7 Ways To Increase Your Jobs & Retain Business
Competition is tough out there for the field service industry. With businesses constantly changing, it can be difficult to stay on top.
If you’re just starting out or looking for a way to boost the number of jobs coming in, there are several ways to do this. Once you get work going, it is then the matter of retaining business and encouraging clients to keep coming back.
Need a few tips? Have a look through these suggestions to increase your jobs.
1. Be Organised
Keeping all your business information in one database sounds simple enough. But it’s surprising how many companies don’t do it. There could be a reason for this; different employees need different information. People prefer using software that they’re used to, which is a fair reason for not wanting change.
Organisation can help keep businesses of all sizes moving. With an organised system, fewer mistakes are made, and you have the time to help your business grow.
If you have customer and staff info, quotes, purchase orders, jobs, and invoices all linking together, it saves huge amounts of time. It also reduces duplication and keeps everything uniform. A single central database means everyone can see what’s going on, and everyone is on the same page.
Organising your data also helps you plan ahead and prepare maintenance for your installations. Planned maintenance not only brings your repeat business, but also helps your customers keep their appliances in tip-top shape.
2. Be Accurate
Ordering the wrong parts can cause issues, with added downtime and a loss of profit. Accuracy is key to ensure these issues don’t become the norm.
With an up-to-date products database with automated stock control, errors can be reduced. So, you know exactly what needs to be ordered when stock runs low.
It’s the same scenario for many aspects of the business, including job management.
When sending engineers job data that has come directly from a database, they are better equipped with more accurate information. This means less room for errors and more power to complete the work efficiently.
Accurate job management not only benefits your engineers onsite, but also leads to a happier customer base. Happy customers lead to an increased chance of repeat business. It all stems from accurate records, job sheets, invoices and more.
3. Be Efficient
Field service is a natural fit for mobile software. But many companies are still reluctant to use it, preferring paper job sheets. They might be concerned that the engineer won’t be happy using it, or the information they need won’t fit the program.
With a simple app, which is easy enough for people to use, you can instantly relay completed job information straight back to the office with a customer signature, labour times and work carried out. This quickens the whole job process and allows you to invoice the work much faster and more accurately than waiting for paper job sheets to come back, two crucial elements to your business.
4. Be Quick
It might seem impossible to find a perfect balance between a fast service and an efficient one. But being quick doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice quality.
When a customer calls in, you want to see who they are, where they are and what work you’ve done for them. A fast response time and accurate customer management creates a desirable edge over your competitors.
You might already know your clients well, but do you know what equipment you serviced on a site of theirs 18 months ago? This is where a database, rather than spreadsheets, gives you this speed and knowledge. In turn, this then gives them confidence in your ability to manage them for future work.
5. Be Professional
Excel spreadsheets, paper certificates and notepads may help with management in the short term. But wouldn’t you rather hand your client professional, clear and well laid out documentation?
Embracing technology for each stage of a job has a multitude of benefits. You can email completed certificates and track communication with customers.
Adapt for your customers. So, if one business requires physical documentation, don’t just hand over written notes or scribbles. Create gas and electrical certificates with your company logo and use print templates to ensure a consistent, professional service for your customers.
This will give them confidence that you have an actual system in place rather than spreadsheets and paper everywhere. You also have traceability with things like service history and when you spoke to them, which can be a rule for many organisations such as county councils, housing associations and larger companies.
6. Be Smart
Service management software allows the scheduling of engineers. You can see who’s available, who is the most suitable operative or team for the job. And if the software links with GPS or Google Maps, it can show you who is the closest. This can increase the amount and quality of the work done, improving service efficiency for your clients.
It’s not just engineer scheduling that benefits from software integrations. Fulfil your sales processes seamlessly with links to your accounts package.
Already using Xero or QuickBooks to sort your accounting? Take that smart management a step further and integrate with service management software to get the entire business organised. Having this connection helps you prepare invoices for clients and makes it easier to manage charges, such as the domestic reverse charge.
This kind of smart preparation is bound to impress prospecting clients and retain existing business.
7. Be Open
There are a number of ways to be honest and open with your customers. You can boost your online presence by sharing important updates and news across your social channels. Or inform customers when they might have a change to the schedule through an email newsletter. Perhaps just a phone call directly to the client is your chosen method.
But when your customer list grows, how do you maintain that communication?
Instead of the client phoning in, it’s possible for them to log in via the web to view their jobs and assess performance. This type of customer service software can be used to impress prospective clients and win contracts. It looks professional and saves them time, and that’s clearly a good thing.
Adjust what your customers can view and access. Give them an easy way to check on how everything is going, without the hassle. Being able to check the progress, even out of office hours, gives them the confidence that the work is in good hands – yours.
What do these steps all have in common? Service management software. Download a demo of Clik Service to see how it could help improve efficiency in your business.
This post was first published in January 2017 and has been edited with updated information.