Field service management has been a necessity for service providers since day one, but the processes behind it have shifted. We’re talking about it all, from old-school phone-based scheduling, dispatching, and customer communications all the way to today’s cloud-based options.
So which method really wins? Let’s put it this way: Would you rather play a video game with a basic character, or use power-ups to make things easier?
Let’s look at how old processes gave way to new tech and how your operation can level up with field technician software.
Traditional Service Providers and How They Operate
Legacy field service management is called that because it belongs in the past. We’re making so much progress today that the old way just doesn’t work—for businesses or customers. Here’s why.
You have estimates to create and a whole staff to manage schedules for. But imagine doing all of that by hand or even in a spreadsheet. Old-school field service management is manual everything, from determining timelines and prices to hardcopy customer invoices and payment processing.
Disorganization breeds even more disorganization. If you’re scheduling jobs manually for your team, overbooking is pretty much a given. As a result, techs fall behind and customers have to endure long and inconvenient service windows. Your front office and field techs alike wind up scrambling like their hair is on fire.
Legacy field service management doesn’t just mean mounds of paperwork and overworked staff. It also hurts communication efforts when all you really want to do is get a job done right. Without a little technology on your side, customers are forced to call, press 1 for “representative,” wait on hold, and finally talk to a human to get job details or even their technician’s ETA. And even that can be a challenge to provide on your end if you don’t have GPS tracking to pinpoint where technicians are. And it’s a major problem, too, because when customers get frustrated, they move on.
Benefits of Using Field Technician Software to Level Up Your Game
You can help your team be more efficient and provide better customer experiences, it just takes a little help from the latest and greatest solutions. Field service management software makes your life easier and your customers happier. Using modern field technician software is like swapping an Atari for a PlayStation 5.
1. Efficiently Schedule and Dispatch
Say it with us and say it loud, “Enough with the paper!” With all-in-one field technician software, you can create estimates and jobs digitally—and likewise, your customers can sign off on them. Ditch the spreadsheet, too. With software on your side, you can manage the jobs calendar with drag-and-drop to avoid overlapped technician booking.
2. Improve Communication
You may always need a call center for emergencies and backup, but it doesn’t have to be the only communication channel. Everyone’s on their mobile devices, and there’s no reason you can’t be.
Field technician software taps into SMS notifications, making it quick and easy to send a text. In-app messaging helps your team and customers in equal measure, because you can provide:
- Job details and statuses
- Service reminders
- On-the-way alerts
- And more!
Create a direct line between technicians, the office, and the customer with efficient software. That way your customers get what they need and don’t feel tempted to stray toward the competition.
3. Track Jobs and Workers
It’s been a long time since GPS tracking was only for personal use, getting the family from their door to the beach. Today, it gives you an edge in field service. With GPS fleet tracking, your office can track technician idle time, driving behaviors, visibility, and more to improve operations and cut overhead costs. A valuable resourcing tool, GPS tracking also helps you strike the perfect balance between the closest technician and the right technician for each job.
4. Invoice and Process Payments Easily
It’s high time for your office to get out from under the endless paperwork that has always come along with field service. Invoices get lost in the mail, checks bounce or go unpaid—you name it. But with in-field mobile apps, everything gets neatly buttoned up so your business can:
- Collect customer signatures
- Invoice and process payments in real time
- Generate automated billing reminders
Give customers the freedom to pay in the field or online, and even sign off on documents with your field service app. Plus, with a system that always stays up to date, your records always stay organized.
5. Manage Customer Data
Imagine this: Mrs. Lewis always stays on top of her home’s HVAC maintenance, but she prefers a.m. appointments … and your technician can’t park on the road because of street cleaning. Seems a little obscure and complicated to remember, right?
Field technician software easily stores customer details in the cloud, so you’ll always remember pertinent details. With the right software, you’ll be able to:
- Store preferences and contact information
- Keep track of documents and job photos
- Track payment history
Give your techs a framework for success and provide better service to repeat customers when you maintain convenient and accurate records within your field technician software.
Level Up with Service Fusion as Your Software Service Provider
When you look at the big picture of running your daily field service operations, you have a choice: Slog through more paperwork and messy processes or take charge with the latest tech. Take the next step and up your game with field technician software.