The main difference between a thriving and a struggling HVAC field services business is its ability to provide excellent customer service. In addition, successful businesses implement best practices to streamline operations with fast and efficient automated workflows.
Field service management best practices that will keep your HVAC business efficient includes automating all core business functions with a cloud-based FSM software solution. Other best practices are maintaining equipment, sharing customer surveys, and rewarding loyal customers.
Keeping track of several technicians working in various locations with expensive equipment using an outdated paper-based system is not for the faint-hearted. So, if you want to completely overhaul your HVAC business and significantly grow your market share – read on!
The Best HVAC Field Service Management Practices
Fortunately, you don’t have to max your credit card. Or use too much precious time to implement the following best practices to streamline your field service operations. In fact, you will most likely wonder how you ever managed to run your HVAC business in the past.
1. Automate your HVAC Business to Optimize Efficiencies
The key to successfully managing your HVAC business is to automate all your essential field service functions to streamline operations.
Cloud-based Field Service Management Software (FMS) frees up your time to focus on providing outstanding customer service levels. FMS solutions reduce the time, labor, and resources typically needed by various divisions to manage your business data with tedious, less efficient paper-based processes.
Automation grants all your employees and customers access to a central communication hub which is essential as your technicians can provide excellent service as issues arise. Most importantly, FMS platforms connect your front and back offices seamlessly with the relevant manager. So, there is no communication gap between the various divisions in your business as everyone is on “the same page.”
The beauty of embracing modern technology instead of paper-based systems is that you don't have to drive back to your office to schedule callouts. Instead, you can use a tablet or smartphone to access your technician's calendars. You will also be able to send estimates to your clients with a reusable quoting template, which is a fast and efficient way to manage your business.
So, investing in an efficient FSM solution makes perfect business sense. And provides a great return on a small investment, especially compared with time-consuming paper-based workflows that frustrate your customers and employees.
2. Keep your HVAC Equipment in Great Condition
Another vital field management best practice is to ensure that your field service equipment is in prime condition. Thus, it’s essential to record where your equipment is located and whether it is fully functional. However, doing so is time-consuming and prone to errors, primarily if you work in several locations.
With an FMS solution, your technicians can provide an accurate update on the state of your equipment, and your managers can approve maintenance requests if necessary. So, you will never lose business due to equipment failures, and you can plan for every eventuality.
3. Get Regular Customer Feedback
Outstanding customer service can make or break your business! Therefore, it's vital to regularly check in with your customers and get feedback about your level of service, the conduct of your employees, and the entire process from start to finish.
Constructive feedback is imperative, so it’s no wonder that up to 70% of leading FSM companies use customer feedback to create thriving businesses. Customer surveys are invaluable as they highlight specific areas in your business that need to be fine-tuned and make your customers feel valued and heard.
Efficient free online survey platforms like Wootric and Survey Monkey allow you to instantly gauge your customer’s level of satisfaction. And find out whether they would be willing to recommend your services to others.
So, ensure that your technicians inform their clients that a survey will be forthcoming, as their feedback is essential. Then share the expected online survey with the customer within a day or two after the job’s completion date. Most importantly, should you make changes based on feedback from a specific customer, let them know that their recommendation has been implemented. And that you deeply value their input.
4. Reward Loyal Customers
No amount of advertising can compete with the value of a referral from a happy customer. In fact, they are your best brand ambassadors.
Loyal customers are also more likely to spend a lot more than others. Rewarding them with small gestures of appreciation like free upgrades, discounts, handwritten thank-you notes, or personalized gifts is an efficient way to retain your best customers and make them feel valued.
5. Automate and Streamline Payment Processes
Expecting your overstretched managers or field technicians to deliver invoices and process payments on top of their other duties is often a recipe for disaster. In addition, it can lead to significant business losses or fraud. Customers are also inconvenienced if they have to drive to your office to settle their bills and waste their precious time and gas to make payments.
Automating your payment process benefits your customers and ensures a fast and efficient payment, improved cash flow, and fewer defaulting payments. In addition, field technicians and managers can process payments once a job is completed.
HVAC Field Service Management Software Solutions
So, now that we have covered all the best practices that will catapult your business to success. Here are some of the best FSM software solutions based on excellent customer reviews to automate your core HVAC business functions.
Cloud-based Housecall Pro Software is a bespoke online platform that seamlessly automates HVAC workflows and technician dispatches. It includes a mobile and web portal with valuable features like a job scheduling function coupled with GPS tracking, Quickbooks web and desktop integration, job estimates, payments with automated invoicing, and an automatic email marketing function.
Most importantly, clients can make online bookings on HouseCall, communicate with your team on the messaging platform, and make payments.
Jobber is another excellent FSM automation solution for small-to-medium-sized HVAC businesses. It allows you to streamline business operations via a Jobber mobile app or a desktop platform.
This cloud-based software provides a wide array of fantastic tools like a CRM function, scheduling, including dispatching features. Expense management, billing, bookings on the online customer service platform, estimates, customer reminders, and other automated emails. (Related: 11 Expert Email Marketing Strategies For Service Businesses)
Jobber also has an additional time-tracking feature. So you will have accurate real-time information about how long your field technicians take to complete a job. You can also monitor their level of productivity, which is an added benefit.
Managing a business that operates in multiple locations with a paper-based system can be daunting and costly in the long run. However, with our tried and tested field services management best practices, you can automate time-consuming tasks and transform your business.