Tips to make HVAC service calls more efficient to handle
Owners of HVAC sales and service businesses will tell you that service appointment efficiency is critical to a company’s success.
Whether a business pays employees by the hour or per appointment, completing more service visits increases revenue for the organization, and efficiency is key when looking to complete more appointments per day, per technician. Improved efficiency can also increase customer satisfaction, which is crucial for business survival and growth since happy customers are more likely to become repeat customers and a company’s best marketing tool.
FieldLocate, a field service automation software company, suggests ways service technicians can be more proactive, reactive and resolve problems faster by becoming efficient before, during and following service visits.
Service technicians can set themselves up to be successful by taking time every morning to review the day’s appointments. Being able to review appointments from wherever they start their day is important. Knowing what lies ahead in terms of the number of appointments, locations and appointment types allows technicians to adjust when necessary. Looking further into each appointment is also essential. While the basic appointment information is important, it won’t give all the details of each job and may lead to a technician being unprepared.
Another way to be proactive prior to the service appointment is for technicians to alert customers of their status before reaching the site. While these courtesy calls are often done by the dispatcher, these alerts can be automated using a field service management system. With automatic alert systems, an email or text message can be sent based on the schedule and the technician’s status. This gives customers the freedom to continue their day normally without blocking out a two- or six-hour window waiting for technicians to arrive. The business benefits by ensuring that customers will be home when technicians arrive, eliminating wasted time if technicians don’t have access to the worksite.
Technicians should not assume you already know the solution to the problem when they arrive. Completely diagnose it before prescribing the remedy. Double-checking the equipment and maintenance history before the visit provides insight into the potential problem, but once on site, HVAC technicians should take pictures and accurate notes. Being thorough on the first visit could eliminate the need for a follow up appointment, which could cost a business $200 to $300 in operating costs.
Once a problem is diagnosed, estimates must be presented to customers — and the paperwork begins. While technicians were hired to fix things, they often spend the majority of the appointment handwriting estimates, invoices and receipts. Eliminating paper work orders and invoices can dramatically increase the efficiency of a field service team and get technicians back to what they do best — fixing stuff.
Using field service management software allows users to efficiently and accurately generate estimates by pre-populating it with required details, and access to a universal price book allows technicians to quickly generate a work order, receive customer sign off and convert to an invoice without duplicate data entry.
HVAC service organizations must ensure continued customer satisfaction if they want the business to succeed and grow. Promptly following up with customers after the visit completes the service call loop and can improve customer satisfaction. Using technology to email an invoice is an opportune time to ask customers to complete a satisfaction survey, which can be used to help track efficiency and satisfaction and provide insight into areas of improvement.
Meeting customer demands has increased the pressure on HVAC service companies to provide resolutions quicker and more efficiently. Using technology in the field improves service appointment efficiency throughout the service call — increasing customer satisfaction and retention and service revenues.
To learn more about how to increase service appointment efficiency, go to www.fieldlocate.com/how-to-be-more-efficient-ebook to download the e-book, How to be More Efficient Before, During and After a Service Visit.
This article was supplied by FieldLocate.