs operations from Perth.
It’s not enough these days just to “be mobile”, he says.
Service providers also need to be “on mobile” and more responsive to client needs than ever before he says; hence fieldd has developed what they call an “industry first” mobile app to complement their software and designed to transform out-in-the-field business efficiency with the simple flick of a digital switch.
“A lot of businesses that have ‘always done things a certain way’ are intimidated by the thought of digitising their operations or re-platforming their business, but it’s the only way these small-to-medium enterprises will ever be able to compete in this new world,” he said.
The App Analytics and App Data Industry Standard have revealed mobile users spent 1.6 trillion hours on their devices in the first half of 2020, with a 220% increase in time spent on business apps.
Consumer in-app spending also hit a record high of $27 billion in the same quarter, with app downloads reaching an all-time high of nearly 35 billion showing consumers expect to be able to interact and transact with businesses in real-time on their personal devices.
“Something as fundamental as overhauling an archaic booking system from phone or email bookings to automatic online bookings can give a business owner back hundreds of hours lost to basic admin,” Harrison said.
“A surprising number of service businesses still use manual booking systems: a customer enquires, and an admin person books a day and time for the service that best suits the business – not the customer. Even if the business is using a calendar-based booking system, it’s unlikely they can cater to same-day service bookings, but that’s exactly what consumers expect now.”
Harrison has spent years perfecting fieldd’s software using geo-fencing and AI to match customers with service providers, putting the customer in control of their service, including tracking a job all the way through to payment and completion.
“fieldd was built out of necessity for our other company, Refresh Mobile Car Detailing, that struggled to grow because of the admin time to schedule and dispatch customer jobs,” he said. “By digitising their operations with fieldd, this small business saw their bookings jump by over 300%.
“We were able to expand staff, add more service vehicles, and saved massive amounts of time and money on admin, allowing them to focus on their most important business asset: client service.”
For more: https://fieldd.co/