The Perks of a Central Software Solution in the Field Service IndustryBy My Service Depot on Wednesday, January 20, 2021
Get organized with a system that allows access to company and customer information in the office and field.
As a business owner, you probably constantly find yourself wondering what you can do to improve your business, the relationship you have with your clientele, and your day-to-day operations. Finding the right processes and software(s) for what you do every day in terms of your record keeping can become an arduous, uphill battle. We’ve put together some helpful tips for clearing some of the “chaff” that business owners, operators, and their supporting team of office workers and field technicians have to deal with in these areas.
“My filing cabinets aren’t so bad, I can still open most of them!”
You may never stop using filing cabinets entirely, but switching to digital record keeping with the litany of software solutions on the market can help reduce an ever-growing need for space. Office space is a hot commodity, so you want to get the most possible value out of yours.
The costs associated with uprooting your office for a bigger one can skyrocket if you keep piling up paper documents. Depending how densely the drawers of the filing cabinet get packed (and the size of those drawers), each full cabinet could weigh hundreds of pounds. Multiply that by 10, 12, or 20 large cabinets, and the cost of shipping skyrockets.
Maybe the costs of moving to a new space are inconsequential to your business, but think of your employees from a productivity and logistics standpoint. How much time do they spend answering phones, then running back and forth to find what they need so they can have an educated conversation with your customer? This hurts productivity. Maybe the office can handle that, but can field technicians? Modern customers demand more and more, which means techs need to have the proper documentation and tools available to them at all times to keep customer satisfaction at the highest levels.
Scheduling software (such as Smart Service), give the office and field a robust set of options to keep everything together, without the need for calisthenics or 10’ pull-behind trailers loaded with manuals. With a few simple taps on the screen of a phone or tablet in the field, techs can gain access to previous work orders, photos, important documents, and manuals specific to that customer’s equipment. At the office, with the customer’s address or name, you can quickly pull up any currently relevant or historical information, as well as everything needed to assess their needs for the services you provide without having to place anyone on hold or having to run to the back to pull a file.
“Can I give you a call back? I’m in the field and I need to go through your records.”
Even small to medium sized businesses can benefit from centralizing their information in the digital world. In this scenario, the owner of the company doubles as a field technician. There’s no one in the office, so all calls get routed to the owner’s cellphone and they field the questions from the road, without any access to the needed records.
A program like Smart Service can be accessed fairly easily with a basic laptop and internet access if you choose to move your data to a cloud hosted solution, which will give the owner access to everything the central software holds, from historical information, signed work orders, photos, and even QuickBooks for accounting information.
Consider a regular technician working out in the field receiving overflow calls. That technician could potentially generate a service ticket with an application such as the Smart Service mobile app, which then goes back to the office staff for review later and further coordination with the customer, with the exact details that the technician passed from the field.
Getting the office and the field in sync with each other will minimize the potential for missed appointments and lost documents (or dirty “napkin notes”). Many scheduling software solutions even come with some form of GPS tracking, which can lead to more effective methods for identifying bad habits.
Whether or not you choose 2021 to dive into the world of field service software, always remember to keep the goals you have for your company in mind. Make sure you organize your thoughts before you begin your search for a new system. Make sure you know what you want before you let someone else tell you what you want.