Technology in field service plays an important role in completing jobs on time, tracking technicians in the field, and keeping customers updated on their orders. FieldConnect has a complete suite of services that includes tools for customer retention, customer self-service, employee retention, and order management from the warehouse to the front door. Make life easier for field technicians, customers, and back-office staff, and improve your enterprise’s bottom line by prioritizing technology and customer retention.

 

Technology and Customer Retention: Ways Technology Can Help Improve Customer Retention

A report by Forbes focuses on the importance of customer retention and provides insight into reducing churn. Many companies consider this their top priority, and you should consider doing so for your firm as well. If you think about it, churn is tightly linked to customer satisfaction. So, companies focusing on the customer experience should look up ways to prevent churn through the use of powerful field management and customer service tools.

  • Gain billing efficiency with integrated field service software that communicates directly with your accounting system.
  • Keep customers happy with self-service tools that allow them to answer their questions and trust your organization.
  • Retain your top employees by giving them the appropriate technology in the field to help them successfully report back job statuses and other vital information.

The right technology enables you to reduce customer churn by addressing each customer’s concerns in a minimally disruptive way. Training service technicians is obviously crucial to establishing customer satisfaction. However, it’s also important to remain proactive when it comes to customers considering other providers. Don’t just give your loyal customers away to the competition.

People and processes continue to play vital roles and customer satisfaction and customer retention. Advanced technologies such as big data, AI, voice analytics, and visualization allow your field technicians, back-office staff, and customers to make the human connections needed to deliver flawless products and services. As a bonus, adopting the right technology allows you to achieve higher customer retention without adding to your workforce.

Client Satisfaction in the Digital Age: Improving Client Satisfaction in the Digital Age

According to an HBR survey, 40% of participants named customer experience as their main focus when it comes to digital transformation. Every touchpoint with a customer impacts your brand image, customer relationship, and customer retention.

The same survey reveals that 72% of survey respondents put their faith in emerging digital capabilities to create a better customer experience. So, if you want to improve your customer satisfaction rate, invest time not only in training employees but in technology that can enhance the connection between technicians in the field, customer service representatives, and the customers themselves.

Do you have the right technology to give customers real-time updates when they call to check an order or service status? According to PWC, nearly half of all executives believe that they need better technology to adopt a digital transformation strategy fully.

Personalizing the user experience can help you treat your customers as individuals and get to know their personal preferences. When customers feel known and valued, they are more likely to remain with your company longer. As mentioned, there is a close link between technology and customer retention.

According to Accenture, three out of four customers say they are more likely to buy from or stay with a company that knows their name, personal history and can recommend products and services based on their history with the company. This means that customers are eager for organizations to use their data in order to improve the customer experience.

Streamlining Workflows

field service workflowsSo, the question is, are you ready to invest in solutions that help you achieve client satisfaction in the digital age? You can get an easy win by updating your communication tools between the field and back-office systems.

Field service challenges you may be facing include:

  • Technicians reluctant to learn a digital system
  • Legacy field service based on paper, email, and other manual updates
  • Poor productivity due to needing to return to the office for paperwork
  • Low morale

With FieldConnect Digital solutions you can make life easier for your technicians and give them more time to spend attending to customers in the field. Here are just some of the areas in which integrated software can transform your business with cloud-based technology:

  • Schedule & Dispatch: validate time on site using GPS and provide FieldConnect customer self-service portal for customers to check on arrival times.
  • Customer Portal: customers can place orders online, check the status of orders and eliminate paperwork with FieldConnect software.
  • Track Time: FieldConnect software tracks time seamlessly, eliminating the need for timecards. This allows you to track billable hours to the second on any device.
  • Device Agnostic Software: Our technology works on mobile phones, desktops, tablets, and other devices.
  • Get Paid Faster: send invoices that customers can pay electronically and automate the receipt process to improve collections.

you can also improve field service engagements through the use of technology.

Field Service Engagement: How Technology Helps Improve Field Engagement

If your industry requires employees in the field servicing customers, it’s important to use every advantage to improve field service engagement. Deskless workers need technology that can travel with them easily and that is available on a range of devices.

One survey reports that 85% of field workers surveyed thought they needed better communication with management to prevent delays and customer frustration. Many field workers don’t have access to digital solutions at all or are forced to enter data more than once into cumbersome legacy systems.

Without the right scheduling tools, field service workers have to refer customers to customer service representatives for follow-up appointments, information, and other details. This can have a negative effect on employee morale and impact customer satisfaction in a big way.

Another study highlights the importance of flexibility, communication, and scheduling. Many employees felt that they didn’t have enough flexibility to schedule around important events in their own lives. They were forced to miss milestones due to an inflexible scheduling platform.

To retain experienced field technicians and the customers they serve, savvy companies are now discovering the importance of FieldConnect solutions that offer seamless integration among time tracking, scheduling, customer self-service, and technician tracking. Additionally, collecting more data allows customer service representatives to engage with customers at a high level using the latest available technology.

Field Service and the Cloud: The Emergence of the Cloud & How It Benefits Field Service

Fortunately, organizations now realize the importance of cloud technology and completing their digital transformation goals. The cloud gives companies the capability to provide dynamic, flexible tools for employees at their desks, remote workers in the field, and customers looking for updates on product and service deliveries.

By connecting software as a service application to customer databases, mobile web apps allow technicians to record all touchpoints with customers. This creates a 360-degree view of the customer experience. Using customer data and service history can help your company understand when, why, and where customers choose to do business with you or defect to the competition.

One way to prevent customer churn is to provide personalized service whether your customer finds you online, chatting with a customer service technician, or in a self-service portal.

Today, in order to provide efficient field service, field technicians need mobile, cloud-based software specifically designed for their needs. Cloud-based applications are accessible from desktop and mobile devices and quickly transfer important information such as customer contact, billing, and scheduling needs. This also allows technicians to update scheduling information and job status in real-time.

Takeaways

As your business grows, so will your need to keep track of where your technicians are. So, allow them to flexibly schedule their availability and communicate with back-office teams, customer service representatives and customers.

FieldConnect cloud-based solutions are constantly evolving to provide better technology in field service. However, if your business grows, you need flexible technology that keeps customer retention top of mind. Client satisfaction in the digital age revolves around a combination of robust technology, personalization and efficient services. You can achieve all of these with FieldConnect solutions.

Ways to Reduce Costs as a Field Service Company

Technician dispatches are the biggest revenue generators for field service organizations. The problem is that they can also be the largest source of costs, including vehicle expenses, labor costs, and opportunity costs due to not having technicians available for activities that produce your company revenue. Fortunately, there are modern solutions for these ongoing problems that can help your field service organization streamline service calls to maximize revenue and minimize unnecessary expenses due to inefficiency. When your organization is reducing field service costs, you increase efficiency and profits.

1. Go Digital

We are in a digital age, with tools and devices able to aid in efficiency as never before, yet 52% of companies still utilize manual methods for field service delivery. Manual methods are neither efficient nor cost-effective and lead to common problems, such as technicians arriving at canceled appointments or not having the proper equipment or tools on hand for the repair. Accurately tracking essential data points and performing analyses on efficiency is nearly impossible with manual methods. Field service management software helps reduces complex paperwork and manual tasks down to a simple touch of a button, which frees your technicians to focus on work that produces revenue for your company.

2. Increase First-Time Fixed Rates

reduce costs time on phoneThe most efficient way for a field service organization to operate is for a technician to complete a repair in the first appointment with no follow-up visits. Each follow-up visit costs your company through vehicle expenses, labor costs, and opportunity costs. If a significant percentage of your field technicians need to do follow-up visits, you lose money without fully knowing it or knowing how much. Reducing follow-up visits increases efficiency and is one of the best ways to reduce costs.

To reduce follow-up visits, it’s important to have a complete understanding of what the customer’s issue is so your company can dispatch the right technician with the right tools and parts. This is where gathering information and making it available for dispatch is crucial. One way to get as much information as possible about the customer issue is with video conferencing. If the customer can show, through video, what their issue is, this can help reduce follow-up visits. A field service management software that includes a customer portal where customers can upload videos that clearly show their problem can help dispatch ensure the technician is fully prepared to solve the issue in one visit.

Once the task is complete, a standardized validation procedure helps to ensure that the customer is fully satisfied before leaving the premises, which also helps to reduce follow-up visits.

3. Give Technicians Onsite Access to Expertise

In the past, an apprentice would work alongside a master to learn all of the tricks of the trade until the apprentice had mastered the trade. In today’s digital age, a more experienced technician can help younger/newly hired technicians virtually, which cuts down on labor costs. Older technicians who no longer want to go out physically to repair jobs can be utilized to assist younger technicians through video conferencing. Video support is a great way for your field service technicians to tap into other experts while onsite who can walk them through resolving an issue and avoid a follow-up visit. In some cases, the issue may be new technology or a model the technician is not familiar with, and they may need help from someone who knows more about new technology than they do. Efficient support helps technicians avoid follow-up visits which help in reducing field service costs.

4. Encourage Self-Service

Although most companies will bill a customer for a trip charge for a minor repair, your company won’t be utilizing its vehicles and labor force to the maximum just billing customers for trip charges. It’s best to make an attempt to avoid them.

One way to do that is through uploading how-to videos your customers can access online or through a customer portal. This way you can avoid the opportunity cost that comes from having a technician scheduled for a visit that turns out to be something the customer could have resolved on their own while missing out on another service call that could generate a higher profit.

Another way to increase efficiency is to have customers have a preliminary video-conferencing call to make sure that their issue isn’t something that could be resolved simply on their own. This process can also help dispatch to assign the correct technician for the job and ensure they are equipped with the correct tools and parts.

5. Implement Remote Monitoring

Depending on your company’s products and services, remote monitoring can help your company more efficiently service your products. Remote monitoring utilizes predictive maintenance, which is the automated collection of data that enables a company to foresee failures and outages before they occur. With predictive maintenance, ordering parts and scheduling technicians can be fully automated through field service management software.

6. Reduce Travel Time

When technicians are crisscrossing one another’s service areas, this can lead to extra vehicle costs, increased travel time, and fewer completed jobs per day for each technician. Dispatch optimization helps to schedule technician routes so they travel further than they need to for their next task. Field service management software can optimize dispatching through scheduling tools and geo-mapping. This allows your company to easily track the whereabouts of your technicians in real-time and assign a new appointment that is nearest to their current location. Optimized routes reduce fuel costs and increase the number of jobs a technician can complete in a day.

reduce field service tech costs7. Optimize Your Inventory

When it comes to inventory, your company can lose money by running out of an item or by stocking too many of the wrong parts. When a high-volume part isn’t in stock for a repair, this can lead to opportunity cost, especially if there will be delays in receiving the part. Many customers will just call another company who does have it in stock, and your company loses out on that revenue. While every technician should be equipped with the tools they need for that day’s jobs, some expensive specialty tools and equipment are best reserved for only the jobs that require them.

You may also have tools on hand that is never used. Keeping expensive parts and tools in stock that haven’t been used in years is wasteful in both the cost of the part and the space they take up in your inventory. Field service management software helps reduce the opportunity costs that come from out-of-stock parts by automatically reordering them when they reach a pre-determined point. It can also automatically schedule a visit once a part has arrived. For local part suppliers, the software can schedule the delivery of a part at the same time as the arrival of the technician.

8. Enhance Recruitment and Training

Your company needs to find a delicate balance of having enough workers to meet the needs of your customers in a timely and efficient manner while also avoiding having technicians who are idle waiting for field service requests. One way to do that is to make sure that you are retaining your most efficient technicians. Through field service management software, you can track the number of completed jobs per day, the number of follow-up visits, and other data points that show which technicians are benefiting your company the most. With field service management software, you can create a performance profile for individual technicians to identify weak points and implement additional training or correction procedures. Managers can also create rewards and compensation for technicians that meet specified performance metrics to motivate technicians toward greater efficiency.

9. Efficiently Utilize Your Technicians

Any time that technicians spend filling out paperwork, trying to locate parts for repairs, ordering parts, and doing other manual tasks, they are not spending their time generating revenue for your company. Field service management software frees up time for each of your workers by automating these tasks.

10. Earn More Business Through Onsite Quotes

With onsite quoting, technicians can earn more business when they are right in front of the customer. Having full access to parts and labor costs to give an onsite quote can influence a customer to take the step of scheduling an additional repair.

11. Analyze Your Data

With all of your data at your fingertips, you have a clear picture of what is working and what isn’t with your current methods. Areas that need improvement become very clear. With field service management software, you can easily recognize where and how to increase efficiency to generate more revenue with lower costs to increase your bottom line.

Reducing Field Service Costs With FieldConnect

If your company is interested in reducing field service costs and increasing efficiency, we here at FieldConnect have the solution you need. FieldConnect is a field service management software for mobile field service industries with technicians. Our software includes everything you need to help your business operate to maximize cost-effectiveness. Our software includes onsite quoting, GPS integration for technician tracking, accounting integration to streamline billing, a customer service portal to facilitate self-service, technician data analysis to increase productivity, an efficient system designed to increase job satisfaction and worker retention, mobile management, and more. To find out more about how FieldConnect’s field service management software can help your company reduce field service costs or to request a free demo of our software, contact us today.

 

Measuring the Performance of Field Technicians In & Out of the Field

For many service providers with mobile field technicians, there’s always a question of “How productive are my field team units?” Measuring field technician performance is more than just “Did the customer’s problem get fixed?” There’s also determining the effectiveness of the solution, each technician’s time management capabilities, and whether each tech is performing to the best of their abilities.

Field technician performance can be measured using over a dozen different metrics, but implementing tracking technology and upgrading your technicians’ ability to communicate with customers and the home office, including the inventory system of your parts on hand, can easily reduce some of the back-and-front paperwork that results in downtime in the field. Allowing your technicians greater ability to get the answers they need, when they need them, can make even your rockstars more effective.

Let’s examine how the aspects of measuring field technician effectiveness, and how you, as a service-providing business owner, can quantify the performance of everyone on your team.

Company Data – More Than Just Numbers

Tracking many different field service performance metrics enables you to get an overall picture of your company’s profitability and performance. Anything from HVAC to lawn care, pest control, and even regulatory bodies benefit from more effective field tech service management and better accountability tracking.

Defining the right Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and consistently tracking them is vital to the growth of your service company. However, looking at the wrong numbers, or analyzing the wrong figures can provide misleading information, making it difficult for you to gain a picture of your company’s performance as a whole. The right data shows a true picture of the current state of your business and gives you a quantifiable starting point for comparison as you optimize your techs’ performance.

Key Field Service Performance Metrics

While your particular industry may not utilize all of these metrics, these are several things that are common for service businesses. Plus, many of these are ways that you can help your techs improve their overall customer service and reduce costly downtime.

Average Response Time

If you have a business that has an emergency response service, understanding the average response time can help you schedule more customers into your workday. Even without emergency response service, monitoring how fast your techs respond to customer calls helps you track the success of your customer service goals.

Average or Mean Repair Time

The mean repair time is the average time it takes for techs to assess the problem and provide on-site repairs, completing the work order. As a service provider, you know that the average work order time can vary widely, but improving training for technicians, as well as access to resources and technology, can help decrease this metric and increase the efficiency of your field techs.

Average Job Completion Time

The job completion time is the entirety of the job cycle, from the initial call from the customer through scheduling, work order completion, and billing. Often, companies who aren’t using the most efficient software or best practices for workflow end up with less efficient business models. Excessive paperwork or a back office with a backlog reduces the cash flow for our business significantly.

First Time Fix Rate

When a customer calls for a repair or service, their desire is to have the problem solved in the first visit. Tracking the rate of completion for the first visit, as well as the incidences of follow-up visits for the same concern, allows you to determine the productivity of each technician. If your team is having higher return rates than the industry average, you’re missing out on the opportunities to add new customers to your schedule. The right software can ensure that the techs that are best suited to the job are dispatched, and those who lack experience have either a mentor or will be undergoing additional training to improve their performance.

Monitor Repeat Visits

This goes hand in hand with the first-time fix rate and can give you valuable insights into which techs return the most to complete the job. A high rate of repeat visits allows you to identify who needs extra training, or when it’s time for you, as the business owner, to step in and offer an alternate solution for a customer, such as replacing rather than repairing an appliance or fixture.

Utilizing Billable Hours

How many productive hours are your techs billing in a day? Technician utilization refers to tracking how many billable hours your techs log each day, including time giving customer service and upselling, versus time traveling to other jobs, or back and forth to the office to get parts or more tools, which is downtime that you’re not making money on. A high amount of non-billable hours gives you insight into how you can schedule better, or how your customer service team can get more information from the customer to ensure that the techs are fully prepared with tools and parts when they arrive the first time.

Contract Uptime

The term “contract uptime” is the percentage of problem-free operation for equipment, from HVAC units to plumbing, computer systems, or swimming pool pumps, just to name a few, that is covered under your maintenance contracts. If you’re providing an excessive number of service calls for a piece of equipment that’s under contract, then you may have to re-evaluate either your installation processes, the kind of equipment you’re installing, or the terms of the maintenance contract itself, to ensure that each contact is profitable.

Attach Rate of Service Contracts

Tracking how often your service techs are able to upsell service or preventative maintenance contracts to your customers identifies who may need additional training and mentoring to switch from “fix the problem mode” to “upsell mode.” Service contracts are an incredibly od source of steady income for any type of service prover business, not just in dollars alone, but also in customer retention rate. Customers with an existing provider, under contract, often don’t look for a new one unless there’s a significant concern.

If you aren’t seeing conversion rates above the industry average, then you may need to both train your team better and revise your contracts into ones that are more appealing for home and business owners.

average ticket priceBoost Ticket Average Price

Better technology allows your techs to offer additional services or repairs at the moment, while they’re already on-site with your customer. For example, if your plumbing journeyman discovers loose joinings or thin spots in a customer’s pipes when he’s out fixing a clog, he can use a tablet to immediately show customers replacement options and generate a couple of quotes right away.

Or, there may be a “good” repair for a customer, but the tech may be able to upsell the customer into the “best” repair option, which could mean higher quality parts or parts that have a better profit margin for the business. Immediate information gives your techs flexibility for presenting customers with timely, accurate estimates, and can increase your average ticket price.

Customer Retention

It’s much less expensive to keep an existing customer than it is to acquire a new one, and for service-focused industries, retaining customers forms the base you need for steady growth. The retention rate gives you insight into whether you’re keeping your customers happy, or if they bok one job and then go elsewhere.

Customer service representatives should follow up after every job, and with the right technology, can add notes to the customer profile, which allows your techs, in turn, to provide more customized service for each client.

Acquisition Cost of New Customers

Touching on the expense of acquiring new customers, if your retention rate is low, then your marketing budget (and the time you spend on marketing and lead generation efforts) increases. To put numbers on the acquisition cost, it’s the ad spend divided by the number of booked jobs that result from that campaign. This number also helps you quantify your marketing campaigns, allowing you to jettison ones that aren’t getting results, and focusing your spending in areas that are.

Improving Your Service Metrics

Understanding the different areas you can measure the effectiveness of your service techs is the first step – now you know where your company is at, so you know where you need to change and improve. The next step, after gathering your data, is to set different goals for your company.

These goals can include reducing the number of repeat visits that your techs have for each client, as well as increasing the number of billable hours for each tech, and the company as a whole. When you’re focusing on customer retention, the customer service surveys that you conduct after every job can give you specific insights into where you need more training for your team.

You may wish to look at the industry average for different metrics if that information is available. Some service industries have associations that poll members for certain data points, while others may not have this information for you. Once you have your base and your goals, then you set a dateline for improvement.

Use Technology To Help

Great field service technology can remove a lot of the downtime your techs have, from checking parts to providing quotes and even making their appointment schedule more geographically efficient. Plus, when you’re using technology consistently, you can track the performance of each tech, and quantify their results.

Let’s Get Started!

If you aren’t using FieldConnect to quantify and monitor the performance of your service techs, you could be missing out on an efficient way to improve your customer service and your bottom line. Give us a call today, or visit us online for a free demo, and discover how your business can benefit from our industry-specific solutions!

 

 

Live Tracking and ERP Data Increase Benefits of Field Service Software

 

 

Efficiency and Cost Savings are Natural Outcomes of Powerful Field Service Management Software

Communication and the availability of information drives field service delivery. The more interconnected the process is, the more the team can make informed decisions. They can take action where needed, whether it’s in dispatch oversight or quoting a new opportunity.

We also recognized that organizations depend on processes that usually take time to complete. Information is requested and delivered between roles, costing money in overhead and inefficiency. Simply pushing the process to “go faster” isn’t the answer, we realized. Empowering the people to do their jobs with greater access to information and effectiveness in their communication is. Access to data in real-time provides several key benefits:

  • Data availability leads to fast customer decisions and transactions
  • Data availability keeps the management team and techs aware and communicating in real-time
  • Data availability reduces the time consumed by traditional process elements

In the past, the passage of time was essentially part of the process. It allowed siloed departments to slowly process and transfer information. Effective operations needed experience, information, judgment, and coordination, but data transfer took all the time, limiting advantages from:

  • Eliminating delays
  • Avoiding missteps
  • Capturing potentially lost opportunities
  • Ensuring that customer satisfaction issues are resolved, and promptly
  • Proactively managing human resources and material availability
  • Conveniently and accurately monitoring project progress and issues 24/7
  • Improving quote speed and accuracy

Specific Time and Cost Benefits of Field Service Software Drawing the Team Together

 

The Customer Has Direct Visibility and Input Into the Field Service Process

Organizations have gradually opened up over decades, moving from a central switchboard in monolithic organizations to direct phone contact with departments and later adding email. One of the key benefits of modern field service software such as our FieldDirect is giving the customer direct access to the process. Instead of working with their contacts in the organization, they simply access the web portal and check order status, submit new orders, and renew contracts themselves, instantly.

With direct access and updates, they understand that they’re dealing with a transparent, accountable service provider. This dynamic, responsive relationship saves time and cost for both the customer and service organization and gets the work done right.

Field Service Technicians Hit the Ground Running Each Day with Live Information All Day

With live information and scheduling, field service technicians don’t have to drive in or even call in at the start of the day. Techs can start the day with a clear view of their schedule, GPS directions to customer facilities, and easy communication with dispatch and the rest of the team. They also don’t have to call in on arrival at each customer location, because GPS tracking automatically updates their location and notes when they have arrived at the customer location.

FieldAccess keeps them updated with everything from work orders to dispatch schedule updates, so they can be efficient and effective on the job. Technician activity data including location, job status, and results are communicated back in real-time. When the technician reports that the job is complete and the customer is satisfied, billing-related activities are activated without delay.

Service Organization Dispatch Can Orchestrate and Monitor a Busy Day in Real-Time

Real-time data updates let dispatchers do what they do best, decision making. Field service software provides efficiency and cost savings benefits not only for the dispatcher but for the technicians who get fast, accurate direction to keep them on track.

With GPS-based tracking, live project updates, and other streams of data, dispatch has quick visibility into the field service organization’s operations. FieldDispatch presents the information in a flexible and concise format, providing the tools dispatchers need to quickly drag-and-drop priority work, reschedule appointments, and arrange other activities as needed. updates flow to management’s and technicians’ applications so they’re always in the loop.

Management Has Full Access to Reports, Details, and Process Features While On the Go

One of the many challenges of dynamically managing field service organizations is ensuring that solutions are being provided where needed, and resources routed where they’re most effective. When it takes time to get information, the uninformed manager can make decisions that waste time and money, lacking awareness of project status changes such as part availability or customer accessibility.

Our FieldGateway portal provides functions for all levels of management including timesheet approval, access to management reports, and quick technician GPS info when handling customer queries about arrival time. With the organization’s operational information live on a single web gateway, managers can take the big picture approach to decisions and make sure key projects are on track.

ERP Integration with Popular Software Keeps Data Flowing and Up to Date

The heart of the modern “digital transformation” of organizations is versatile and timely access to centralized information from an ERP database system or other resources. Most field service organizations base their operations on ERP, so connecting the dynamic features and benefits of field service software to a company’s ERP system is essential. It puts them “on the air” with information flowing and being compiled without delays.

Our field service software works with existing ERP-based systems and extensions, keeping the company’s existing information infrastructure as the focus. Security is preserved: the technologies that enable this flow also manage access and provide necessary data protection using modern data security techniques.

Full Project Status and Details Are Available While Mobile

Field service project managers excel when they have up-to-date data on project costs, activities, and progress. They can identify where their attention needs to be focused to keep the project on track and on budget. From current labor and materials costs to drone video and site pictures, on-demand project information adds energy to project management.

FieldProject software also provides on-the-job status reporting with mobile form-based data entry. As with much of the field service process, adding real-time data updates cuts the high costs and delays of communicating to acquire information. With current project information from the field already on hand, managers can make cost- and time-saving decisions with confidence.

Fast Capture of Business Opportunities with Accurate Quotes on the Spot

Why wait to bid on new or add-on business? Field service technicians are often on location when customers realize they have requirements for further services. Instead of responding with a vague “our people will get back to you,” the technician or anyone else in customer contact can take advantage of integrated quoting software.

When team members capture the moment with an instant or expedited quote based on related information already available in the ERP system, everyone benefits and saves time and money. The entire field service organization from the front line to the back office is connected by FieldQuotes for an effective quote response. Fast, accurate quotes help maintain customer loyalty and gain additional business.

Infrastructure Based, But Not Infrastructure Independent

When relying on the benefits of field service software, it’s important to have a way to keep business moving when the network goes down or other infrastructure issues arise. Our software is designed to keep the benefits of field service software in effect even when the supporting infrastructure that the team relies on has downtime.

As soon as resources permit, real-time updates resume, and the team automatically re-syncs. We recognize that the connectivity that powers mobile applications can have transient outages. FieldConnect has an offline mode that helps the field service delivery team to continue operating while connectivity is lost.

Keeping the Personal Touch in the Process

Integrating the workflows and data flows of a field service operation using the benefits of field service software doesn’t automate the personal touch out of the process. What it does is make sure everyone on the team is informed and on target in meeting customer needs. That removes a significant burden from daily activities and allows team members to communicate ideas, respond to customer questions and requests, and maintain team relationships without being distracted by maintaining routine information flow. Even when success pushes the team to new heights, they won’t be swamped by increased overhead.

Time and Cost Benefits of Improving the Field Service Delivery Flow

Many field service organizations rely on telephone contact and paperwork to coordinate activities and update technician and project status. These traditional processes have built-in overhead and delays that limit the effectiveness of the team in meeting customer needs. This is especially true in an online, B2B, interactive business world. The main benefits of field service software like our FieldConnect include helping the entire team pitch in to keep customers informed, satisfied, and ordering more project work. By connecting the team and cutting process overhead from the field service organization’s workday, field service management software can save time and money through naturally efficient daily processes.

 

 

8 Fundamental Field Service Metrics to Track That Will Give You the Results You Want

To keep your business on the right track, it’s crucial to evaluate its performance on a regular basis. This allows you to measure your business’s successes and failures. By keeping track of how well your service company is doing, you can identify any changes you need to make to your business plan. This enables you to recalibrate your goals or set new ones as needed.

Tracking field service metrics is one of the most effective ways to stay on track with your goals. Field service metrics give you a complete picture of your company’s overall performance and profitability. If you’re dedicated to your business’s growth potential, utilizing the right metrics can help you make meaningful progress toward long-term success.

However, it isn’t enough to simply choose random metrics to evaluate your company’s performance. You need to make use of the right key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure your growth as accurately as possible. Here are 8 of the most common KPIs that are critical for lasting success.

Start Tracking Field Service Metrics to Boost Your Business’s Success

1. Average Repair Time

The first field service metric to track is average repair time. This refers to the amount of time it typically takes your technicians to perform an onsite repair. There are numerous factors that impact this metric, such as the distance to the client’s home and the complexity of the repair. The purpose of measuring average repair time is to give you an idea of how long a repair job takes in the majority of cases.

If you’re unhappy with the results when tracking field service metrics, there are several steps you can take to reduce repair time. Be sure to provide your technicians with adequate resources, supplies, and technology to facilitate the job for them. It’s also crucial to ensure that they have access to the right training and education in their industry.

When scheduling calls for repairs, try not to overwhelm your workers. If you cram too many jobs into a single day, your techs may end up sacrificing quality for quantity. The key is to optimize efficiency while continuing to provide your customers with the high-quality service they expect from you.

2. Average Job Cycle

While the first metric describes how long it takes to perform a single repair, this metric refers to the total amount of time it takes to complete a full job cycle. A standard job cycle typically includes the following elements:

    • Initial dispatch call
    • Scheduling
    • Servicing
    • Billing

There may be other steps involved in your own process, so be sure that everything is covered when analyzing this metric. The key benefit of evaluating your average job cycle is boosting efficiency. By understanding how your company operates during a typical cycle, you can identify any weak spots and rectify them going forward. This metric also gives you the opportunity to pinpoint your strengths and build on them in the future.

3. Average Response Time

When tracking field service metrics, it’s crucial to take average response time into account as well. With this metric, you can assess how quickly it normally takes your techs to answer calls. Customer service is a critical ingredient in your company’s success, and track average response time clues you into how well you treat your customers.

The faster you respond to calls from clients, the more jobs you can ultimately fit into one day. This is essential to boosting your revenue in the long run. In addition, scheduling jobs more efficiently allows you to keep your technicians on track, which helps boost customer satisfaction.

To reduce your average response time, be sure to categorize each customer call based on priority level. While every call is important, not every request will be urgent. Taking care of your most pressing needs first will help you accomplish more in less time. You may also want to consider implementing auto-responses to keep your customers occupied before speaking to a real human.

4. First-Time Fix Rate

high first-time fix rate as a plumberYour company’s first-time fix rate indicates the total percentage of jobs that your techs complete after one visit. Although it’s ideal to resolve a job on the first try, there are numerous factors that may prevent this from happening. Missing parts, inadequate skills, incorrect diagnoses, poor scheduling, and ineffective communication are just a few of the many obstacles that might cross your path.

While a few mishaps here and there are inevitable, it’s important to do what you can to prevent them from happening. By equipping your techs for success, you can minimize the number of problems you run into and maximize the number of victories.

One of the best things you can do to increase your first-time fix rate is to provide your techs with the proper training and equipment. A skilled and experienced technician should be fully prepared to tackle almost any kind of problem they encounter, whether it’s a clogged drain or a dirty furnace filter.

Moreover, effective communication should be one of your top priorities when tracking field service metrics. When your workers communicate with customers in a clear and efficient manner, you can avoid misunderstandings that may prevent your techs from getting the job done correctly the first time.

5. Customer Retention Rate

The true test of your company’s success is the number of customers you retain. While winning over clients is certainly an accomplishment, you won’t know how loyal they are to your business until they give you a second call. Analyzing your customer retention rate helps you determine how many repeat customers you have. This in turn lets you see how consistently you’re growing your customer base.

When tracking field service metrics and assessing your customer retention rate, it’s a good idea to study individual customer profiles. Customer profiles include valuable information on your most loyal clients, from their demographics to their purchase history.

Pay close attention to these metrics to understand your customers on a deeper level and to cater your services to them. By personalizing the user experience, you’ll be more likely to retain a higher percentage of customers.

6. Revenue Per Lead

Revenue per lead is a field service metric that’s worth your time and attention. In simple terms, revenue per lead is defined as the total volume of sales divided by the total number of leads. Keep in mind that this includes canceled leads as well. Evaluating the percentage of closed leads can help provide valuable insight into your company’s overall performance.

If you find that your business only closes a fraction of leads, it may be a good idea to return to the drawing board. Ask yourself what you could be doing differently to raise your percentage of closed leads. Are there any changes you can make to your business practices? By getting to the root of the problem, you can identify an effective solution and put it into action.

7. Repeat Visits

HVAC technician inspecting unit on repeat visitAs you work on tracking field service metrics, it’s important to account for repeat visits. Repeat visits refer to the number of times a technician returns to a job in order to complete it. Ideally, your techs should only have to visit a customer’s home once to finalize a service. If you discover that your total number of repeat visits is higher than expected, it’s a good idea to step back and reevaluate your workers’ training as well as your business practices.

One of the first adjustments you should make is reworking your schedule. If you have a high rate of repeat visits, this normally means there’s a flaw in your scheduling strategy. Another important issue to consider is training. It may be best to provide your technicians with further training if they often make additional visits to rectify a problem.

8. Business Growth

Each of the metrics listed here shares the common goal of helping your business grow. As you spend time tracking field service metrics, be sure to keep track of how quickly your company is growing. Your overall growth can be measured by your total number of customers, your business revenue, and other relevant factors.

It’s also worth noting that your company’s growth can be negatively influenced by low-quality service, poor billing practices, low customer satisfaction, and other problem areas. Fortunately, there are numerous steps you can take to rectify these issues. Remember to be honest with yourself about what you need to change about your practices going forward. When you approach your company’s weak spots with an open mind, you’ll be better equipped to address them.

It’s vital to pay attention to how your customers are responding to the changes you make. Analyzing customer attitudes is an essential part of tracking field service metrics. Once you have a better idea of what your clients like and dislike, you can better tailor your services to their needs.

Track Your Field Service Metrics Like a Seasoned Pro

Tracking field service metrics can help your service company flourish in a multitude of ways. Not only does this strategy make you aware of the areas you need to improve upon, but it also clues you in on how to do it. Whether you decide to boost sales through mobile quoting apps or a unique marketing strategy, the possibilities are endless. Just remember to give each of these metrics a try so that you can get the most out of them.

 

 

Trends and Modernization in the Field Service Industry

The Covid-19 pandemic reaffirmed the need for field service industry trends that were already gaining traction in recent years. As more people began to work remotely and storefronts were shuttered, the demand for field service software grew almost exponentially. This is what allowed successful businesses to weather the storm by continuing to provide their products and services without interruption, separating them from those that were not equipped to keep up with the need for these transitions.

Advances in AI technology and improvements in Bi dashboards, customer portals, and asset management have allowed some businesses to boost their return on investment, customer satisfaction, repeat business, and overall efficiency. Here are the current field service industry trends that are expected to shape the future.

 

 

An Increased Need for Virtual Services

While there was growing demand for virtual services prior to the pandemic, Covid-19 reshaped public opinion on working remotely and seeking services that are offered virtually. Examples include online learning, virtual doctor’s appointments and therapy sessions, and having meetings with service providers over video conference. Not all field service work can be performed virtually, but there is an increasing need to transition more service functions to a virtual platform rather than going the traditional route of scheduling onsite appointments.

 

BI Reporting and Dashboards

Business intelligence reports are critical to businesses looking to streamline marketing campaigns and remain ahead of the curve during shifting trends. BI dashboards are allowing companies to interpret data and statistics much more efficiently. While business intelligence reports are static and require detailed analysis in order to come to conclusions, dashboards are now allowing businesses to review data in an interactive interface, to review data in real time, and collaborate with team members more efficiently.

One of the newest field service industry trends is to use both BI reporting and dashboard in tandem to better predict consumer behavior and needs. The information can be presented to team members who don’t always have the technical knowledge needed to decipher a report in a way that is much easier to understand and react to. In a world where staying ahead can make or break a business, having the insights needed to make decisive choices is a necessity.

 

Updating to Advanced Field Service Software

There was already a transition occurring in the field service industry to digital software technologies, but this transition was sped along in late 2020 and early 2021. Advanced field service software is allowing companies to provide more accurate quotes and estimates, make managing their contracts easier, stay within budget, and manage their work forces more efficiently. This is one of the current field service industry trends that is expected to continue over the next decade.

 

Customer Portals

customer portals are importantMore people want ease of access to request work and monitor its progress. Customer portals are allowing businesses to keep their customers informed and to make it easier for clients to handle scheduling appointments, payment, and customer service requests. Businesses won’t need to employ as many people to perform many of the tasks that these customer portals are able to complete.

Information gleaned from a customer portal can improve efficiency. Whenever a customer provides details during a service request, it allows businesses to schedule appointments along a technician’s route who will be close by. This can save on fuel costs, reduce downtime, and ensure that workers are properly equipped before leaving the shop for their shifts. Customers often provide valuable feedback through the portal that can be used to improve company policies and strategies.

 

Digital Apps

One of the field service industry trends that is allowing some businesses to jump out ahead of their competitors is the development and use of mobile apps. These apps can be used to manage team members, to get updates on work progress, and to communicate these updates with customers. The companies that are using digital apps are creating a competitive advantage and forcing those who have not yet implemented the use of an app to consider it.

Mobile apps are often integrated with customer portals to make it easier for employees and customers to track work progress, provide updates, and communicate needs. It allows customers to access the same information on their phone that they can on their computers at home. Added convenience is a strong selling point for those who are always on the go.

 

Advances in Artificial Intelligence

People have mixed feelings about AI technology, but it’s inevitable that artificial intelligence will become a part of everyday life. Where it is useful in the field service industry right now is that it can save employees a lot of time by assessing what materials and parts are needed for a project, predict how long a project will take to complete, and schedule onsite visits in a manner that increases the team’s efficiency. It does this by determining ahead of time when certain parts are going to be available and when a technician is most likely to be in the area a service is required.

Artificial Intelligence is an effective means of analyzing consumer behavior and trends. It can help businesses determine when there will be an increase in demand for certain services, when to order materials, and how to load out a field technician’s truck with all the needed parts and equipment for the appointments that technician will be sent to each day.

 

Increased Demand for Self-Service

Fewer people want to talk to someone over the phone and one of the latest field service industry trends is that of self-service. The way that self-service is being handled is through a combination of customer portals and digital apps that allow customers to request service, monitor the progress, process payments, and settle any customer service concerns all from behind a screen. This is providing faster service, increasing customer satisfaction, and driving down costs for businesses and their customers.

 

Predictive Maintenance

Another use for artificial intelligence is to predict the imminent failure of equipment so that technicians can be prepared with everything they need ahead of a service request. This saves customers money by allowing field service technicians to perform maintenance before an equipment failure and mitigate the damage that would result from that failure. It also allows for the creation of a virtual environment for workers to use to troubleshoot potential fixes to common problems.

 

Field Service Field Training using VirtualizationUsing Virtual Reality to Train New Technicians

While most people associate virtual reality with gaming and entertainment, it’s allowing new field service technicians to be put into different situations they may encounter in the real world. Trainees can encounter more variables when attempting a repair in virtual reality and review their successes and failures following an exercise. This type of training is becoming more popular and it’s estimated that virtual reality or augmented reality will become incorporated in 50% of field service deployments and training programs.

 

Asset Management Systems

One of the most important field service industry trends is the implementation of asset management systems to track incoming and outgoing assets. An asset management system allows a company to track its physical and digital inventory so that companies know when they need to order more parts, update software systems, or purchase new computers and technology. It’s also useful for tracking documents such as invoices, payment receipts, and business licenses so that companies are able to make more informed decisions concerning asset management.

The result is better knowledge of the most opportune times to increase inventory, how to best maintain equipment, what assets are likely to cost, and the value of current assets that have depreciated. Whenever a business sells an asset that is no longer of use, the asset management system can help determine the profit or loss on its sale. Asset management systems can significantly reduce overhead by helping a company manage its expenses to eliminate unnecessary purchasing and to know when the best time to acquire new assets will be.

 

Improve Field Service Processes with FieldConnect

The demand for virtual services isn’t going to go away anytime soon. Finding ways to connect with your customers and employees virtually will give you a distinct advantage over your competitors. FieldConnect can help you reach more customers while ensuring your team members are more productive through the implementation of products such as our BI dashboard and reporting system, customer portals and asset management system software. Contact us to find out what software solutions and integrations are right for your business so that you can remain ahead of the current field service industry trends.

How to Elevate On-Site Visits with Field Service Estimating Software

There is little doubt that the field service industry faces various challenges unique to its field. At the forefront of these distinct tasks is the process of generating estimates. Field service organizations that succeed with these opportunities are poised to stand out from the competition while increasing profitability. And you can obtain these advantages by implementing effective field service estimating software.

 

Generating estimates requires the capacity to be adaptive, intuitive, and informed. Preparation for these capacities depends on your real-time access to customer history, service agreements, rate tables, and inventory. It also relies on your ability to assess the real-life components of a given task. There are few more excellent opportunities than to make estimates on-site—where the technician can rely on their expert assessment of the many variables involved in providing an estimate.

 

In this article, we present the various ways in which a field service organization stands to benefit from leveraging field service estimating software to their advantage while on-site.

 

 

The Benefits of On-Site Estimating for Field Service Work

 

Every field service organization faces the task of ensuring its operations run as lean and efficient as possible. With so many moving parts, the field service industry can quickly succumb to the setbacks of too much overhead and unprofitability. The past year with the pandemic has only increased how your organization might be facing new difficulties. Developing contactless procedures, wearing masks, ongoing health risks, and numerous other factors have been presented this past year. The necessity to adapt and evolve has rarely been more pressing.

 

For these reasons, it remains an essential priority to refine and elevate revenue generation. And the beginning of the revenue cycle is the process of estimating.

 

Estimates must accurately account for time, materials, risks, contingencies, and a profit margin that can sustain the business. These many variables create a context that can be difficult to judge from a distance. But the luxury of being on-site can further eliminate various challenges to generating effective estimates that offer numerous benefits.

 

Consider the following ways you can elevate your on-site visits with field service estimating software.

 

Increased efficiency

One of the primary benefits of using field service estimating software while on-site is the uptick in efficiency you will experience. Using this software on-site dramatically increases the speed you can receive and process data. You no longer must wait for a technician to drive back to the office, which can decrease—or eliminate—the need for multiple site visits. With on-site data entry and assessment, you can efficiently process your estimates while producing more quotes and winning more bids. The time you save also allows you to invest in other critical areas of your business, resulting in a spillover of efficiency throughout your operations.

Greater functionality and convenience

Imagine being able to be present with your customer while going over the specifics of their project. The clarity that comes with being on-site for estimates offers a level of functionality and convenience that cannot otherwise be achieved. You’ll gain the functionality of being able to ask immediate follow-up questions and verify the tasks presented. Also, the convenience of avoiding miscommunications with the customer cannot be understated. Rather than relying on your customer’s untrained opinion or perspective, technicians will be able to clarify and accurately diagnose various tasks.

Even further, field service estimating software will allow technicians or estimators to communicate with databases, supervisors, and the back office to provide quick estimates to your customer. Doing all of this while on-site significantly increases the likelihood of securing the project or ensuring ongoing projects.

Expertise that stands out

The field service industry is awash with stiff competition. Standing out from this competition can mean the difference between attracting new customers or securing loyalty from existing customers. Field service estimating software will offer you an edge to maintain a level of professionalism that distinguishes your operations from the rest of the industry.

Too many field service organizations remain stuck in outdated technology and procedures. And this is an opportunity for your organization to stand out. Estimating software will deliver speed, accuracy, and consistency—elevating the professional appearance of your company. This is even more evident when you empower your technicians to maintain this professionalism when they are in the field and interacting directly with your customers on-site. With expedient, accessible, and expert estimates offered on-site, you can build and reinforce a greater sense of confidence in your customers. This refined image even further contributes to your customer’s willingness to provide referrals and generate expanded business.

Expanded integration

Delivering on-site resources with field service estimating software also provides you the opportunity to integrate various operational processes further. For instance, with FieldConnect’s suite of software products, you can access your existing ERP system, dispatch, project management, and numerous other solutions while in the field. These integrations will elevate and streamline various workflows and reduce the shortcomings of replicating data or missing critical data points. Overall, integrating on-site estimates with your inventory, scheduling, and other areas will offer your company invaluable business insights.

 

Experience the FieldConnect Difference

 

The benefits of elevating on-site visits with the implementation of field service estimating software are not limited to the above examples. You can also expect to witness increased customer and employee satisfaction, cost reductions, labor decreases, and a general decline in overhead expenses.

 

A leader in the field service industry for nearly two decades, FieldConnect has developed robust software solutions for generating on-site estimates and converting them into quotes that secure greater profits for your organization.

 

With a diverse suite of products, FieldConnect’s solutions offer the highest quality in innovation and protection. Schedule a demo with FieldConnect to begin learning how to elevate your company to the next level.

 

 

Improving Quote Accuracy and Providing Onsite Estimates

Price quotes are one of the most important elements of any service-oriented business. They’re not just a piece of information that you offer to customers, but a gateway into further business with them. A company that can quickly offer relevant, reliable quotes is one that will experience much more success in its operations.

We’re living in an era where information, services, and products are expected on-demand. As such, being able to immediately provide accurate quotes onsite is a powerful asset that will help a business take an agile, dynamic approach to customer service. However, few companies have implemented such processes. There are real obstacles in the way of improving quote accuracy, but field service software has solved many of them.

 

 

Overcome the Obstacles to Efficient, Precise Quotes

providing onsite estimatesAs quotes are so important, it’s no wonder that businesses are cautious about who can provide them and from where. Providing an incorrect quote could have substantial repercussions, whether the quote is too high or too low. However, the processes that are in place to ensure accurate price quotes and the difficulty of finding the necessary information that goes into a quote can make quoting a fatally slow process. Maximizing your potential leads requires accurate, fast pricing, but it’s difficult to achieve either of these characteristics.

Inaccurate Prices

The risk of providing fast, on-the-spot quotes is that they’re more likely to be inaccurate. This can turn into a quote that’s too high, or even worse, too low. Trying to increase the price on a quote gives a prospect the suspicion that you’ve deliberately misled them. This is why having a tool (like FieldConnect) that keeps your pricing in sync with your ERP and updated in real-time is key to providing accurate onsite estimates.

Slow Response Time

Correctly calculating the current quote can require reconciling various disparate points of information. Depending on the current state of the inventory, staff availability, and various other requirements, price estimates can vary. Empowering your technicians to provide on-the-spot quotes for customers means finding a way to provide this data in an efficient, centralized way.

Incorporate Digitalization

The latest trend in various industries, from mechanical repair and maintenance to fire and life safety is digitalization. While there are many definitions of digitalization, it’s essentially the process of replacing physical processes with digital ones. For instance, replacing your internal paperwork with computer spreadsheets and files to save time and money is an example of digitalization. However, FieldConnect is working to bring digitalization into the trades and field service operations.

 

 

FieldConnect FieldQuotes

FieldQuotes is one of the leading components of the comprehensive FieldConnect set of field service software programs. The role of each program is unique, with some aiming to help management optimize work site control and coordination while others give the customer access to a steady flow of relevant information.

The role of FieldQuotes is to handle all of the complex, time-consuming details of providing quotes. With this tool, you’ll be able to have faith in giving every member of your organization the power to issue quotes for potential customers. It’s a complete, foolproof digitalized system for delivering accurate quotes in no time at all.

 

How it Works

FieldQuotes is capable of accessing various points of data in real-time and conforming with your existing method of quote calculation. It’s highly customizable and programmable, meaning that any company can utilize it for effective quote generation. This is an excellent example of perhaps the most important benefit that digitalization has to offer; efficiency.

Instead of sorting through your inventory and various, separate sources of information, you can use special software that automatically combines all of this information. As a result, issuing quotes becomes almost as simple as pushing a button.

 

Accurate Quotes Every Time

FieldQuotes is extremely accurate and reliable with the information that you provide it. When it operates from up-to-date, correct information on your rate tables, contract pricing, inventory, and other pricing elements, it will always provide accurate information. It’s just a matter of making sure that you keep these inputs accurate; but if you do, then you can count on correct, almost instantaneous quotes from any person using your program.

 

Deliver Quotes on the Spot

FieldQuotes revolutionizes the process of offering price quotes to customers. It makes the process extremely fast while improving quote accuracy at the same time. As a net result of these changes, anyone is able to provide quotes with the expectation that they’ll be accurate and reliable. As quotes are an opportunity to a connect to customers and introduce them to your services, being able to offer quotes freely will give your business far greater opportunities.

 

 

Boost Productivity and Customer Satisfaction with FieldConnect

While FieldQuotes is one of the major programs that FieldConnect offers, it’s only one component of a comprehensive suite of programs. With our field service software, you’ll be able to dramatically enhance the customer experience, streamline operations, and compete at a higher level than ever before. While many industrial and service-oriented companies still have not implemented digitalization, it consistently provides an advantage to those companies that do. As it becomes increasingly standard, your company will need to incorporate field service software to compete.

Whether you want to incorporate the full FieldConnect suite of field service software or simply want to improve quote accuracy, you’re in the right place. Get in touch with us and we’ll tell you all about how our mobile field service solutions can help your business succeed.

 

 

Improving Customer Experience as a Mechanical Technician

The mechanical/HVAC industry is extremely competitive. Customers have a wide array of options when it comes to manufacturers, repair companies, and other players in this industry. As such, companies are always looking for any way to secure a competitive advantage over their rivals. Today, the wave of the future and the key to getting ahead in the industry is mechanical service software.

 

 

Mechanical Service Software Can Revolutionize Customer Service

Mechanical service software isn’t a hammer that’s looking for a nail; rather, it’s a set of tailor-made solutions built to meet the challenges of field technicians. When you dispatch your mechanical technicians, you’re engaging in one of the most important customer-company interactions. Professionalism and technical skill are at the forefront in the mechanical service industry, and it’s hard for any company to truly outdo its competitors on this front. As such, a fundamental rethinking of customer service and the application of new technologies is the key to overcoming the obstacles to providing flawless customer experiences.

 

 

Obstacles to Seamless Customer Experiences

When developing the FieldConnect suite of field service software, we kept a range of specific problems in mind. Some of the major obstacles we identified were the following:

 

Lack of Input and Response

Customers are often curious about the processes and services they’re paying for, which is only natural. While technicians must be professional, helpful, and transparent in such cases, it also places a greater burden on them and slows the overall process of the job. Worse, the technician might not have the answers to their question due to a lack of direct data access.

 

Slow Access to Important Data

Traditionally, mechanical service technicians have not had as much autonomy and independence as they should. In theory, it’s easy to say that a technician should have the ability to access all relevant data pertaining to things like inventory and pricing.

Decentralizing these actions would allow technicians to offer better assistance to customers and even recommend additional products and services the customer might enjoy. However, giving all of your technicians unfettered access to inventory would result in unpredictable shifts in availability and prevent the system from functioning; as such, centralized inventory management is an unfortunate necessity.

 

Hands Tied by Procedure

Processes and inquiries are often tied up by the internal bureaucracy of a company. This has real consequences; sometimes, a technician has to tell an inquisitive customer to wait for information that they feel rightly entitled to. Likewise, technicians will have to wait longer than necessary to receive all of the tools they need for their work.

However, this raises many questions; what if it were possible to automate much of this bureaucracy and empower technicians and management in the process? Your field teams could get the information and equipment they need, when they need it, while management will be able to reallocate their time to other aspects of the job. Thanks to breakthroughs in process digitalization, this and much more is now possible.

 

 

Digitalization Can Empower Your Technicians

Digitalization and computerized logistics have a revolutionary effect on the ability of complex companies to operate more efficiently. We’re living in the information age, and the resultant changes aren’t limited to office work. You can apply field service software to your own company today, and immediately start to see the benefits.

Offer Quotes On-Demand

Field technicians are rarely able to simply offer quotes on demand and need feedback from management first. However, it’s possible to computerize the quote calculation process and streamline these procedures so that any member of your company can offer a quote. Instead of requiring customers to wait hours on necessary information, or lose interest in an elective product or service, you can get their answers in moments. All that you need to do is implement the FieldQuotes software program into your operations.

Streamline Dispatch

Dispatch of back-office personnel and equipment is an essential part of providing your mechanical technicians with the tools they need to get a job done. However, dispatch processes can be unnecessarily slow due to the need to check inventory and reconcile the potential needs of other teams. By applying digitalization to the dispatch process with FieldDispatch, you can eliminate the roadblocks that slow down this vital process. Speed is one of the defining elements of a first-rate customer experience, so benefits such as this are invaluable.

Provide Instant Information

Digitalization is introducing robust, customer self-service tools to virtually every industry. While technology cannot replace human expertise and support, the key is that it’s not meant to. Rather, the role of the breakthrough FieldDirect program is that it complements your field personnel. By providing your customers with FieldDirect, they’ll be able to access much of the information they’d have to glean from your staff via their device instead. Likewise, they’ll have other, additional types of information at their fingertips as well as instant access, which are benefits only digitalization can provide.

Enhanced Management

The customer experience starts before you even dispatch your technicians. Efficient scheduling and management have a reverberating impact throughout operations, so you shouldn’t neglect to enhance management. Consider implementing FieldAccess so that your managers can track minute-by-minute operations and take a proactive rather than reactive approach to ensuring a job well done, every time.

 

 

Mechanical Service Software with FieldConnect

FieldConnect is one of the leading organizations that’s bringing digitalization to industry and the trades. By incorporating streamlined, software-based solutions for communication, inventory management, and operations, you’ll enjoy a competitive advantage at every level of your business. Digitalization is key to boosting productivity and enhancing the customer experience. Get in touch with the FieldConnect team to learn more about our field tech solutions and how they can help your business.

 

 

Technology is a wonderful thing—especially when it helps your bottom line. Technicians in various field service industries, at one point, used to have to visit a job site, take down project notes, and leave the customer waiting for days after their meeting to receive a project quote. This process was made even more challenging if the client decided to add extras throughout the project. Thanks to mobile quoting apps, technicians no longer have to deal with the back and forth between clients and the sales team.

How Do Mobile Quoting Apps Work?

Now, it’s important to note that not all mobile quoting apps are created equally. Some may have additional features or integrations that others do not. That said, many of these mobile quoting apps do work quite similarly. However, before we can jump into the mobile quoting process, it’s essential to review what a traditional quoting process looks like.

Traditional Project Quoting Process

A project quote is the breakdown of charges that will be involved in the completion of a project. This number should give your customers an idea of the total project costs and why the project costs what it does. This breakdown may include:

  • Estimated work hours
  • Cost of materials
  • Travel costs
  • Demolition costs, etc.

The process of drawing up a quote for your customer isn’t necessarily complicated. What made it challenging was the fact that it requires multiple parties to work together, and that meant it took several days for a quote to be created and then shared with the customer, who would then need to approve of it or request changes.

This was a time-consuming process because it required the field service technician to travel to the job site and speak with the customer about what they wanted. Once the technician had all their notes, they would need to travel back to the office and give the notes to the sales team, who would need time to assemble the necessary information to create the quote. Finally, once the quote was written up, it would need to be discussed with the client, and if they agreed, the project could begin. If they didn’t, then it was back to the drawing board—literally.

This process could become even more complicated if the customer decided to make changes partway through the project, as a new quote would need to be drawn up and agreed upon.

Digital Mobile Quoting Process

Thanks to technology, field service quoting has become much more streamlined. The digital mobile quoting process remains the same as the traditional process in that it requires:

  • Traveling/speaking to the client on the job site
  • Drawing together the project quote
  • The client agrees or asks for adjustments

Thanks to digital mobile quoting apps, this process is sped up significantly because technicians can access all relevant information via their app, allowing them to draw up a quote rather quickly. Even better, should they have questions, they can quickly contact someone in the sales department via the app and get the information they need.

This sped-up process allows the client to receive their project quote the same day and will enable them to ask questions about possible job add-ons as they go, since adding items to the quotes no longer requires having the sales team write up a totally new quote.

5 Ways Mobile Quoting Apps Can Help You Increase Your Sales

Sure, mobile quoting apps help you save time and money, but do they actually help you increase your overall sales? Absolutely.

For example, Tampa Bay Trane, a large Florida-based HVACR company, was able to grow its sales by using a mobile quoting app. While using this app over the span of two months, they increased their sales by approximately $25,000. Tim Barnes, General Manager of Tampa Bay Trane, stated that the results of implementing the mobile quoting app were rapid, and their team hasn’t looked back since.

So, what contributes to these sales increases? Here are five benefits of using a mobile quoting app that can help you increase your sales as well:

1. Draft/Approve Quotes from Anywhere

Unlike traditional quoting processes, utilizing a mobile quoting app allows your field technicians to draft up detailed quotes while on the job site and in the presence of customers. This allows the technician to show the client the initial quote, and should they not agree with it or want to ask about possible job add-ons, they can instantly make the changes.

Once the client is happy with the quote, most mobile quoting apps allow the client to approve the quote and sign off on it—all within a matter of hours (or less!).

2. All Required Information is Available on Your Device

Most mobile quoting apps often work in conjunction with other software. That allows your technician access to all the information they need to generate an accurate quote. This eliminates the need for waiting on other staff members to get technicians the answers or information they need, cutting down the time it takes to create a quote significantly—and in many cases, allowing the client to approve of the quote in the same day.

3. Improved Time Management with Instant Sales Quoting

With all the information needed to generate an accurate quote within your mobile quoting app, your technicians’ time management should also improve significantly. Since projects don’t begin same-day (in most cases), that means your technician can move from one customer to the next within a timely manner.

With device tracking available on most field service management apps, you can monitor how long it takes for a technician to complete a quote at each location, and should something come up and you’re noticing they are spending too much time in one location, you can ask them about it to see what is causing the holdup.

4. Close New Deals Faster

Working with an existing customer is often much simpler than trying to onboard a new one. When trying to close a new deal, your technicians not only need to be able to convince them that each step in the process is necessary, but that the cost is fair.

Mobile quoting apps allow you to break that information down for new clients quickly and easily, allowing them to make sense of the breakdown and approve of a quote once they are satisfied with the explanation.

5. Improved Customer Satisfaction

Speed and availability not only make life easier for your technician but helps you improve your customer’s overall satisfaction as well. For them, time is money, so the quicker the initial quoting process goes, the quicker the project can begin and be completed. When done swiftly and to the customer’s satisfaction, they’ll be more likely to return to your company for future projects and willing to recommend your brand to their friends and loved ones.

Make FieldConnect Your Go-To Mobile Quoting App

With FieldConnect’s FieldQuotes services, your technicians can quote add-on business while they are still on the job site. Even better, you can eliminate paper-based quotes while still ensuring that your technician’s quote complies with the pricing established in your ERP—minimizing back-office involvement and streamlining the entire quoting process.

Have questions about the many FieldConnect solutions available? Then contact us today for more information, or request your demo to experience it for yourself!