The Smart Service Dispatch

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February 27, 2021


Using Custom Forms in Estimating and Invoicing Software

Custom, digital forms can reduce human error and increase the speed and efficiency of field technicians.

Creating estimates and invoices for your customers can often feel like a bit of a chore. And for businesses that need to make these for customers in the field, the process can get even more complicated, leading to rushed work and more mistakes. Most field service businesses need accurate, precise information on everything that will go into a job: time spent, costs, price of services, etc. Entering the wrong information can often lead to issues and losses later. Nobody wants to suffer simply because they did their paperwork wrong!

In this article we will cover some of the ways using a custom digital form for estimates or invoices can benefit you, your techs, your customers, and your business. We will take a look at how the Smart Service mobile app handles custom PDF forms for our examples.

Automating your forms saves you time.

One of the benefits of having software that has custom form capabilities? Custom estimates and invoices allow you to automate your processes, removing human error. Automated forms also allow you to work faster in general. When you use the Smart Service mobile app, you will add all the information you need to your estimate. Once you have that step done, you simply attach the custom PDF form you had built to your job and watch the information from your job auto-fill where necessary (with things like customer name, address, job type, etc.). This alone can save a ton of time, so you do not have to type in basic contact information or job details multiple times. 

Record information the way you want to record it.

Another key benefit to using custom forms is the ability to set up your form to record information in exactly the way you want. You may not realize it, but the general setup (or flow) of a form often contributes to the ease of filling it out. Sometimes you don’t need to record endless lines of text, and can set up simple checklists to quickly fill out. This alone can save a lot of time for your techs. At the same time, it makes it a bit easier for your customers to understand your form. You’ll also find options for drop-downs to select from a pre-existing list of options, which remove any human error issues in a particular section. You can even have fields set up to calculate certain totals for you, thus removing your need to do math and possibly make mistakes. 

Custom forms look good.

With custom forms, you can choose a layout that makes sense not only to you but also to your customer. No one likes to get messy worksheets that looks like a tornado of words and lines they can’t make sense out of. A simple, clean form will make both you and your customers happy. No one feels very confident about the people they hired to work on their home when they get an invoice that looks like it came from the 80’s and has gotten scanned into a computer multiple times. 

But what about standard forms?

We’ve talked a lot about custom forms, but what of the templates that already come with your field service scheduling software? Many businesses can get by with these default forms. While a custom form takes some time to set up, you can use a standard form right out of the gates. Many programs (like Smart Service) have the information you need defaulted onto their default templates. This means you may not even need custom forms at all.

The good thing about Smart Service? You can start out using the default estimate/work order, then develop and add custom forms later down the line, should you feel you need them. (Some industries may require specific information not normally available on a standard form.)

Whether you go with a custom form or stick with the standard options available to you, remember that software like Smart Service gives you the ability to pivot to creating your own forms whenever you want. It’s always better to have options!