Plumbing technicians are faced with a plethora of challenges within their industry, some of which lie outside their control. However, there are also issues that plumbing companies can overcome, granted they are utilizing the proper tools. Among these issues are customer service and workforce management. Providing first-rate customer service allows your business to retain its current clients, as well as attract new ones. Effectively managing your employees ensures that you’ll be able to hold onto quality talent and boost your bottom line. Both of these can be more easily achieved using a plumbing service software.
Enhancing Customer Relations
The plumbing industry has been able to bounce back after the recession of ‘08 as more homeowners and businesses are spending money on remodeling and building properties. Despite this encouraging outlook, consumers are still selective about which service providers they partner with and winning their loyalty can be difficult. Although attracting new clientele is critical for business growth, the fact is that it costs significantly less to retain current customers than it does to obtain new ones.
One way that plumbing companies can hold onto their existing customers is by understanding them, as explained by industry leader Gregg Towsley. Discerning the needs of a small business owner versus a property manager can set one plumbing contractor apart from another. Plumbing service software makes this easy with its client histories feature. Technicians in the field can collect relevant client data directly from their mobile devices into a simple CRM that is embedded into the plumbing app. Aside from understanding customers’ needs, having real-time access to client data lets technicians deliver top-notch, personalized service. Using this feature, they become aware of customers’ regular services and preferences, even before they’ve arrived on-site.
Technicians who are equipped with a plumbing app can also send “before” and “after” photos to customers as proof of service and email them invoices on the spot. Some plumbing service software also lets managers post to a virtual billboard so that technicians will always stay up-to-date on the most relevant information that they need. This could be useful, for example, if managers post a message about a new government regulation that affects customers either directly or indirectly. Technicians can then relay this information to their clients, who will be grateful that their plumbing contractor is keeping them in-the-know.
Being punctual to appointments is another way to secure customer satisfaction. According to softwareadvice.com, 67% of customers won’t do business again with a company if the technician is an hour late. This scenario can be avoided if technicians are using visit scheduling functionality to keep track of their upcoming appointments and make adjustments to their daily schedule as needed.
Mastering Workforce Management
Smaller plumbing contractors may have a hard time standing out when they are vying for attention along with franchised businesses that have a consistent presence. What these larger organizations have been able to master is training and management techniques that have elevated their technicians to a certain level of professionalism. Luckily, privately owned and operated plumbing businesses can empower their employees to reach their maximum potential while keeping overhead costs affordable.
Companies that use a plumbing service software enabled with GPS tracking acquire visibility over their teams’ whereabouts at any time. This is helpful for managers, as they can reach out to technicians via instant message if they see that they aren’t where they need to be to make sure they haven’t encountered a problem in the field.
Monitoring employee safety is crucial for plumbing contractors, as it’s an often unavoidable problem in the industry. An additional benefit of GPS tracking is that it helps managers to devise more efficient routes for their field teams, which in turn saves money on fuel costs. Instant messaging also lets managers administer targeted, immediate feedback to technicians. Doing so helps to increase employee engagement and make technicians feel valued for their efforts, which is critical to minimizing costly turnover.
Giving employees a plumbing app as a partner in the field turns them into managers’ eyes and ears. The data collection capabilities of plumbing service software aid plumbing companies in anticipating trends and exercise good business practices. The plumbing industry is expanding into areas such as water treatment and sprinkler systems and is experiencing an array of concerns such as waste management and climate change. Technicians out in the field can collect data on these matters using custom digital forms to keep managers updated as well as increase their own knowledge. Managers can also design forms with required fields that must be filled out prior to leaving an appointment. This can be helpful in regards to government regulations, as technicians will be obligated to document their compliance.
Being able to accommodate customers and having visibility over field activities sets plumbing companies apart from their competition. A plumbing service software is an affordable solution to help contractors mitigate industry problems that are within their control.
Victoria is a Marketing Associate at Repsly, where she leads the company's P.R. and social media efforts. You can also catch her prepping for slew of exciting industry events. A New England native, Victoria has spent time living in Italy and traveling throughout Europe before settling back in Boston. When she's not planning her next trip, V is probably tasting wine or brushing up on her Italian.