Dispatch and scheduling are a crucial aspect of any HVAC field service company. Without it, technicians would never even arrive at a client’s door, much less do the job correctly. Essentially, it determines how prepared, efficient and able the workers will be. Unfortunately, badly handled HVAC dispatch and scheduling could result in an array of disasters, from missed appointments to extreme delays. Therefore, it’s important not to forget about this department. Continuing to look for ways to not only maintain it but also improve it is vital in this competitive industry. One method to give serious thought to is bringing software into the equation. Why? Well, here are seven reasons to implement software into your company’s HVAC dispatch and scheduling.
1. Lessened Error
No HVAC field worker or company wants to be accused of lacking reliability. Since maintenance relies so heavily on accuracy (and the internet has made sharing company reviews easy), making regular mistakes will almost certainly give your business an unpleasant reputation. Therefore, eliminating error by any means is a goal to strive for. HVAC dispatch software is effective in this sense because it limits human mistakes. Since the software can be programmed to perform a certain way, there is little chance that you’ll forget an appointment or mix up a schedule.
2. More Efficient Scheduling
Giving the right technicians the right jobs at the right times is a goal of any good dispatcher. This is made easier through the use of software. By giving dispatchers access to each technician’s schedule, the HVAC dispatch software lets these three elements get matched up as perfectly as possible. If certain technicians and experts have more experience in various fields, these individuals can have priority when such orders come up. These workers can also be given the highest paying jobs if need be. Technicians that need to work at specific hours may be fit into those slots easier. Once the schedules have been formed, dispatchers can make easy changes if necessary.
3. Improved Customer Experience
The overall customer experience is everything when it comes to the service industry. Even if your prices or the service itself weren’t received with enthusiasm, the overall experience offered has the ability to gather loyal clients. While part of creating a pleasant experience is being friendly and giving incentives, another part is keeping the customer informed. Without information and updates, clients are forced to sit back and hope everything goes well. For many customers, especially those that aren’t familiar with your business, this will be unacceptable. By using software, you can ensure that your patrons will automatically stay in the loop throughout the process. Here are a few ways this is accomplished:
• Updated and accurate ETAs (estimated time of arrival)
• Generated e-mails with updates and reminders
• Various notifications throughout the process
4. Heightened Communication
As the saying goes, communication is key. This is especially important for fieldwork, which involves the employees being separate from the rest of the company. Dispatch software can allow your business to both keep track of and stay in touch with technicians. This connection comes in handy at all points of the process. By using software to contact the technician and relay order information, the worker doesn’t need to go anywhere before arriving at the client’s space. If any updates to the order occur, or anything goes wrong, both parties can be informed immediately and correct the course.
5. Better Transportation Planning
A significant factor in HVAC maintenance is travel. Technicians need to travel constantly in order to reach various customer sites, and it can become a hindrance to the process. After all, a traffic jam could occur at any time. What you don’t want is for a technician to spend longer in a car than performing jobs. Software allows you to avoid this by functioning as a GPS of sorts. It essentially finds the best route for each order and then helps you create schedules based on these elements:
• Technician ability
• Incoming orders
• Job recurrence
By calculating the schedule through this form of analysis, you can help far more clients than previously possible. It will also help your technicians by limiting exhaustion from driving too much
6. Easier Data Access
When one imagines dispatch centers, it’s common to think of cluttered desks full of work orders and schedules. This organizational system may have been necessary in the past, but it’s practically inviting something to go wrong. A paper could fall into the trash or remain unseen under a pile. It’s also difficult to wade through for the dispatchers. In contrast, data storage is far easier to handle. All employees need to do is access certain data files on a device. As long as these pieces of information are present on more than one computer (uploaded to the cloud, for example), it’s very hard to lose anything. This ease of access is vital, especially during emergencies. If a quick analysis or information on an order is needed immediately, it can be sent over with just a few clicks.
7. Faster HVAC Dispatch and Scheduling Updates
Having your technicians show up to a job without the right tools or at the wrong time is unprofessional. However, if an update to the order occurs, it can be difficult to relay this information in time. Software helps by allowing dispatchers to send immediate updates. If something needs to be changed, a technician can receive a notification almost instantly. Dispatchers have the ability to change the technicians’ schedules, which may send an alert via the HVAC field service mobile app. This also allows for better planning beforehand, which makes the process go much faster.
Clients looking for HVAC maintenance support expect prompt and effective service. Otherwise, these individuals may move on to another company. The urge to stay technology-free can be tempting, especially if your business has been operating like that for years, but you’ll be far more competitive if you give software a try. You may find that more orders are completed, and your day-to-day work is easier.
If you’d like to know more about how Fieldpoint’s dispatch software can help your business, contact us today.