The digital transformation of the field service management industry is leaving no sector untouched. One of the oldest and most traditional areas of manual work is the plumbing business and in recent years, it has seen an evolution nobody could have predicted a decade ago.
In their traditional capacity, plumbers are responsible for fitting and maintaining water systems. This ranges from toilets, baths, showers, and sinks, to washing machines and dishwashers. As you can imagine, the job requires plumbers to:
- Use a number of specialized equipment
- Travel to the job site
- Evaluate each project on a case-by-case basis
- Visit multiple locations in one day
- Receive and implement customer feedback
- Bill the customer
- And more
All of these components added a certain layer of management complexity to the workflow of plumbing businesses. Here are some of the questions and challenges they had to address on a daily basis:
- Which clients are the field technicians visiting on the day?
- Is there an estimate on how much time they’ll need to finish the task?
- Which tools should they take with them?
- Which is the fastest route to get to the job site?
- What happens if there is an urgent request?
The list of these extenuating circumstances is long and given the traditional operational advantages gained structure of the plumbing business, very hard to address. Enter plumbing service software.
What is plumbing service software?
Plumbing service software is the answer to all the challenges outlined in the previous section. It’s a platform that digitalizes and centralizes plumbing operations, ensuring that everything is saved and managed in a single place. From customer management and client communication to inventory management and billing, plumbing service software came to revolutionize the way plumbing companies do business.
Now, let’s take a closer look at some of the most common features you would expect to find in plumbing software.
Work order management
- Create, edit, duplicate, store, and track all task requests
- Have a bird’s eye view of what is happening at all job location sites
- Centralize all communication in a single place. Calls, emails, and messages from social media, websites, or promotions are immediately recorded on the platform. In the case of appointment requests, plumbing software can automatically create the task on the calendar and populate it with the time, participants, and notes
- Based on the nature of each job/task, the platform can assign it to the most qualified and available plumber to avoid double-bookings, mistakes, or delays
- For plumbers to get from the office to the job location, it takes much more than simply getting into the car and driving there. What if there is unplanned roadwork? What if there is a faster way they don’t know about? What about the weather. Plumbing software has integrated routing services that consider those factors and always give technicians the most optimal route to work
- By doing so, plumbers do not waste any time on transportation, always following the safest, fastest road to work.
- Service personalization is the future of all field service management businesses. To be able to offer customers a service tailored to their needs, plumbing businesses need to build profiles with valuable customer account details. Anything from contact information, payment options and service history help companies detect trends and patterns they can use to their advantage. Much like field service management software, plumbing software can do that, empowering users to offer higher customer satisfaction.
- Apart from detailed customer profiles, plumbing software ensures that customer feedback is integrated into the workflow in real-time, involving the customer in the solution of the task.
Invoicing and payments
- A complete customer experience does not only involve the resolution of the task but also collecting the payment. Plumbing services software enables plumbers to generate invoices via mobile devices and tablets on location. Forget emailing invoices and chasing after customers to pay them. Everything happens on the spot, fast-tracking the job cycle.
- By collecting the payment on-site, plumbers expand their role and scope of work. They come closer to the client, establishing much more meaningful and valuable communication. They are no longer seen as just technicians, but end-to-end solution makers who can handle all aspects of a job.
- The software helps you keep an accurate count of plumbing equipment and parts for the entire business. You avoid inventory shortages, delayed orders, or ordering the same thing twice. You know how much of each part you have at all times.
- You can also track the location of parts and equipment from anywhere.
Benefits of adopting plumbing services software
Now that we’ve gone through the features of plumbing software, let’s have a look at the instant benefits derived by your plumbing business when you adopt it.
Having all operations run on a single platform adds clarity and transparency across the whole business. Everyone knows the status of tasks, allocation of resources and upcoming workload. It’s important for managers, plumbers and all other members of staff to be on the same page.
All successful businesses are predicated on the same basic formula: low costs, and high sales. The implementation of plumbing software instantly reduces things like transportation costs or opportunity costs from manual mistakes. Plumbers are able to be more productive as the room for error is significantly reduced due to the automation of otherwise blunt tasks.
Improved customer satisfaction
The plumbing business is a customer-facing job which means that everything is based on the satisfaction of the customer. By enabling plumbers to do their job at a higher level, the quality of service improves dramatically. Clients no longer have to dread phone calls with customer service or have no clue about the progress of their project. Plumbing software involves them in the process and allows them to know everything in real-time.