Managing a pest control business is a tough ask. The need to manage multiple clients, many of whom have irregular need-based and one-off orders, managing seasonal rush and lean seasons, emergency works, the challenges in managing a mobile workforce, the requirement to update technology and regulations, and other uncertainties pose pressing challenges, besides huge paperwork. A good pest control software is indispensable to handle all these tasks seamlessly and efficiently.
Here are the essential tips to consider when choosing the right pest control software.
Good pest control software goes much beyond scheduling service visits, handling proposals and billing. It handles the entire gamut of work, syncing every aspect of the business seamlessly. It co-opts features such as job scheduling, dispatching, payment processing, preparing estimates, GPS fleet tracking, inventory and materials management, time tracking, generating invoices, accepting payment, offering customer notifications, company chat and collaboration features, email marketing automation, payroll, and more. A good software also offers easy, seamless and ready-made connectors to other external systems, to make the processes smooth and easy.
A good field service management software automates everything from customer contact to invoicing, from customer management to reporting, and much more. It eliminates all manual, repetitive and time-consuming tasks, allowing the pest control staff to concentrate on their work.
The scope of automation is virtually unlimited in the pest control industry. For instance, the software could issue push notification alerts to the field service and marketing team when an order is placed and start tracking the order fulfillment process simultaneously. The best software allows pest control companies to forego paperwork in favor of digital automation. It captures whatever information is possible automatically, using the smartphone features such as camera, GPS and more.
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Any successful field service software requires flexibility and resilience. A basic requirement is the ability to enter data offline and sync record when the connection is established. Developing a field service software under the assumption internet connection will always be available is risky. Likewise, the software should be capable of working on mobile devices. Most field service companies now offer dedicated web apps to field service agents and others, to make their work easy. Such dedicated web apps and other resources should be able to work seamlessly across devices and use the minimal resources of the smartphone. It should also be adept in using the smartphone features such as camera and voice.
The best solution is cloud-based, accessible anywhere and offers a native mobile app and a complementary web portal for field service technicians and other stakeholders.
As a minimum, the customer-facing web apps work in both Android and IOS, and also in any other OS, the company may choose to entertain.
Web-based Apps available for managers help in managing job assignment and scheduling. In case of the front-line technicians, the web integrate a handful of features and capabilities like, alerts for orders, ability to track pending schedules and tracerouting it to the next site. On the desktop version of the app, the software allows users to customize a dashboard and also set up user-specific permissions.
UX is all important for the success of any software. Good pest control management software invariably offers highly intuitive UX, enabling users to work effortlessly. For instance, an option allowing managers to drag and drop unassigned jobs to a technician’s calendar eases schedule considerably. Likewise, customer-facing apps may feature a calendar showing free slots, when a technician is readily available.
The best software is customer-facing. It not only allows the customer to book services, but also offers value-added features such as a messaging system to push notifications to the customer, a tracking system to get the status of the technician and estimated time of arrival, and more. A good software also allows the customer easy search and self-service options, to further customer delight.
Pest control business is intellectually challenging. The managers, technician, and other stakeholders require knowledge of the various kinds of pests, the behavior, characteristics and habits of the pests, the effective methods to eliminate such pests, the hazards involved in the process, regulatory mechanisms in force, and much more. Good software makes sure the relevant stakeholder has access to relevant information. It creates a repository of relevant information, offers a mechanism to keep such information current, and facilitates an access rights policy to ensure the right stakeholder has access to the right information, at the right time. The software also offers effective checks and controls, such as restraining the technicians from applying hazardous chemicals beyond the allowable limits.
Go beyond the marketing pitch. Make sure the chosen software development team has talent and experience not just in programming but is also competent enough to understand the intricacies of a business. The key to developing custom software hinges on an effective cross-functional team consisting of business heads, front-line workers, and developers, collaborating throughout the software development process.