A new hvac scheduling software can be intimidating. This is even more true for many HVAC contracting companies who operate off tradition and legacy, i.e., this is how I was taught to manage projects so this is how I’ll keep managing projects.
Nonetheless, it’s obvious that adopting new technology, software and apps can greatly benefit contractors — especially to grow your HVAC businesses. As we enter the heat waves of summer, the time is now to ensure your techs can quickly and efficiently take care of customers.
This is not only a matter of internal efficiency. Getting to your customers quickly can earn you a new friend or foe that could potentially impact your HVAC business through word of mouth.
New HVAC system installations, maintenance, and construction projects need to be managed carefully for profitability. The right HVAC scheduling software can give you all the information your HVAC techs need — whether in the office or on the go.
If you’re curious about whether your company needs a digital facelift, maybe this quick list can shed some light on how you can improve your operations with the right software investment.
1. Lack of Job Information Causes Communication Issues
Have you ever sent out an HVAC technician but then had to deal with calls and texts sharing updates on project details? Worse, did the HVAC tech do a incorrectly install a job due to lack of communication? This type of issue is pretty common, but it’s easily resolved with HVAC scheduling software.
The right scheduling software helps techs arrive at a job site with all of the info and tools they need to work in a paperless environment. They can quickly pull up customer records and see job notes, customer history and other details.
This gives HVAC techs the necessary details to get started on work right away. Status updates keep the office informed as to when (and where with GPS check-ins) employees clock in and out, complete jobs and start the next job. In real time, you are connected with your team in the field.
2. Routing Problems Are Causing Delays
Calls come in all day, every day — and many need immediate attention. Most HVAC companies are still using phone calls or text messages to get their team out into the field. Not only can this be a logistical nightmare, but sometimes we aren’t aware of which team member is where at any point.
Honestly, this is also a tell-tale sign that you should begin looking for alternate solutions. It’s also another instance where a quality HVAC scheduling software can benefit your operation.
When you schedule an appointment, you no longer need to call someone in the field to relay the information by phone, and hoping to get an update when they arrive. Instead, appointment scheduling allows you to capture notes on the call and immediately schedule the job.
Once the job is assigned by the scheduler, notifications will alert techs to the new job. Like any other scheduled job, they have access to all of the notes and customer information they need to walk in the door prepared. From the customers' perspectives, the technician knows as much about their needs on this emergency service visit as if it was a planned maintenance visit scheduled weeks in advance.
With this scheduling, some HVAC scheduling software platform's offer communication templates to easily notify your customers of the job's start time. Then they receive real time updates.
Instead of a frustrated customer waiting half a day, you can provide consistent and accurate information as to when to expect the HVAC technician.
3. PDFs and Written Documents Are Getting Lost
Even if you aren’t getting a signature in person, snail mail or even scanning and emailing back and forth, it all can lead to a messy paper trail at your home office.
File upkeep becomes an even more massive headache when it’s time to do financial reports, or if a client project is verging on scope creep and you need to find a signed document to reference quickly.
Over-reliance on scattered paper and PDFs isn’t only a tried-and-true way to frustrate your accountant or office manager. It’s also additional work for both you and your customers. Stop it.
E-signatures should be part of any HVAC contractor’s arsenal. Need an estimate approved? Or an agreement signed? With the right HVAC software, just email the invoice or estimate and the customer can sign right from their browser. No need to open up Adobe Acrobat or follow the complicated dance of print, sign, scan and email.
4. The Headaches of Handwritten Estimates In HVAC Contracting
A handwritten estimate really only works under ideal conditions. Not only do handwritten estimates and invoices take a long time to put together, they’re also prone to miscalculations and mistakes.
Moreover, they aren’t easily retrievable, and misplacing one can lead to serious complications later on. Digital estimating and invoicing apps solve this problem beautifully. You can easily and quickly create an invoice for your customer at the job site with a few clicks. All of the math is handled automatically, even taxes and profit margins. And you can save commonly used services and invoice items to quickly re-use for new invoices, making the process even faster.
Need to modify an estimate or invoice? With just a few taps, you can automatically adjust your line items to update the subtotal, tax, and total calculations. This is all available to you now through various apps, and you should be taking advantage.
Once your customers are ready to sign off on your estimate, you collect signatures right on your mobile phone and easily convert the estimate to an invoice with a simple tap.
5. Too Many HVAC Software Solutions?
There’s always that guy in the office that wants to use the latest technology. Sometimes it’s to the point that it can go a bit overboard. It certainly is helpful to have a solution for scheduling, dispatching, estimates, invoices, e-signatures and more. However, it can be a headache if you are using a separate app for each need.
The best route to take here is to use an existing field service software that includes all of those features in one place. That way you have one dashboard for scheduling, routing, estimates, invoicing, customer records, and other features that help you manage and grow your business.
There are a few solutions, including FieldPulse, that can ensure you have an easy way to manage your entire business from one dashboard.
Now is the Time for a Digital Upgrade
Whether you find yourself with an array of disconnected software tools or communications are plaguing your service calls, it’s time to consider a new solution. There is a reason HVAC scheduling software has become a “must-have” for the modern HVAC business, and there are a lot of choices on the market.
Having the right technology for your team can significantly help you grow your business. Maintaining one place to keep all of your customer, employee, and schedule information takes away so many headaches. All of your paperwork can go digital.
With mobile apps for your field team, connected back to the home office, your entire team will be able to deliver top-notch customer service.
Read more on HVACR basics at SNIPSmag.com.