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How to Leverage Field Service Invoicing Software for Quotes

Quoting is a core task for field service businesses. When done well, it sets expectations and builds trust among homeowners. Done poorly, it can cause misunderstandings and delays in service, ultimately diminishing the customer experience

As business increases, it can become difficult to continue with manual quoting. Instead, field service companies look for a solution that streamlines the process. They find one in field service invoicing software. Learn more about this software solution and its advantages for quote building at your small business or check out this demo to discover the powerful capabilities behind sera's field service management software.

Common Challenges with Field Service Quoting 

With any task, business owners want to maintain efficiency. Quoting presents several hurdles to operational efficiency — unless field service teams have a tool that automates the process. Some obstacles with quoting include: 

Lag in Customer Service 

With field technicians at customers’ homes and estimating specialists at the office, providing accurate quotes typically involves some back and forth. Techs contact office staff, who review the job to create a quote. Then, they deliver the quote to the tech, who presents it to the customer. This process can be tedious, especially for the homeowner who wants to know their financial responsibility for the services provided. 

Errors With Manual Quoting 

Errors with quoting are bound to occur, especially with manual processes. Although mistakes happen, they’re still likely to cause customers frustration. Quote discrepancies for the same services reduce satisfaction and can send homeowners to competitors. What’s more, the possibility of errors often increases with more techs and more jobs. A standardized approach to quoting helps avoid these errors. 

Complex Pricing 

Some field service businesses have complicated pricing structures, where factors like location, service type, and time of service can affect quotes. Manual processes are often not equipped to handle such intricate pricing structures, increasing the chance for errors.

Last-Minute Service Changes 

Field service businesses are used to last-minute changes, whether it’s delays, appointment cancellations, or requests for additional services. Manual processes often don’t offer the flexibility needed to adapt quotes when last-minute changes affect service costs. 

Visibility Into Available Resources 

Teams need real-time data about inventory and resources to provide accurate quotes. A lack of visibility into this information can cause an incorrect estimation of the resources needed to complete a job on time, hindering the customer experience. 

How Field Service Invoicing Software Can Help 

Field service invoicing software offers the solution field service businesses need to automate quote building and related tasks. Mobile app versions of the software allow field techs to access all functions from their mobile devices while at customers’ homes. These apps are typically compatible with IOS or Android devices. The software streamlines quote building as techs generate accurate quotes and invoices on-site without contacting office staff.

By enabling smart quoting, some invoicing software can also help grow memberships. Memberships can be critical for small home service businesses, allowing them to maintain year-round work. Invoicing software may enable two-column quoting to highlight the differences in pricing for members versus non-members. Being able to compare accurate quotes shows non-member customers the cost savings of membership, often encouraging them to sign up. 

Another key feature of invoicing software is payment processing. Some software integrates with accounting software, such as QuickBooks Online, to simplify check and credit card payment processing and bookkeeping. By streamlining accounting tasks, field service invoicing software facilitates strong cash flow and improves profitability.

While contractors often use field service invoicing software for increased customer satisfaction, these features also support a better employee experience. Techs rely less on office staff when helping homeowners, and the software can free up time for office staff to devote to other, more productive tasks. 

Best Practices With Field Service Quoting 

Investing in field service invoicing software is one of the best moves to enhance quote building at your business. However, other best practices can improve business operations and ensure customer satisfaction as well. These include:

  • Explain quotes to customers: Allow homeowners to ask questions about quotes. They may be more receptive to quotes higher than their expectations if they understand the reason for the change.  
  • Account for contingencies: Last-minute changes and other unexpected issues can affect quotes. Include a contingency in quotes to protect the business and customers. It lets homeowners know beforehand that final costs may vary while also safeguarding profit margins. 
  • Be transparent about costs: Quotes should be detailed so homeowners receive an honest breakdown of costs. The more transparent you are with quotes, the more trust it builds among customers. The accuracy invoicing software provides with quotes can boost transparency. 
  • Follow up about rejected quotes: It helps to have a system to follow up with homeowners who don’t accept quotes. Even if you lose that customer, you’ll gain insight into how to improve quoting for future sales.

Enhance Field Service Quoting With FSM Software 

With field service invoicing software, businesses can improve quote building and the customer experience to boost profitability. However, this isn’t the only aspect of field service operations that requires efficiency. Scheduling, dispatching, inventory management, customer relationship management (CRM) — there are many tasks business owners wish to streamline. As such, many opt for field service management (FSM) software to optimize the entire job management process.

At Sera, small and medium-sized residential contractors find FSM software designed to meet their needs. Plumbing, HVAC, and electrical contractors rely on our software to optimize workflows and maintain better operational efficiency with many day-to-day tasks. 

Sera’s FSM software features an intuitive Tech App that helps contractors provide a better customer experience. Through this tool, techs can create quotes within minutes on-site, using two-column quoting to show the benefits of memberships. A task-picker also helps techs make more informed suggestions for add-ons based on related services or customer information. Our software enables techs to communicate changes to quotes and homeowners to accept quotes. 

Other key functions of our software include: 

  • Admin Portal with Dynamic Dispatcher, which automates dispatching by assigning the right technician for the job based on availability, capability, and priority. 
  • Location GPS feature enables SMS notifications to customers for real-time updates about tech arrival times. 
  • Industry-first Customer Hub, which includes a live booking widget and customer portal to simplify appointment scheduling and give homeowners more control over the services they receive.

 

Contact us today to learn more about our FSM software. Schedule a 15-minute discovery call and ask about a 45-minute free demo. 

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