What problems lead small businesses to look at Service Scheduling Software
Thank you for reading the second part of our Guide for Selecting the Right Small Business Field Service Management Software.
Small business field service is not for the faint of heart
You have to generate leads, close the deal and get the job done right, all while keeping track of paperwork, invoices and accounting. This all needs to be done while trying to retain employees, make customers happy and do it with some profit margin for you. Sounds like a lot, right?
We hear many of the problems that lead businesses to look for service scheduling software and we thought we'd articulate those issues and the impact they may have on your business.
You are walking with a rock in your shoe: Sometimes it helps to have an outsider give you a fresh perspective and help you realize you have been walking that long with a rock in your shoe. Not only does it hurt, but these issues keep your business from realizing its potential.
What are the pains we hear that lead small businesses to look at service scheduling software?
- Losing leads to competition
- Wasted time doing job estimates that you don't win
- Not getting paid in a timely manner
- Keeping track of customers
- If you have them; tracking employee locations & performance
- Tracking your business and keeping the accounting straight
Problem #1: Do you lose leads or aren't able to respond to them until the end of the day?
Too busy driving between jobs and coordinating with customers on existing projects? Responding to inbound calls can often be the last task of the day....but oftentimes, the customer called around until someone answered their call, and it's too late when you get around to responding. Service software can help you catch all your email, form and phone leads into one queue that any staff can respond to, or that you can view from your phone. This enables you to view the notes, prioritize your follow-up, and since it's at your fingertips, easily return calls when you have 5 minutes during the day. This alone can increase your business revenue by 10-20%.
Problem #2: Wasting time doing estimates for jobs you don't win
It has to be a job that you want and is worth your time. When you decide it is, and you spend the time inspecting the job and producing an estimate - you don't want to lose the job to your competition. Respond quickly and with a professional looking estimate and you can improve your chances. Service software allows you to capture notes that you turn into an electronic estimate and deliver via email or text for quick approval. You look professional, responsive and you beat out the others. Improving your winning percentage 5-10% could grow your revenue.
Problem #3: Overbooking jobs and disappointing customers
You have to make the most of your time, and any service technicians you have in the field. But, if you overbook or a job slips, you quickly have to scramble to stay on the right side of all of your customers. Jobs shift inevitably, but if small business service scheduling software can give you visibility into all the jobs, technician schedules, and locations, you can do your best to modify the schedule and communicate right from your field service software with clients - keeping all the last minute changes straight. Addressing this might save a job or two a quarter and keep customers from giving you bad reviews. (P.S......read about Kickserv job management here.)
Problem #4: Not getting paid in a timely manner
Cash flow is always an issue, whether it's paying staff, operations, buying supplies or just yourself. Keeping track of payment statuses, due dates and records of the communication is challenging. The proper field service management software should allow you to turn a job into an invoice, capture all the job modifications and quickly email or text it to a customer, as well as take payment on-site. Customers can see a record of everything in the Customer Center, so they have no excuse. Managing cash flow eliminates headaches and allows you to keep everything on track.
Problem #5: Keeping track of customers
It's hard to keep track of every conversation, especially if you have other team members interacting with customers in the field or back in the office. Customer relationship management should be part of any field service scheduling software. You can view all conversations, emails, notes, jobs and payment history in one place. Anyone on your team can be given access to this so everyone is looking at a single source of truth. What are your potential deficiencies around this? Depends on the thrash in your company, but it could be causing missed jobs, unprepared techs, poor communication with clients and missed opportunities.
Problem #6: Tracking employee locations & performance
Many people love being sole proprietors to avoid the headaches of managing employees. But, others choose to take on this additional responsibility for the growth and revenue opportunities it can present. You have to keep them productive, get them to the right place at the right time, and make sure they are doing good work. Field service scheduling software allows you to track employee locations, schedule the right person to the right job, tag jobs they did to track customer satisfaction and create custom reports on all sorts of employee related activities. Efficiently managed employees improve revenue, customer satisfaction and employee satisfaction.
Problem #7: You made it to the weekend, now it's time to catch up on accounting
All those jobs, payments collected, payments overdue, bills to pay and more need to be reconciled and recorded in an accounting system. Manual entry of data into your accounting is a sure pathway to errors and frustration. Any field service management software for QuickBooks™ (or other systems) has to have a good working integration, allowing you to seamlessly move data in both directions. View comparisons here. Time saved in error prone data entry will save you or your team hours (and headaches) each week.
We'll always recommend you do your own research, and G2 has a very useful comparison site where you can find us and all other service software solutions. In addition, check out what our clients say about us.
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