This article has been reviewed by Billy Stevens for accuracy.
Running a successful plumbing business requires great coordination between plumbers in the field and dispatchers operating from the office. This coordination of service can become tedious and prone to errors when completed manually, but plumbing contractors find a solution that boosts efficiency in field service management software (FSM software). Learn more about the benefits of FSM software for plumbing job scheduling.
What Is Plumbing Scheduling Software?
Scheduling software is a component of the more comprehensive plumbing service software. This software streamlines processes field service businesses like yours complete every day. This includes scheduling and dispatching, as well as billing, invoicing, and inventory management.
Plumbing scheduling software specifically deals with service scheduling and related tasks. It seeks to improve efficiency over manual scheduling, enabling plumbing companies to finish more jobs in a single day and increase customer satisfaction with service. The software has multiple features to automate and simplify scheduling.
What Are the Key Features of Scheduling Software?
From providing homeowners with estimated arrival times to reducing instances of redundant data entry, there are many advantages of field service software. When comparing FSM software providers, be sure to look for these features:
To provide better customer service, plumbing contractors want to better involve homeowners in the service they receive. This includes delivering real-time updates about the status of plumbers, so homeowners know when to expect them.
With GPS tracking, dispatchers can see how far along plumbers are with their daily schedules. Dispatchers can send notifications to customer’s phones with estimated arrival times. FSM software also allows plumbers to communicate with office staff about delays or projects that took longer than expected. Dispatchers can quickly alert homeowners about these delays, avoiding leaving them wondering why the plumber is late. Although seemingly small, features like these significantly enhance the customer experience.
The best FSM software will have a portal for business owners and employees and one for customers. The user-friendly customer portal allows homeowners to schedule appointments online 24/7. Studies show that customers prefer the convenience of scheduling appointments themselves, so online booking supports better customer service. At the same time, it keeps your office staff from needing to spend as much time on the phone with homeowners, allowing them to focus on more productive tasks.
Customer portals also provide a location for homeowners to review their service history, accept estimates, and receive invoices. Contractors may leverage this customer information to deliver more personalized service that keeps homeowners coming back.
It’s not uncommon for schedules to change with field service operations. A homeowner may cancel their appointment, a plumber might not be in, or an emergency job may be scheduled. Whatever the case, dispatchers need to notify field workers as soon as possible to rearrange schedules and ensure personnel arrive at their next destination promptly.
With dispatching software, office staff monitor job status and assign plumbers to new service requests based on their skill level and availability. They can manually adjust jobs and keep track of the various aspects of a service request. The result is workflow optimization that leads to better operational efficiency.
Mobile App Compatibility
How can plumbers and dispatchers stay in touch when working in multiple locations? It’s through the mobile connectivity that FSM software affords. Dispatchers send notifications to plumbers’ mobile devices, which they receive while on-site. These notifications may include a reroute to a new destination, job details to provide better service, or the most up-to-date pricing information. Homeowners can also download the mobile app to schedule appointments and receive updates.
A frequent concern with manual processes is errors with data entry. Spreadsheets and other documents are shared among plumbers, dispatchers, estimators, and other office staff, but without a centralized system for logging data, redundancies and errors are more likely.
FSM software integrates with many other software solutions, facilitating more efficient data entry. Integrate with accounting software like QuickBooks for invoicing and payment processing and CRM platforms for managing customer data.
How does software integration improve plumbing job scheduling? It makes key information readily available, such as homeowners’ service histories and past quotes. Intelligent software uses this information to offer a more personalized experience during appointment booking. For instance, it may recommend add-ons the customer is most likely to consider.
Better Financial and KPI Reporting
Key performance indicators are essential for any plumbing contractor that wants to experience business growth. Some FSM software delivers real-time insight into financial metrics and similar KPIs that reveal which goals a plumbing business has achieved and areas for improvement. Ultimately, this information helps increase performance with many tasks, including job scheduling.
Enhanced Quote Building
A major challenge for field service businesses is providing customers with accurate quotes. Traditionally, plumbers would need to contact office staff to get the information needed to provide quotes, impeding customer service.
FSM software provides the data plumbers need to develop quotes from their mobile devices while at job sites, eliminating the potentially time-consuming aspect of reaching out to estimators for information. Features like these reduce the time plumbers spend on one job and can enable contractors to schedule more service requests within a single day, boosting the bottom line.
Improve Plumbing Job Scheduling and More with FSM Software
By resolving miscommunication, data errors, and similar issues, FSM software supports better productivity and efficiency for plumbing contractors. Beyond plumbing job scheduling, it improves invoicing, reporting, and other elements of job management.
When searching for plumbing service software, you want technology designed with the specific needs of your business in mind. Sera develops FSM software built on the four principles that contribute to greater operational efficiency for small and medium-sized residential plumbing contractors like you. In addition to plumbing businesses, we serve others in the field service industry, like HVAC contractors and electricians.