July 15, 2019

Choosing the right field service software

Article

Choosing the right field service software isn’t easy, but it is important

There are many things to consider when choosing the right field service software. It's a critical decision that could impact the day-to-day operations for you and your team for the years to come.Getting started with a new field service software takes time and money to set up but it will save you money (and headaches) in the long run and help you create a better business. Once you move over to a professional software you’ll wonder how you ever got by before.

You’ll be able to schedule more jobs per dispatcher, increase jobs per day in the field, increase jobs consistency, and more easily oversee all your jobs from one place. All while increasing overall customer satisfaction. It’s a no-brainer.But once you decide to move forward with purchasing new software, how do you decide on the right one? While we can’t tell you what’s best for your business, we've put together some considerations as you evaluate your options.

1) Know your business use case

There are hundreds of field service software solutions out there. Some are built as general purpose software that anyone can use and others are built for specific business types. They can be B2B, B2C, industry-specific, built for 1099 field networks or for W2 networks.You will want to find a solution that is built with your end customer and business model in mind. In this scenario, the one-size-fits-all solution may not be best unless you’re willing to do heavy customization and give up a few nice features.Start by understanding your clients and what they expect from you. Use the output of that exercise to begin comparing features of various field service software solutions to see if they work for your business.

2) Multi-platform field agent software is a must

While your goal may be to increase efficiency for the project managers and dispatchers sending field agents on jobs, if you don’t keep the field agents in mind, you’ll never see any improvements.In the on-the-go world that we live in, your team will need to be able to work from the road. This means that you need a mobile solution that works across iOS, Android and web. Agents are significantly more productive when they are able to get driving directions, check into jobs, update lists, upload files, close out of jobs, send invoices, communicate with your team and much more, all on the go.Also, it’s critical that this app has online and offline modes. You can’t let a bad internet connection stop a job from being completed.Finally, an easy-to-use web-based desktop version is nice to have for when jobs require additional work after leaving the site.

Boomtown ToolBox Platform

3) Easy and intelligent scheduling at scale

Since dispatching agents to the right job at the right time is the primary objective of this new software, the scheduling functionality will be at the center of the selection process.You’ll want to find a software that not only makes it easy to schedule agents, but helps you choose the best agent for the job. Today’s field service software solutions are becoming increasingly intelligent and can instantly leverage nearly limitless historical data to help you make smarter decisions.This means your software should help you optimize schedules and suggest the best agents based on location data, availability, skill sets, historical job performance, customer feedback, time of day, traffic and much more.Adding automation, generally achieved through Machine Learning models, to your solution will provide one of the largest long-term boosts to productivity and team efficiency.

4) Guided checklists and embedded processes

While we talk a lot about team efficiency, it’s important to ensure that you are selecting a solution that has a focus on helping you deliver high consistently quality at scale.Look for a software that allows you to leverage your time. What I mean by this is that you don’t want to have to create a custom scope of work and job checklist for every job your team dispatches. Many solutions today have the ability to create job templates and workflows that enforce your business processes and lead to high repeatable quality. These checklists should also append to your job workflow so you can reference them later at any time.Once you set up these processes, you will have a much easier time overseeing more jobs and focusing on the critical pain points rather than micro-managing every job that is in progress (or worse, wondering what is happening on-site).

5) Integrations

You may want to find a system that becomes the only software you use, and that’s great. To the extent you are looking for a field service software that is an addition to other systems that you already use, make sure it has pre-built integrations to your systems and/or comprehensive APIs that you can tap into to ensure you’re capturing all your data in one place.

Boomtown Integrations

6) Focus on the customer experience

Last, but certainly not least, understand what the customer experience will be like with your new field service solution.You want to find the right level of personalization and automation for your business. For example. You’ll definitely want your system to send automatic confirmation and reminder emails (or SMS messages) since those are standardized notes and have limited relationship value.On the other hand, capturing customer feedback and having a way to seamlessly talk to a client after the job to ensure they are satisfied is an important part of the process that you should take into consideration.Finding a solution that has a dedicated mobile app for your customers is a great way to provide an enhanced experience at scale while simultaneously driving customer loyalty and repeat users.

If your business provides services to local merchants, take a look at Boomtown’s field service solution and see if it fits your needs.