The locksmith industry has, of late, undergone significant technological advancements. Locksmiths have progressed from mechanical lock-and-key systems to sophisticated electronic and digital systems. And with advancements in the field, the challenges and the market competition have risen too.
Keeping abreast of the ever-changing technological changes, maintaining work efficiency, and ensuring customer satisfaction are just a few hurdles locksmith businesses face today. Can locksmith software systems be the apt solution for the industry? Let’s find out!
1. Providing estimates and quotes and generating work orders
Many customers, mainly corporate and commercial customers, require estimates and quotes. Estimate preparation involves identifying the materials and other resources and the work involved. Getting it right is challenging, and the process consists of a lot of guesstimates. Good locksmith software automates quote generation. The backend identifies the materials and labor required and provides accurate estimates. The quote generation becomes dynamic, with the estimate changing in real time when the user changes the input variables.
When the customer approves the quote, the system generates a work order. Some locksmith software also co-opts a ticketing system that enables end-to-end tracking.
Locksmiths require specialized skills. Many jurisdictions require locksmiths to complete an apprenticeship or vocational training. Some jurisdictions also require a license. Owing to the sensitive nature of the job, some regions mandate a criminal background check before practicing the trade.
It becomes challenging to remember the skills and certifications of each locksmith. An Excel sheet may not always be up-to-date, accurate, or accessible. Locksmith business software offers an easy and reliable way to keep track of the skills and certifications of each locksmith.
The work order gives details about the work. The locksmith software shortlists locksmiths with matching skill sets or certifications.
3. Dynamic scheduling
Locksmiths serve diverse clients with different requirements. Maintaining a schedule of all open jobs is a herculean task. Using locksmith business software makes the task easy and improves efficiency. It also makes catering to customers’ personalized requests easy.
The software groups jobs by area so that the locksmith can finish all jobs in one area before moving to the next area. Reducing movement cuts fuel costs and allows the locksmith to attend to more customers per shift.
A locksmith also has to attend to emergencies from time to time. People who lose their keys and remain locked out need immediate help. The locksmith software identifies the nearest locksmith who can attend to such emergency calls. At times, attending to such emergencies may force a reschedule of downstream jobs. The locksmith scheduling software makes such rescheduling and notifies the customers.
4. Fast and efficient dispatching
As the adage goes, “Time is money.” Every minute a locksmith spends on the road wastes time and money. The best locksmith business software integrates with maps and guides the locksmith through the best routes. The shortest routes can sometimes be the quickest, considering traffic, roadblocks, or other issues. The time saved by going through the best routes enables the locksmith to serve more customers per shift. The benefits include reduced operational costs. Better asset use ratio and improved customer satisfaction due to reduced wait time.
5. Integrated inventory management
Consider a situation where the service provider assigns a locksmith, but the locksmith has to schedule a revisit for want of tools or spares. Such a situation is an unimaginable disaster as it wastes effort and delays all other jobs. To avoid such situations, most locksmith software integrates the inventory management system.
The locksmith scheduling software assigns a locksmith only on the availability of spares to complete the work. Integrated inventory management also makes it easier to predict demand. The service provider can right-size inventory and avoid stock-out situations.
6. Data and information management
The knowledge repositories integrated with locksmith software make explicit customer details and preferences. Locksmiths can use their smartphone apps to access vital information and execute their jobs better. They can access instruction manuals, work orders, job notes from previous visits, and customer details. They can also identify the locks used, the client’s location, and more. Such information enables them to visit the client site prepared and finish the work on the first visit.
7. Structuring workflows and conducting inspections
Efficiency improvement makes a big difference to profitability in today’s hyper-competitive world.
The locksmith business software automates day-to-day activities. It also digitizes paperwork through electronic forms and reports. Such digitization and automation save hours of non-value-adding admin work. Process accuracy also improves.
Services providers can also use the locksmith software to structure workflows. Field agents can download checklists through their smartphones and follow the instructions. These checklists allow field agents to work in a specific way or meet safety and other compliance needs.
Most suites offer ready-made forms or allow the business to upload custom forms. Electronic forms automate data entry and enable uploading images and videos to make reports more powerful.
8. Tracking and Control
Supervisors cannot exercise direct control over their field agents in most service businesses. The main reason is the need for more reliable collaboration options. Work gets done at remote locations, and there is no reliable method to connect with field agents seamlessly. Using generic messaging apps becomes difficult when multiple agents are on the field, and the odds of some slip-ups remain high. Telephone calls are obstructive and do not leave a communication log for retrieval.
Good locksmith software offers a reliable way for field agents to collaborate with their offices. Supervisors can also track their agents in real-time, leveraging smartphone GPS. Better supervision leads to strict controls and improved safety.
9. Customer service
Most locksmith business software integrates customer relationship management (CRM) features. Integrated CRM tools reduce errors and improve the customer experience. Using these options, locksmiths can track the previous engagements of the customer with the business. Customer support executives get information that makes follow-up actions and personalized services easy.
Another benefit is easy communication through SMS, social media apps, online chat, and emails. Push notifications and messages keep customers informed at every stage of the job. Using GPS technology, customers get an accurate ETA and can even have a facility to track the agents assigned to them in an Uber-like way.
The financial health of locksmiths depends on prompt and accurate invoicing and speedy collection. Unfortunately, many service providers focus only on the technical side of their work and do not give administrative tasks the attention it deserves. A good locksmith business software, however, automates invoicing and related administrative tasks, sparing service providers the hassle.
Most locksmith software includes invoicing and billing capabilities. When the locksmith completes a job, they take the customer’s electronic signature through the mobile app. The system automatically generates the invoice. The backend uses APIs to pull data such as hours worked, the nature of the job, and more to prepare the invoice. Integrated payment collection platforms such as PayPal allow locksmiths to collect payment before leaving the work premises. Integration with account suites such as Quickbooks automates backend processing. The business saves a ton of manual data entry.
Customers appreciate the ease and convenience enabled through the locksmith software. The business gets quick payments. They avoid cash flow issues and spend less on follow-up and collection efforts.
The increasing demand for security keeps locksmiths in high demand. But service providers have to stay organized and keep abreast of technological advances.
Best-in-class home service software such as ReachOut offers comprehensive features with the flexibility to adapt the suite to your business needs.