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Top 6 Pain Points for Service Departments

Wondering how to increase the efficiency of your business? Looking to move from a current paper-based system to one that would allow you to spend more time servicing customers, rather than tending to the admin that surrounds that servicing? These are all common questions that alarm dealers have been asking.

Is there a way to easily schedule service calls? Can we capture information on a mobile device while at a customer location rather than input it once back at the office?

There is a way to eliminate the time-consuming manual processes of service and transition to an automated system that can help increase efficiency and accuracy, and make a technician’s job much easier while not delaying billing and collecting monies for services due…

The answer is a simple equation: efficient service departments = increased profits = happy customers = happy owners.

The list of common pain points that we hear is very repetitive. Here’s our list of the top 6 biggest pain points for field service departments:

1. Scheduling – Planning IS Everything
One of the biggest headaches for service managers is scheduling service technicians… and scheduling them well! How many of you are currently using a white board or Google Calendar as your schedule? Software puts scheduling information in one place and can be viewed by multiple members of your team. Managers can track work orders throughout the day, and updates can be made in real time, allowing managers to dispatch technicians to emergency jobs that might arise in the day. Technicians can track their own schedules throughout the day, week, and month. Managers can get an view of scheduling that lets them understand better how long jobs should take, and what issues may be holding up a job. Micro Key’s Accounting and Service software is as easy as dragging and dropping, while built in mapping in the application helps the technician get to the customer without delay on the fastest route.

2. Managing your customers means knowing your customers
How well do you know your customers? Electronic service tracking allows you to not only keep track of customer contact details but it also provides accessibility to their service history and installed equipment. A service tracking solution also gives your technicians the ability to collect money owed for a current ticket as well as past due balances if linked to an accounting software all in a centralized, secure place. No more rummaging through files; no more missing pieces of paper. For your service technicians, this information can be easily accessed through a mobile phone or tablet, keeping them better informed and allowing them to get up to speed on a service job quickly. Moreover, they can easily capture relevant customer and serving data and information on site such as updating zone list descriptions and update and add new customer contact information.

3. Technician Time Tracking
One of the traditional problems that service managers face is tracking technician time in the field. How much time will it take to reach a customer? How much time will it take to complete the job? If another customer cancels a job, can the technician be quickly re-assigned to make the most of the days’ time? Electronic service tracking allows managers and employees a centralized place to manage time sheets, holiday or personal time off, and overtime.

4. Electronic Service Tickets
Eliminate the pain of paperwork. With service software, automated work orders keep the entire process organized from the minute a ticket or installation order is created to its invoicing. Work orders typically contain important information about the customer’s service history or important information about the upcoming service ticket that is easily accessible and helps keep accurate record. Flags of common or recurring issues at the client level or hardware level and the data can be analyzed to determine if your company is bleeding money or running inefficiently. Because the service tickets are electronic, gone are the days of waiting for the technicians to bring back the handwritten completed service tickets to invoice customers (if they remember to bring them back at all) and gone is the tedious task of reentering the data for invoicing. Think about wow many times a day you currently revert to a file cabinet to review previous closed service tickets for a client…

5. Reporting: Analyzing Performance & Improving Service
There’s been a complete change in what service companies have been able to track as they have on-boarded service software. With paper-based systems, it was hard and time-consuming to track the data needed to make more informed decisions. But with field service software, tracking data and stats is much more easily done. Software can help uncover inefficient workflow that could unlock other areas of opportunity or help fine tune existing practices.

6. Invoicing and Quick Payment
Last but not least, we come to invoicing. With field service software, creating invoices are quick and seamless with the information gathered and entered in the field especially with a centralized, integrated accounting package, it is much easier to bill customers.