Service Software: Best Features To Look For [A Checklist]
27 February 2023
If you’re really serious about service software that grows with you, choose one that monitors fuel consumption, provides real-time job updates, and automates bookings.
If you’re looking for service software, you’ll know its ability to provide superior customer service and deliver major operational efficiencies. And there are plenty of real-life examples to argue that it more than delivers ROI.
But if you’re wondering if all service software is built the same, this blog looks at the key features you need to ensure you choose the right service software.
Or you can dive straight into a demo now.
Quick definition: What exactly is service software?
Service software helps field service businesses easily and efficiently manage business operations. It automates repetitive tasks, schedules appointments, tracks customer interactions, and provides access to live stock volumes for nearby suppliers. It even allows you to automate personalised customer communications. The list goes on!
Ultimately, the crucial benefit is that any team member can securely access it and update information, from anywhere – providing, of course, they have been granted permission.
This empowers field service businesses with real-time data so they can make more informed, data-driven decisions – all thanks to live updates and reporting.
But not all service software is built with the best features or integrations. So what do you need to look out for?
Checklist: The 9 best service software features
Let’s jump straight into the must-have features.
Before looking at any of the other specialist features the tech may boast, this is the most important and quick way to qualify the best service software.
If it isn’t incredibly easy to use and intuitive, it just won’t get used.
So, even if a provider boasts powerful features, if your team can’t easily use them, they won’t and therefore you’ll end up paying more for something you can’t use to its full advantage – or worse, it may not be fit for even the most basic of purposes.
A quick demo will make it really easy to spot if the software is easy to use.
Plus, take a look at customer reviews to see what peers are saying.
#2: Training and support
While we’re on the topic of ease-of-use, the first step when rolling out your new tech will be training your employees.
Now, this is another place a lot of tech falls down – again, even the ones with the best features.
Ultimately, if employees don’t know how to use it, there will be resistance to using it and therefore it won’t be effective. Everyone needs to be on board with using the service software.
This is where training comes in. The best service software providers will provide a team of onboarding specialists to help you get up and running fast.
You should get access to a help centre, step-by-step guides, and even customer service phone support to help you use the kit to its full advantage.
Some suppliers even go as far as running a university, offering virtual training masterclasses, at a time that works for you, to maximise the use of the tech.
Now, let’s look at how the software boosts business performance. In short, the right automations streamline operations and boost efficiency.
How? With advanced automation, you can essentially set up triggers that once tripped create an action. For example, when a job is completed, you can create a template which will automatically email the customer asking for a review, together with a link to a platform like Trustpilot or Google.
Or, when a driver starts a journey to a customer, that could act as a trigger for an automated text to be sent to a customer with a live tracking link.
There are so many uses for this. The best bit? You only have to set them up once.
Here are just a few of the more common features to look for:
- Automated task management: To automatically assign tasks based on priorities, workloads, customer SLAs, and resource availability.
- Automated scheduling: To schedule appointments in real time.
- Automated alerts and notifications: To set up reminders to customers and engineers of upcoming appointments to reduce the risk of these being missed.
#4: Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
The right service software needs to have a strong CRM system that allows you to store all customer information in one place. This includes key documents, location data, previous site attendance history, customer signatures, and more.
The result? It makes contact management much easier as everyone can access key information in one place. And everyone receives the same information at the same time.
Plus, it allows for real-time collaboration to improve response times and real-time updates for customers.
With the best service software, you can go one step further and manage things like self-serve customer booking portals and even automated feedback surveys.
#5: Real-time business intelligence dashboards
With both field workers and office teams able to access and update information in real time, this opens a whole host of reporting benefits.
For example, managers can get an overview of customer interactions, sales, and operational performance.
With dashboards, some service software makes it hyper-easy to see at a glance how the business is performing – thanks to visuals like graphs and overview stats of key information (all customised to pull through the data you need).
Even at its simplest level, this means that field workers can access the tool to check in on things like the stock levels of parts nearby.
#6: Data security
Not only does this one protect your business, but your clients too. And for some clients, this will be a make-or-break in a deal because they have to use suppliers that meet their data security and compliance needs.
Here are several key things to look out for:
- Two-Step Authentication (do they use tools like Google Authenticator?)
- Information Security credentials (do they adhere to the latest regulations: ISO 27001?)
- Controlled access management (so you can grant and restrict permission for certain users?)
- HTTPS access (is the tech hosted on a secure site?)
- Server and data protection (do they use servers like Amazon AWS Microsoft?)
Now, this feature may also support adhering to compliance.
For example, in some industries, it’s essential that you follow and document strict processes. This may be something as simple as taking photos or delivering certification while on-site – which also provides probable metrics for hitting SLAs.
Moreover, customisable job sheets are a simple way to ensure field workers check off the key criteria when on-site. This helps prevent key steps from being missed which safeguards your employees, and clients – and helps keep first-time fix rates high.
So, look out for this feature if you’re in a heavily regulated industry.
For a comprehensive view of business performance in one place, you’ll want tech that seamlessly integrates with other software.
Here are just a few integrations that make operations run much smoother:
- Accounts packages: Pass completed work with time, travel, labour and parts details
- Microsoft Add-ins: Use Word and Outlook add-ins to reduce double keying and boost productivity
- Web-based phone systems: Connect to RingCentral and when your customer or prospect calls, their details will pop up on the screen with shortcuts to common actions
Plus, look for field service management software that shares financial information from tools like Sage and Xero. This ensures field service management businesses can save time duplicating data entry and reduce the risk of making mistakes.
And it allows you to plug key financial information into the business intelligence dashboards that we mentioned earlier.
#9: Value for money
Value is often determined by what you need the service software for and what you need it to deliver.
We’ve mentioned usability being a big factor. But, ultimately, the solution you choose needs to have the key features you need.
This top nine checklist covers all bases to help you grow and then continue to grow with you as you expand.
Most service software will provide flexible pricing options so you can compare a more basic package versus a premium package. With this, you can then opt to upgrade your solution as your field service management business grows. This means you aren’t hit with the major cost outlay when you aren’t quite ready to use these features yet.
Plus, the right field service management software will even allow you to measure the ROI. Imagine being able to say your service software saved you 10% in fuel use. This alone could be thousands in savings – meaning the tech pays for itself just in reduced fuel consumption.
Grow profit margins today with the right service software
With so many service software options out there, we’re hoping this checklist makes it easier for you to narrow it down to the right solutions for your business.
Just remember, factors like ease of use, mobile access, and reporting are crucial features.
And if you’re really serious about finding a solution that grows with you, look for one that can support additional needs like monitoring fuel consumption, providing customers with real-time job status updates, and automating repeat bookings.
This will save significant admin time and allow you to make major cost savings. Plus, it also provides a much better customer experience.
Ready to build your service software shortlist? Put BigChange to the test with a personalised free demo with our field service experts. They’ll take the time to understand your needs and talk you through the specific features that improve profit margins.
Still need convincing? Take a look at our case studies for sample results from just a few of the thousands that trust our cloud-based software to grow their business.
Or if you still have unanswered questions, take a look at the most commonly asked questions below.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is service software?
Service software is a cloud-based software solution that lets you plan, manage, schedule, quote and invoice jobs. This enables efficient paperless job management to scale and grow field service businesses.
Who provides the best service software?
According to GetApp, BigChange is the most-rated service software, with 91% of users recommending this software.
Who is service software for?
Service software is for field service management businesses, such as electricians, plumbing and heating businesses, building maintenance, equipment hire, and much more.
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