Grow Your Home Service Business with Automation
The home service business has finally arrived in the 21st century — thanks to automation software called field service management software. Using this automation software, it is now possible to completely automate your home service business, making you more efficient, keeping all your employees in the office and in the field on the same page, and giving you access to real-time information about your business that you never thought possible.
Let’s look at FieldSurf, one of the most popular automation programs in the home service business, and see how you can use it to grow your home service business.
Once you automate with FieldSurf, you automate every aspect of your business: each department in your business is now able to communicate with every other department — and with you the owner. FieldSurf automates every function of your home service business: Scheduling & Dispatch, creation of Quotes, Work Orders, and Invoices, GPS vehicle tracking with geofencing, Inventory control, and automation of your accounting function, to put your entire business in the palm of your hand.
The typical home service business typically has two Calendars — one for pre-scheduled service calls, and one for emergency service calls. FieldSurf has two Calendars to let you take maximum advantage of the situation.
When a new call for service comes in, your scheduler enters the caller’s name into FieldSurf. If the customer is a repeat customer, his name will appear and all the
required fields will populate. There is no need to enter all the customer’s data each time he/she calls. If the customer is a new customer, your Scheduler will need to populate the fields with the new customer’s details. But once a customer’s data is entered into FieldSurf, you or anyone you authorize can access this customer’s information, the work history for that account, invoicing and payment history, and anything else relating to that account.
Then the dispatcher pulls up FieldSurf’s Calendar to book a time for your technician to come out. As the Scheduler creates a new Work Order for each new account, an Invoice for that account is also automatically created. In the old days, it was easy to create a new Work Order, schedule a tech in a particular time slot, and then forget to generate the invoice for that account. FieldSurf does this automatically upon creation of every new Work Order. The scheduler then reserves a time, and no-one else in your organization can schedule that technician to any other job for that time slot.
Then everyone gets automatically notified using FieldSurf’s embedded SMS messaging capabilities. YOur technician is alerted that he has a new assignment and must go to the calendar to get the details. Then the customer is alerted about your technician’s expected time of arrival (ETA). You can also set up FieldSurf so that anyone else in your company who needs to be notified of what’s going on with this account can stay on top of it. And of course, you can arrange for FieldSurf to message you as well each time a new technician is assigned to another job.
But the automation goes further than just a calendar. FieldSurf is fully equipped with Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) vehicle tracking capability. FieldSurf creates a map of your service area, and your Scheduler can instantly see on that map exactly where each of your technicians is in the field at any time. Your dispatcher, you, or anyone in your company that you designate, can access the GPS map at any time and know exactly where everyone is. FieldSurf will show you (and alert you, if you want) whether your tech is en route to the next job, whether he has arrived and is working, if he has completed the job and has left the customer’s location, or whether he is on the way to his next assignment.
And take GPS one step further, FieldSurf uses “geofencing”, which allows you to create a virtual boundary around a real, physical boundary. You can set up FieldSurf so that you can tell whether a technician has left Beverly Hills and has entered West Hollywood. You can even arrange to be alerted by FieldSurf’s SMS if you need to know this information.
Before automation, if you needed to talk to one of your field technicians to find out where he is, you had to call him on his cell phone. But perhaps he was taking a break in a Starbucks, or talking to his wife on the phone, and you needed to reach him urgently. Once you install FieldSurf, everyone in your organization can be instantly notified of everything that they need to know about. Technicians, dispatchers, supervisors, and you – the boss – always know what’s going on in every department, can always locate everyone in your company and can also communicate instantly with everyone. Your entire team of field service technicians, your accounting personnel, your management people, and you, all access everything from a single dashboard on any desktop or tablet computer, and even from a smartphone. You can be sitting in a meeting or at lunch and you can access FieldSurf’s GPS map from your cell phone, see where everyone is, and communicate instantly to everyone in your company that needs to hear from you right now.
But FieldSurf goes a long way beyond just a dispatching, scheduling and GPS tracking tool. FieldSurf also allows you to manage and track your Inventory, so you know how much you are selling, how much you have on hand, and alerts you when you need to reorder, so you never run out of parts or supplies. FieldSurf reports your Inventory to you in real time.
FieldSurf also totally automates the accounting department of your home service business. No more requesting financial reports from your accounting people, then having to wait while those reports were generated. With FieldSurf, you or your accounting people can generate any of a number of financial reports instantly. FieldSurf will tell you which accounts have been paid and which are still outstanding, it will tell you exactly how much sales you have made in the current period, and also allows you to compare sales between any two time periods. You can use FieldSurf to tell you which of your technicians is performing well and making sales, and which of your technicians might need some motivation. FieldSurf calculates the costs incurred in every job, and tells you how much money you owe each technician on each job and how much money the company made.