Jobs are the easy part: How great service begins with smart scheduling
29 May 2023
While you can’t control the economic factors beating down on your field service business right now – like talent and stock shortages… You can protect revenue and market share by providing exceptional customer service.
You probably won’t be the only business to have cottoned on to this. So, how can you stand out and grab customers and retain customer loyalty?
Enter: smart scheduling.
In this blog, we’ll explore the practical ways smart scheduling is creating winning customer experiences.
Let’s dive straight in.
What is smart scheduling?
Smart scheduling is when field service businesses move away from manual processes like paper, spreadsheets, and whiteboards – towards automated smart scheduling software. It means saying goodbye to time-consuming, error-prone and delayed communications. And hello to faster service, real-time updates, and more accurate job information.
Why smart scheduling is a must-have for great service
Outdated job management processes just don’t cut it with today’s customers. They don’t want to wait to receive a quote or for an engineer to turn up. Clients want to be kept in the loop every step of the way. And they definitely don’t expect to see errors.
Ultimately, to deliver great service, you need better scheduling and streamlined job management.
And this is where smart scheduling software comes in.
With smart scheduling, you can ensure engineers:
- With the right skills and qualifications are sent to the right jobs
- Arrive on time – and the customer knows when to expect them (with some smart scheduling tools, customers can even live-track an engineer’s location on a map and their ETA)
- Are equipped with previous job history and the right parts to complete the job first-time
- Can instantly flag issues to back-office teams, whilst they’re still on site so you can organize fixes and follow-ups
And that’s just how smart scheduling supports engineers whilst on site.
It may be a bit of a tenuous link, but making things easier for your engineers also boosts morale and so your customers are more likely to get a positive impression from your field teams too – which contributes to great service.
Now that we have a solid foundation of exactly what smart scheduling is, let’s take a look at some lessons learned from businesses that have put this into practice. 👇
Lessons learned from field service businesses that use smart scheduling
At a high-level, field service businesses that use smart scheduling have reported that they’ve:
✅ Increased the number of jobs they can complete in a day
✅ Boosted first-time fix rates
✅ Improved customer communication – with instant updates and a customer portal allowing customers to access their own records.
✅ More easily achieves customer KPIs and SLAs
✅ Find customer information much faster, thanks to a digital and searchable database
Let’s share some real-life examples so you can see how this practically plays out:
🔎 Case study: HTF Transport
Replacing paper-based systems, HTF Transport now has a single platform for its CRM, Job Scheduling, Mobile App, Vehicle Tracking and even a Customer Portal. This means they now get real-time 24/7 visibility of operations and customers can book their own appointments.
“By eliminating paper and giving us real-time and 24/7 visibility of everything going on; we are just so much better informed and that just makes it a lot easier to manage the business and keep customers happy.” – Lance Bromley, Director at HTF Transport
📕 Read more here.
🔎 Case study: Upholstery2u
Thanks to smart scheduling, Upholstery2u sees significant improvements in its SLA reporting and customer feedback and has also reduced the administrative resource required to manage the mobile operation.
“We can automatically schedule and track our team. In turn, they have more control over their workload with job completion reporting, photo sharing and stock requests, all available through the app on their phone. Our SLA monitoring and customer service is better, and customers can self-serve with live tracking and completion reports.”– Daniel Boyle, Managing Director at Upholstery2u
📕 Read more here.
Keen to get started with smart scheduling? Here are the best practices to help you smash service delivery and boost revenue 👇
8 best practices for better service (thanks to smart scheduling)
⚙ #1: Automate job scheduling: Reduce errors and book engineering teams faster thanks to smart scheduling software that considers the fastest routes, engineer qualifications, customer needs, and more.
🚩#2: Prioritise customers and preferences: You can also add customer preferences – like specific delivery and opening times – into smart scheduling tools and prioritise customers with high-value accounts, those close to SLAs, or with emergency needs.
🆘#3: Provide self-service options: Online booking and access to job sheets and other key documents enable customers to book appointments at their convenience and access information whenever they need it. This reduces wait times and provides a more personalised service.
📩 #4: Keep customers updated: With engineer GPS tracking and ETAs.
🔍#5: Have one single place for customer information: Smart scheduler tools that integrate with CRM provide one single place for customer history. This is quick to search and provides engineers with all the information they need, right at their fingertips (on their mobile devices).
⚖️ #6: Balance workloads: Keep engineers happy to boost service quality by preventing burnout (for example, by reducing travel times and overtime with optimised routes).
➕ #7: Track customer satisfaction: Tools like BigChange also allow you to capture customer feedback through automated request forms. These can be triggered just as a job is completed. And all this information can be reported into a real-time visual dashboard so you can spot trends and issues in service delivery. You can even use these to run incentive schemes where engineers are rewarded for high performance – or you can provide additional training.
📃 #8: Get your teams on the same page: With all customer information in one place, and engineers having the ability to update while on site (via mobile apps) you can see exactly what’s happening with a job – live! So if a customer calls in, you can provide an update.
The bottom line: Ultimately, this means you can reduce no-shows, customers waiting around and not knowing when an engineer will attend, first-time fix rates, faster response times and higher job performance.
The easiest way to do all this? Leveraging the right tech. With leading smart scheduling software, built specifically for field service businesses, all this is a doddle!
Embrace smart scheduling for better service delivery
Through providing high-quality service and boosting customer satisfaction, you can expect revenue to increase with repeat business and referrals. And this is where smart scheduling is crucial.
The specialist tech allows you to provide self-service options, quicker service delivery and higher first-time fix rates, and it reduces costs… Savings you can choose to pass on to the customer.
Ultimately, by embracing smart scheduling, you’ll be better placed to provide the experience customers now expect which directly impacts your bottom line.
Ready to see how smart scheduling works? Book in a demo with our job management pros today.
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