The real struggle to keep things moving is organization, this is especially true with field service businesses. Between managing your technicians’ schedules, tracking work orders, handling customer requests, and staying on top of reporting, things can quickly become overwhelming. The good news is that by utilizing automated work order tracking and status updates, you can streamline your operations, provide transparency to customers, and hold your team accountable.
Accurate logs of all service requests, job schedules, and technician locations provide the insight you need to run an efficient field service business and keep your customers happy. Let us explore how implementing the right tools and best practices for work order and project management can help your field service company grow to the next level.
Why you need to keep track of work orders for your field service business
As a field service business owner, work order tracking and status updates are essential for managing your operations efficiently and keeping customers happy.
Stay on top of tasks
With automated work order tracking software, you will have end-to-end project visibility into what needs to get done and when. You will be able to schedule the right technician for each job based on location, skills, and availability. Work orders provide details on the customer, problem description, task prioritization, due date, and so on—so your team has all the necessary information to resolve issues quickly.
Improve scheduling and dispatching
Integrating work order data with your scheduling and dispatching processes allows you to optimize routes and ensure your technicians have everything they need before heading out. Your dispatchers will have insight into each technician’s workload, travel time between jobs, and potential roadblocks. The insights offered to them allow them to schedule more jobs per day and increase process efficiency.
Enhance reporting and analytics
Work order tracking tools provide data that offers key insights into your business. You can see metrics like average task completion time, revenue per work order, and potential problems—allowing you to make better decisions. You will also be able to filter down reports with multiple options to get deeper insights into your business data.
Increase customer satisfaction
Customers appreciate transparency and updates on work being done for them. With status updates via phone, email, or an online portal, you can keep customers informed on their work order progress. They will know when a technician is on the way if there are any delays when the work is complete. With the help of field service management software, you can provide seamless communication with your customers and improve your company’s loyalty.
How real-time status updates create transparency
Real-time updates are a game changer for field service businesses. They create transparency regarding where technicians are, what jobs they are working on, and how close they are to completing a task.
Being a field service business owner, you will have insight into the location and progress of all your technicians at any given moment. No more wondering why a job is taking longer than expected or not knowing when a technician will arrive at the next appointment. With live updates, you have a more complete picture and can see exactly what is happening in the field.
Your customers will appreciate the transparency as well. They will know when the technician is on the way and exactly what work is being done at any point during the appointment. The transparency of work progress helps put them at ease and avoids confusion or uncertainty about the status of their service call.
To implement real-time status updates, you will want to equip your technicians with mobile devices like smartphones or tablets and require them to log details like,
- Their current location and destination
- When they start and complete a job
- Any issues encountered along the way
- Parts or materials needed to finish a work order
They can easily input this information into an app designed for field service management. The data is then synchronized in real-time so you and your customers have the latest details. With proactive, automated status updates, your business will operate more efficiently and provide a top-notch customer experience.
Transparency and accountability are critical to making sure the processes are efficient and customers are happy with your service. Start leveraging the right technology and processes, you will gain insights that help streamline your service delivery and set you apart from the competition.
Top features to look for in a work order management software
Field service businesses should utilize software with certain key features to manage work orders and provide status updates to customers.
Real-time work order tracking
The ability to log work orders in real-time as they come in and are assigned to technicians allows you to stay on top of all open jobs. Both you and your customers will know the status of any work order at a glance.
Automated scheduling and dispatching
An automated scheduling system allows work orders to be scheduled and dispatched to the most appropriate technicians based on location, skills, and availability. You can always ensure the right person is assigned to the right job and save ample time.
Status update notifications
Sending notifications via email, text, or an online portal keeps your customers up to date on the progress of their work orders. They will know when a tech is dispatched, arrives on site, and completes the job. The transparency you offer to your customers will make them trust your services.
Reporting and analytics
Robust reporting tools offered by field service management software provide insights that allow key performance measurement factors (KPI), like job completion rates, average response times, and revenue. As a part of performance tracking, you can use customizable reports and dashboards to know how your team and business are performing and use the data to make improvements.
A mobile app or responsive web portal allows technicians and customers to access work orders and statuses from smartphones or tablets. Your technicians can use it for various benefits, not restricted to technicians but to customers, back-office teams, and stakeholders. It allows you to track customer data and work items and share information with staff remotely. They can also update the job notes, attach files, and receive payments through the mobile app.
Look for a solution that integrates with your existing business software, like accounting, ERP, CRM, and accounting systems. App integrations reduce manual data entry and connect your systems for a streamlined workflow. Using work order management software with these key features will transform how you manage and report on jobs. Your dispatch team will work more efficiently, customers will stay satisfied, and you will gain valuable insights into your operations.
Tracking work order progress from dispatch to service completion
Once a work order has been created and dispatched to a field technician, it is important to closely monitor its progress to ensure the job is completed properly and the customer is satisfied. Field service management software with work order tracking tools allows you to oversee work orders from assignment through completion.
Ask your technicians to provide regular status updates on work orders through the mobile app. Service progress reporting updates keep you informed so you can update the customer and dispatchers. They also accurately record the time and resources required to complete a work order for future scheduling and estimating purposes.
Provide technicians with mobile checklists for common work order types to guide them through all required tasks. As technicians proceed through the checklist, have them mark off completed items. It ensures no important steps are missed and the work order is done thoroughly. Mobile checklists also give you visibility into the progress of the work order at any time.
Photos and documentation
Give them the mobile app to take photos during and after a job to document the work visually. Photos provide concrete evidence that the work order was completed properly. They can also be useful for quality assurance reviews and training new technicians. Some field service software allows you to attach photos directly to work orders.
Technicians should also provide written documentation about the completed work, parts used, serial numbers, and additional details. Thorough documentation creates a permanent work order record that you can refer to if any issues arise or the customer has questions.
Tracking work orders from dispatch through completion is key to running an efficient field service operation and keeping your customers satisfied. Implementing digital tools like mobile app-based status updates, task checklists, photos, and written documentation helps ensure transparency and accountability on all work orders.
Choose the right software for your business
Choosing software to manage your work orders and provide status updates to customers is an important decision. The right solution for your business depends on several technical, functional, and organizational factors. Here is the list of factors to consider.
Choose software that can handle work order creation, scheduling, dispatching, and billing. It should provide real-time status updates via email, SMS, and a booking online portal. Look for software with built-in features like location tracking, signature capture, and photo upload. The more comprehensive the functionality, the more efficient your operation can become.
Ease of Use
Your field technicians and office staff will be using the software daily, so an intuitive interface and simple workflow management are must-haves. See if you can get a free trial to test it out. If the software is too complex to use, it will not achieve the productivity and transparency goals you are after.
Choose a system that allows access to various devices – like tablets, laptops, and smartphones. So that technicians can update work order status and capture customer signatures from the job site. The field service management software should also have a customer portal for status lookup on any device.
Look for a solution that can scale with your business. If you are a small operation now but plan to grow, make sure the software offers different pricing tiers based on the number of users or work orders. The last thing you want is to outgrow a system you just implemented.
Utilize work order tracking and status updates in your field service business, you will be setting yourself up for success. Your operations will become streamlined, your customers will stay in the loop, and your technicians will have clarity on their schedules and tasks. While it may require an initial investment of time and resources, work order tracking and status updates ultimately pay for themselves through increased productivity, accountability framework, and customer satisfaction.
What are you waiting for? Implement a solution, start tracking work orders, send status updates, and watch as your business transforms. Get the free version of field service management software here to see how it can help your business.