The relatively recent upswing in the economy has generated a demand for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) services. In fact, that demand is expected to increase 34% between 2010 and 2020, according to the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. Despite this promising growth rate, many HVAC contractors cite hiring skilled laborers as one of their top challenges. Therefore, it’s critical for HVAC companies keep their employees engaged in their work. This can be easily accomplished if organizations are utilizing an HVAC service software.
Give HVAC Service Technicians More Autonomy
When managers of field service personnel have visibility over their teams’ remote operations, they develop the confidence to grant employees more autonomy and decision-making power. Technicians who are empowered in this way become more trusting of their managers and significantly more engaged at work. The GPS tracking that is available with certain HVAC service software grants managers the visibility they need to oversee technicians in the field while simultaneously avoiding micromanagement. When employees know that they are being monitored, they are less likely to slack off or waste time, thus fostering personal accountability. When accountability escalates, management can entrust their field teams with greater responsibility and independence. An additional benefit of GPS tracking is the capability for dispatchers to design more direct routes to appointments, thus saving money on fuel costs. The money saved on fuel can then be redistributed to technicians either directly or indirectly.
Administer Relevant Feedback
Feedback has a major impact on employee motivation and morale. Whether it be recognition for a job well done, or project-specific coaching for improvement, feedback from managers makes employees feel noticed and valued for their efforts. Managers who are employing an HVAC service software can provide direct, relevant coaching to their technicians via real-time instant messaging.
Managers may choose to give employees feedback based on the activities they have completed in the field. The reporting feature of some HVAC service management software lets technicians create neat reports of their completed field activities for a given date range directly from a mobile application. These reports can be sent to managers in real-time for immediate analysis, allowing them to more quickly identify inefficiencies. Moreover, employees who are able to keep track of their own progress feel more connected to their work and hence, are more engaged.
Streamline Daily Operations
The ability to reduce the amount of administrative tasks that HVAC service technicians have to perform helps to boosts engagement levels. As previously mentioned, employees want the chance to use their skill sets to solve problems, not fill out paperwork. HVAC service software with time and mileage tracking eliminates the need for manual documentation and the risk of human error; technicians will never again make a mistake when recording their hours worked or time spent on the road. Human inaccuracies can also be averted in regards to invoicing when technicians are using an HVAC software. Custom digital forms capture exactly what specific services were completed and can be immediately emailed to customers, thus speeding up the billing process.
Any data that technicians collect in the field from their mobile devices can be reviewed by back office managers and integrated with a variety of other software tools to streamline operations throughout the enterprise. What’s more, HVAC service software outfitted with visit scheduling ensures that technicians arrive to appointments on time and don’t accidentally miss appointments altogether, once again bolstering accountability.
Enable Employees to Deliver Better Customer Service
In the words of Mike Moore, Director of Training and co-founder of HVAC Learning Solutions, “It’s important to have the good people skills because when you’re in the customer’s home, it’s just as important that you’re able to fix the customer as you are to fix the equipment.” People can be grumpy when they’re uncomfortably hot or cold, and it’s the service technician’s job to fix what’s broken and put clients at ease. Additionally, since competition is high in the HVAC space, delivering exceptional customer service is what differentiates one company from another.
Technicians can offer first-rate service if they are supplied with data that is specific to each customer. The client histories feature of some HVAC service software lets technicians capture key data about individual clients such as regular services, preferences, etc. This information is stored in the cloud, so technicians have access to it before they even arrive on-site to an appointment. They can also email “before” and “after” photos as well as service details straight to customers as proof of service. These practices make customer service less of a challenge for technicians, as they are endowed with the tools they need to get the job done.
Qualified help can be hard to come by in the HVAC business.The fact remains that engaged employees are able to realize their full potential and apply their skills at the highest level. This can be achieved when employees are more autonomous, are given clear direction, aren’t bothered with archaic documentation practices, and are enabled to deliver best possible service. Organizations that take advantage of an HVAC service software can foster engagement within their technicians and better retain them.
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.