How to simplify field service appointment scheduling

November 18, 2021

51% of organisations continue to rely on phone calls, texts, outdated legacy systems and burdensome, paper-based administration methods to manage their field service operations. 

Businesses that continue to use manual and paper-based processes instead of adopting technologies to maximise their efficiency risk being left behind by competitors. Research shows that a massive 89% of customers prefer to use an "Uber-like" service for ordering and tracking field worker services, so traditional methods of managing your schedule aren't going to keep your customers coming back in future.

Thankfully, job scheduling software can eliminate the difficulties of creating an efficient workflow and can automate the entire process for you and your customers. Streamlined ways of working impress your customers, reduces your back-office admin and boosts your bottom line. 

Read on to learn how to use software to simplify your field service appointment scheduling.

Using a self-service portal

88% of consumers expect an organisation to have some form of self-service portal available. If your business is still using a 'contact us to book' method for appointments, then you should consider adopting software that allows your customers to manage their bookings at their own convenience. Not only do self-service portals improve the customer experience, but you will likely see an increase in bookings.

Show your availability

Using self-service software allows your customers to book appointments when it suits them, at the most convenient time for them. Sharing your availability allows the customer to book immediately when they need to, instead of waiting for business hours to contact your company and find out when you are available to help them.

Additionally, online scheduling software enables your customers to log onto your schedule or reschedule jobs at the touch of a button. Again, the convenience of managing their booking themselves will save them time and create a better customer experience and reduce administrative work for your back-office team.

BigChange's intelligent scheduling assistant goes even further by allowing your team to allocate and reallocate resources based on location, traffic information, job constraints, and vehicle type. As a result, your customers will get the best and nearest resource for the job — and be able to track their technician or engineer with the built-in geolocation.

Notification features

Providing your customers with transparency about the job status and their engineers' locations is essential. In fact, if a business sends automatic updates, then 68% of customers have a better opinion of the company.

BigChange's field service management software allows your customers to see the precise live location of their engineer via the geolocation vehicle tracking feature. Subsequently, they will never again wonder when the engineer will show up or have to wait around all day because they were given a vague timeslot.

Repeat customer bookings

Using online scheduling software that allows your customers to manage bookings on their own is one step in the right direction to building an excellent customer experience. However, you can go one step further to delight your customers by making it simpler than ever to book repeat appointments.

BigChange's recurring job templates are perfect for customers who know they have many jobs for you. The recurring job feature enables you to group jobs so you can schedule them all in one go. Not only have you saved your customer time and stress, but the software makes for less administrative work for your office staff too.

The software still has features that allow you or your customer to create an automatic follow-up job if more work has to be carried out. Fortunately, the new appointment for the additional work will also link to any previous jobs so that all the relevant information is readily available for the customer or engineer who is working on it. 

The new job automatically created as a follow up will include the job contract, original project details, skills required, any constraints that apply, financial line items, original engineer's comments about the job, and documentation such as risk assessments. Having all relevant information connected to each related job saves your field workforce time and admin when working on the new project. 

Automating and simplifying the scheduling process for your customers makes the experience of doing business with you faster and easier. Ultimately, that's what customers expect for an excellent experience with your company.

Using scheduling software for more jobs and profit

With an intelligent scheduling assistant, you can optimise your schedule and free up more time for engineers to attend additional jobs each day. 

For example, the software can create a more streamlined calendar based on appointments, their purpose and the time they took. This system then frees up any time that had previously been unavailable for booking due to out of date manual scheduling processes or human error. 

56% of field service professionals say that their customers are demanding faster response times. By using software that optimises your schedule, you'll have the resource to act rapidly. Your customer needs will be met quicker when using a scheduling assistant as the diary will likely have better availability since all other appointments are optimised. In addition, more free time means more ability to respond to emergency call outs, as the schedule can be flexible enough to accommodate emergency customer scenarios. 

Not only will the intelligent scheduling assistant allow you to take on more jobs to create more revenue, but you can make your bottom line stronger on BigChange because the platform has an integrated invoicing feature. The feature makes the payment process far more straightforward so that there are fewer delays and less admin involved in getting paid for completed work. In addition, quicker payments mean better cash flow, which benefits everyone in the business.

Field service appointment scheduling is simpler on BigChange

BigChange is the complete Job Management Platform that’s helping field service businesses across the UK to win more work, take control of their operations and deliver winning customer experiences.

Bringing together customer relationship management (CRM), job scheduling, live tracking, field resource management, financial management, business intelligence into one simple to use and easy to integrate platform your business can run on.

Discover how BigChange field service management software can make your business grow stronger here and arrange a freedemo today.

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