Field service management software provides a comprehensive, connected view of your entire field service company. But how do you know what to look for and what it can do for you?
There are many field service management solutions that vary in their degree of capabilities. Generally speaking, free versions of field service management is designed towards one-man bands and very small companies who aren’t focused on growing yet.
While there are many integrations and add-ons available, you don’t need to decide if your service company needs that right now, what’s important more is identifying the key features you’ll need right off the bat and connect your HVAC, electrical, plumbing, or general contracting operations to increase productivity and customer satisfaction.
1. Seamless Customer Management
Many service companies like yours are naturally attracted to the benefits of field service management software like: easy, simplified scheduling and dispatching to communicate more effectively, inventory and assets tracking to avoid losses and more visibility on performance, etc.
But, the key benefit that field service management software offers is customer experience. One recent study from CSG showed 89% of customers are favoring an “Uber-like” service to track technicians and provide ongoing updated arrival times.
Knowing your customers well and understanding their needs is the key to a great customer experience. With a reliable customer relationship management software (CRM), you can easily store your customers’ information, service history, billing data, and even communicate with them in real-time about their scheduled visits.
Look for these customer relationship management features when looking for a field service management software:
- The ability to capture job photos in the field and upload them
- Create multiple customer contacts and service locations
- Set communication preferences and billing terms
- Track referral sources
- Virtual sticky notes to customer’s accounts, like you would with a physical file
2. Intelligent Scheduling and Dispatching
Next on our list of five killer features to look for in field service management software is automated processing. It may be apparent to you that paperwork order management can be time-consuming and problematic. It’s estimated that small and medium-sized businesses spend 23% of their average workday manually inputting data. That is roughly 2 hours every day, taking away time that could be spent on growing your business.
By going digital in relation to scheduling and dispatching and customer management, your mobile HVAC workforce is primed with the information they need on the customer, assigned to jobs that match their skill sets, and receive automatic status updates so everyone involved has access to it in real-time.
Here are some of the estimating, invoicing, and payment-processing features you can expect:
- Estimates: Create and manage estimates that quickly get approved and converted to paying jobs.
- Billing and invoicing: Give customers highly accurate and professional invoices
- Online payments: Accept payments online or by mobile card readers.
With a field service management solution, you can skip the repetitiveness of filling out field service work order forms and reduce loss or miscategorized forms, which is often a reason for delays in invoicing. It can also turn messy paper stack into neatly organized files—online, all in one place and accessible at all times.
3. Mobility On The Field
Today, apps like “Uber” have changed the way customers engage with businesses. Customers now expect similar tracking and history information during a field service visit. Field service software allows your mobile workforce key information they need to deliver the best customer experience and enables the technicians to focus more on actual maintenance and repair work instead of losing time on tedious paperwork.
With a field technician mobile app, technicians can source information from the main field service management software at anytime, anywhere. This includes access to inventory management on the go without driving back to the office, GPS tracking for jobs that require precise geographic locations, the ability to update job statuses, and real-time communication with customers and dispatchers. Being able to use this feature can result in improved technician productivity and overall customer satisfaction.
4. Add Visibility to Your Field Service Operations
Unlike traditional, offline tools to run your field service operations, field service management software comes bundled with many features and specifications that help in automating your field service processes.
And the most sought after feature/benefit is full visibility. There’s significant value in a centralized field service management solution because it allows for complete visibility into your entire operational performance across your service company—from how calls are being tracked and jobs are scheduled to the completion of work.
At a glance, technicians and dispatchers can see scheduled jobs and tasks on a comprehensive dashboard that showcases metrics like estimates converted to jobs, new customers, average revenue per job, and more.
5. Extensive Support and Knowledge Base to Ensure Success
If you’re wondering why you’re not getting the most value out of your software, insufficient support and onboarding could be your answer. The features we’ve mentioned are helpful, but they need time and guidance to use—no matter how user-friendly your field service management software is.
This is where onboarding and support come in. According to a Harvard Business Review study, it indicates that when a company invests in learning opportunities for an employee, it proves that it values a person’s role and hopes to help them move forward in their career. While many field service software providers have a hefty price tag on support and training offerings, Service Fusion is notably known for its free white-glove onboarding and unlimited support.
As you continue to improve your company’s field service operations, consider these five features when looking for field service management software, and empower your team with modernized, high-performing tools to improve technician productivity and dispatch efficiency.
Today, more and more companies are learning the importance of customer experience in the field service industry, so you should choose a field service management platform that supports your proactivity in increasing customer satisfaction and one that is flexible enough to serve your unique needs as you evolve.
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TimeLinx delivers innovative project & service management software as a complete solution that perfects the sell-track-manage-support-bill cycle that services organizations must have to delight their customers; TimeLinx brings the cycle together in a single application that offers less frustration, better project management, complete reporting, and improved profitability – all specially designed for Infor and Sage.