8 Steps to Improve Workflow Efficiency in Your Field Services Business

May 10, 2017 Rieva Lesonsky

 

More efficient workflow in your field services business means your employees spend less time doing non-billable things like driving between jobs and more time actually working. When you can respond to customers faster and handle more jobs in less time, your business makes more money. Here are eight steps to improve your field services business’s workflow efficiency.

  1. Send reminders. Avoid wasted time waiting for no-shows by sending customers reminders of upcoming service appointments. Lighthouse 360 lets you automatically send reminder emails and appointment confirmations.
  2. Plan ahead. Determine routes and assign technicians to jobs each morning or the preceding evening for maximum efficiency. Assign technicians to jobs within one area so they don't have to drive all over town, wasting time and gas.
  3. Digitize information. Paper invoices and estimates are easy to lose in a crowded truck filled with tools. Use smartphones and tablets to capture customer information on-site and scan paper documents. Store your data in the cloud so your technicians can access it from anywhere—no need to play phone tag with the back office. With Lighthouse 360, you can view all your customer information—including job history, notes, and invoice status—from your desktop or smartphone.
  4. Use mobile technology. When you run a field services business, schedules change all the time. Using a mobile app like Lighthouse 360 makes handling those last-minute changes simple. You or your backoffice employees can quickly send a text message to specific technicians or the whole crew. Your technicians can just check their phones to see where they're supposed to be and when.
  5. Be proactive, not reactive. Get out ahead of problems before they snowball. Keep track of your technicians’ progress in the field so you can keep jobs moving along. With Lighthouse 360, you can get real-time updates on jobs during the day to make sure work is progressing properly. If a project is running behind, use the text alert feature to dispatch additional technicians or necessary equipment.
  6. Invoice customers immediately. The job is done; now make invoicing equally efficient so you get paid faster. Instead of handing the customer a paper invoice or sending a bill in the mail, create a digital invoice. Lighthouse 360 converts a job to an invoice in one click, automatically updating the job to include any additional services or time worked beyond the original estimate.
  7. Take the next step. Your technician fixed the customer’s shower—now she wants an estimate for re-doing the entire bathroom. There’s no need to go back to the office when you use Lighthouse 360: It generates estimates efficiently so you can make the sale while the customer is most interested.
  8. Monitor your progress. At least once a month, you and your team should review your field services workflow to pinpoint problem areas that are still slowing you down. Ask field services workers for suggestions and ideas. After all, they’re the ones on the front lines.
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