HVAC field service providers can no longer operate without field service software. Customers have become demanding and seek fast results. They have also become tech-savvy and prefer to engage digitally. But deploying any software will not suffice. From the customer’s perspective, the software has to deliver results in double-quick time. From a functional standpoint, the software has to improve efficiency and streamline operations.

Scheduling jobs for HVAC services involves dealing with unpredictability. Technicians handle different jobs, including new installations, re-installations, routine servicing, and warranty fulfillment. They may also have to rush for emergency repairs, such as attending to a gas leak. Schedulers have to factor in multiple variables when scheduling jobs. They must match jobs to technicians, ensure spare availability, and meet customer preferences.

Any mix-up in scheduling slows down work, increases customer wait time, and reduces first-time fix rates. HVAC service management software helps the business overcome such issues. Installing HVAC service management software is the number one best practice. Here are the additional best practices for getting the most out of HVAC maintenance software.

Read more: 5 Ways to Grow Your HVAC Business in Today’s Digital-First World!

1. Centralize Ticketing

It is impossible to prioritize requests from disconnected systems. Ensure the HVAC maintenance software connects all inbound sources and logs all service requests into an integrated ticketing system.

Work orders come from different sources. Some customers may call the customer support agent and book a service request. Others may call the field technician who visited the premises last time and raise a complaint. Some others may use the “Contact us” page of the business website to make an emergency request. Yet others may make service requests through emails. With IoT becoming popular, many service requests generate automatically. The service team also has to track annual maintenance and pre-booked service contracts.

Raising a ticket through the HVAC service management software makes assigning the job to an agent easy. The integrated system collates information, including the service history and customer information.

Integrated information streamlines scheduling and enables assigning priority to the service request. For instance, a service request to attend to a gas leak from a cooling system ranks as a priority. In contrast, a routine AMC service could wait until the technicians address the emergency. Likewise, premium, high-paying customers could get priority over a one-off customer.

Service managers jump through hoops without an integrated ticketing system to compile information. Worse, the schedulers do not know the severity of the service request unless the customer screams an emergency. Mistakes multiply in such situations, leading to severe operational inefficiencies and customer discontent.

2. Automate Scheduling

Make sure the HVAC maintenance software automates scheduling.

For best results, the scheduler has to assign the work order to the best-positioned field technician to execute the task.

Many HVAC service providers underestimate the complexities involved in scheduling. Using manual methods or even piecemeal software leads to major scheduling failures.

Integrated and automated HVAC field service management software:

  • Pulls information from connected depositories that contain the certifications of HVAC technicians.
  • Shortlists qualified technicians for a job. Some specialized jobs require technicians with specific skill sets or certificates. Assigning underqualified technicians may lead to improper job execution. Resolution may need a revisit, retarding efficiency and profitability.
  • Trace the CRM and analyze the service history to find out customer preferences. If possible, assign the same technician who serviced the machinery earlier.
  • Factors in leave requests made by field technicians. Integrated leave processing enables the service manager to approve or deny leaves based on the workload. The automated system aids the manager in reassigning jobs if technicians call in sick or have an unavoidable reason to take leave.
  • Considers company working hours and off days when assigning work orders.
  • Integrates with inventory management suite to ensure access to the probable spares and tools. In stock-out situations, the software delays assigning a technician.

Read more: 6 Tips for HVAC businesses to gain profits during the slow season

3. Ensure Flexibility

Make sure the HVAC service management software offers in-built flexibility. 

  • Allow customers to schedule and track the progress of work orders on their own through self-service options.
  • Offer customers and field agents proactive control over HVAC maintenance tasks. Allow field technicians to change the work order if they find the on-site needs different from the work order specifications. Performing the extra job on-site, if viable, makes better sense efficiency-wise and financially. Scheduling a revisit is more expensive and comes with the opportunity cost of attending to another client’s request.
  • Enable push notifications to keep field technicians updated on schedules and changes.

4. Enable Real-time tracking

Enable real-time tracking of HVAC field technicians.

Leverage the GPS feature of the technician’s smartphone by connecting a mobile app to the HVAC field service management software. Customers get an Uber-like live location of the technician assigned to them, assuring them help is on hand, even if delayed for a while.

Service managers may intervene if they detect a lag. They may:

  • Set correct issues that cause the lag and ensure schedules do not go haywire.
  • Update customers about the delays
  • Reassign another technician to resolve an emergency if they cannot overcome issues that cause delays.

5. Integrate Dispatch

Best-in-breed HVAC maintenance software streamlines dispatching. These suites integrate with maps and guide field technicians through the best routes to their destinations. The best routes may not always be the shorter route when factoring in road blockages, traffic conditions, and the state of the road. For instance, the service van might reach the customer site through a longer county route than navigating a crowded city center.

Minimizing the time technicians spend on the road improves productivity and asset use ratios. The gross savings may enable technicians to serve customers earlier, reducing wait times. They also face lesser stress from their commute, allowing them to do their job more energetically.

ReachOut Suite HVAC field service management software co-opts all these best practices. The suite integrates and compiles service requests from different sources. The automated software, with in-built mobility, offers end-to-end functionality. Easy calendar views and drag-and-drop interfaces make it easy to prioritize work orders and schedule jobs. Intuitive dashboards make it easy to organize customer requests, assign jobs and track progress, all from one place.

Connect with us today to learn more about ReachOut Suite and how it can help your HVAC business unlock unique opportunities.

Digitize your field service operations from scheduling to invoicing with ReachOut. Connect your technicians with the companion mobile app to execute jobs and reduce paperwork in the field. Try ReachOut now and give your customers the fast and quality service they deserve.

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Sachin Krishna

Sachin works as a part of the digital marketing team at ReachOut Suite. He believes in a healthy and resourceful web and does his own little contributions for the purpose by creating and disseminating innovative and quality content.

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