As a handyman, you must know how important tools are to doing your work effectively. But more than just knowing that tools are important to working faster and for greater efficiency, you must also know that not all tools fit every purpose.The same is true for pest control software.
In this digital society, every smart business is operated using software of various kinds. Many pest control business owners are also making use of different types of software to handle the various aspects of their day to day business. It is not enough to know that software is important, you also have to know how to pick the right pest control software for your business.
There are certain features a great software should have that will dramatically change your pest control company for the better. Here are some of the features you should look out for when considering a pest control software:
Automated Scheduling, Dispatching and Everything Else
One of the essential features any software that will make business easy for you should have is the ability to take away all things manual from your business operations. The 21st-century business landscape is completely automatic. All the aspects of the business that use to be done manually have now been made easy with software.
In the past, when a call comes through to request your services, your front desk officer would receive the call and will have to manually record every detail of the client’s order on paper. Details like the client’s location, needed repair, and preferred time of service would have to be entered manually.
After taking an order, next comes the headache of dispatching. Doing this manually comes with as much stress as taking the order, perhaps even more. Knowing exactly where your field technicians are and reaching out to them manually will not only waste precious time, sometimes it’s even almost impossible, which further complicates the process and slows down your service delivery.
What Should Your Pest Control Software Offer?
Scheduling and dispatching: A good software, must take the stress off your office staff when it comes to keeping a neat and error-free schedule. You will admit that this is one of the major headaches faced by your workers both in the Field and in the office. Your software should help you organize your schedule by:
- Keeping a neatly organized calendar, separate calendars for regularly scheduled calls and another for first-time calls will make things easier, prevent double booking and make it easier to avoid clashes in the schedule.
- Handle dispatching of field technicians with increased efficiency; by giving you access to your technical staff location, and allowing you to send a message to just the right personnel, you are able you save valuable time
Asides scheduling and dispatching, your software should also be able to automate other aspects of business such as:
- Accounting and reports: an automated pest control software, should have an impact on how your accounting is prepared. This is another very important aspect of the business that you don’t want to handle manually. Sure, software like QuickBooks has made this easier in the past, but you should be on the lookout for a software that does it even better. One that takes things a step further and makes everything fully automatic from start to finish and is able to deliver your accounting information to you instantly and on the go. You won’t even have to wait for a minute to have it delivered to you unlike in the past that would take days or even weeks.
- Workers payroll: Your worker’s payroll should also be prepared automatically too. No more endless time wasting paperwork at the end of a payment period.
- Invoicing: if your pest control software isn’t making it easy for you to get paid then you shouldn’t be using it at all. It is one of the key features you need to look out for in your software. With an effective software, you will never have to waste valuable time on preparing an invoice or sending it. Apart from preparing your invoice, the software should also be able to send it electronically to your client’s email without wasting any time.
- Payment: A software that takes things a notch further and offers a way to receive payments on the field is an even sweeter alternative. Advancement in technology has made it possible for payments to be processed instantly without wasting time. You should look out for a software that makes this possible.
Versatile Communication Tool
Does your software make communication a breeze? It definitely should. This is another feature to look out for. For a pest control company, communication is key. Information should be efficiently passed across from office to field and vice-versa.
- SMS messaging capabilities: your software should enable you to communicate directly and in real time with your field technicians and workers back at base. When a call comes in and the work order has been prepared, getting the information across to technicians in the field can be a real bother, but your software should make it a lot easier and instant too. Valuable time is no longer wasted. An alert is sent directly to your technicians in the field. The best thing about it is that it is not a one-way communication, technicians can respond in real time and keep the base updated at all time.
- File sharing capabilities: your software should take communication beyond letters and symbols and allow you to send and share files from base to field and back. Your technicians can take pictures relating to the work they are doing like the bug being exterminated, the chemicals being used among other things. This can then be saved on the software or sent to base directly for reference purposes just in case they are needed in the future.
- GPS capabilities: your software should have GPS technology too. This feature offers a lot of advantage to your pest control business and increases the efficiency of communication. You should able to tell where all your field techs are located without them having to tell you themselves. Your software should be able to report their locations using GPS which makes it easy to know just the right person to communicate a work order to, based on their proximity to the location where your services are being requested.
Your customers should never be in the dark also. You should get a pest control software that makes it easy to send information and updates to them before, during and after the work is completed.
Efficient Business Tool
If your paying for a pest control software. It should make it easy for you to respond to your customers faster, arrive in time to deliver, deliver effectively and above all get paid faster than before.
The know it all businessman: one of the major things your pest control software should help you do is appear smarter to your customer. It is not uncommon to find businesses where the front desk officer knows very little about pest control and the technicians knows little about business. Your software should help bridge this gap effectively by serving as a knowledge base for both technicians and office staff. Your software should:
- As an inventory tool, your software should contain information about pest control chemicals and equipment you have in stock so that your office staff can effectively answer questions that customers might have for them when they call
- Contain information needed for your field technicians to give quotes to customers directly on the field.
- Provide business analytics tool, that makes it easier for you to interpret and understand accounting information made available on the software.
Effective Response: we’ve mentioned how your pest control software should make scheduling and dispatching easy. This must be done with as much efficiency as possible. Your software should have a fixture that enables you to not just communicate faster to the appropriate quarters but do so effectively, you should not just be dispatched at random. You should be able to tell:
- Where each of your field servicemen is
- Know which of them is free to take an order and who isn’t
- Know which of the free technicians is closest to the location of the new order
With everything planned out this way, you cut down drastically on time wasted trying to communicate and reduce response time to the barest minimum. You will leave your clients surprised at how fast you are able to arrive on-site which will improve your reputation and relationship with them.
Field Assistant: your software should also double as an effective assistant in the field. you should be able to seek for help from the base or from other technicians using your pest control software when you run into issues that you are not familiar with in the field. this way, there even make it easy to get the best even out of the most inexperienced field men as they have the help of others right at their fingertip just a click away.
Payment Processing: on-site and off-site payment processing is another essential feature to look out for in your pest control software. After delivering in a task, time should never be wasted on processing invoices, sending it or waiting for payment after the invoice has been sent. With a versatile software, you should be able to prepare invoices easily and send them electronically to your customers without wasting time on paperwork.
You should also be able to process payment onsite without stress using your client’s debit card. They can swipe the card to make payments or supply the card details to your technician even if the card isn’t available. An effective software should be able to process payments this way and ease make it easy for you to get paid for all the services.
Simplicity and ease of use
While all these features might look like so much, a software that is able to perform all the listed functions and more is what you need for your pest control business. You don’t want a pest control software that will require special programming skills to set up or months of special training to be able to use.
Your software should be very easy to use. With little or no knowledge of programming at all, your field and office staff must be able to make sense of the software and all its features with little or no training at all. It should be totally intuitive, so you won’t have to waste the time on set up and training.
A simple software that puts every detail of your business on a single desktop or mobile phone interface is what you should go for. Not one that requires heavy downloads of different programs that will be hard to use and master. Your versatile tool must also be compatible with multiple devices. Both phones and computers of all kinds. It should be 100% mobile responsive making it accessible on every and all kinds of the smartphone. No need to go and especially get a new device just because you want to use an automated software to organize your business. It should be available and accessible anywhere.
While it is not uncommon to find many business tools coming at very exorbitant prices, your software should come at a completely affordable price that will put no strain on your business. Preferably one that has a package for small businesses especially if your pest control company isn’t a big one.
Finding a software that fulfills all of these conditions might be quite difficult, but you don’t have to compromise standard or go for software that has just a few of these essential features. You can get everything in one single place with FieldSurf.
FieldSurf is a versatile Field service management software made for everyone in the field service industry including pest control businesses. FieldSurf has many incredible features that you can rarely find on a single software like you have it on one unique software with FieldSurf.