If you own or manage operations for a service repair business, you’ve likely heard about field service dispatch software by now. But what can it realistically do for you?
Field service dispatch software can transform your business growth—for real. It can make most administrative tasks much easier, eliminating the need for paper and giving you better oversight into the field. The right software as a service (SaaS) can save you and your team time, freeing everyone up to focus on other critical efforts, like marketing and growing your customer base.
The best part? It’s affordable. These days, field service dispatch software—or field service management software—is available to small and medium-sized businesses through affordable monthly subscription plans.
Although it has many benefits, the three biggest ways field service software helps grow your business are:
- Simplifying payments
- Improving field visibility and job assignments
- Using cloud technology to eliminate manual processes
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1. Make payments easier for everyone—you and your customers.
These days, you can pay for McDonald’s fries on your smartphone, and someone delivers them to your door. Convenience is no longer a luxury; it’s the norm. When your customers can deposit checks on their phone and pay utility bills online, they expect every other aspect of their life to be just as convenient. How you process payments can make you more or less competitive.
If this sounds hard to believe, it’s understandable. The rise in the popularity of mobile payments has been astounding. China is way ahead of the U.S. when it comes to adopting mobile payments, but we appear to be on the same trajectory. In 2015, only 35 percent of users in China adopted mobile payments—today, it’s almost 80 percent.
Having easy options for payments is only going to help grow your business. When vetting field service management software, make sure it sets you up for success when it comes to payments. Look for these features:
- An all-in-one payment processing platform that caters to your business needs
- Flexible, convenient payment options to easily process credit, debit, and ACH payments in-person, online or over the phone.
- Card-on-file. Keep customer payment information on file to expedite checkout and provide a seamless payment experience for your customers.
- Convenient billing. Send customers easy-to-pay online invoices for one-time or recurring services.
What about when your customer wants to pay with cash or by check, in person? That information goes into the same system. You’re not just making payments easier and more convenient for everyone—you’re also collecting data.
2. Improve field visibility and technician assignment.
How many times have you sent the closest technician to a job, instead of the one who would fit the job requirements the best? When you get an urgent call and someone needs your service, finding the right tech for the job can feel like reaching under a car seat to find a lost $20 bill—no visibility.
That’s why you need a GPS fleet tracking system. Fleet tracking isn’t just for enterprise businesses anymore. Field dispatch software often comes with GPS tracking that can give you transparent visibility into the field so you know who is where, and who you need to send to what job—and you can do it all from your smartphone.
This kind of visibility will help you operate more efficiently, provide better customer service, and build upon your good reputation to earn new customers.
(Also, if you choose the right solution, the software will also store technician skill data. That way, when your customer needs something that only one specific technician can do, you can easily find them, and dispatch them to the new location.)
3. Use cloud technology to free yourself from paper.
Ah, paper. You might have a lot of it—like, even a room or a closet where you keep old paper from jobs of yore, fearing that the moment you get rid of an old estimate, someone will need to see it.
Paper just isn’t fun anymore. Why would you continue the drudgery of manual processes when cloud technology can set you free?
Field dispatch software empowers you to go paperless. Instead of paying someone to file invoices and other documents—or worse, filing things yourself—consider the cloud. Instead of surrounding yourself with paper, surround yourself with a meadow or a park, because that’s where you can go to review new estimates if you want.
With field service management software, all things paper exist in the app: estimates, invoices, images, job notes, customer preference notes, contracts, and more. Even actual paper goes in the cloud. If you have an old-school customer (and you will always have old-school customers) who likes paying by cash and getting a paper receipt, give them what they want, and then store the images in the cloud.
When that customer loses their paper invoice. because paper is super easy to lose, you’ll be able to provide them with a copy of it in a matter of seconds.
Other than saving your sanity, how does all this grow your business?
Finally do those follow-ups with new service offers. Do a Facebook Live from one of your jobs to show off your work. Write a thought leadership piece for LinkedIn. Put a product demo on TikTok. Finish the business plan that you put aside so many times because you had too much work to do.
Most of all—take a vacation. Go to your kid’s school play. Learn to play guitar, or binge watch something really trashy. Do whatever you want with the time you save. Business owners and managers never get a true day off, but if you have efficient operations, you have time to put more life into your life—and that’s only going to make you a better businessperson.
There’s so much more to field service dispatch software.
Are you already picturing yourself finally enjoying your man-cave or she-shed? Keep that goal in mind as you consider field service dispatch software. Look for solutions that give the most value for your monthly subscription so you can realize the dream of growing your business while also improving your work-life balance.
Learn more about how field service dispatch software can help grow your business. Check out our new e-book, How Field Service Management Helps Grow Your Business. We really dig in even more about how much your business—and life—can be transformed with SaaS.