Field service management (FSM) software makes quite a difference in the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) and refrigeration sector –– not just for professionals but also for their customers. From streamlining workflows to providing accurate quotes to customers, there are a multitude of reasons why investing in FSM software is a smart move for HVAC business owners. Learn more about how FSM software solutions can enhance the American HVAC customer experience.
Understanding FSM Software
As the name suggests, field service refers to types of companies that provide commercial or home services out in the field –– in this case, the HVAC industry. Many operational tasks must be performed daily to maintain a positive profit margin. When manual processes cause production delays and inaccurate estimates, the customer experience –– plus the company’s reputation, client retention, and growth potential –– can be seriously impacted.
FSM software has the potential to revolutionize an HVAC business’ approach to providing excellent customer service. These programs are designed to support personnel in achieving greater operational efficiency –– all while transforming the customer experience and satisfying customers. By effectively coordinating resource allocation, HVAC companies can optimize daily operations and ensure their customers are happy with the estimates provided and services performed.
Some of the main functions of HVAC software include:
- Automatic tracking of dispatch assignments and tasks performed during jobs
- Cash flow management
- Contract, dispatch, and inventory management
- Detailed job efficiency reports
- Generation of quotes, estimates, proposals, contracts, and invoices
- Key performance indicator (KPI) data and financial reporting in real time
- Job scheduling based on the number, type, and duration of service requests
- Live customer booking
- Membership building and pathing tools
The Relationship Between HVAC Customer Service and FSM Software
Customer service skills and practices are vital to any HVAC company’s success. FSM software is designed to streamline many of the tasks that directly correlate to customer satisfaction, including:
Providing Accurate Quotes and Estimates
FSM software can generate professionally polished proposals and contracts, which include a quote or estimate for the expected service cost. Many cost factors can influence the anticipated price of a project, including:
- Type of job or service required
- Estimated production time
- Labor rates
- Material costs
Quotes and estimates need to be as accurate as possible. This enables the customers to plan their expenses accordingly to be able to afford the HVAC systems or services. Homeowners and business owners also want to know that they’re getting the best deal, so providing an estimate gives them a decision-making basis when comparing other quotes.
If the cost of the completed job is much higher than the provided estimate, customer dissatisfaction is not the only consequence. Companies can also experience damage to their reputation, as well as production delays and financial losses due to the miscalculation.
FSM software takes the guesswork out of quote generation and prioritizes protecting the bottom line. By automating the following tasks, cost estimates can be as realistic as possible, aiding in financial planning for the company:
- Generating precise quotes
- Calculating price margins
- Managing contracts, documents, and signatures
- Considering customer needs about operational costs and cash flow
Cloud-based FSM software also equips HVAC technicians and estimators with the information and metrics they need in the field. With access via mobile apps, HVAC professionals can arm themselves with the knowledge they need to answer all of their loyal customer’s questions. For example, does a certain air conditioning system come with a warranty? Techs can simply use their app to check in and find the correct answer.
Giving Customers Access to Convenient Portals
FSM software often has customer portals to elevate the customer experience. After customers register for an account, they can access features such as:
- Viewing account balance and invoice information
- Scheduling appointments via live booking tools
- Accepting estimates and signing contracts
- Reviewing service history and other information
Potential customers often value access to such portals and chat features with customer service representatives.
Scheduling and Dispatching More Efficiently
HVAC service schedules can greatly depend on the availability of parts, the skills and certifications required for a job, and which qualified HVAC techs are on call to perform services. No matter how complex creating workflows can be, HVAC companies must prioritize efficient scheduling and dispatching to keep customer satisfaction high. FSM software can facilitate several tasks to make these processes more efficient, such as:
- Eliminating the need for manual scheduling and dispatching practices, preventing human errors that can result from them
- Fitting in emergency jobs
- Giving personnel driving directions to the job site based on the fastest route for that day or time
- Handling call-outs from HVAC personnel, cancellations, and other unexpected issues or delays
- Providing time tracking so customers know when to expect the HVAC contractors
- Reducing wait times with automated dispatching and scheduling
Fostering Better Communication Between Team Members
From administrators to HVAC personnel in the field, strong communication between all service team members can help deliver a seamless customer experience. This is more than possible with the right FSM software. For instance, if a technician has to modify the equipment needed to complete a job, office staff can be immediately notified via a software solution, enabling them to quickly order the missing parts or supplies and avoid extended production delays. Additionally, superior communication skills can go a long way in providing good customer service and supporting the customer relationship.
Deliver Quality Customer Services with Sera
Aside from ensuring the best possible HVAC customer experience, FSM software delivers a host of other benefits, from promoting workflow optimization to simplifying cost estimating. It’s important to note, however, that not all FSM software for HVAC is created equally. Choosing the right partner is crucial to the business’s success.
Sera is a leading provider of total business solutions, including FSM software. Our programs are developed according to the four pillars of organizational efficiency: time management, margin management, cash flow, and membership management. With Sera’s FSM software, HVAC companies can identify and correct inefficiencies to boost their bottom line.
To learn more, schedule a 15-minute discovery call with Sera today. HVAC technicians and plumbers can request a free copy of our price book. You can also request to book a 45-minute demo, which will explain just how Sera’s FSM software can benefit your business.