3 Must-Have HVAC Scheduling Software Features

By: on March 11, 2016

What would the impact be on your HVAC business if 64 percent of your customers never rehired you? Not great, right?

Well that’s exactly what our research says will happen if you or one of your employees shows up an hour or more late to an appointment:

 

Fortunately, HVAC scheduling software can help dramatically increase your punctuality. But choosing the right system for your business can be a challenge—which might explain why 74 percent of HVAC service companies aren’t using any formal field service management software.

To help narrow down the options, we’ve identified the top three features your HVAC scheduling software should have, and examples of vendors that offer them.

With this list in hand, you’ll be able to schedule and dispatch your HVAC technicians more efficiently so you can gain lifelong customers.

Click on the blue text below to jump to a section.

Customer Service History

Smart Scheduling

Text Notifications

Customer Service History

First on the HVAC scheduling software must-have list is an easily accessible customer service history database. When customers call to schedule an appointment with you, this database will show you any previous interactions you may have had with them.

This is helpful for determining if a customer is repeatedly experiencing the same issue, and if you installed or recently worked on the equipment in question.

 


Example of a customer history screen via HVAC Pack

Having the ability to access customer data from a central location like an FSM allows business owners to instantly see a comprehensive history of all pertinent material for every customer.

Matt Gouda, manager of digital marketing at mHelpDesk

To ensure you’re properly informed about the customer and their service request, your database should include:

  • Contact information
  • Billing information
  • Previous job quotes
  • Installed equipment
  • Comments

To properly gather this data, your system should have some sort of post-service report that technicians can complete.

 

Example of mobile post-service report via RazorSync

 

Some systems, such as RazorSync, allow these reports to be completed on mobile devices, which allows techs to fill them out directly after a service, while any information is still fresh.

Smart Scheduling

The next crucial element for your HVAC scheduling software is some kind of smart scheduling feature, which allows you to send and assign work orders to technicians, groups of technicians, partners and other relevant parties.

Example of a smart scheduling configuration via ServiceMax
 

Key capabilities of smart scheduling include the ability to sort technicians by information such as existing schedules, PTO, skill sets and territories serviced.You can use this data to create preset criteria that can automatically assign and schedule work orders based on defined rules.

According to Gouda with mHelpDesk, these abilities enable users to “greatly speed the time to service and help add to your bottom line by getting the most out of each technician’s day.”

One key data point for smart scheduling is equipment tracking. Not only do you want every technician to be appropriately skilled for the job, you also want them to be well-equipped for the task you’ve assigned them to.

Example of an equipment tracking dashboard via ESC Software
 

As Gouda says, “Part of providing world-class customer service means keeping a detailed service history.”

With that in mind, he explains how mHelpDesk enables technicians to actually print and stick informative barcodes on equipment and parts. When scanned, the barcodes bring up the service history of that specific asset.

Gone are the days of making calls to the office to pull service records and instead give your team the time tools for the job.

Matt Gouda, manager of digital marketing at mHelpDesk

Whether it’s tracking parts for a refrigerator or soldering tools, equipment tracking adds a valuable layer of transparency and organization to your mobile assets.

Text Notifications

The final key feature your HVAC scheduling software should include is some sort of SMS messaging service to communicate with both employees and customers.

Examples of a customer notification and employee SMS rules via mHelpDesk
 

Above are examples of mHelpDesk’s text notification services; on the left is an example of a customer notification. Not only can these texts serve as reminders for customers, but they can also notify customers if a technician is running late to an appointment.

Gouda says that every job set up through mHelpDesk comes with numerous reminders and notifications for technicians and owners alike.

Since the customer’s information is readily available, technicians can communicate any delays and do so within the job ticket.

Matt Gouda, manager of digital marketing at mHelpDesk

This is an especially important feature: Our research found that, while 64 percent of customers will ditch your company if you arrive an hour or more late to an appointment, 73 percent are more likely to rehire a tardy HVAC company if they’re notified of any delays.

As you can see, the capability for your back office and mobile technicians to communicate with customers is hugely impactful for your overall customer experience.

Next Steps

As this article explains, proper HVAC scheduling software can have an enormously positive impact on your company’s service efficiency, equipment organization, insight into operations and the overall customer experience.

But choosing the right system for you can be a challenge. Follow these next steps to help you continue along your journey:

  • Take our free field service questionnaire. The HVAC and greater field service software markets can be difficult to navigate at first. This questionnaire will help you define your needs and narrow your list to just a few software options.
  • Talk to a Software Advice HVAC scheduling software expert at (855) 998-8505. Our HVAC software advisors can help you narrow down the many scheduling products to a pinpointed short list of software best suiting your business’ needs.

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