After Hours Time Tracking Options for Field Service BusinessesBy My Service Depot on Tuesday, December 15, 2020
Do you have a good system to log job time on after hours work?
Every field service company receives calls from frantic customers about their furnace not firing up, their sink not having any running water, or any other of a series of emergency issues. These emergency calls can happen at any minute of any day, making them difficult to handle. Trying to prepare for the million different reasons a customer might call is an overwhelming and complicated task, so we’ve compiled some tips on keeping track of all the information you need if you want to tackle after hours jobs.
Key Information to Track
When dealing with after hours work, you should consider a few key differences from the jobs you regularly schedule through your dispatcher. Among these? The added responsibility for your field technicians to gather the information that would typically be provided for them, such as customer contact information. Techs may have to obtain things like phone numbers, email addresses, or possibly even a separate billing address. Without this vital contact information, billing a customer will become a major hassle.
With after hours calls come after hours rates. If you charge more for emergency work, the importance of accurate time tracking grows even more pronounced. An inaccurate timestamp on these jobs just makes the stress that much bigger for customers.
Gathering accurate timestamps prevents techs from retroactively guessing when they started and stopped working. With after hours work, you often don’t have the luxury of checking timestamps from other appointments to help determine when a tech may have performed the service.
In addition to time and contact information, techs still have to keep track of everything else that they normally would. This means job notes, parts used on the job, information on equipment serviced, plus any other info specific to your company or industry. That is a ton of information you need your technicians to stay on top of, so let’s discuss how they could accomplish that.
Pen and Paper
Even in this high-tech day and age, techs can simply write everything down with pen and paper. You can provide each technician with a stack of blank work orders and let them loose. Of course, this is not always the best option.
Pen and paper are slow. We all know our handwriting can’t keep up with our brain. Secondly, this option leads to errors. Handwriting is often far from perfect, especially when your technician needs to fill out the ticket in the middle of the night. Then there’s double entry. Techs eventually have to turn in their tickets to the office for entry into some kind of accounting or billing system.
Using Technology to Make the Process Easier
Fortunately, there are alternatives to the pen and paper route. You can embrace technology and let it go to work for you. If you simply filled out your service tickets on a smart device rather than a piece of paper, you would already resolve two of the issues presented before. First, no more handwriting. With everything typed and perfectly legible, you eliminate the headache of deciphering technician chickenscratch. You also eliminate the need to for techs to turn in their tickets personally. Everything gets submitted digitally from your techs’ mobile devices.
Using Smart Service to Streamline the Process
You can also take this a step further and adopt a scheduling software program like Smart Service. Smart Service provides all the tools you need to get after hours work done with ease. With the Smart Service mobile app, your technician can create an after hours call in your system right from their device, no need for paperwork, calling, or email. The mobile app also helps your technicians gather all the important information your office will need. With designated fields for pretty much anything you can imagine, there is no chance information will be missed by your technicians.
If you want to make your life easier, consider investing in a software program that can handle the details for you.