Much like finding an old $20 in those jeans that you’ve had away since last winter, or like realising you’ve ordered your pizza on cheap Tuesday when you go to foot the bill, figuring out that just a small change to the way you work can save you time and money is gold.
Sometimes, it’s the minor details that matter. It might seem like a small win at the time, but it’s one that can make a big difference to your business.
Whether you’re just starting out in the field service industry or you’ve been in it for years, there’s a chance you’re overlooking some very important aspects in your everyday workflow. A minor adjustment to the way you work might make more of a change than you realise.
So, we’re about to dig deep in your pockets, find that $20 – and rejoice!
To do that, I’m going to take look at something that you might do every day: booking jobs. But what could you possibly be doing wrong with something so straightforward?
When booking jobs, you need to cover all the bases: the Who, What, Where and When. Otherwise, you could be wasting time and money through lost productivity and less-than-happy customers and employees.
By keeping these four Ws of job creation in mind, you can ensure happy, productive employees, happier customers, and a happier you, as you get paid for your services faster.
First up, you must understand who you’re dealing with. Is the customer a company or an individual? A non-for-profit organisation? Are they authorised to approve the work; that is, are they a tenant or the property owner, or a company representative? Will they be the one who’ll pay?
Establishing who will be paying for the work being carried out is important for two reasons: 1) so you can confirm that the job has indeed been authorised, and 2) so that you won’t be chasing who’s going to pay you after the job is complete – putting an unnecessary strain on your all-important cash flow.
Have you made a note of everything the customer has asked for? Including every detail of the job – even the minutiae – can help ensure the technician has enough time to get the job done and that he or she is equipped with the right materials to complete the job on their first visit. So, instead of simply writing, ‘Fix light,’ include a bit more detail: ‘The flood light under the eaves on the second storey isn’t working.’
Ask the customer questions if you’re unsure – it’s better to be thorough. You might even want to speak to your technicians to see if they experience regular issues that could easily be resolved with more information.
It may seem simple, but are you sure that you’re sending your technicians to the right place? It’s frustrating for both customers and technicians when work is late, especially due to avoidable mistakes such as incorrect addresses.
Equally as important are the conditions at the worksite. Should your techs be aware of any special circumstances? If so, make sure they know about them before they get there.
Let them know that the driveway is hidden. Let them know that they should watch out for the malicious guard dog (there are better ways to deal with a difficult employee…). Are there any site inductions they need to know about?
In simPRO, you can make all of these notes in the Notes section when you schedule a job, and the technician scheduled to the job will be able to see this on their mobile devices before they attend.
Sometimes, you’ll first need to find out when the customer wants the job completed. If the customer is time-short, for example, or has an urgent job that needs tending to, this should be the first aspect to determine. Can you have a tech available tomorrow afternoon?
With the handy scheduling and mapping tools in simPRO, you can easily find the nearest suitable technician for the job, ensure he or she has the right materials and schedule them to the job.
Make sure your customer knows to be available at the right time, so your technician isn’t left waiting for someone to turn up.
While it might be just a small change to the way you work, keeping all of these aspects in mind when booking jobs can have a huge impact on your productivity, customer service, and cash flow.
So, keep the small wins in mind and always, always order your pizza on cheap Tuesday.