Service contractors are mobile and great at improvising, yet too many are still using the same outdated processes they’ve always used. That’s a problem when your customers are tech-savvy and accustomed to getting things done quickly. Below are six mistakes service contractors are still missing. Read on to see if you fall into any one of these categories.
1. Emailing Estimates Too Late
Say a customer reaches out to three service contractors to get estimates for a job. The first two send their estimates within an hour of meeting the customer. The customer is impatient and wants to get the work started, so she hires one of the first contractors that night. The third contractor sends their estimate the next night, but it’s too late.
At the estimates phase, the customer doesn’t yet know you or your work. If the only thing they knows is that you’re slow to get things done, they’ll hire your competitor. Beat out the competition by using templates for your estimates.
2. Slow Customer Response Time
But you’re busy! You can’t respond to every text and email immediately. Still, customers don’t want to feel ignored. Send job updates and automated responses letting them know that you’ve received their messages using a central communication system.
3. Not Accepting Credit Cards
Most of your customers expect to pay for your services electronically or with credit cards. Setting up a system that allows you to accept those payments is actually easier for you too, if it allows you to automatically sync payments with your accounting software.
4. Changing Job Timelines
This is one mistake that’s as old as the service industry itself. Quoting one deadline for a project but failing to adhere to it is a huge pet peeve for customers. Delays are often inevitable on your end, sure. But keeping customers updated about the reason for any delays and giving them updated schedules minimizes their frustrations.
5. Screwing Up Scheduling
The more customers you have, the harder it is to keep track of scheduling. Maybe you tell a customer one date but get caught up in a job and forget to write it down, or you spend so long setting up a series of recurring jobs that you end up falling behind schedule.
Showing up on time to every scheduled appointment is one of the key ways you can earn a reputation as reliable. Keeping your appointments in a centralized system that sends you and your customers reminders about upcoming appointments makes life easier for everyone.
6. Still Using Manual Methods
You’re far from alone if you’re still using the same methods in the field: 52 percent of companies still use manual methods for field work. Probably some of your competitors are part of that same group, which means that simply upgrading your processes is an easy way to differentiate yourself from them.
Last Updated By: Rochelle Sanchirico
Field Service Automation
Last modified: February 14, 2018