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Paper to Spreadsheets to CRMs: Adopting Technology to Grow

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How technology can help you to overcome the unique challenges at your home service company

Missed customer calls. Schedule conflicts. Lost work orders. Payment delays. Most home service companies struggle with all of these challenges, but one of them probably hurts your business more than others.

The source of each of these challenges is often old, paper-based, manual processes. The solution many providers offer—rightly so—is new cloud-based technology. This type of technology has the potential to solve many business problems that home service companies face. The challenge comes in finding the one piece of technology that can address the specific problems you face.

Look For Field Service Management Software That Targets the Solutions You Need

Field service management software (FSM) can provide many different solutions for home and field service companies. It can be highly effective, which is why FSM software sales are growing at an annual rate of over 17 percent.

So you might be thinking, great, I should get some FSM software right now. Well, not all FSM software is created equal. Each offers different capabilities. Instead of thinking about the technology first, we believe you should first think about the challenges you want to solve.

For example, let’s say you know your company’s biggest struggle is booking new customers because you’re never in the office long enough to handle the intake. Now imagine this scenario: you receive a job request, you send a quote, the customer approves it online, you then schedule the job, send an invoice, and get paid, all while you’re out on another call.

The customer communication tools in a field service management app like Plannit make that possible. The key was in first recognizing that you needed a solution for better customer communication and then adopting a piece of technology built to provide better communication. 

You didn’t think, ”I need an app,” or, “I want conversations in the cloud.” No one thinks like that. In this scenario, you recognized your business challenge was communication and used a tool built to provide custom communication that just so happened to be a cloud-based app.

Think About Business Challenges First and Then Find the Technology Solutions

Here are four challenges frequently faced by home and field service companies. For each, we dig into how FSM can help address them. Do any of these challenges sound familiar?

1. Challenge: Tracking and responding to all customer communication

Field service businesses are battling to cut through all the noise, bombarded daily with emails, social media posts, phone calls, text messages, and web forms. Every home and field service business owner knows the frustration when sloppy schedules, missed or confusing messages, and vague instructions result from trying to track all of these different modes of communication. But thanks to an FSM centralized communication hub, those all can be a thing of the past.

A communication hub allows you to check for messages from your Facebook page, hotline, email, web form, and other channels in a single center, giving you visibility of all customer and team conversations. In addition, features like automated messages, priority-setting for follow-ups, one-click customer replies, and job histories streamline customer communication. 

Keep customers informed throughout the job process before, during, and after service. It is just as simple to respond to requests and queries thanks to chatbots and phone bots. You can customize Plannit’s chatbot and phone bot to respond to common customer questions or acknowledge inquiries whenever you’re unavailable. It’s like having a virtual assistant ready around the clock.

2. Challenge: Organizing customer records

A centralized communication hub also supercharges your sales and marketing efforts. Plannit’s platform doubles as a customer relationship management (CRM) platform because it allows you to tag customers who use different services. That helps you create targeted opportunity lists that you can use to promote seasonal contract renewals or to cross-sell related services. Most systems can also facilitate customer surveys that help you get feedback on customer satisfaction.

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3. Challenge: Quality control and efficiently managing work crews

Using an FSM app gives you powerful job management tools to make scheduling and dispatching easy and efficient. You can manage appointments, routes, contacts, and jobs. You can create, modify, and monitor jobs in progress.

An FSM platform will make your scheduling easier by:

  • Organizing visits by team member, by type of service, by route, or customized to your other preferences
  • Giving you tools to manage recurring weekly or monthly visits
  • Allowing you to dispatch work by route or type of service quickly

Improve work efficiency

Plannit allows you to manage urgent visits on the fly, answer field team questions on-site or on the way to an appointment, and keep customers in the loop throughout the day. You can also add or remove stops to itineraries based on priority.

Teams log progress in the app, record each visit, and access a quality control checklist. You’re also able to keep a record of all conversations and record customer approvals.

Plan and track driver routes

With FSM software, route planning is easy. It determines the shortest route to save time and fuel. In-app GPS tracking also allows your teams to record job site arrivals.

4. Challenge: Managing billing and payments

Lost or misplaced paperwork can delay billing and you getting paid. Lost paperwork can also impact productivity, with staff spending valuable time searching for documents instead of performing other new revenue-generating work.

Plannit offers integrated payment processing software that facilitates faster payments and considerably reduces your time spent on collections. For example, automated tools can trigger invoices and work orders when a customer approves a quote. In addition, you can easily track and send reminders for outstanding invoices.

You can further leverage digital tools like Plannit to reduce work hours managing billing and payments. For instance, you can send a digital invoice by email or text message, and the customer can pay by credit card instantly. In addition, by integrating the system with QuickBooks or other accounting systems, you can sync invoicing and payments to organize your finances better.

Software That's All About Solutions

Today, smart home service owners see software as a profit-generating mechanism and not a cost burden. Find field service management software that can deliver the business solutions that matter the most to your company.

Start your free trial now to see how Plannit can solve your home service company’s most pressing problems.

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