Why Smart Field Service Scheduling Software Is a Win-Win
If you’ve been considering using smart field service scheduling software in your HVAC/plumbing business but aren’t certain it’s the right thing for you, it may help to look at it the way most customers do: they want it. They need it.
I know this from experience, and we have studied scientific research that backs it up with more hard data. While building an HVAC/plumbing company from one truck to dozens from 1996 to 2007, we focused on operating efficiency because efficiency is the key to profitability. Online scheduling gives operating efficiency a big boost.
It’s About Time
We looked at all of our field and office processes to see how to do them better and faster. Everything we do in our business – and personal – lives ultimately comes down to TIME. So, our goal was and is to get as much done as we can with every minute, every day.
We didn’t have the plumbing/HVAC software to help us then that is available today. After I sold the business, I set my sights on developing field service management software that could help any small business make operating efficiency gains of up to 30 percent. Some of our customers are doing even better.
Smart field service scheduling software is the first thing we worked on because that’s what affects customers the most. Like us, they want control of their time. They LOVE being able to schedule service appointments that fit into their schedules, not ours.
Self-scheduling not only helps customers; it also helps your business by drastically reducing the time you spend filling up your schedule. Here’s how that is a win-win.
What Your Customers Really Want
Customers like it when we don’t waste their time. It takes time to call your business and then wait on the phone while a CSR looks for available times – and they have to call during business hours. If the customer needs to reschedule, they have to go through the whole process again.
Research of online booking by GetApp, which helps businesses evaluate business software options, found that customers’ biggest pain points were related to booking appointments by phone:
- 67% said they prefer online booking
- 59% are frustrated by waiting on hold and having to call during office hours
- 94% said they would be more likely to choose a new service provider if that provider offers online scheduling.
Your customers are already so accustomed to booking hotels, rental cars, automobile service, and airlines online that it has become the natural order of things. When was the last time you talked with an airline ticket agent?
Customers expect you to have online booking. You need smart service scheduling software.
Why HVAC Owners Don’t Use Service Scheduling Software
Some of the reasons we hear most often from HVAC/plumbing business owners who are not offering online booking for service appointments include:
- I’m not tech-savvy
- It’s too complex
- It’s too expensive
- I like personal contact
- I haven’t had time for it
We don’t take any of these lightly. They all are real reasons – but they can become more like excuses than reasons if you don’t look for more information.
No matter how you slice it, If you’re not using service scheduling software for your HVAC/plumbing business, you are making your business unavailable to more than half of the people who otherwise would do business with you!
That is business you will never get unless you make it easy for your customers to book their own appointments on your website. They want to – and it’s great for your business. Smart scheduling software can be filling up your schedule while you sleep.
Popular small business software provider FreshBooks cites “not making it easy for your customers to book time with you” as one of the five top ways an appointment-based business loses money.
Great Customer Experience Helps You, Too
As a service business, your success is dependent almost entirely on each customer’s experience dealing with you.
“Customer experience” is not any one thing; it is all the little things that happen each time a customer interacts with your company. Those experiences and perceptions include an employee’s attitude, tone of voice, timeliness, helpfulness, knowledge, appearance, and more.
Service scheduling software reduces the number of routine interactions where mistakes often happen – a CSR may not be able to understand a foreign accent, or there may be a bad phone connection that results in people getting bad information.
The time that automating these routine tasks frees up for your employees can be used better to reach out to customers about things that need a human decision – or to follow up on outstanding proposals for service or new equipment.
Here are some of the benefits of HVAC/plumbing scheduling software that help make a great customer experience while generating more business.
Integrated Dispatching and Service Scheduling Software
Not all field service management scheduling software includes Automated Dispatching software, but it should.
Scheduling and dispatching are so closely linked and interdependent that they simply must work seamlessly together. There can be no chance for interoperability or software integration problems.
The full integration of scheduling and dispatching functions is the key to what makes Sera’s software so effective, especially for small-to-medium field service businesses looking to grow.
The Smart Scheduler/Automated Dispatcher ensures the right tech gets to each job at the right time. It integrates with the Tech App to provide techs the job and routing information they need. It all happens without your staff having to do anything, other than monitor the situation and override it, if necessary.
Sera also includes a Customer Hub where customers can review their accounts and service records in a secure online area and a robust Admin Portal that enables you and your staff to manage operational and financial performance with live data as each action takes place.
See how the four software components work together to make your business more efficient and profitable with automated HVAC scheduling software by Sera.
See the Difference
I know all the many pitfalls and hardships of running a service-based business. No matter what size business you’re running there is a lot of waste that eats up your cash flow and ultimately your profitability.
Sera puts money back in your pocket by doing the redundant, time-consuming jobs while your entire company works ON the business instead of IN it. No other software can give you this level of automation that will completely transform your business.
Chief Executive Officer
This can change your life faster than you may imagine. See it for yourself with a free, personal demonstration!
Customer self-scheduling for HVAC/plumbing appointments is available to any size field service business. You can add it now and start seeing improvement in jobs booked, operating efficiency, and profitability in a few weeks.
Research shows that most people prefer the time-saving convenience of being able to schedule HVAC/plumbing and other service appointments online, instead of having to call your office. They want to be in control of their schedules and not have to fit into yours.
Instead of dehumanizing your company, service scheduling software that is part of a field service management software solution enriches the customer experience – and your bottom line.
Are you ready to learn more? Request a live, personal demonstration.