Boosting Sales in the Slow Season for HVAC Companies
A high-quality customer experience is vital to your field service organization’s reputation and bottom line. Oftentimes, field service businesses fall short of meeting customers’ expectations when it comes to arriving on time to fix emergency issues with their HVAC units, plumbing, and the like.
To put it simply, your field service business drives revenue, secures repeat business, and more than likely receives future customer referrals when your technicians are in front of customers working on repairs and installations. What doesn’t help your business’s bottom line is when your technicians are stuck in their trucks while sitting in traffic, or even driving every which way trying to find the job location because they lack a good and reliable route planning and scheduling software.
If your company is not currently utilizing route scheduling software to help your technicians arrive at jobsites as quickly as possible, then your business is potentially losing money and future business. While your field service technicians are sitting in highway construction, or are busy zig-zagging across the map on their ways to jobsites, the customers who are waiting on your techs to arrive could be losing thousands or millions of dollars in revenue while their machines or parts are down, waiting to be repaired. This is costly for not only for your customers, but for your field service business as well.
Then, there is the Bullwhip Effect. The Bullwhip Effect happens when your first appointment of the day runs late, which causes your technicians’ second, third, fourth, etc. appointments to fall behind schedule. Falling behind schedule leads to unhappy customers and lost revenue.
In order to reduce the Bullwhip Effect and boost revenue, your company should be using field service business management software that assists in creating effective technician schedules—keeping each tech in a certain geographic area while making his or her workday driving routes more linear and efficient.
Your customers require top-notch experiences when calling upon your company to repair heating and cooling systems, busted pipes, or other similar field service issues, which means that your business needs to have top-notch route scheduling software. The quicker your technicians can get to each jobsite and complete the required repair, the better in terms of customer satisfaction and retention.
How Route Scheduling Software is Changing Field Service Management
Before the advent of route scheduling software, most field service organizations did scheduling by hand. A tedious, time-consuming task, scheduling field service technicians and creating workday routes by hand often led—and for those companies still scheduling using a pen and paper, it often leads—to ineffective technician workdays that are less adaptable to emergency field service calls from customers.
If your company is still using the pen-and-paper method instead of route planning and scheduling software, know that there is a more effective way to route your technicians, and save your office and scheduling personnel a lot of headaches. Field service business management software makes scheduling easier by providing your office and scheduling employees with a giant master calendar that uses click-and-drop functionality to organize and rearrange technician appointments.
Along with helping out your scheduling department employees, field technician software helps minimize driving time, which gets your company’s techs to jobsites quicker, and allows your scheduling department to book more appointments in a given day. Booking more jobs in one day increases your field service business’s revenue, making route scheduling software a worthwhile investment.
When your field service business uses route scheduling software that considers drive time, traffic conditions, appointment locations, and even technician skill sets, you can increase—and even potentially double—your revenue. For example, if your company has ten technicians who are scheduled for three appointments each day, and each job pays $100, that amounts to $15,000 per work week. (10 techs x 3 appointments x 5 days x $100)
However, when your company employs route scheduling software to create more direct driving routes with less traffic for your techs, you can book more appointments per day for each of these technicians. Cutting down on drive time may allow your technicians to have, oh let’s say, six appointments in one day instead of three. If your company has ten technicians who are scheduled for six appointments each day, and each job pays $100, that amounts to $30,000! (10 techs x 6 appointments x 5 days x $100)
Those numbers are certainly not insignificant.
Unlike tangible benefits such as revenue—but certainly just as important—, route scheduling software also allows your technicians to have better, less stressful work weeks. Route planning and scheduling software makes it so your technicians are not sitting in traffic for hours, or driving unnecessary amounts of miles between appointments. Better, more efficient routing means when technicians do reach customer jobsites, they are less frustrated, and are better able to concentrate on the task at hand—making the customers’ overall experiences better, and creating an avenue for future business and referrals.
Integrating Field Service Business Management Software is the Key to Success
After reading this article, you may be thinking, “I’m already investing in work order management software, a CRM, mobile technician tracking, and tons of other individual software programs, and now I have to get this too?!” Not necessarily. Your field service business can become better at scheduling and increase profitability by simply integrating software.
All-in-one field service business management software allows your entire company with all of its different departments to collaborate. The scheduling department cannot simply set up five appointments on their own. Scheduling employees need to work with dispatch on routing employees, and they need to understand customers’ needs and how those needs impact inventory levels, etc. All of your field service business’s departments need to be integrated to create excellent customer experiences. Integrating your field service business management software improves your company’s first-time fix rate, which keeps scheduling on target.
Although we understand that field service business management software presents an additional cost, it also helps generate revenue for your company. In order to help your field service business boost its bottom line, we have just released a scheduling and routing update in our Optsy software because we want to give you the ability to rearrange routes, and group these routes according to technician skill sets.
Not only have we updated our route scheduling software, but we have also put together an eBook on revenue-generating methods for small- to medium-sized field service organizations, as well as a guide to technician efficiency in field service that you can download now for free. Also, do some research and find a field service software that is right for you, and integrates the software solutions you need to reach your goals. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us, and find out how Optsy works the way you do!