Technology has made it easier for field service management to communicate with technicians in the field. It’s a challenge for today’s field service organizations to offer greater communication tools and standards. With HVAC service dispatch software, tools are being built in to keep the lines of communication as open as possible.
One of the largest complaints of technicians in today’s field service industry is feeling alone in the field. With few lines of communications, it can feel like they are on a deserted island, trying to use smoke signals to get dispatches attention. When they need answers or information, it needs to be fast, accurate and readily available. Technicians don’t have time to jump through hoops to get the information they need.
That’s why HVAC service dispatch software comes with communication tools that simplify the ability for technicians to communicate. And it always everyone, whether a manager, dispatcher or technician, to be on the same page. Those who communicate the best will see growth, higher first-time fix rates and happier technicians. Here are some tips to think about when developing a communication strategy for your HVAC field service organization.
Give Them the Technology to Communicate
If you’re going to develop a communication strategy for field technicians, dispatchers and managers, then give them the technology to do it. Each has unique needs, but all of them will need the same system to communicate with each other. HVAC field service software offers communicate tools that will help all stay on the same page.
For managers and dispatchers, advanced notes can be a great way to communicate in their HVAC service dispatch software. By using notes, a record is made when changes are completed, leaving a trail for someone to follow if they have additional questions. They can also add specifics about the job, or additional information for future follow-up.
Reminders are another great way to build in communication tools. Reminders can be setup by anyone inside the HVAC field service software and directed to anyway. It’s a simple and easy way to remind someone to complete any sort of task.
- Run weekly service reports
- Produce an invoice batch for billing
- Produce invoices for the next month of preventative maintenance calls
Reminders will alert the individual of the job they have to do. It’s a simple designed tool that is available to anyone with access to the software. No more needing sticky notes or outlook reminders to do jobs inside the field service software.
Give Them Mobile Field Service Software
For technicians in the field, their best solution for the right choice of technology to help them communicate is their mobile device. Field service mobile apps come with the power to communicate directly with head office. The best part is, they don’t need a voice on the other side to communicate back to get the information they need. On a challenging job, technicians can access service history from their mobile app and see the notes other technicians have left. Since the HVAC service dispatch software houses a history of all service work orders, technicians can communicate with each other and collaborate on jobs. An experienced technician who has left the organization can still communicate instructions to beginners through the siloed information.
It also allows dispatchers to leave manuals and instructions for technicians right on the work order. With advanced checklists, dispatchers can build notes right into the questions to assist technicians in their work. The key for a technician in the field is to make all the information accessible. It can be frustrating for technicians to be on a job and not have answers to their questions. And the longer they go without an answer, the longer they are on the job site, which can slow down service.
Field service mobile apps give technicians a powerful communication tool that is more than just simple text messaging and phone calls. It’s the entire HVAC service dispatch software in their hand. So, any communication strategy needs to include a mobile component for the technicians in the field.
Include Inventory and Parts in the Conversation
Every service technician and dispatcher is going to be concerned with parts and inventory. When scheduling a job with parts included, dispatchers need to communicate where that part is coming from. Technicians need to know where it is to ensure they have it with them when they make the call. It goes a long way to improving first-time fix rates and customer satisfaction.
HVAC service dispatch software makes parts and inventory part of the conversation through built-in integrations with CRM and ERP systems. Dispatchers get a real-time look at inventory when dispatching work orders and can make inventory decisions with the proper information. With HVAC field service software, what is communicated to dispatchers is:
- How many parts are in stock
- The location of the parts
- What is the cost of the parts
- The vendor to purchase parts from
With real-time levels, it allows dispatchers to make appropriate requisitions when parts begin to get low. It also lets them know exactly where the parts are located, whether that is in a warehouse or technicians truck.
For technicians, they get that same information on their field service mobile app, but it’s vital information to have. If a customer is asking for parts information, specifically pricing, technicians should be able to see it all on their mobile app. When completing quotes, have parts integration helps ensure an accurate quote, with correct pricing. And if a technician needs to get a part, the location is available to them through the HVAC field service software, limiting time spent tracking down the location of a part.
Strong Communication Lines Leads to Higher Performance
The main reason to develop a strong communication plan is because it will improve your organization. From the top to the field, everyone should be in communication with each other and on the same page. HVAC service dispatch software will lead your team to higher performance numbers with improved communications tools. It will get your technicians the information they need when they need it. And during a critical repair where time is limited, that information needs to be readily available.
Develop a communication strategy for your organization and make HVAC field service software the centerpiece of it all.