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The new financial year brings yet more new costs to field service businesses across the UK… National Insurance rises, increasing fuel costs, rocketing energy prices and Covid loan repayments.

But there are ways of fighting back. Here are five tips to cut outgoings and boost income as costs rise:

1. Make every hour count
The financial gain for every hour saved travelling is massive. £15 in travel costs + £60 for an hour of your engineer’s time = £75 per hour. A digital Scheduling Assistant gets the right engineer, with the right skills, to the right place, by the right route. The potential savings are huge. One hour saved more than covers the cost of the technology that delivers it.

2. Compete on customer service, not just cost
70% of customers would pay more for better service and more convenience, according to a recent survey. That means online portals where they can book jobs 24/7. It means Uber-style arrival updates. And it means instant digital invoicing and a range of easy payment options. The technology to bring these in is probably cheaper than you’d expect.

3. Make sure your work is profitable
Too many jobs at field service businesses end up costing the firm money. Companies need to be sure that they’re covering costs and making a fair margin. With a job management platform, you get a clear view of the profit margin on each job. No more guesswork when quoting, and no more jobs that leave you out of pocket.    

4. Cut mileage
Fuel prices for fleets are staggering – and likely to go higher. £2 a litre is widely predicted. Smart scheduling and route planning cut mileage by 10%. Many field service workers do 1,000 miles a month, and their annual saving would be £232 – almost enough on its own to offset the National Insurance hike. Integrated vehicle tracking also leads to better driver behaviour, saving not only fuel costs, but also lives!

5. Do it once, do it right
First-time fixes mean big cost savings. Having to go back to jobs wastes fuel and staff time, whether that’s back-office dealing with queries or frontline teams doing the work. The essentials for a first-time fix are getting the person to the job, with the tools, materials and information to take care of it.

Find out how BigChange can help your businessbook a free consultation today.

Get more helpful guides and tips delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter below. You can keep up to date with BigChange on LinkedInTwitterFacebookInstagram and YouTube.

Let’s imagine for a moment that a customer is looking for a service and has searched for relevant companies online. Your business appears in the search results, but you’ve only provided a telephone number. Your customer doesn’t have time to sit on the phone so they move on and go with a company that allows them to book online instead.

These days many people prefer to finalise a booking with a single click. In fact, 42% of people vastly prefer online scheduling over picking up the phone. Having technology in place that makes it easy for customers to see your availability and book jobs with you is one of the most effective strategies for keeping your customers happy. 

In this article, we’ll discuss online scheduling software and share several specific features BigChange offers that can help you vastly improve customer satisfaction.

Improve Customer Satisfaction with Online Scheduling Software: Top Four Tips

1. Use Online Scheduling to Show Your Availability

The most important step in improving customer satisfaction with online scheduling software is making sure your availability is clearly presented on your website or application. If customers can’t easily book you for the times and dates they need your services, you may have already lost them. 

Fortunately, online scheduling software has made appointment booking and rescheduling easier than ever. Online scheduling software enables your customers to log onto your website or application to schedule or reschedule appointments or jobs. The ability to conveniently manage bookings will increase your customer satisfaction rate as well as reduce administrative work for your back-office team.

BigChange’s smart scheduling assistant goes even further by allowing your team to allocate and reallocate resources based on location, traffic information, job constraints, and vehicle type. Consequently,  your customers will quickly and easily get the best and nearest resource for the job.

2. Keep Customers Informed with Automated Notifications

If there’s one thing no one wants when they purchase a product or service, it’s having to call and follow up on the status of work, or the whereabouts of a worker. Providing your clients with transparency about the job status and their technicians’ locations is essential. In fact, 68% of people have a better opinion of a business when they send automatic customer service notifications. 

With BigChange’s field service management software, you can see exactly where your resources are using our GPS vehicle tracking feature. Your customers will also be provided with a link showing the technicians’ live locations for every job they order. 

Your clients won’t even have to check the platform to see where the resource is; they will receive automatic updates on the resource’s estimated time of arrival and job completion status via email and text messages.

3. Provide Customers with Automated Scheduling Options

Using online scheduling software that allows your clients to schedule jobs on their own is one step in the right direction to building a great customer experience. However, did you know that you can go beyond offering simple online scheduling and easily set up recurring jobs? 

As such, you can remove the burden from both your customers and your back-office staff to remember to book repeat appointments.

BigChange’s recurring job templates are perfect for clients who know they have a lot of jobs for you. This feature enables you to create groups of jobs to complete so you and your customers can schedule all the required work for the group straightforwardly in one go. 

When you or your customers don’t know if they’ll require further work in advance, rest assured there is still a way they can automate future jobs. If your customer realises that a job needs additional work, you can choose an automated option that captures information from the former job and automatically creates a new one instantly. 

The new job will include the job contract, original job details, skills, constraints, financial line items, as well as the original resource’s comments about the job, saving you time and reducing the amount of administration required. 

Automating and making scheduling easier for your customers makes the experience of doing business with you faster and easier, a sure way to improve customer satisfaction.

4. Quickly Book Unscheduled Jobs

No matter how busy it is, there are times when your field service technicians may have gaps in their schedules. Add to that the possibility that a technician’s next job might require significant travel time from their present location, and your resource may end up spending hours of their day not working. Not only is this bad for your company’s productivity, but it could also have a negative effect on your field service technicians’ morale.

BigChange’s online scheduling software doesn’t just offer easy scheduling for allocated jobs, it also lets field service professionals self-allocate jobs. You can enter custom pricing models for each job type as well as customer-specific prices and rating tables. Field service professionals can then filter jobs to suit their location or skills. Not only will this feature improve customer satisfaction by assigning the job to the right technician in record time, it means you can fill more jobs effortlessly. Past clients have seen a 40% increase in productivity just by using this self-allocation of jobs feature. 

Improve Customer Satisfaction with BigChange’s Online Scheduling Software

The days of always having to call to schedule a service are over. 

Customers expect businesses to use online scheduling software to meet their needs, and the faster you provide this service the better. Improving customer satisfaction with online scheduling will always start with how you list your availability to customers. 

BigChange’s intelligent scheduling will enable your clients to schedule and reschedule jobs with ease. Automated messages that show your clients if your resource is on schedule and when they finished the job will also improve your customer satisfaction rate by reducing their need to check up on the job status. 

Plus, you can free up time for your back-office staff by eliminating repetitive administration tasks, leaving them to focus on improving the customer experience. Lastly, you can take scheduling jobs completely out of your hands by allowing resources to self-allocate jobs themselves, fulfilling more client orders and resulting in faster service. 

Find out how BigChange can help your businessbook a free consultation today. Get more helpful guides and tips delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter below. You can keep up to date with BigChange on LinkedInTwitterFacebookInstagram and YouTube.

Customer experience (CX) has quickly become a top priority for businesses, with more than two-thirds of them competing primarily on the service they offer their clients. Customers are no longer loyal to companies based on prices, products or services alone. Instead, they now also expect seamless experiences that anticipate their needs.

Therefore, organisations that don’t stay ahead of the curve and deliver outstanding services risk being superseded by their competitors. However, the good news is that implementing a great customer experience doesn’t have to be costly or challenging.

In fact, by using state-of-the-art workforce management software, you can revolutionise the way your customers interact with your business at various stages of the sales cycle. Read on to find out more about the benefits of using technology as a means of keeping your customers happy. 

The Top 4 Benefits of Improving Customer Experience

In addition to keeping customers happy, your business could greatly benefit from improving the customer experience. Here are just four of the top advantages your company could enjoy:

1. Your Revenue Will Increase

According to research, a completely satisfied customer contributes 2.6 times as much revenue as a somewhat satisfied customer and 14 times as much as a somewhat dissatisfied customer. Subsequently, businesses that make CX a priority can expect to profit more than those that don’t.

With a modern CRM (customer relationship management) system designed specifically for field service businesses, you can anticipate your clients’ needs and exceed their expectations. Back office workflows ensure that procedures are followed to a tee every time; for example, you can send your customers a survey post-job to check that the work is to their satisfaction.

Plus, personalised communications with your customers have never been more straightforward. You can use digital, custom-branded templates to provide clients with regular updates on their job status, keeping them in the loop without adding taxing administration tasks to your team’s to-do list.

By impressing your customers at each stage of the buyer journey, you can guarantee that they’ll have a positive impression of your company. As such, you’ll find that they’re willing to pay a premium for your excellent services instead of using another cheaper company that continues to use outdated, inconvenient processes.

2. You Will Have More Loyal Customers

Did you know, 82% of emotionally engaged customers always use the same company when they need something and are less likely to shop around? But, for businesses to keep their customers emotionally engaged, they must figure out how to make people feel valued at each buyer journey stage. 

Luckily, anticipating your customers’ needs and making them feel appreciated isn’t challenging with the right technology in place. Firstly, you can provide your customers with an easy-to-use portal where they can book and manage their appointment without needing to waste time on the phone. 

Then, you can send them personalised, real-time notifications on the status of their job. Finally, your technician can complete all paperwork from their mobile device and issue it directly to the customer for instant invoicing and payment.  

Your customers will appreciate the rapid, convenient service and are more likely to use your company again in the future as a result.

3. Your Customers Will Turn into Advocates for your Business

93% of today’s customers say they use online reviews to influence their purchasing decisions when researching products and services. Therefore, you must ensure your CX is worth shouting about by keeping customers happy.

Using a CRM that gives you a 360˚ view of every account, contact site and contract, you’ll have all the information you need to delight your customers at the touch of a button. The software will log every call, email and customer interaction, so you never lose critical information about a client’s job. Also, you can share and allocate cases through custom tickets and notes to ensure that the team deals with and resolves customer queries as soon as possible for a seamless workflow.

Customers who feel like your company truly cares about their needs, even after their job is complete, will be more satisfied and willing to recommend your product or services to their friends, family, and professional network.

4. You Will Stand Out Amongst the Competition

Unsurprisingly, companies that prioritise CX outperform those that don’t by nearly 80%. Today’s customers are used to speedy, digital buying experiences, so manual processes and antiquated legacy systems aren’t going to cut it anymore. 

Instead, the businesses that stand out from their competitors are the early adopters of modern workforce management platforms. BigChange’s 5-in-1 system allows you to manage the entire end-to-end process in one place, delighting your customers and making your back office team’s lives simpler simultaneously. 

By eliminating burdensome, long-winded administration tasks, your team will have more time to focus on delivering exceptional service to your customers. Using the cloud-based management system, your staff can easily schedule jobs, dispatch workers and provide customers with real-time status updates. Your technicians can then carry out each job to a high standard and instantly send your customer the necessary paperwork directly from their mobile device.

Providing such a smooth service will set you apart from the companies that continue to rely on paper-based documents and spreadsheets to manage their operations. Consequently, your business will thrive.

For more tips on how to deliver a seamless customer experience, click here.

Enjoy the Benefits of Improving the Customer Experience with BigChange

Some systems manage relationships. BigChange helps you master them.

Our fully integrated CRM system gives you a 360˚ view of every account, contact site and contract. Deliver positive customer experiences at every level thanks to an array of dynamic product features.

Find out how BigChange can help your businessbook a free consultation today. Get more helpful guides and tips delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter below. You can keep up to date with BigChange on LinkedInTwitterFacebookInstagram and YouTube.

The UK is currently experiencing a skills shortage, with the demand for electricians exceeding the supply. In fact, an additional 15,000 fully qualified electricians will need to join the industry over the next five years to close the gap. However, the good news for existing electricians is that it’s the perfect time to win new, high-value contracts. 

In this article, we’ll walk you through each step of tendering for electrical work. We’ll also share how field service management software can help you easily manage your growing business.

How to Win Electrical Contracts in 4 Simple Steps

1. Find a Suitable Opportunity

The first step to winning more electrical work is to find a tender that is relevant to the services you offer. A good place to start is by checking Contracts Finder or Find a Tender, where you will find all public tender opportunities in the UK. You can search using keywords, so you don’t have to waste time searching through irrelevant tenders.

There are three different contracting procedures that you’ll need to be aware of:

1. Open Procedure
An open procedure means that:
  • Anyone can submit a tender.
  • Clients cannot negotiate with bidders.

There are no restrictions on when clients can use the above method, but they must evaluate all tenders they receive. As a result, clients often use an open procedure for simple procurements.

2. Restricted Procedure
A restricted procedure means that:
  • Any interested parties can express an interest in bidding.
  • The client must invite a minimum of five suppliers to bid — provided enough candidates have applied — so there is genuine competition.
  • Clients cannot negotiate with bidders, but they may clarify details and finalise terms.

Again, there are no restrictions on when clients can use the above process. Usually, restricted procedures are suited to less stable markets where there are many competitors.

3. Competitive Dialogue
A competitive dialogue means that:
  • Companies shortlist candidates who respond to their advertisement, and only those selected are invited to bid.
  • Clients can negotiate with bidders to seek better offers.

Often, clients use competitive dialogue when they require a more tailored approach. For example, if the client’s organisation cannot use a ready-made solution or product due to the complexity of its requirements.

Once you’ve found a tender you want to apply for, you’ll need to register your interest. The client will then likely issue you with a pre-qualification questionnaire (PQQ) in most cases.

2. Complete the Pre-Qualification Process (PQQ)

The PQQ is designed to help the client shortlist applicants for the tender, so you’ll need to provide strong evidence that your company can take on the project. The questionnaire will cover topics such as:

  • Experience level
  • Geographical reach
  • Financial information
  • Past and current clients
  • Insurance details

Remember, the PQQ will serve as the client’s first impression of your company, so it’s worth spending some time on your answers and ensuring that you’ve covered all the vital information you need to share. If you’re successful, the client will invite you to tender for the contract officially.

3. Invitation to Tender (ITT)

At the ITT stage, the client should supply more details on the scope of works, criteria, instructions and an explanation on how they will assess applicants. After you’ve carefully read through their requirements, you’ll need to pull together information about the following:

  • Some details about your company
  • How you’ll approach the project
  • An estimate and breakdown of costs
  • Your project management process

However, the above list isn’t exhaustive. Some clients may want you to include more information or have a preference over the format of your response. For example, you may have to upload your answers via an online portal with a maximum word count.

With a field service management platform in place, gathering crucial data to impress the client needn’t be a headache. You’ll have a comprehensive record of all previous jobs, cost centres, price lists and more at the click of a button. The platform tracks data in real-time, so you can rest assured that everything is accurate and up-to-date.

4. Begin Writing Your Bid

You should open your bid submission with a brief overview of your company’s qualifications and why you should win the contract. Then, you’ll need to outline how you’ll carry out the project, answering each question concisely and backing up statements with facts and figures.

Although the bid is a chance to demonstrate your strengths as an organisation, you must ensure the focus remains on the client. They will want to read about how you can help them with their specific requirements. Therefore, it’s a good idea to search your bid document for the word ‘we’ and change them to ‘you’ where appropriate.

Most importantly, once you’ve proofread your submission, you should submit it before or on the deadline. Late entries are likely to be ignored by the client, costing you time and a potential customer.

Field Service Management Technology Simplifies the Tendering Process

The tendering process can be lengthy and complex at times. As such, it may be tempting to keep attending to one-off, ‘quick win’ jobs. But, electrical companies should take advantage of today’s high demand for electricians and bid for larger, higher value contracts that will maintain a steady income stream. 

The good news is, you can streamline the tendering process by arming yourself with the vital data you need to impress potential clients. With a field service management platform such as BigChange, you can view details such as:

  • Who is working for you, where, and what qualifications they hold
  • Your assets, equipment and stock
  • Your clients and their feedback 
  • Your health and safety procedures 
  • Payments and outstanding invoices

You’ll eliminate the need to search through spreadsheets, paper documents and various systems for crucial information. Instead, you’ll have everything you need to write a persuasive bid, plus time left over to focus on other activities that contribute directly to business growth.

Win More Electrical Work and Grow Your Business with BigChange

All the essential information you need at the click of a button.

BigChange’s field service management system gives you a 360˚ view of every account, contact site and contract. Deliver positive customer experiences at every level thanks to an array of dynamic product features.

Find out how BigChange can help your businessbook a free consultation today. Get more helpful guides and tips delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter below. You can keep up to date with BigChange on LinkedInTwitterFacebookInstagram and YouTube.

To thrive in today’s competitive field service landscape, you have to be willing to play a figurative game of chess. Much like a chess player, you must anticipate your customer’s next move in order to get the upper hand. In fact, 50% of customers say they will be loyal to a business if it manages to predict their needs.

But, what do customers expect from field service organisations?

In this article, we’ll explore the top three priorities for customers who require field services. We’ll also discuss how field service management software enables you to meet their high standards without adding extra work to your team’s ‘to-do’ list. 

Field Services: What Do Customers Expect?

1. A Knowledgeable Team

According to data from PwC, 46% of people will abandon a brand if they’re not knowledgeable. Therefore, ensuring your entire team has all the information they need to hand is paramount to impressing your clients.

With a field service management platform, you can keep a detailed electronic record of all interactions with your customers from the moment they book an appointment via the online self-service portal. As such, your team can see all their requirements and use the data to assign the right stock, equipment and technician to the job.

The best platforms also provide an app that gives your technicians access to vital information from their mobile devices. Using the app, the technician can view the customer’s file and instantly understand the issue. 

Providing your team with all the knowledge they need to do an outstanding job will improve productivity as tasks take less time to complete and leave a lasting impression on your customers. You’ll likely also find that clients are more inclined to lean on your expertise over your competitors’ next time they require field services.

2. A No-Fuss Service

Field service organisations with a first-time fix rate of over 70% enjoy an 86% customer retention rate. With modern customers leading busy lives, ensuring that your technicians complete the job the first time is key to delivering a service that meets their expectations.

The good news is that achieving a high first-time fix rate needn’t be a challenging task. Using field service management software, you can start making an improvement immediately. Once customers make a booking, your back-office staff can see the nature of their issue, which enables them to select a technician based on location, skill set and vehicle type.

After the most appropriate technician is assigned, your team can allocate specific gear to the job. Your workers will then always turn up with everything they need to complete the project on the first visit. 

Aside from enabling your technicians to attend more appointments per day, you’ll also lose less time to repeat visits, which can eat into your profits. Additionally, your customers will be impressed at the speed and simplicity of the service and may be more inclined to recommend your business to their friends and family.

3. Rapid Communication

Only 14% of customers say they’re happy with current business communications. Your clients don’t have time to sit on the phone for hours to talk to a representative, nor do they want to wait at home all day because they were given a vague time slot.

Fortunately, field service management platforms like BigChange make effective communication more straightforward than ever. For example, once your team has dispatched each technician, the system will send automated texts and emails to your customers, including a live tracking link. As a result, your customers can see precisely where their technicians are, meaning they won’t have to keep calling the office for an update. 

Furthermore, the platform will pull through information from the integrated CRM (customer relationship management) system to create a personalised follow-up email once the work is complete. The email is an excellent opportunity to show that you value your clients and collect feedback via a customer satisfaction survey.

With such vital data at your fingertips, you’ll be able to continue shaping your operations based on customer expectations and simultaneously grow and develop the business. 

Field Service Management Software Helps You Anticipate Customers’ Needs

Unsurprisingly, companies that focus on delivering a superior customer experience bring in 5.7 times more revenue than those that don’t focus on their clients’ needs. However, if you’re still relying on legacy systems and manual administration methods to manage your customer relationships, you risk falling behind your competitors.

By making the switch to state-of-the-art field service management software, you can automate the time-consuming processes that may have historically fallen through the cracks as other tasks took priority. For instance, never again will your team have to remember to update your customers on the whereabouts of technicians, nor will you have to wonder if your clients were satisfied with the work.

Instead, you can anticipate your customers’ needs, collect feedback that helps to improve your business and streamline your operations at the touch of a button. 

Exceed Customer Expectations and Grow Your Business with BigChange

Some systems manage relationships. BigChange helps you master them.

Our fully integrated CRM system gives you a 360˚ view of every account, contact site and contract. Deliver positive customer experiences at every level thanks to an array of dynamic product features.

Find out how BigChange can help your businessbook a free consultation today. Get more helpful guides and tips delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter below. You can keep up to date with BigChange on LinkedInTwitterFacebookInstagram and YouTube.

With the field service industry set to grow by 16.9% between 2019 to 2026, competition will become fiercer than ever. Businesses will need to do all they can to stay ahead of the curve. 

However, typical field service management organisations have several moving parts by nature.  From job scheduling and dispatching to invoicing and beyond, managing field service companies can be extremely complex, leaving vital details to fall through the cracks.  

Luckily, thanks to technological advancements in recent years, managing your field service operations can be as simple as clicking a button. In this article, we’ll share some field service management best practices that will help keep your organisation running smoothly. Plus, we’ll share how field service management software enables you to improve your working methods without burdening your back-office team with more admin.

The Top 3 Field Service Management Best Practices

Here are the top three field service management practices that will ensure your business stands out against the competition:

1. Scheduling and Dispatching Technicians Efficiently

Data from Verizon Connect suggests that scheduling and dispatching difficulties present one of today’s main challenges for field service organisations. How do you effectively manage the schedule when your workflow depends on several technicians being in various locations at once?

The solution lies with field service management technology.

Instead of relying on error-prone spreadsheets and antiquated legacy systems, you can make the most of a workforce management platform such as BigChange to schedule your field-based workers at the touch of a button. 

The intelligent scheduling assistant highlights workers for a planned job based on location, skillset, vehicle type and job constraints to ensure that you have the right resource in the right place — every time. Since all information updates in real-time, your technicians can instantly see their assignments, meaning they’re able to respond to any job without any issues throughout the ever-changing workday. 

2. Performing Predictive and Preventative Maintenance

Did you know that unplanned maintenance costs an eye-watering three to nine times more than planned preventative maintenance? To make matters worse, 81% of businesses experience downtime at least once each year due to defective equipment and assets. 

Consequently, to ensure your organisation can run like clockwork year-round, you should prioritise predictive and preventative maintenance. Fortunately, with a modern field service management (FSM) system in place, scheduling maintenance needn’t be a logistical nightmare. 

In fact, FSM technology streamlines the entire process and improves health and safety measures simultaneously. For example, you can make it mandatory for your technicians to complete a safety walkaround check of their vehicles and submit the results via their mobile devices before they can begin travelling to a job.

Then, using the information your technicians provide, your fleet manager can see all outstanding defects and even reconcile some issues directly from the app. As a result, they’ll be able to see what problems commonly occur and work to mitigate them without needing to spend hours keeping manual records.

3. Arming Your Field-Based Workforce with the Right Tools

According to 80% of technicians, mobile technology is critical to enhancing their efficiency and effectiveness at helping customers. But, despite technicians being on the road or attending client sites for most of their days, many field service organisations don’t provide mobile technology as a standard.

Businesses that don’t consider their customer experience run the risk of denting their bottom line. At worst, field service businesses could make themselves obsolete as people look to their competitors for a better service. 

When you equip your field-based team with a mobile app that connects directly to your back office’s central platform, you’ll be able to connect your entire workflow seamlessly. As such, your technicians will have all the knowledge they need about each assignment so they can deliver exceptional service each time. 

Plus, once the work is complete, your technicians can fill out all paperwork directly from their mobile devices and instantly share it with your admin team, meaning you can process each job in less time and get paid the same day. 

Technology is the Future of Field Services

Research from Microsoft shows that 44% of businesses can run a more efficient field service operation by using technology to eliminate silos and other common hurdles caused by outdated manual administration methods. 

Additionally, customers expect a straightforward, convenient experience that you will struggle to provide when using traditional field service management methods. Therefore, to survive and thrive in today’s modern world, field service companies must keep up-to-date with the latest technology, so they don’t fall behind. 

With BigChange’s field service management software, you can manage your entire business on one easy-to-use platform, eliminating arduous paperwork and significantly lowering the margin for error. Subsequently, your team will have more time to focus on activities that contribute directly to business growth. 

Run Your Business Efficiently with BigChange’s Field Service Management Technology

Save valuable time and stay connected to every aspect of your business with BigChange. 

Our secure, cloud-based software helps you track and control every job, from quotation to payment, on a single platform. Everything you need to know will be at your fingertips, making it easy to plan, manage, schedule and track your field-based workforce and transport operations.

Plus, you’ll be able to make the most of our dedicated, expert support.

Find out how BigChange can help your businessbook a free consultation today. Get more helpful guides and tips delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter below. You can keep up to date with BigChange on LinkedInTwitterFacebookInstagram and YouTube.

With no shared office environment, monitoring technicians’ task performance and client interactions can be difficult. How can you be sure that every field technician is performing to your company’s expectations and doing a good job?

Unfortunately, with 52% of field service businesses relying on spreadsheets, legacy systems and other inefficient manual methods, guaranteeing satisfactory services across the board becomes an impossible task. During the pandemic, firms adopted new technologies to facilitate their work more easily, and field service companies will need to do the same to survive in a post-pandemic landscape.

Unfortunately, the field service industry requires more flexible solutions for their dynamic environment — especially as competition increases and roles become more technical.

In this article, we’ll explore some key ways you can track technician job performance using tech-based solutions to deliver consistent service and increased productivity.

What Does ‘Doing a Good Job’ Mean to You?

PwC data from 2018 shows that trust between workforces and senior leadership is vital as businesses progress. Unfortunately, field service firms are at particular risk of trust being challenged as staff performance expectations evolve.

While field technicians have historically enjoyed a certain level of autonomy over their work, outdated in-house systems prevent firms from removing inefficiencies and reducing ‘cost to serve’ overheads.

Without effective communication as to why and how roles are changing, field service firms will likely lose highly trained staff members. That’s why, when seeking to track technician performance, you’ll first need to answer three crucial questions:

  • What does good performance look like?
  • How transparent are existing processes for measuring performance? (In other words, what don’t you know about field tasks as they happen?)
  • How can current processes be improved?

We’ve made a list of the most important areas of field technician performance below to help you get started with defining success and tracking technician job performance effectively.

How to Track Technician Job Performance Effectively

Tech-based field service management solutions are the future. Research from McKinsey has shown firms can reduce overheads by 40%, increase productivity by 30% and scale more flexibly with future demand — offering businesses an essential competitive edge. 

However, such gains can only be made with the right digital tools. Secure, cloud-based software helps you track and control every job, from quotation to payment, on a single platform. 

With everything you need to know at your fingertips, you can plan, manage, schedule and track your field-based workforce more easily. 

Here are six ways you can use field service management technology to gain better visibility over your workforce and accurately measure technician performance.

1. Meeting Job Requirements

Field technicians need to be prepared for a variety of scenarios at each new job site, which is why communicating task requirements is vital. Platforms like BigChange come with a jobs and workflows feature, ensuring staff have an overview of the key steps of any job and can deliver speedy service.

BigChange also comes with a photo capture feature that allows staff to see previous work associated with a client and access time-saving context. Better still, the photo capture feature provides proof of work after work has finished so you’ll always have a comprehensive record to refer back to in the future.

2. Staying Safe

Between 2019 and 2020, nearly 700,000 people were injured at work — up from around 580,000 the previous year. Safe practices in the workplace are essential but field technicians are at heightened risk of accidents and injury. Without a single workplace to control, staff are exposed to a range of potential risks with each new job site.

Field service management software allows you to track technician safety and job performance. For example, you can add mandatory risk assessments and vehicle walkarounds before job details or timesheets appear so field technicians are always operating safely.

3. Driving Well

Safety doesn’t stop once staff leave the job site. Last year, there were over 100,000 road accidents in the UK. That’s why the best field service management platforms on the market provide insight into technicians’ driving behaviour in real-time. 
You can track technician locations, speed, engine idling and more and receive scores on how safe and how eco-friendly your fleet are driving. Already, the BigChange platform has helped avoid 5 million kilograms of CO2 emissions.

4. Satisfying Customers

Recent research from McKinsey found that low customer satisfaction is a consistent problem for the field services industry. The sector has been slow to adopt technology that can assist with resource management and invoicing, leading to a dated and clunky experience.

That’s why it’s crucial that any field management software needs to work for your customers also. In particular, modern customers expect an easy booking system, ETA updates and seamless invoicing and payment options.

5. Meeting Service Level Agreements

Service Level Agreements (SLAs) offer firms a reliable revenue stream but need careful resource management once the contracts begin. Legacy booking systems can leave blind spots in workloads and can jeopardise SLAs unexpectedly.

Don’t leave your contracts vulnerable to bottlenecks: allocate resources more efficiently and ensure your most critical service agreements are delivered on time and to standard with a resource management platform

Doing so can benefit ongoing client relationships and help your company build a reliable reputation with customers.

6. Taking Breaks

Stress levels within the field services industry are amongst the worst in Britain and are leading to losses in revenue from staff sickness and productivity decreases. Field technicians need to take sufficient breaks during their working day or risk service standards decreasing.

Using a platform like BigChange lets you generate timesheets and staff schedules that automatically factor in breaks, so you can track technician work and rest periods. Not only can this feature help safeguard staff wellbeing, but it also ensures your business delivers a consistent and sustainable job standard for continued growth.

Track Technician Performance as if You’re On-Site

Identify key performance areas and use integrated software solutions to gain an overview of your organisation like never before. Track technician performance to ensure field-based staff go from doing a good job to a great one, operating safely and efficiently.

Find out how BigChange can help your businessbook a free consultation today. Get more helpful guides and tips delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter below. You can keep up to date with BigChange on LinkedInTwitterFacebookInstagram and YouTube.

You could have the best product or service in the world, but if your customer service isn’t satisfactory, your reputation will suffer, and you could lose business as a result. In fact, 96% of people say that customer service is crucial in their loyalty to a brand.

Therefore, to ensure your customers come back to your company time and time again, you must consider ways to ensure they have a positive experience. Luckily, thanks to the latest workforce management technology, it’s never been easier to deliver outstanding service.

In this article, we’ll explain how to deliver great customer service and share why it’s such a vital part of the customer experience (CX).

How to Deliver Great Customer Service

With 54% of people saying that they have higher customer service expectations than they did just one year ago, businesses must find more innovative ways to stay ahead of the curve by using technology. 

Here are the top five ways you can use field service management software to create a personalised customer experience that will impress your clients and boost the reputation of your business:

1. Respond Promptly to Customers

For 70% of customers, speed of service matters the most. Therefore, to please your clientele, you must review your current processes and eliminate anything that slows down the workflow. 

For most field service organisations, inefficiencies are often caused by manual administration methods and outdated legacy systems. 

In contrast, you can streamline your processes and free up your employees’ time to respond more rapidly to customer requests when you use field service management software.

For example, as soon as your customers have booked an appointment, your back office team can schedule and dispatch a worker based on real-time data, such as the location of the technician or job constraints. They can also send automatic notifications to clients to inform them of the technicians’ whereabouts. 

With technology enabling you to respond to your customers instantly, you can rest assured that you’re delivering excellent service.

2. Personalise Your Service

80% of customers are more likely to purchase a product or service if the brand provides personalised experiences. Unfortunately, spreadsheets and paper-based documents make it much more challenging to provide communications tailored to each of your customers.

Instead, contemporary CRM (customer relationship management) systems can pull client data into company-branded templates, enabling you to automatically send emails and other routine communications at the touch of a button.

A personalised customer experience will make your clients feel more valued and increase the likelihood of using your business again in the future. Plus, clients who are impressed with your service may also recommend you to their friends, family and professional network.

3. Give Customers the Tools They Need to Help Themselves

Historically, customers that wanted to book or reschedule an appointment had to take time out of their busy days waiting on the phone to speak to someone. However, thanks to technological advancements in recent decades, it’s now much more straightforward for clients to manage their bookings.

Unsurprisingly, 67% of customers say they prefer self-service over speaking to a company representative.

As such, to deliver the best customer service possible and stand out from the competition, you should offer tools to help your clients help themselves. The good news is that many modern workforce management solutions include built-in self-service customer portals where people can easily manage their appointments online.

In addition to appointment scheduling, customers can also view the live progress of their technicians’ locations and download job cards and invoices once the work is complete. With full visibility and control over their booking, customers will enjoy a convenient service that will make them want to keep using your company over others that don’t offer self-service options.

4. Keep in Touch with Customers Once the Work is Complete

70% of the customer experience is based on how the client feels you are treating them each time they make contact with your business. Consequently, you should make an effort to check in with your customers at every stage of the buyer journey, even after the work is complete.

Using field service management technology, you can send your customers a satisfaction survey when your technician has completed the work to ensure they’re happy. If required, you can also set up recurring jobs with automated reminders so your customers don’t have to remember to book a new appointment each time.

By keeping your customers engaged throughout the customer journey and beyond, they’ll feel appreciated and will maintain a more favourable impression of your company.

5. Be Helpful and Anticipate Customer Needs

Organisations that prioritise the customer experience outperform those that don’t by a staggering 80%. Clearly, it pays to anticipate your customers’ needs and deliver on their expectations.

But, how can you anticipate your customers’ needs if you don’t have the necessary data or tools? In today’s digital world, clients are used to businesses helping them solve problems they didn’t even know they had. So, manual administration methods and paper-based documents aren’t going to give you the information you need to delight your clients anymore.

Fortunately, with cloud-based field service management software like BigChange, you’ll have access to all the data you need in the palm of your hand as it will log every interaction you have with your customers. 

Subsequently, you can do the following:

  • Schedule and dispatch workers depending on the customers’ requirements
  • Provide real-time status updates to keep clients in the loop
  • Create digital documents which reduce the risk of human error
  • Send online invoices the same day
  • Allow customers to pay electronically instead of waiting several days for a paper invoice

By anticipating your customers’ needs and offering helpful service, they will feel your company cares, making them more inclined to want to use your services again. 

To learn more about customer experience and how to map out the customer journey, click here.

Deliver a Personalised Customer Experience with BigChange

Some systems manage relationships. BigChange helps you master them.

Our fully integrated CRM system gives you a 360˚ view of every account, contact site and contract. Deliver positive customer experiences at every level thanks to an array of dynamic product features.

Want to find out more?
Discover how BigChange can make your business grow stronger, arrange a free demo today.

In an increasingly talent-short market, many field service businesses are forced to think outside the box to fill the skills gap and ensure that they can continue growing. 

One of the best ways to preserve usual activity levels without hiring additional resources is by using subcontractors. In fact, there are a host of advantages to using a subcontractor beyond simply maintaining business-as-usual — you could be looking at a 20-30% saving over hiring full-time staff. 

In this article, we’ll explain how to hire subcontractors and share how networking with other businesses can unlock opportunities to expand your reach further than ever before.

Hiring Subcontractors: 4 Simple Steps

1. Select Reputable Subcontractors

Finding skilled subcontractors to represent your organisation is critical to success. One of the best ways to find qualified professionals is by connecting with like-minded companies. In reality, networking is responsible for around 80% of all job fills. 

However, networking with other businesses can be a lengthy process and take time away from you that could be better spent on company growth activities. Fortunately, when you use a job management platform like BigChange, you’ll have instant access to a network of trusted field service organisations at your fingertips.

Instead of sacrificing office time, you can simply post your business on the network for free and start receiving connection requests immediately. If you have a particular project that you need subcontractors for, you can add requirements such as skillset, qualifications and rates. 

As such, you can guarantee that only the best people for the job will represent your company — your customers won’t even notice the difference.

2. Put a Legal Agreement in Place

As with any professional agreement, you should ensure that you protect yourself and your worker legally. Although they are not considered employees, subcontractors still have rights, and you must ensure that you are aware of them before putting together a contract.

In your contract, you may wish to specify the following:

  • Payment dates and the amount
  • Working hours
  • Clauses stating who is responsible in the event of unsatisfactory work
  • A minimum notice period (for both the contractor and your organisation, should you wish to terminate the contract)
  • Details of who supplies the materials
  • Clauses stating how you or the subcontractor will deal with complaints

Putting a contract together should reduce the likelihood of discrepancies and eliminate confusion over responsibilities.

3. Make Communication a Priority

Did you know that over 50% of high-performing organisations regularly invest in tools that aid communication? Maintaining contact with workers is even more imperative for field service businesses, where most of the workforce is scattered across the country in various locations.

With job management software, you’ll have complete visibility over who is working for you and where. As a result, you can easily keep track of your active jobs and ensure the subcontractors carry them out to your usual high standards.

For example, you can set mandatory workflows and risk assessment forms that the technicians must complete from their mobile devices before beginning the work. The results come through to your back office instantly and enable your team to mitigate any potential issues.

Once the subcontractor has completed the work, they can attach photographic evidence to their forms and capture customer signatures as evidence of a satisfactory job. The job management platform stores all information, so you will also have an extensive record of the project and the person who carried it out for future reference.

4. Don’t Forget about the Customer Experience

In a market where competition for clients is fierce, brand consistency is everything. Customers appreciate it when they can recognise your brand, and businesses enjoy a 33% increase in revenue as a result. But, how can you maintain consistency when subcontractors are representing your organisation?

The solution lies with job management software like BigChange.

With the BigChange Mobile Application, your subcontractors will have access to all the features your usual technicians have. Consequently, they can provide your customers with company-branded documents and invoices, so it’s evident that they’re a representative of your business. 

Not only are consistent, electronic documents more convenient for your customers, but they also eliminate the amount of administration work required from your back office team. By liberating your staff from time-consuming processes, they can continue focusing on scaling your company.

Job Management Software Makes Networking with Other Businesses a Breeze

70% of field service organisations expect the ageing workforce and resulting skills gap to cause significant issues within the next five to ten years. Therefore, it’s paramount that companies look to new, innovative ways to continue delivering excellent service to customers.

With the BigChange Network at your disposal, you can harness the power of networking from the comfort of your chair and instantly collaborate with thousands of professional subcontractors worldwide.

Aside from simply helping you complete projects on time with limited resources, subcontractors also allow you to expand your reach into new locations, building your client base and boosting your bottom line simultaneously.

Hiring and Managing Subcontractors Made Simpler with BigChange

Complete large projects on time and to a high standard with BigChange.

Collaborate with thousands of trusted field service organisations via the BigChange Network. Gain full visibility over your entire workforce. Provide customers with the same level of service they’re used to with our personalised, company-branded templates. 

Want to find out more?
Discover how BigChange can make your business grow stronger, arrange a free demo today.

In 2020, plumbers were the most in-demand tradespeople, with 64% of people saying they required plumbing services at some point during the year. As such, there’s never been a better time to win new business and scale your company.

But, to run your organisation successfully and turn a profit, you need to know how to create financial documents correctly. In this article, we’ll provide a step-by-step guide on how to write a plumbing quote and invoice. We’ll also discuss how to calculate the VAT rate on plumbing services, so you know how much tax to add to each job.

What is the VAT Rate on Plumbing Services?

If your taxable turnover is likely to be over the current VAT threshold of £85,000, then you must charge VAT on your services, otherwise known as ‘output tax’. Currently, there are three rates that a plumbing business can charge, which are as follows:

Standard Rate

The standard VAT rate on plumbing services is 20% and applies to work such as:

  • Domestic repairs and maintenance
  • Work to existing structures
  • Work to newly-built structures that don’t meet the zero rate criteria

Reduced Rate

There are certain situations where you can charge a reduced rate of 5%, for example:

  • Installation of energy-saving materials
  • Renovating a property that has been vacant for two years or more
  • Residential conversion work 

Zero Rate

You do not need to add VAT to invoices for zero-rate plumbing services, which include:

  • Services for a disabled person
  • Work on new build houses
  • Work on qualifying buildings if you are the main contractor — usually, these buildings are used for charitable or non-business purposes

For more information on VAT rates, visit the GOV.UK website.

How to Write a Plumbing Quote

Before you begin putting together a quote, you must examine the issue to assess the job’s complexity. Failure to carry out this vital first step could result in unexpected problems and additional hours of work. Your customers won’t be happy if the project falls behind schedule, and your bottom line will take a hit. 

So, visit the location, take notes and then send your customer an estimate that includes these details:

1. The Rate for Your Services

To set a rate for your services, you’ll need to calculate how much you require to pay your bills and make a profit whilst remaining competitive. Many plumbing businesses choose to quote their services in minimum blocks of time. Two hours is enough time to install a new sink, for instance. 

Subsequently, it’s a good idea to make a price card and rate list as a starting point. You can then tweak your prices depending on each customer’s requirement. Also, don’t forget to factor in any additional time you spent inspecting the problem initially, as that will have cost your team time that they could’ve used to attend to another job. 

Luckily, pricing your work needn’t be a headache. With a field service management system in place, you can create a digital rate card and price list that you can easily tailor to your clients’ projects at the touch of a button. 

2. Additional Fees

When putting together an estimate, you should always cover any other expenses you or your team will incur whilst carrying out the job. Your additional fees can include the following costs:

  • Travel; you can either charge a fixed rate or calculate your mileage
  • Union dues, pensions and insurance don’t need to be itemised, but you should include them as part of your hourly or base rate
  • Emergency call-outs that cover weekends, holidays or after-hours work
3. Supplies and Materials

More often than not, plumbing jobs require you to provide supplies and materials that add to your overall costs. So, once you’ve completed your initial inspection of the problem, you should make a note of the items you think you’re going to use and price them up. 

Your technicians should turn up at the job with all the proper equipment so they can fix the issue the first time, which is why you must be thorough with your list. Fortunately, field service management software is designed to give you visibility over how much stock you have available and ensure you have enough to carry out the work.

The platform allows you to assign supplies and materials to particular jobs, meaning no one on your team arrives at a job without the right gear. Plus, you will be able to see exactly how much stock you’ve assigned to the project, enabling you to calculate the total cost quickly.

Aside from your quotes being more accurate and straightforward to create, you’ll find that your first-time fix rate increases and your technicians can attend more appointments each month.

How to Write a Plumbing Invoice

Once a technician completes a job, it is a legal requirement to send your customer an invoice. Typically, invoices establish details such as what services your plumbing business provided, how much the customer owes you and the payment deadline.

Creating accurate invoices enables you to maintain your bookkeeping and helps prevent disputes or late payments. Here are the key elements you must include on your invoices:

1. Contact Information and Company Logo

Did you know that 75% of people recognise a brand by its logo? Therefore, it’s worth taking the time to add your logo onto each invoice you send so your customers know that the invoice has come directly from your organisation. 

Your company name and contact information must also be in a large font at the top of the invoice. Next, you should include your customer’s name and address to ensure that it reaches the right person or department. 

With modern field service management software, you can handle invoicing directly on the platform and create personalised documents in seconds. For example, you can add your logo into a pre-designed template for a professional-looking invoice. 

The template also pulls through all required information, including the customer’s address, and automatically adds it into the appropriate fields. As a result, there’s less margin for human error and a reduced chance of late payments. 

2. Invoice Number, Issue Date and Due Date

When used correctly, invoice numbers make it simpler for you to organise your sent invoices, track pending payments and keep a record of your income for tax purposes. The number should be unique, around three to five digits long, and clearly visible on each invoice.

Then, you must add the invoice’s issue date, showing the customer when you sent the payment request. Clients have a certain number of days after the issue date to pay the invoice, which you must indicate by including a due date.  

3. An Itemised List of Services and Parts

Customers should be able to see what they’re paying for, so you must include the information below:

  • A description of the job carried out, the number of hours it required, your hourly rate and the total amount billed
  • Parts required to complete the job, quantities, price per unit and the total amount

Remember, technical plumbing terms make sense to you, but customers will not share the same knowledge. Keep the descriptions simple, so there is no confusion on their end — if they need to ask questions or clarify details, it will delay the payment. 

You can keep a more in-depth description of the work in your CRM (customer relationship management) system for your own record. CRMs document all interactions you have with your clients, including any notes your team makes about the job, so you can refer back to specific details whenever you need them.

4. Before and After Photos

Since plumbing is a highly skilled trade, it’s crucial that your technicians take before and after photos to demonstrate the work they did. Customers may not understand how the plumbers fixed their issues, or the plumbing may be in areas they cannot access, like under the floorboards. Sharing photos provides your clients with peace of mind that their problem is resolved.

Using a state-of-the-art field service management platform, your technicians can take photos on their mobile devices and instantly attach them to the customers’ profiles. As such, both you and your clients will have a complete record of what the plumbers did. If there are any further issues down the line, it will be much simpler to look back through the job history and resolve the problem.  

5. The Total Amount Due

Although you’ve already created an itemised list of the costs, you must also provide your customers with a total amount due on a separate line. Ideally, the total should be in bold so that it stands out.

Getting the total correct is paramount to ensuring you get paid on time. Any disputes will cause a delay in the payment process, so you should always ensure that it’s right the first time. Many field service management systems include an invoicing and payment feature that automatically pulls accurate details and costs into a pre-made template.

By digitising your invoices, you not only save time on arduous administration tasks but also lower the risk of human error and thus get paid by the deadline. That’s a win for both your back-office team and your cash flow. 

6. Payment Terms

In addition to including a due date, you must also clearly state your payment terms:

  • Late fees: Once an invoice becomes overdue, you are allowed to charge late fees. However, you should tell the client exactly how much you charge in such situations. 
  • Accepted payment methods: Tell your customers how they can pay for your services. For example, if you’re using field service invoicing and payment software, people can pay from their mobile devices the minute they receive your electronic invoice. 
  • Guarantees and warranties: If you’ve included a warranty on any parts or you offer a money-back guarantee, you need to specify the terms. For example, how long is the warranty valid? Stating these details in writing mitigates the risk of disputes further down the line.
7. Personalised Note

According to research by PWC, 42% of people say they would pay more for a friendly customer experience. Consequently, it’s a good idea to include a brief, personalised note at the bottom of your invoices.

It’s not a legal requirement to add a note, but it is a friendly touch that will make you stand out from your competitors. You can thank your customers for their business or even use it as an opportunity to request feedback and referrals.

Customers will appreciate the kind message and be left with a more favourable impression of your plumbing business, meaning they’ll be more inclined to use your services again in the future.

Field Service Management Software Unclogs the Quoting and Invoicing Process

Eradicate the time-consuming aspects of quoting and invoicing by adopting a cutting-edge field service management platform like BigChange. The system interlinks your CRM, asset management tool and pricing information so you can put together an accurate quotation in a few clicks. 

Then, once your technicians have completed their jobs, they can instantly generate invoices on their mobile devices and share them with customers in seconds. The invoices pull through all essential information, from final costs to photographic evidence, so your clients can check that they’re satisfied with the details straight away.

Plus, with BigChange Pay, making a payment has never been simpler. Instead of waiting days, or potentially weeks, to receive an invoice payment, your customers can pay the same day using a range of convenient online methods. 

Your clients will appreciate the speedy service, and you’ll free up more time to focus on doing what you do best. 

Make Quotes and Invoices for Your Plumbing Business in Seconds with BigChange

Create financial documents the fast way. 

With BigChange, you can generate and share invoices, quotes, estimates, purchase orders and credit notes in seconds. Our easy-to-use templates pull through pre-saved line items and automatically calculate job costs, so you don’t have to spend time manually inputting data. 

Want to find out more?
Discover how BigChange can make your business grow stronger, arrange a free demo today.

High-quality Field Service Management (FSM) is about effectively optimising and organising operations outside of your office, often in arenas that are in close proximity to your clients. In the past, field service technicians were heavily reliant on time-consuming manual processes riddled with the potential for human error. But, times have changed.

The right FSM solution could be the key to a host of immediate and long-term benefits — including more responsive reaction times, resource optimisation and improved customer experience.

The reality is, businesses who opt to ignore their clients’ needs, desires and expectations are putting their bottom line on the line. For example, did you know that in 2018 businesses collectively lost £55 billion in revenue due to poor customer service?

Read on to find out the benefits of retaining customers and discover how to retain your clients. 

What Kind of Service do Today’s Field Service Clients Expect?

While FSM can deliver lucrative benefits for both you and your clients, managing field service systems and processes is not without its potential challenges. 

Today’s customers expect an effortless and dependable service experience. But, although your field service clients may be expecting more, it can be difficult to meet expectations while juggling other business factors, including cost, resources and budget.

Between customer demands for faster service and a preference to have problems solved without having a technician physically present in their home — field service is ripe for digital disruption. 

However, even with the technology and software options available on the market, too many businesses are still reliant on outdated job scheduling tools or don’t have an existing system at all. 

Using a comprehensive, paperless field service platform like BigChange can help your company harness the power of the cloud and improve profitability. With a bird’s eye view of your operations, you can use precise data and up-to-the-minute information to optimise the performance of field service engagements.

By making it simpler to get the right people, tools and resources to the right place at the right time, you’ll be able to meet your customers’ high standards and retain them long-term.

The Benefits of Retaining Customers and Field Service Clients

It’s Cheaper to Retain Existing Customers than Acquire New Ones

There’s no escaping that customer experience is tied synonymously with how customers perceive their interactions with your company. The service you strive to deliver should always be useful, supportive, friendly and even enjoyable from the customer’s point of view in order to stand a chance of boosting your retention rates. 

While data varies from industry to industry, research concludes that customer acquisition is far more expensive than retention. In fact, it may cost your company up to five times more to acquire a new customer than to keep an existing one.

One of the reasons is that attracting new customers requires constant improvement and sharpening of your products and services to stay ahead of your competitors. When your customers are already loyal and satisfied, your competitors make less of an impact. 

Once you have a good rapport with a field service client, they may even provide you with valuable feedback when prompted. Embracing both positive and negative criticism is key. 

Encourage your clients to tell you what changes and improvements they’d like to see, and determine what specific aspects of the experience you deliver is making your top customers loyal to your brand. Identifying the ways you can replicate your offerings is an effective way to grow your business and increase customer engagement.

It’s a Boost to Your Bottom Line and Brand Reputation

As we briefly outlined, customer retention is a driver of profitability. A healthy bottom line translates to sustainable growth for your company. Did you know that prioritising customer experience and increasing customer retention by just 5% can lead to a 25% increase in profitability?

Strengthening customer retention requires incentivising your current field service clients to engage more with your brand. Measured using customer surveys, online reviews and social media interactions, customer satisfaction is the best gauge of how likely your brand is to receive repeat business from happy field service clients. 

To harness the benefits of profitability and reputability, measuring and monitoring key performance indicators (KPIs) will keep your company and your team of technicians moving in the right direction. KPI metrics you may consider adopting may include:

  • Time to schedule
  • Time to first contact
  • Response time
  • Travel time
  • Customer satisfaction rates
  • Jobs completed per day/week/month
  • Number of repeat visits.
Loyal Customers are More Forgiving in the Event Something Goes Wrong

Staggeringly, research conducted by American Express concluded that a third of customers would consider switching companies after a single instance of poor customer service. 

Despite striving to deliver perfect customer experiences, every company makes mistakes at one time or another. The data proves that loyal customers are more lenient and willing to forgive. PR Week found that two-thirds of loyal customers claimed they’d be more willing to forgive a company for a mistake provided they felt the brand was purpose-driven or cared about them and their specific needs.

The quickest way to lose trust in your customers is to deliver a disappointing customer experience. In the world of FSM, late appointments, cancelled meetings and frustrating double bookings can all create a negative outlook for your business. While the majority (67%) of customers would likely forgive after one mishap, on repeat instances there’s a strong likelihood they’ll seek services from a competitor.

How to Retain your Field Service Clients

Deliver a Faster, Slicker and More Connected Service

As the field service landscape evolves to meet modern needs, it’s clear that creating an excellent customer experience must be treated as a priority for your business to thrive. After all, according to Hubspot, 93% of people are more likely to be repeat customers at companies with excellent customer service. 

At a minimum, customers expect you to deliver products and services they pay for. You’re reliant on your employees to meet those expectations. For that reason, it’s vital that your field service technicians can stick to assigned schedules even when they’re away from the office or other team members.

To deliver a faster, more seamless service for your field service clients, you must have visibility on your technicians’ real-time location, performance and adherence with assigned jobs and hours. Tracking your workforce can help you to allocate work orders faster and manage the distribution of tasks as the need arises.

With increased connectivity and greater access to precise data, a cloud-based FSM system like BigChange can help you provide a proactive customer experience service that’s both efficient and effective.

Communicate with Clarity and Transparency

Let’s be real, no one likes to be left in the dark or to be taken by surprise. Your customers will always want to be in the know with new information. When looking for ways to retain your clients, start with communication. 

Take the time to send your field service clients helpful updates or notices about their upcoming service, project status or price quotes. Leading with clarity and transparency gives your clients visibility over the work you’re conducting, embedding confidence in your company’s ability to complete the job in a timely manner.

When technicians have access to field service software, they can be more open with customers. Equipped with essential information about the individual customer’s history, they can accurately explain changes and decisions made after past enquiries and engagements.

You can also put the control back in your customer’s hands by providing a self-service option that allows them to choose the services and appointments they want. From automatic texts to tell customers when you’ll be with them, to a self-service portal to make job requests, a tool like BigChange means you can quickly and easily keep your customers up-to-date. 

Better yet, your clients won’t have to go through the hassle of call centres and multiple customer service representatives — with BigChange they’re on a fast-track to problem resolution.

Improve Visibility of your Inventory and Individual Customer Profiles

When a customer experiences an issue and reaches out to your company for field service assistance, the reality is that the clock has already started ticking for your team. Every minute that passes counts when it comes to customer retention. 

The speedier and more helpful the service you provide, the more a customer dealing with a critical problem will reward your organisation. But what technologies or tools can you harness to deliver a fast and efficient field service?

The answer: a digital inventory control and management system. 

Improving inventory visibility equips technicians with the right tools they need to help a field service client in need. Having the means to track material orders helps monitor material usage and availability, while providing insights into best-selling items, market trends and over-consumption of certain materials. 

Opt for a complete software solution that connects a technician’s mobile device to your organisation’s CRM system, inventories and customer profiles in real-time. That way, your field service workers have the knowledge databases to deliver impactful customer experiences that lead to higher retention.

Adopt a Cloud-Based Platform

It’s no secret that today’s emerging technologies will power tomorrow’s customer service experiences. 

Rather than purchasing expensive systems and equipment for your business, you can reduce costs by partnering with a cloud-based field service management software provider. Moving to the cloud is guaranteed to slash the costs of managing and maintaining your IT systems in the long-term.

Early adopters of cloud-based CRM systems have discovered a competitive advantage over other companies that aren’t using modern ways to connect with their customers. The average person uses 36 cloud-based services daily — meaning you’ll be meeting your customers where they already are.

With a cutting-edge workforce management system like BigChange, you can organise and optimise for the most significant factors that influence the customer experience. Your back office teams can work in collaboration to easily monitor, schedule and dispatch service requests so that your field-based workers’ strongest skills are deployed to meet customer expectations the first time, every time. 

Field service management software can enhance your business by making it more efficient and providing employees with the resources to make their jobs easier. Investing in a field service solution will establish better customer relationships, improve retention rates, reduce operational costs, and improve cash flow.

Make Field Service Problems a Thing of the Past with BigChange

Save valuable time and stay connected to every aspect of your business with BigChange. 

Our secure, cloud-based software helps you track and control every job, from quotation to payment, on a single platform. Everything you need to know will be at your fingertips, making it easy to plan, manage, schedule and track your field-based workforce and transport operations.

Plus, you’ll be able to make the most of our dedicated, expert support.

Want to find out more?
Discover how BigChange can make your business grow stronger, arrange a free demo today.

There is undoubtedly some truth to the old saying, “the customer is always right”, in today’s world. In fact, 76% of customers now expect companies to understand their needs and will decide to purchase from a brand based purely on the customer experience (CX) it offers. Therefore, businesses that don’t prioritise their customers run the risk of having a high churn rate as people opt to use their competitors the next time they require field services. 

In this article, we’ll share a simple churn rate calculation so you can understand how happy your customers are with your CX. We’ll also explore some of the top reasons why customers abandon a company and what you can do to stand out from your competitors.

What is Customer Churn Rate and Why is it Important?

Customer churn rate — sometimes referred to as attrition rate — is the measure of how many customers stop doing business with your company over a specific period. The higher your churn rate, the more customers you’ve lost.

But, when you can simply go out and attract new customers, why should you place so much importance on maintaining a low churn rate? There are a few key reasons:

1. Customer Acquisition is Expensive

Shockingly, customer acquisition can cost up to five times more than retention. Think of it from your customers’ perspectives: if they already know how excellent your services are, they’ll be more willing to purchase them again in the future. Existing customers may also be happier spending more and trying out your other services, depending on how impressed they were previously. 

In contrast, it can take much more time and money to convince a new customer to purchase your services as there’s so much competition on the market.

2. A High Churn Rate Inhibits Company Growth

32% of people say that, after just one negative experience, they would stop doing business with a company they previously loved. Sadly, there’s little room for error when it comes to delighting your clients. If you’re consistently driving your customers away, it’s unlikely that they will return any time soon, which makes it much harder to keep growing your business. Instead, you’ll need to rely on acquiring new customers, which is far more costly, as we established earlier.

3. Your Company’s Reputation Takes a Hit

In 2020, around 87% of people read online reviews before engaging with a local business. So, if your customers are leaving because they’ve had a negative experience, there’s a chance they may leave a bad review online. Consequently, you could be losing out on potential clients if they’re reading several poor reviews that paint an unfavourable picture of your company. 

In a post-pandemic world, very few businesses can afford to ignore their churn rates, so let’s look at how to calculate your company’s percentage.

How to Do a Churn Rate Calculation

To determine your current customer turnover, you’ll need to do a simple churn rate calculation. First, you should take a look at how many customers you had at the beginning of the month and subtract it by the number of customers you had by the end of the month.

Then, you’ll need to divide that number by the number of customers you had at the beginning of the month. Finally, multiply your answer by 100 to get your final total.

So the formula would be:

Churn rate = 

(number of customers at start of month – number of customers at end of month) 

÷ 

customers at start of month

x 100

Let’s say, for example, you had 200 customers at the beginning of the month, but only 150 by the end:

200-150 = 50

50 ÷ 200 = 0.25

0.25 x 100 = 25%

In the example above, your customer churn rate would be 25%. The perfect churn rate would be 0% in an ideal world, but, unfortunately, client losses are inevitable. The best approach is to begin by calculating your current rate and then setting a realistic target for improvement.

Are you unhappy with your churn rate? Read on to find out what could be driving your clients away and how you can improve customer loyalty.

What’s Causing My Churn Rate to be High?

There are several potential reasons why your customers could be abandoning ship, so we’ve put together a list of the most common causes of a high churn rate:

1. Customers Have to Wait a Long Time to Get What They Need

For 60% of customers, long holds and wait times are the most frustrating parts of a service experience. With so many people now leading fast-paced lives, they don’t have time to spend waiting to get what they need. Instead, they expect rapid, convenient services.

There are three key contact points that you’ll need to consider when looking into ways to decrease wait times for your customers:

1. Appointment Bookings

88% of customers expect businesses to have some form of self-service portal available for them to make and amend bookings. Therefore, if your company still expects people to call during opening hours and speak directly to a representative, there’s a good chance you’re driving customers away.

2. The Day of the Appointment

Did you know that a staggering 89% of customers prefer an ‘Uber-like’ application to track the location of field technicians? Customers don’t want to wait around all day, wondering when their technicians will arrive, so, unfortunately, simply providing time slot ‘windows’ won’t cut it anymore.

3. Invoicing and Payment

Modern customers want innovative, more straightforward ways to pay for services, so companies will have to provide the methods to which people are now accustomed. Traditional invoicing methods can take weeks, which is inconvenient for your customers and can also lead to late payments.

Fortunately, when you use a state-of-the-art field service management platform, you’ll be able to meet customer expectations at all three touchpoints. For example, customers can make and amend bookings using an online portal, meaning they can set up an appointment at a time that suits them.

Then, the booking information immediately enters the system, enabling your back-office staff to assign and dispatch a suitable technician. Once the technicians are on their way, the software generates an automated email and text update. The update includes a live tracking link so your customers can see the technician’s exact location.

Finally, the technicians can fill out all essential documents and generate invoices directly from their mobile devices the moment they’ve completed the job. As such, your customers will receive an invoice in seconds and be able to pay the same day using a range of simple methods. 

Customers will appreciate the fact that you’ve kept their needs in mind throughout every stage of the buyer journey and will be more inclined to use your business again in the future.

2. Your Employees Aren’t Knowledgeable Enough

According to data from PwC, 46% of people will abandon a brand if they aren’t knowledgeable. When customers interact with your business, they expect to speak to an industry expert who can provide them with a suitable solution. 

However, if you’re sending your technicians to jobs without all the information they need on the client’s issue beforehand, you’re setting them up for failure. That’s why you must equip your field-based workers with detailed records of each customer job.

The best field service management platforms on the market will often include a mobile app that allows technicians to see everything that your back-office team can access. As such, they’ll be able to quickly read up on the customer’s issue before they visit the location and can fully prepare all the tools and equipment they need to bring on-site. 

Arming your technicians with the technology they need to provide a reliable, knowledgeable service will impress your customers and boost your reputation as a professional, reputable business. As a result, you may notice a significant decrease in your churn rate.

3. Customers Have to Make Multiple Appointments for Fixes

Customer retention rates have been proven to correlate with first-time fix rates directly. Research from the Aberdeen Group shows that field service organisations with a first-time fix rate of over 70% enjoy a colossal 86% customer retention rate.

Subsequently, you must make it a priority to get the job done the first time. The good news is, field service management platforms make it simpler than ever to achieve a high first-time fix rate. 

Once your customers have made a booking via the online portal, your back-office team will have a complete record of the issue. Consequently, they’ll be able to assign a worker based on location, skill set and qualifications, and vehicle type, so the best person for the job will attend.

Then, using an inbuilt asset management tool, they will be able to assign stock and equipment directly to the job. Your technicians can simply pick up everything they need on the day of the appointment and head to the customers’ locations — confident that they will be able to complete the work there and then. 

By improving your first-time fix rates, you’ll be able to impress your customers with rapid services, and your technicians will have more time to attend additional bookings each day.

4. You’re Not Making Your Customers Feel Valued

The number one reason why customers abandon companies is that they don’t feel appreciated. So, if you haven’t already considered ways to show how much you value your customers, now is the perfect time to start.

With a field service management platform like BigChange, showing appreciation to your customers doesn’t require any extra effort. You can add your company’s branding to our pre-designed templates to create professional-looking communications and add customers’ names using the inbuilt CRM (customer relationship manager).

Then, you can automatically send out personalised emails during crucial points of the buyer journey. For example, once your technicians have completed their jobs, the system will send an automated email that includes a customer satisfaction survey.

Aside from helping to make your customers feel valued, the satisfaction surveys also serve as a chance to hear your clients’ opinions on your business. Subsequently, you’ll be able to see what’s working and what isn’t, enabling you to make consistent improvements that lower your customer churn rate.

Field Service Management Software Helps You Stand Out from Your Competitors

Now you know how to improve your customer churn rate, it’s worth taking some time to create a plan and put it into action. By improving your retention rate by just 5%, you can enjoy an impressive 25-95% increase in profits.

In order to meet the high expectations of the modern customer, field service businesses should consider investing in a platform like BigChange. Unlike traditional manual methods, field service management software provides an end-to-end solution for managing your operations. By undergoing a digital transformation, you can seamlessly connect your back-office, field-based workers and customers, enabling you to provide outstanding services every time.

With many field service businesses still relying on outdated processes, now is the perfect time to get ahead of the curve and stand out from the competition.

Build Strong Customer Relationships and Lower Your Churn Rate with BigChange

Some systems manage relationships. BigChange helps you master them.

Our fully integrated CRM system gives you a 360˚ view of every account, contact site and contract. Deliver positive customer experiences at every level thanks to an array of dynamic product features.

Want to find out more?
Discover how BigChange can make your business grow stronger, arrange a free demo today.


If your main focus is on acquiring new customers, you should know that you’ll spend five times more than you would by simply retaining your existing clientele. In fact, your current customers are also more likely to be loyal to your brand, try new products and spend more in the long run. 

Therefore, to survive in today’s turbulent, post-pandemic market, you must prioritise customer retention. But, with your technicians — the faces of your organisation — scattered across the country, how can you ensure that they’re representing your company appropriately? 

The answer lies with job management software

Arming your field-based workforce with the latest technology provides them with everything they need to do an outstanding job every time. In this article, we’ll explore the advantages of using a job management platform and share how it leaves a lasting impression on your customers. 

How Your Technicians Can Improve Customer Retention

89% of companies see customer experience as a critical factor in driving customer loyalty and retention. Therefore, your technicians must be aware of how to deliver excellent service. Here are our top three tips:

1. Boost First-Time Fix Rates

Field service organisations that achieve a first-time fix rate of over 70% boast an impressive 86% customer retention rate. Customers don’t want to have to wait around all day for a technician to arrive, only to find out that they can’t fix the issue and will have to come back. 

Fortunately, with job management software, enhancing your first-time fix rates has never been simpler. Once a customer makes an appointment via the self-service booking system, your back-office team can assign a technician based on location, skillset, job constraints and vehicle type. By assigning the best person for the job, you can ensure that they’ll complete the project in one appointment.

Plus, many state-of-the-art platforms link with your inventory to give you complete visibility over your stock and assets. As such, your team can simply assign parts and tools directly to a job, meaning that your technicians will never turn up unprepared. 

Upon their arrival at the client’s location, your technicians can use their mobile devices to find out everything they need to know about the job and see what equipment they have available. Instead of having to reschedule another appointment to fix an issue, they can focus on doing what they do best. 

2. Operate Compliantly

Now, more than ever, customers are aware of the importance of proper health and safety measures. For example, according to the BBC, 40% of Britons want to keep wearing masks in shops and on public transport permanently, indicating that many people are still uncomfortable returning to ‘normal’.

Even without COVID in the picture, proper health and safety measures are critical to ensuring your workers carry out their jobs safely and that there will be no severe repercussions further down the line. That’s where job management software comes in.

You can set mandatory workflows in the system that your technicians must follow before they’re permitted to carry out any work or access their timesheets. They can fill out the forms and risk assessments from their mobile devices and send the results to your back office instantly, providing you with a thorough record for future reference.

If there are any hazards that could jeopardise the job, your team can mitigate the issue and enable the work to continue without any delays. Using technology to remove roadblocks and improve health and safety measures will give you and your customers peace of mind that the work will be completed on time and to a high standard. 

3. Invoice Instantly

On average, it takes around 25 days for a small-to-mid-sized company to process a single invoice manually. Unfortunately, not only can slow invoicing methods lead to late payments, but they’re also inconvenient for your customers, who will have to wait weeks to pay for a service. 

In contrast, your technicians can handle the invoicing process from their smart devices when you use job management technology. Once the work is complete, they can pull through pre-existing information about the job for an accurate cost and send it to your customer for approval in seconds.

Customers will also appreciate the convenient payment methods that modern technology provides. For example, with a platform such as BigChange, people can pay using credit cards, debit cards, bank transfers, direct debits and eWallets. 

Making the invoicing and payment process straightforward will help you stand out against competitors that rely on outdated manual methods. As a result, customers will want to use your business time and time again. 

Arming Your Field-Based Workers with Technology is the Key to Retaining Customers

According to PWC, 46% of people will abandon a company if they aren’t knowledgeable. Thankfully, technology has the power to ensure that your technicians have all the knowledge they need to hit the ground running every time they head to a new job. 

With the BigChange Mobile Application, your technicians can communicate with your back-office and customers in real-time. They will also have access to a range of valuable features, such as:

  • Expenses log
  • Photo and signature capture
  • Stock and equipment quantities
  • Risk assessments
  • Customer relationship manager
  • Timesheets

With so much information available at the tap of a button, you can guarantee that your technicians will leave a favourable impression on your clientele.

Your Customer Retention Rate will Skyrocket with BigChange

All the essential information your business could need at the click of a button.

BigChange’s field service management system gives you a 360˚ view of every account, contact site and contract. Deliver positive customer experiences at every level thanks to an array of dynamic product features.

Want to find out more?
Discover how BigChange can make your business grow stronger, arrange a free demo today.


Around half of all field service organisations use multiple platforms, spreadsheets and paper-based documents to manage their operations. However, with an enormous 76% of customers now expecting companies to anticipate their needs and deliver outstanding customer experiences (CX), traditional ways of working don’t have what it takes to meet their demands.

With manual administration methods being inherently error-prone, it’s easy for minor slip-ups to cause extensive, costly issues. Not only do such problems eat into your profits, but they can also have severe reputational repercussions if your customers are affected in the process. 

The good news is that modern field service management (FSM) technology platforms have been designed specifically to help companies realise their full potential and better customer experiences. The best platforms on the market include an integrated mobile app that equips technicians with the tools they need to impress clients every time.

In this article, we’ll explore how your field-based workforce can make the most of an FSM mobile app and enhance the customer experience.

Using Field Service Mobile Apps to Deliver a Better Customer Experience

When using a field service mobile app, your technicians will be able to do the following:

1. Get the Job Done the First Time

Field service organisations that achieve a high first-time fix rate of 70% or above boast an impressive 86% customer retention rate. With people leading hectic lives, clients appreciate it when technicians can complete the job on the first appointment.

Fortunately, with the right field service mobile app to hand, your technicians will never have to worry about arriving at a job unprepared. Once your customers have made their appointments, the booking details will appear in the system for your back-office staff. Consequently, they can assign the correct stock, equipment and assets to each job so your workers will have all the gear they need to complete the job during the first appointment.

Aside from delighting your clients by providing a rapid and straightforward service, your workers will also have more time each day to attend additional appointments and boost your organisation’s reputation.

2. Send Invoices to Customers Immediately

When using manual methods, it takes the average accounts receivable team around 11 hours to process an invoice. Unfortunately, slow invoicing processes can lead to late payments and dissatisfied customers, who don’t want to wait for days — or sometimes weeks — to pay for a service. 

In contrast, field service mobile apps can produce important documents in a matter of seconds. Once your technicians have completed their jobs, they’ll be able to pull through data from the CRM (customer relationship manager) and create an accurate invoice directly from their mobile devices. 

With the invoice being completely digital, your technicians can then send the invoice straight to the customer, who can approve it there and then. Finally, using a range of convenient, electronic payment methods, clients can pay for the service on the same day. As such, they won’t be burdened with the task of remembering to pay the paper-based invoice when it arrives long after the job is complete.

3. Share Their Location With Customers

From pizza to parcels, customers today are used to being able to live-track the whereabouts of their orders. So, why would they expect anything less from your organisation? In fact, a staggering 89% of customers say they want an ‘Uber-like’ service to track the location of their field service technicians alongside updates on their arrival times.

It’s no secret that the average workday for a field technician is unpredictable. Emergency call-outs and cancellations can mean that their schedule has to shift. But, using a field service app like BigChange’s, your workers can pause, suspend, reject and create new jobs from scratch on the field, meaning they can respond to new bookings as they arise.

However, an erratic schedule doesn’t mean you can’t provide your customers with accurate updates on the location of their technicians. Combining GPS tracking software with a mobile app enables your workers to communicate with your back-office team so they can send out notifications to customers at the right moments.

Once your customers receive their update, they’ll be able to see an estimated time of arrival and click on the live tracking link. Keeping your clients in the loop on the day of their appointment indicates that you value their time, and they should be more inclined to use your company again as a result.

Investing in Technology is Your Best Bet to Standing Out from the Competition

The global field service market is predicted to reach $4.45 billion by 2022 as more companies begin to adopt FSM platforms to meet customer expectations. Therefore, field service organisations will need to stay ahead of their competitors and be early adopters of the latest technology to avoid becoming obsolete.

When you use BigChange’s FSM platform, you’ll also have access to the free field service mobile app that enables your technicians to do the following:

  • Log expenses
  • Capture photos and signatures
  • Check quantities of stock, equipment and assets
  • Carry out risk assessments
  • Complete daily vehicle walkaround checks
  • View all information about each job on the CRM
  • Send invoices to customers
  • Fill out and submit timesheets

Arming your technicians with such a powerful piece of technology gives them the knowledge and tools they need to impress your clients, wherever they are.

Provide a Better Customer Experience with BigChange

Allow your technicians to see all job information in one place.

With the BigChange Mobile Application, your field-based workforce will have everything they need to deliver excellent service. Technicians can share real-time updates on location and job statuses, guarantee on-time customer payments with electronic invoices, and enhance communication between technicians and your back-office.

All from the palm of their hands.

Want to find out more?

Discover how BigChange can make your business grow stronger, arrange a free demo today.

Historically, field service organisations have been slow to adopt the latest technologies to manage and optimise their operations. In fact, a staggering 52% of companies are still relying on outdated manual administration methods. 

But, if the COVID-19 crisis taught us anything, it’s that digital transformation is essential in today’s world for businesses to survive and thrive. 

Luckily, you can digitise your current working practices with the right field service management tool in place. By eliminating time-consuming tasks and reducing the margin for error, you can enjoy boosted productivity levels, more profits and fewer unnecessary delays.

In this article, we’ll explore the top ways you can optimise your field service process by using modern technology.

How to Streamline your Field Service Process: 3 Top Tips

Here are the top three ways you can use a field service management tool to enhance your operations:

1. Perform Preventative and Predictive Maintenance on Your Vehicles

Although the saying ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ might apply to many aspects of running a successful business, it certainly doesn’t work when it comes to taking care of your fleet. Shockingly, unplanned maintenance costs three to nine times more than planned preventative maintenance. 

Not to mention that defective equipment or assets can severely hinder or, at worst, halt your projects and set you back several days. Picture this: your technician, Michael, has an important appointment to attend. He loads all his equipment onto the van, gets in, and tries to start the engine.

After several attempts, Michael realises that the van isn’t going anywhere. So, he asks the back-office team if there’s another vehicle available. But, by the time Michael secures a new van, loads it up and gets on the road, he’s running exceptionally late. Your customer is unimpressed, and Michael is now speeding to get to the location quickly, putting himself and others in danger. 

Even if the original van had started, there’s a chance it could’ve broken down on the road and caused an accident since no one had maintained it. 

Fortunately, by performing preventative maintenance and adequate safety checks, you can avoid frustrating situations caused by defective equipment altogether.

With a field service management tool, you can complete daily electronic vehicle walkaround checks. The assessments make it simple to identify and report defects or potential problems to your Fleet Manager, ensuring that you’re able to keep a safe and legal fleet on the road.

By taking steps to maintain your vehicles, you can enable your technicians to attend more appointments per day, save money on emergency fixes and guarantee that your workers are safe on the roads.

2. Digitise Your Equipment and Asset Management Tracker

Did you know that 43% of small businesses aren’t tracking their inventory and assets effectively? With many field service organisations continuing to rely on spreadsheets, legacy systems and other manual administration processes to manage their vehicles, stock and tools, they are leaving themselves vulnerable to a host of issues.

For example, if you’re using a paper-based document for technicians to sign equipment in and out of storage, you will likely find that numbers stop adding up relatively quickly. Maybe the technicians have forgotten to fill out the form, or their writing is illegible. Perhaps they’ve taken too much stock so they can store it in their vans for future jobs.

When you can’t obtain an accurate overview of your inventory, you won’t be able to ensure that all your technicians have what they need for each job. Subsequently, they could be turning up to bookings without the right gear and need to make another appointment to finish the work. 

Fortunately, there is a more efficient way to manage your assets and stock. With a modern field service management tool, you’ll have access to real-time, accurate data on all of your valuable goods, regardless of their location.

Consequently, your team can allocate stock, tools and equipment directly to customer bookings so your technicians can complete the job the first time. In the long run, you’ll save more time, enjoy higher levels of productivity and boost your bottom line.

3. Use Real-Time Data to Schedule and Manage Jobs

According to a survey conducted by Verizon Connect, half of field service businesses struggle with ‘quickly re-routing technicians’. A further 48% claimed their biggest hurdle is ‘keeping everyone updated about the schedule’ and, for 45%, it’s ‘informing customers of technicians’ estimated times of arrival’. 

Unfortunately, job management and scheduling are tricky when you don’t have real-time data or the right technology in place. Without complete visibility over your workers in the field, you have to rely on phone calls, texts and spreadsheets to ensure that your technicians attend all customer bookings on time. 

The good news is, using a field service management tool with an integrated intelligent scheduling feature such as BigChange, you’ll have all the vital information you need whenever you need it. The system uses GPS tracking technology to collect data in real-time, giving you every technician’s exact whereabouts and keeping your customers in the loop with automated texts and emails.

Whenever your customers make or reschedule a booking on the portal, your back-office team can instantly assign a technician to the job, taking into account the following:

  • Traffic information
  • Location
  • Job constraints (for example, specific qualifications the technician must hold)
  • Vehicle type

Not only can you guarantee that you’ll be sending the most appropriate worker to each booking, but you also eliminate the risk of scheduling issues such as clashes or delays. Plus, you’ll be arming your team with the tools they need to be more agile in the case of an emergency booking.

Grow Your Business with BigChange’s Field Service Management Tool

Save valuable time and stay connected to every aspect of your business with BigChange. 

Our secure, cloud-based software helps you track and control every job, from quotation to payment, on a single platform. Everything you need to know will be at your fingertips, making it easy to plan, manage, schedule and track your field-based workforce and transport operations.

Plus, you’ll be able to make the most of our dedicated, expert support.

Want to find out more?
Discover how BigChange can make your business grow stronger, arrange a free demo today.

Field service organisations that use manual processes are likely operating at a disadvantage because they lack visibility over their operation. This lack of visibility, and continued use of legacy systems and paper-based records, has led to a largely reactive approach when it comes to fleet management, health and safety, and business efficiency. 

Fixing damage to vehicles or doing emergency maintenance in a reactive fashion can eat into profits. It can cost up to five times more to fix something reactively than it does to carry out proactive maintenance regularly. Using outdated methods of fleet management also compromises the safety of your field-based workers as their journeys and risk assessments go unmonitored, meaning that issues could arise when they’re on the road. Fortunately, technology can improve vehicle safety and reduce costly downtime for your business.

Some organisations in field management have shifted to using digital tools to manage their fleet, technicians, customers, and employees. In fact, companies that use field service management software enjoy a 90% time saving on average. However, there is still significant room for modernisation in this industry, and many businesses still rely on guesswork or inefficient processes to get the job done.

So how can technology and software help you manage your fleet more effectively? This article will be a guide on what benefits your company could enjoy if you adopt field-service management (FSM) software.

Manage Vehicle Maintenance Effectively

Businesses that take a preventative approach to vehicle maintenance can save between 12-18% on the costs, compared to firms that only fix something when absolutely necessary — a reactive approach.

To help you take preventative measures when examining your fleet, field management software includes features such as DVSA compliant walkaround checks. The feature allows your drivers to do a daily walk around the vehicle and log any defects through a mobile app. The driver or technician can then check the functionality of the vehicle and record any areas of concern, and they can add their notes to the log for that specific vehicle every day. 

Over time, the system builds a detailed report from the daily checks so that there is always something to refer to if you need to identify the root cause of a vehicle issue. In addition, daily monitoring will allow you to note any changes that could become issues later down the line and pay a lower price to have a vehicle repaired beforehand.

Furthermore, you’ll be able to create Event Alerts for each vehicle. Each ‘event’ is stored on each vehicle’s record so that your back-office staff are notified when your Road Tax is expiring or when the vehicle service or MOT is due to be booked, for example. These notifications help your business stay compliant and avoid unintentional breaches of vehicle laws.

Monitor Mileage with GPS Vehicle Tracking System

Many field service management softwares have a GPS tracking system in place for all the vehicles in their fleet. GPS allows your business to track how far vehicles are travelling before they need routine maintenance without having to do guesswork. BigChange’s vehicle tracking is integrated into the software so that your back-office team can monitor any vehicle when necessary. 

The software records the mileage completed by each vehicle for years, so you can always refer back to previous journeys without having to search through mountains of paperwork or receipts. 

You can also link transactions to the actual mileage completed by each vehicle. By lining fuel card transactions to the mileage data, you’ll be able to calculate highly accurate miles to the gallon figures, as well as identify any discrepancies in your costs. The GPS and fuel features will help you save money and deploy more efficient decisions when managing your fleet of vehicles.

Storing Documents Securely

In 2020, around half (48%) of field service businesses were still using manual administration processes, paper-based methods and legacy systems to manage their field service fleet. Therefore, now is an opportune time to upgrade your systems and stand out from the competition.

You can gain an edge over your competitors by adopting FSM technology for managing your fleet because you can keep all important documentation in one place. You will be able to access any document at any time for any vehicle: MOT certificates, insurance details, leases, invoices for maintenance, or even drivers licences for your employees, all at the touch of a button.

The cloud-based software will store the documents safely so that your back-office staff can access them easily. As a result, time-wasting tasks such as looking through digital folders or sifting through paper records are eliminated.  Your customers and staff will also be able to rest assured that their personal information or important documents are safe. Unlike spreadsheets and legacy systems, which are notoriously challenging to manage compliantly, CRM systems such as the one that is integrated into BigChange’s platform, allow you to carry out GDPR-compliant management of individuals’ details. 

Keeping on Top of Vehicle Safety

If you’re the Head of Operations at your company, it’s unlikely you’ll know everything about every vehicle in your fleet. At most organisations, the state of a field service technician’s vehicle is logged in a book or spreadsheet somewhere only accessible to the back-office staff. 

Using BigChange’s mobile workforce software and GPS vehicle tracking system, you’ll have access to your entire fleet’s history and real-time location at the tap of your finger. Not only does the software give you a comprehensive overview of each vehicle, its age, mileage, and condition, everyone who needs to will be able to access every DVSA compliant walkaround to ensure your vehicles are safe for driving. 

So, aside from reducing administrative headaches, you and your technicians can rest assured that every vehicle is roadworthy and safe to drive.

Another essential part of managing fleet safety is keeping an eye out for how field service technicians are driving from job to job. 

BigChange’s commitment to improving safety on UK roads is why we’ve developed an advanced driver behaviour analysis feature for our platform. Using the GPS vehicle tracking system, you can generate an analysis for each technician that includes their idling, speeding, cornering, braking, and harsh accelerations. Then, to give managers an at-a-glance view of each field service technician’s driving behaviour, the platform assigns a driving score for each driver. 

Combine this driver behaviour analysis with our advanced time-stamping records for each driver, and you’ll be able to understand how your field technicians are driving, and more importantly if they’re taking the necessary breaks to ensure they’ll be alert on the road. 

Optimising Routes

Time is money. But, unfortunately, with petrol prices escalating to an eight-year high in the UK, many field service businesses are losing large sums of money by not optimising their technicians’ routes between jobs. 

However, if you’re relying on spreadsheets or outdated in-house systems to manage everyone’s routes, how can you guarantee that you’re optimising them and able to account for the unpredictable nature of traffic on the roads?

That’s where workforce tracking software comes in.

FSM platforms such as BigChange give you complete visibility over your technicians’ whereabouts so you can allocate nearby jobs to them. The intelligent scheduling assistant uses several factors to identify which technicians are the most suitable to travel to a job to allocate jobs efficiently. You’ll be able to look at:

  • Real-time resource location
  • Live-traffic information
  • Job constraints (such as skills or qualifications)
  • Type of vehicle
  • Inventory of parts required
  • Customer history and requirements

Combining the above information means you can make informed decisions about which technician to allocate to a job — even if they are not geographically closest to it.

As a result, your schedule will be optimised, with as little wasted time as possible, which means not only will your technicians be able to attend more appointments per day, but you’ll also save money per journey, which all contributes to boosting your profits. 

Your technicians’ journeys will also be shorter and managed more efficiently, which puts them at less risk of any road accidents. 

Tracking Tools and Equipment

Your fleet doesn’t just include your vehicles. It also includes your equipment, tools, parts, and other assets like trailers or machinery. Did you know, a staggering 43% of small businesses fail to track their assets and inventory effectively? Because so many field service organisations still rely on old-fashioned, manual tracking methods, and some have no official processes in place, they’re vulnerable to a range of potentially costly issues.

With state-of-the-art asset management software in place, unreliable data becomes a problem of the past. Modern systems record data in real-time, allowing you to make more informed business decisions based on fact rather than needing to count on potentially incorrect paper records.

It makes logical sense to use manual check-out and check-in sheets to keep track of your equipment. However, traditional paper asset management methods don’t always work in practice and are inherently error-prone. In fact, human error is the leading problem for 46% of businesses when it comes to accurately reporting on assets.

Whether your technicians forget to sign the sheets, inadvertently take too many items, store spares in their van for another project, or their writing is simply illegible, you’ll come to realise that the numbers aren’t adding up. 

But whilst those errors may have gone unnoticed, they could have been costing the business a fortune. For example, if your equipment was to go missing, then there’s no exact way of tracking what happened to it. Not only will lost equipment likely stall other projects, but replacements can be expensive. 

Instead, you can create a detailed register of equipment and other vital assets when you digitise your asset management methods. On BigChange, you’ll be able to maintain a record of fitted parts, tools or other specialist equipment, and you can track each item’s movements through serial numbers, barcodes or QR codes on the stock. 

Your technicians can then check inventory in and out directly from their mobile devices, and you will have better visibility over your valuable assets. Digitising your inventory management process will not only save you money replacing expensive equipment but will bring up your first-time fix rates as technicians will have access to the assets they need to complete the job on their first visit.

Improving Your Entire Operation with Fleet Management Technology

However you are currently managing your fleet — whether it be a spreadsheet, paper records, or a system that has been used for a long time — it’s no match to the efficiency of the latest technological advances in the field service industry.

Using a platform like BigChange can revolutionise your operation, and the investment will pay for itself in the savings and added profit you’d make from its use. 

Not only will your bottom-line benefit from adopting a field service management system, but as we’ve seen, your drivers’ safety will always be a priority; your essential documentation will be secure and accessible; your back-office staff will save time on mundane admin and be able to return to tasks that can grow the business, and ultimately your fleet will be in better condition because of the preventive approach you’ll be using to maintain your vehicles.

Managing Your Fleet Effortlessly with BigChange

Manage your entire operation on a single platform. 

BigChange gives you complete control of your admin, from quotes to invoicing and beyond. Also, with our mobile app (available on iOS and Android), you can seamlessly connect your office, field technicians and customers and boost productivity as a result. 

Want to find out more?

Discover how BigChange can make your business grow stronger, arrange a free demo today.

A survey of field service management organisations showed that 56% of respondents felt the most significant influence over their ability to manage field operations effectively was meeting customer demand.

A crucial part of successful field service management is to fulfil each individual customer’s unique requirements. However, to provide an excellent customer experience, you have to exceed their expectations too. Therefore, it’s important to anticipate your customer needs by using software features and feedback to improve communication and simplify services for your clientele.

This article will guide how you can anticipate your customers’ needs in the field service management industry and how some software can help you manage customer expectations more efficiently.

Offering Self-Service Options to Delight your Customers

Even back in 2019, research found that 88% of consumers expected an organisation to have a form of self-service portal available. This customer log-in portal could be for anything from customer service queries to appointment booking. And the fact that customers seem to prefer to help themselves first, instead of talking to a business representative, cannot be ignored.

To anticipate your customers’ needs in field service management, you should use software that allows your clientele to book appointments when it suits them. This way, they can book immediately when they need to, instead of having to wait for business hours to contact your company and organise a booking.

Digital services that provide this service, such as BigChange’s intelligent scheduling assistant, will also allow you to optimise your schedule. For example, the software can create a more streamlined calendar based on appointments and their purpose, freeing up any time that had previously been unavailable for booking due to error or out of date manual scheduling processes. 

Your customer needs will be met quicker when using a scheduling assistant to optimise your bookings, as the company will have more availability. In addition, more free time means more ability to respond to emergency call outs, as the schedule can be flexible enough to accommodate emergent customer scenarios.

Using BigChange can also anticipate and eliminate another type of frustration that customers may have. Integrated GPS on bookings means that your clients will no longer be wondering where their technician is. They can also receive automated texts and updates on the engineers’ location, so they are never left in the dark when dealing with your company.

Go Digital with Your Documentation

In the UK, late invoice payments have risen by 23% since the start of 2020. Due to the pandemic, businesses have been struggling to ensure they’re paid on time. However, to survive post-COVID-19, companies need to figure out how to improve their payment systems to maintain good cash flow and be paid for their work.

Using a digital field service management platform allows you to go digital with any documentation related to a job. BigChange has an integrated invoicing feature to make the payment process far more straightforward. 

Once a field technician has completed a job, they can fill out all relevant information on their mobile and send the customer a digital invoice right there and then. This invoice will also link up to any contact information on the platform’s integrated CRM (customer relationship management) system, meaning there will be fewer human error mistakes than if invoicing was manual and documentation was written out by hand.

Your customers can then digitally pay their invoice immediately, giving them more convenience over their payment. Not only will this ensure that your business bills are settled quickly and on time, but customers will have a smoother experience in dealing with the company and be more inclined to use your services again.

Prioritise their Health and Safety

The emergence of COVID changed customer needs. Companies could no longer rely on what was routinely ‘business as usual’ because of the essential need to protect both their workers and customers from illness.

As such, software can help alleviate any issues about health and safety for customers. For example, BigChange deployed ‘no touch’ signatures during the pandemic so that work could still be ‘signed off’ and carried out for customers without the need to physically touch items and potentially transfer germs physically. 

The software allowed companies to prioritise the health of the public and ensure the needs of their customers were still being met.

Risk assessments are also a large part of anticipating the health and safety of workers and customers alike. Ensure that thorough risk assessments are carried out, and the documentation is available to customers on your self-service platform, as well as your workers on their portal. 
Providing digital documentation will make sure that everyone is aware of the risks and the steps that have been taken to prevent them. If you are unsure about this process, follow these five steps for carrying out an effective risk assessment.

Stay One Step Ahead of Repeat Customers

Suppose your field services company deals with a lot of regular maintenance. In that case, you could use software to save your customers any administrative tasks — automated texts or emails could remind them it’s time to book, or could automatically schedule routine maintenance to save them spending time contacting the firm. 

Not only are you anticipating customers’ needs, but you’re simultaneously providing a smoother, more frictionless experience where they have to do as little as possible to achieve an outcome.

Ask for Feedback

Finally, a way to anticipate what your customers want from you is to simply ask.

Almost two thirds (64%) of UK SMEs felt that using customer feedback surveys helped them improve their products and services. 

The right marketing software can allow you to send automatic emails after an appointment or customer service enquiry. Some field management service software, such as BigChange’s platform, will have an integrated CRM where you can manage surveys and automated emails in one place. Asking directly is perhaps the most simple yet effective way to hear exactly what your clients would like from you or what you could change about how you work.

Begin a Digital Transformation of Customer Experience with BigChange

Some systems manage relationships. BigChange helps you master them.

Our fully integrated CRM system gives you a 360˚ view of every account, contact site and contract. Deliver positive customer experiences at every level thanks to an array of dynamic product features.

Want to find out more?
Discover how BigChange can make your business grow stronger, arrange a free demo today.

Despite 2020 being one of the toughest years in recent economic history, growing a plumbing business was still a viable business endeavor. In fact, 23% of the people surveyed in the UK said they hired a plumber in 2020, making them the most in-demand tradespeople in the country. 

If the plumbing industry can thrive in 2020, imagine what’s possible in the future. No matter what year it is, though, the question of how to get more customers is still a top concern for plumbing business owners. 

Like in other fields, getting more customers requires you to know the marketplace and stand out amongst the competition. Having an excellent online presence, working with top-of-the-line plumbers, and utilising an online all-in-one workforce management software are all fantastic ways to grow your plumbing business. 

In this article, we will discuss how to attract more customers and how workforce management software like BigChange can improve your marketing and business operations.

How to Get More Plumbing Customers: 4 Top Tips

1. Create a Website

Since plumbing services are always in demand, it can be tempting to forgo creating a website, but these companies are missing out on getting more customers. 

While some companies can sustain their organisations by leaving their business cards around town, a website will enable you to tailor your company’s advertising and offerings directly to your customers’ needs. Using a field management CRM (customer relationship management) system like BigChange will enable you to keep track of every interaction you’ve had with your clients, from bookings, phone calls, invoices, to customer satisfaction surveys. Not only that, your CRM can inform you of what industry the majority of your customers work in, where they’re located, and their feedback. 

You can then use this client data to tailor your website to your customers’ requirements and even provide special offers tailored to the most in-demand products and services.

2. Claim Your Listing and Get Reviews on Google

It’s no surprise that having good reviews on Google, where customers can see your business’ location, is one of the best ways to grow your plumbing organisation. 

If you haven’t already done so, make sure you claim your business on Google immediately and add your phone number and website to your listing. From there, you can use your CRM to go through previous customer satisfaction surveys and contact people who were happy with your work to see if they would write you a Google review. 

The more positive reviews you receive on Google, the more trust you will instill in prospective clients.

3. Expand Your Reach Through Collaboration

Individual plumbing jobs are a great way to get new customers, but most businesses seek out larger jobs and projects whenever they can. Securing larger contracts often requires building your contacts in your location and industry, something many organisations simply don’t have time to do. In fact, 41% of people say they don’t have time to connect with other professionals in their field. 

Fortunately, field management software like BigChange makes networking more straightforward. The BigChange Network gives you access to a list of other global professionals and provides you with collaboration opportunities. 

You can list your company on the network for free and begin receiving requests from other providers immediately. This way, you’ll be able to work with other businesses on larger, more profitable projects without needing to hire additional resources. 

In addition to accepting plumbing jobs, you can also list jobs that you have available, including the skills required to perform them. As such, you can begin informing your clients that you have extra services at your disposal in the case that they’re looking to hire a field service team for a larger project. 

The BigChange Network also provides members with the chance to network through monthly virtual meetings, which allows organisations to build professional relationships and share tips on how to grow a business.

4. Provide Great Plumbing Services

One in three customers say they will walk away from a brand they love after one bad experience. With this statistic in mind, it’s imperative that you ensure your team always delivers a positive experience to your customers. 

If you’re running a plumbing business, it may be difficult to manage every single interaction your employees have, but what you can ensure is that they’re always well-briefed on any job they’re scheduled to complete. 

Unfortunately, using paperwork, spreadsheets, and multiple different applications can make it easy for communication errors to come about. As a result, important information about a plumbing job can get lost, duplicated, or recorded incorrectly, which makes it difficult to deliver a consistent service to your customers. 

Thankfully, workforce management software can help you keep all essential information in one place. From appointment bookings, job details, invoices, payments, and even geofenced locations, you can equip your plumbers with everything they need to impress your clients. Not only that, your back-office staff will also have access to the job information including real-time data on the assigned plumber’s location and job status

Workforce management platforms like BigChange also feature an app that your plumbing staff can use on the go. They’ll have access to all the job information, communication with the back-office staff, and lists of any tools they need in the palm of their hands. Consequently, they’ll never have to arrive at a job unprepared again, giving your customers a positive impression of your business.

Get More Plumbing Customers with BigChange

With a never-ending demand for plumbing service, now is the time to strategise. 

Setting up a website, claiming your business on google, collaborating with other providers, and providing excellent service are all sure-fire ways to grow your plumbing business. However, every one of these steps is much easier when using an all-in-one workforce management software. 

BigChange’s workforce management software comes with a CRM that gives you a snapshot of your customers, their industries, and locations that will help you create a compelling website suited to their needs. 

Discover how BigChange can help you grow your plumbing business and arrange a free demo today.

It’s no secret that COVID-19 has had a damaging impact on many field service companies across the country. However, despite the ongoing disruption, the industry is predicted to surpass a global value of £2.9 billion by 2025 as demand for skilled field service technicians remains high. 

But, to survive in a post-pandemic landscape, field service organisations must innovate to maintain long-term commercial viability. Investing in technology will set your business apart from the competition and keep you ahead of the curve as customers look for more modern, convenient services.

In this article, we’ll explain what field service management (FSM) software is and why it’s a must-have for businesses that want to grow following a period of economic turbulence. We’ll also share the top five ways that a field service platform can benefit your company.

What is Field Service Management Software?

Field service management (FSM) organises and enhances all work performed outside the office. However, around 52% of organisations currently manage their operations using error-prone manual methods and inefficient legacy systems. 

Although traditional methods of overseeing your field-based workforce may get the job done eventually, they are incredibly time-consuming and often lead to various costly errors. For example, suppose you’re using an old in-house system or a spreadsheet to run your operations. In that case, you may find that you have poor first-time fix rates, booking clashes or delays, dissatisfied customers and low productivity levels. 

In a post-pandemic world, field service organisations can’t afford to be complacent about their ways of working. To stay ahead of the curve and thrive during times of economic turbulence, you must look for innovative ways to keep your business running smoothly.

That’s where field service technology comes in.

State-of-the-art FSM platforms can revolutionise and streamline your current processes, giving you more visibility and control over your business than ever before. Better still, you’ll be able to improve productivity, provide better service to your customers and boost your bottom line simultaneously.

Plus, the most cutting-edge platforms provide an integrated app that aids in seamlessly connecting your back-office staff, field technicians and customers. FSM mobile apps put vital information in the palm of your workers’ hands, enabling them to do the following:

  • Communicate with your back-office staff in real-time
  • Access the CRM (customer relationship management) system
  • Complete electronic vehicle walkaround checks
  • Log expenses in seconds
  • Capture photos and signatures
  • View available stock, parts and equipment
  • Carry out risk assessments and view method statements
  • Fill out and submit timesheets

With your entire workforce more connected than ever before, you’ll be able to run a smoother, more competitive operation.

How Field Service Technology Benefits Your Business

1. Enhanced Levels of Employee Productivity

Almost three-quarters (72%) of people who experience low stress levels at work say they have access to technology that enables them to work productively. Furthermore, 64% of people believe that automation can reduce workload and stress. 

However, when your team’s ‘to-do’ lists are filled with monotonous tasks and pointless busywork, you’ll likely find that productivity levels decrease as your employees become less engaged in their work. 

To keep your workers engaged, you must consider how technology will liberate their time to spend on more motivational activities that contribute directly to business growth. Field service management technology moves your entire operation onto one easy-to-use platform, giving your staff the ability to manage a customer’s booking — end-to-end — in just a few clicks.

By using your team’s time more effectively on business-critical activities, they’ll be able to complete more tasks, provide your customers with a better service and boost your bottom line.

2. Happier and More Loyal Customers

Unsurprisingly, businesses that prioritise the customer experience outperform those that don’t by an astounding 80%. Customers have high expectations, so if you aren’t taking the time to consider their needs, they’ll be less inclined to use your company again in the future.

But, how can field service technology improve the customer experience? To answer that question, we must look at the aspects of a business that are most attractive to customers:

1. Speed of Service

For 70% of customers, speed of service matters the most. Investing in technology is paramount to eliminating all inefficiencies that slow down your team. For example, field service management platforms remove the admin-heavy aspects of managing a customer’s booking and liberate your team’s time to focus on getting the job done well and to a high standard.

2. Good Communication

Only 14% of customers say they’re happy with current business communications. No one wants to have to chase down important information by waiting on the phone for hours to speak to a representative, so you need to keep your customers in the loop at regular intervals using less time-intensive communication methods. 

Field service management platforms can pull through client data directly from the CRM (customer relationship manager) and place them into company-branded email templates before sending out automatic communications at the most vital points of the buyer journey. Consequently, your customers will never have to wonder where their technician is or waste time chasing them up.

3. Knowledgeability

Just under half (46%) of all customers will abandon a company if they don’t seem to be knowledgeable. But, with field service management technology, you can rest assured that everyone in your business will have all the information they need to hand, wherever they are. 

For example, your back-office staff will have access to a robust system that includes everything — from booking details right up to invoices and payments — so they have a comprehensive record of each customers’ service history whenever they need it. Additionally, your field-based workforce can access the same information from their mobile devices, meaning they have the most up-to-date intelligence on each job and are equipped to answer any customer queries.

3. Better First-Time Fix Rates

Did you know that high-first time fix rates directly correlate with customer retention levels? Yet, second visits are a frequent occurrence for many field service organisations. Here are some of the most common issues that prevent workers from being able to complete a project on the first appointment:

  • Incorrect or unavailable parts: 29%
  • Customer or asset unavailable for service: 28%
  • Improper diagnosis at time of dispatch: 19% 
  • Technician didn’t have the required skills: 15%
  • Resolution was only temporary: 8%

Fortunately, field service technology has the power to eradicate the obstacles that cause low first-time fix rates:

1. Unsuitable Parts and Temporary Resolutions

With a field service management platform, you’ll have complete visibility over your inventory, enabling you to see quantities of stock in real-time, regardless of location. Furthermore, your back-office staff can allocate items directly to jobs, so your technicians never have to worry about arriving at an appointment with the wrong gear.

2. Unavailable Customers or Assets

Today’s customers lead busy lives, so you must provide them with the freedom to make and amend their bookings via an online portal, which many field service management platforms include. 

By removing the need to sit on the phone to speak to a representative, you’re making it more convenient for customers to handle their appointment times and ensure they give you plenty of notice when they need to re-schedule. As a result, you’ll likely find that the frequency of customers being unavailable on the day of a booking significantly reduces.

3. Technicians with the Wrong Skill Sets and Improper Diagnoses

Although it’s essential to keep technicians’ travel times to a minimum, location isn’t the only factor you should consider when assigning workers to jobs. In fact, skill sets and qualifications play a large part in being able to deliver outstanding services. 

If your technician doesn’t have the right skill set to diagnose or fix an issue, chances are they won’t be able to resolve the customer’s dilemma during the first appointment. The good news is that field service technology provides a way to guarantee the right people attend the right jobs. Using real-time data, the system analyses every technician available to match them up with the appointments they are best qualified to complete and simultaneously optimises their routes.

4. Enables Your Technicians to Attend More Appointments Each Day

In 2020, a quarter of field service organisations were using spreadsheets for job scheduling. The rest relied on whiteboards and other equally inefficient manual methods. Therefore, it’s no surprise that managing technicians’ schedules presents a significant challenge to many businesses. 

But, with field service management technology, you can optimise your workers’ routes at the click of a button. Using an intelligent scheduling assistant, the system suggests particular technicians for each job based on their location, skill set, vehicle type and job constraints. 

By reducing the amount of time your workers spend on the road and ensuring that they’re adequately qualified to carry out the work during the first appointment, you can free up more time for them to attend additional jobs each day. 

5. Improves Your Business’ Financial Stability

Worryingly, since the beginning of the pandemic, late payments in the UK have escalated by 23%, putting significant strain on field service businesses countrywide. Consequently, companies have had to consider new ways to get paid on time and avoid the harmful financial repercussions of late payments.

Field service technology digitises the entire invoicing and payment process to make for a seamless transaction between you and your customers. Once your technicians have completed their jobs, they can instantly generate invoices from their mobile devices and send them to your customers in a matter of seconds.
As soon as your customers receive and approve their invoices, they can then pay using a range of straightforward online options, meaning that they can send funds to your account on the same day. Modernising the invoicing and payment process means that you won’t have to wait days — or possibly weeks — for payments before chasing them up. Instead, you will have a steady cash flow which will help to boost your bottom line.

Investing in Technology is Your Best Bet to Standing Out from the Competition

75% of organisations that have adopted field service technology have benefited from improved employee productivity and customer satisfaction levels, leading to better ways of working and increased profits. Therefore, investing in technology is a smart move for those that want to bounce back stronger than ever in a competitive, post-pandemic market.

Field service management technology makes it simpler than ever to manage your business. With a platform like BigChange, you can do the following:

  • Accept customer bookings
  • Assign and dispatch workers
  • Track vehicles, assets, stock and equipment
  • Take payments and invoices

…and more, all on a single easy-to-use platform. Simplifying your ways of working and finding ways to reduce the workload for your team will liberate time to attend extra bookings and take on other tasks that contribute directly to business growth. Remember, your existing staff are your most valuable asset, so you must put their time and skills to good use.

Transform Your Business and Boost Your Bottom Line with BigChange

Save valuable time and stay connected to every aspect of your business with BigChange. 

Our secure, cloud-based software helps you track and control every job, from quotation to payment, on a single platform. Everything you need to know will be at your fingertips, making it easy to plan, manage, schedule and track your field-based workforce and transport operations.

Plus, you’ll be able to make the most of our dedicated, expert support.

As people start heading back into the workplace post-pandemic, it’s never been more crucial to undertake a risk assessment to identify any potential hazards.

Currently, UK businesses lose 38.8 million working days due to work-related illness and injury. But, with COVID-19 presenting new threats to people’s health, organisations that want to continue with business-as-usual will need to invent new ways to protect their people and maintain a healthy workforce. 

In this article, we’ll explain what a workplace risk assessment is, why it’s so important and what you need to consider. We’ll then explore the benefits of workplace design and risk assessment before sharing how BigChange can help make the process simpler. 

What is a Workplace Risk Assessment?

As an employer, it is your duty to protect your employees, and anyone else on-site, from illness or injuries caused by the work environment. You can determine how to prevent incidents by conducting a legally mandated workplace risk assessment. If you employ five or more people, you must also document your evaluation.

A workplace risk assessment examines potential causes of harm. Organisations can then decide whether they have taken enough precautions to prevent them. All measures must comply with the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and associated regulations by reducing the number of incidents in the workplace.

However, with COVID-19 now thrown into the mix, a standard risk assessment is unlikely to be thorough enough. For example, a traditional risk assessment may not consider if there are specific cleaning protocols in place to prevent the spread of the virus. 

Subsequently, your risk assessment should also follow public health regulations and current government guidelines. Workplace risk assessments help to ensure you’re keeping your employees and on-site visitors safe during the pandemic.

How to Carry Out a Workplace Risk Assessment

Every workplace has its own set of potential threats which could cause ill-health or injury. Threats vary in scope and nature and could range from a wet floor to something much more severe, like the spread of coronavirus. 

However, risk assessments help drastically reduce the likelihood of accidents or illness at work by raising awareness of hazards and enabling you to come up with a prevention plan.

Here are the main steps you need to follow when carrying out a workplace risk assessment:

1. Identify the Hazards When Conducting a Workplace Risk Assessment

The first step is to identify anything that can cause harm. On top of the common hazards you would usually look for, you must now also consider how people could transmit COVID to each other on-site. For example, if your spaces aren’t well ventilated, staff may be at greater risk.

Take a walk around your workplace and make a note of any safety concerns you have. Once you’ve created a list, it’s a good idea to ask other people what they think. Someone else may notice a hazard that isn’t immediately obvious to you, especially if they fall into a more vulnerable category. 

2. Figure Out Who Will Be Affected

For each hazard you listed, you must consider everyone that is at risk of harm. You don’t have to identify each person by name; instead, make a note of particular groups. For example, ‘on-site visitors’. By considering specific parties, you’ll be able to establish the best way of mitigating risks in the workplace for anyone who may be directly affected. 

Again, it would be best to ask someone else to double-check that you haven’t missed anyone. Remember, some people may be at higher risk than others, including:

  • New hires who are unfamiliar with the workplace
  • Younger, inexperienced workers
  • Disabled and chronically ill people
  • Pregnant people
  • People who aren’t on-site all the time
  • Members of the public near the site

You should then also consider the likelihood of an incident and the severity of the potential outcome. Covering all the worst-case scenarios of a workplace hazard will help you to develop appropriate precautionary solutions. 

3. Evaluate the Risks and Determine Precautions

Now that you’ve identified the potential hazards, you need to devise a way to avoid them. The best way to put preventative measures in place is to look at your current processes and determine whether they’re effective enough or need an upgrade. You then need to look at any threats where you don’t currently have any defences in place and implement a solution. 

If you can’t eliminate a hazard altogether, you should instead consider ways to control the risk. Here are some steps you can take to lower the chances of accident or injury:

  1. Try a less dangerous alternative: For example, if your workers use chemicals, research the safest option and switch out products to less harmful versions.
  1. Prevent access to the hazard: If people don’t need to enter hazardous areas regularly, consider putting barriers in place to prevent access.
  1. Reduce exposure to the hazard: Don’t expose anyone to potential threats unless absolutely necessary. You must ensure that all employees are adequately trained to deal with any hazardous situation they may find themselves in because of their job role.
  1. Provide personal protective equipment: The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 state that you must provide suitable protective gear to your workers who may be exposed to a hazard unless you’ve adequately controlled threats by other means.
  1. Ensure there are welfare facilities: You must supply your staff with first aid kits and ensure there are designated first aiders in your office. To help prevent the spread of COVID and other illnesses, you should also provide suitable hand washing facilities. 

4. Implement Your Plan

Companies with five or more employees must keep a record of their workplace risk assessment findings. With a field service management system like BigChange, you can keep an electronic record of all risk assessments for future reference, saving you from manually filing and storing your findings.  

Following the evaluation, you should document the following information:

  • Which hazards the assessor identified
  • The persons or groups that could be affected
  • The methods your organisation put in place to mitigate risks
  • Who is monitoring the preventative measures
  • Who carried out the assessment
  • The date of the assessment

It’s also vital to make all employees aware of your plan and spread awareness of risks in the workplace. A better understanding of potential hazards and measures you’ve put in place will help lower the risk of an illness or injury. For example, some companies are still recommending that people continue to wear masks indoors to prevent the spread of COVID.

For more guidance on working safely during the pandemic, you can visit the GOV.UK website.

5. Continuously Review and Update Your Risk Assessment

Now, more than ever, risks in the workplace are constantly changing. Consequently, you should keep your risk assessment up-to-date and re-assess whether your preventative measures are effective at regular intervals.

Here are some examples of when you may need to review your previous assessment:

  • Following a workplace health or injury-related incident
  • When someone has reported a near-miss
  • If there have been significant changes within the workplace

Benefits of Workplace Design and Risk Assessment

It’s crucial to carry out a workplace risk assessment as a means of protecting your employees, on-site visitors and your company. Carrying out the evaluation correctly and putting processes in place to protect people from hazards will ensure that your business doesn’t suffer from destructive financial and reputational repercussions. 

Here are some of the benefits of executing a thorough risk assessment:

1. Alleviates Costs

If you don’t have the necessary measures in place to protect your workers, you could face a colossal financial loss. Not only could you be fined for non-compliance, but you may also have to pay compensation, replace damaged equipment and train replacement staff whilst your injured worker is away.

If you are fined for non-compliance, your insurance premiums could also skyrocket, and your industry reputation will likely take a hit.

Carrying out an in-depth workplace risk assessment and taking the necessary steps to reduce hazards will result in fewer illnesses and injuries. In addition, employees that feel safe at work are less likely to leave, meaning you’ll have decreased turnover and training costs.

A workplace risk assessment needn’t be costly, but any investment you do need to make to maintain compliance are minimal compared to the potential costs following an incident.


2. Saves Lives

Did you know that over the last year, 142 UK workers suffered a fatality at work?

Workplace risk assessments not only lower the chance of employees suffering from minor illnesses or injuries, but they save lives. 

If your workers use heavy machinery, are frequently exposed to toxic materials – such as asbestos – or work with electricity, the probability of an accident increases dramatically. As such, it becomes even more crucial to conduct a thorough workplace risk assessment. 

Highlighting potential workplace risks to your workers may make them think twice about doing something dangerous and, therefore, considerably reduce the likelihood of a disaster.

3. Lowers the Risk of Legal Liability

Whenever your employees report an incident, people will likely want to know who was at fault. If the affected individual or party believes that the company’s negligence caused the problem, it could result in serious legal proceedings and fines. 

Since 2016, the Sentencing Council introduced new guidelines that outlined harsher penalties and fines for organisations that fail to competently manage health and safety matters. As a result, the average fine has shot up to a staggering £150,000. So, if your business is found guilty, you could end up paying dearly.

When conducted with due care and diligence, a workplace risk assessment can significantly minimise the chance that your business will be found guilty of non-compliance. Instead, you can rest assured that you’ve taken the correct steps towards keeping everyone safe on-site.

4. Enhances Employee Satisfaction and Productivity

Workplace risk assessments eradicate the barriers that prevent your employees from doing their jobs and provide them with the correct tools to complete tasks. Instead of wasting time trying to resolve issues resulting from unsuitable working practices or equipment, they will be able to carry on with their work stress-free and be much more productive.

Plus, a safe and healthy workplace results in happier staff, fewer sick days and more company loyalty. Organisations with highly engaged employees enjoy 21% greater profitability, proving that employee happiness can make a big difference to your bottom line.

5. Maintains Your Company’s Reputation

Companies that effectively prevent workplace-related illnesses and accidents are able to build 

a strong reputation with their employees and clients. Therefore, maintaining a safe work environment and avoiding negative publicity is imperative if you want to ensure your business keeps its good name. 

In fact, companies risk losing 22% of business if potential customers find a negative article in their search results. So, make an effort upfront to carry out a comprehensive workplace risk assessment and put sufficient preventative measures in place. As a result, you may find that you’re able to win more work.

Prevent Risks in the Workplace with BigChange

Your people are your most important asset. 

BigChange gives you the power to keep your employees working safely and ensure their personal information is secure and up-to-date.

With our online driver behaviour analysis, risk assessments, method statements and vehicle walkaround checks, you can rest assured that health and safety are a number one priority.

Want to find out more?

Discover how our Job Management Software can make your business grow stronger here and arrange a free demo today.

Whether you’ve just started up your cleaning business, or you’ve been established for some time, knowing how to attract new clients is an essential skill. Fortunately, winning contracts doesn’t have to be a headache if you have the know-how and the right technology in place.

In this article, we’ll explain how to get clients for your cleaning business. Plus, we’ll explore the ways that modern technology can give your organisation a competitive advantage.

How Do I Get Cleaning Contracts?

Did you know, there are approximately 66,420 businesses currently operating in the UK cleaning market? With so many organisations for customers to choose from, competition to win cleaning contracts is fierce.

However, there are several methods you can use to set yourself apart from your competitors. Here are the top four ways you can turn prospective clients into paying customers:

1. Word of Mouth

When it comes to attracting customers to your cleaning company, word of mouth is one of your best tools. In fact, word of mouth marketing results in five times more business than paid media, and people are 90% more likely to purchase products or services that have been recommended by someone they know. 

Therefore, you must ensure that you provide your existing customers with a positive experience. Fortunately, by using state-of-the-art field service management software, impressing your clients needn’t be time-consuming or challenging.  

For example, you can provide your customers with a user-friendly portal to easily make and rearrange appointments. Your team can then use the details the customer submitted to schedule and dispatch the most appropriate workers and equipment for the job.

Once your cleaners have completed the work, they’ll be able to instantly send customers invoices from their mobile devices for simple, online payment. Your customers will appreciate the rapidity and simplicity of your service and, as such, be more inclined to tell others about your business.

Field service management platforms also allow you to send your customers satisfaction surveys and personalised follow-up communications to ensure they’re happy. Post-job emails are the perfect opportunity to ask your customers to recommend you to others – you could even offer them a small discount for spreading the word.

2. Be Active on Social Media

With over 420 billion people active on social media, it has become one of the primary advertising channels for small businesses hoping to attract new clients. Consequently, you should ensure that you regularly update at least one channel.

Remember, cleaning is a visual service, and social media is your portfolio, so platforms like Instagram, Facebook and YouTube are ideal for showing off your work. You may wish to share before and after photos or even time-lapses of your team at work to give customers an idea of what to expect when they hire you.

Social media is also an excellent place to target specific prospective clients. For instance, if you want to win more office cleaning contracts, you could tailor your content specifically to corporate customers. Or, if you operate in a specific area, you can tag your posts to exact locations.

Finally, to build up a solid social media following, you should take time to respond to comments and connect with other users. Taking a friendly approach will make you stand out and attract more customers to your organisation.

3. Create a Website

Shockingly, it only takes about 50 milliseconds – or 0.05 seconds – for customers to form an opinion about your website. Sadly, if their first impressions aren’t positive, you could be losing business, so it can be tempting to forego a website entirely. 

But, in today’s digital world, having a website is necessary if you want prospective clients to find you. 

The good news is, you no longer have to be a tech wizard or break the bank to create a professional-looking website. There are now plenty of website builders with templates you can use to put your own site together in a few clicks. 

When making a website, you should tailor it to your customers and what they want to see. With a contemporary CRM (customer relationship management) system, you can obtain a snapshot of your customer base and their requirements at the touch of a button. 

Every interaction you’ve had with your clients, from phone calls to satisfaction surveys, are stored on the platform, so you can tell what industry the majority of your customers operate in, where they’re located and what feedback they gave you. As such, you can use the data you’ve collected to shape your website’s content and continue attracting similar customers.

4. Collaborate with Other Businesses and Expand Your Reach

Networking is a powerful method of growing your organisation and winning new contracts. Still, if you’re one of the 41% of people who believes they don’t have time to connect with other professionals in their field, you could be missing out on business opportunities.

Luckily, you can eliminate the time-consuming aspects of networking by employing the latest field service management technology such as BigChange. With BigChange, you can make the most of their ‘Network’ of trusted global field service companies without needing to leave the office.

Instead, you can list your business for free and start receiving connection requests immediately. From there, you’ll have the option to collaborate on projects with other like-minded companies, meaning you can bid for larger contracts and operate further afield without needing to hire extra resources.

You can specify the types of jobs you have available, alongside the skill requirements, so you can be sure that any subcontractors meet your standards and will represent your business appropriately.

Turn Prospective Clients into Paying Customers with BigChange

Some systems manage relationships. BigChange helps you master them.

Our fully integrated job management software gives you a 360˚ view of every account, contact site and contract. Deliver positive customer experiences at every level thanks to an array of dynamic product features.

Want to find out more?

Discover how BigChange can make your business grow stronger, arrange a free demo today.

When it comes to running a successful field service business, every minute counts.

However, you can only ensure that you’re making the most of your workers’ time and delivering an excellent service when you have access to real-time data. Without live updates, you’ll be relying on second-hand information to make decisions, possibly when it’s already too late.

That’s where field service management software come in.

Thanks to technological advancements in recent years, you can now gain complete visibility over your operations at the touch of a button. Never again will you have to rely on guesswork or slow, inefficient processes to get the job done. In fact, companies that use field service management software enjoy a 90% time saving on average.

In this article, we’ll explore the main reasons why real-time data is critical for your company and how you can access live updates on BigChange’s complete Job Management Platform.

Why is Real-Time Data Important?

Big data is undoubtedly contributing to the growth of almost every industry today. Nonetheless, if you don’t currently have methods of harvesting this information or aren’t using it to your advantage, you could fall behind the competition. 

Therefore, it’s worth considering how you can capture and use real-time data to grow your business. Here are just some of the top benefits your business could enjoy:

1. Boosts First-Time Fix Rates

The average first-time fix rate for field service businesses is between 75-79%. Although the percentage may seem high, in reality, it means that at least a quarter of all service calls involve a follow-up appointment. 

Not only are additional engineer visits inconvenient for the customer, but they also eat into your profits and disrupt your schedule. 

Instead, when you have access to real-time data, the risk of not fixing an issue the first time plummets. For example, your back-office staff can assign equipment and assets directly to a particular job and dispatch an engineer with the right skill set to carry out the work.

Once they arrive at a job, your technicians can access all the data they need to resolve the issue as promptly and accurately as possible. As a result, your technicians will be able to attend more appointments per day, your customers will be content, and your bottom line will experience a boost.

2. Increases Customer Satisfaction

Currently, 32% of field service organisations are failing to attain at least 80% customer satisfaction. Poor customer satisfaction rates can destroy your reputation and make it harder to win new business in the future.

When you don’t have complete visibility over your operations, meeting customer expectations becomes much more challenging. In addition to causing poor first-time fix rates, lack of real-time data prevents your customers from tracking their appointment statuses, causing a lot of inconveniences.

In comparison, when you use a modern workforce management system, you can use the live data it collects to:

  • Assign the correct equipment to jobs
  • Dispatch an appropriately skilled technician to jobs
  • Provide customers with live job status updates to keep them in the loop
  • Equip your technicians with all the information they need to carry out work effectively

Aside from being satisfied with the speed and quality of work, your customers will also appreciate your personalised approach to communication. Consequently, they may use your business again or recommend your services to friends, family, and professional networks.

3. Cuts Down Travel Costs

Time is money. Unfortunately, with petrol prices escalating to an eight-year high in the UK, many field service businesses are losing large sums of money by not optimising their technicians’ routes between jobs. 

When you don’t have visibility over your field engineers, it becomes incredibly complicated to ensure that you’re allocating the best resources for jobs and keeping travel times to a minimum.

But, with state-of-the-art scheduling technology in place, you can revolutionise the way you plan jobs. The software uses real-time data to account for location, traffic information, job constraints and vehicle type so you can rest assured that you’re allocating the right people and equipment to the right place.

Subsequently, you’ll save money on petrol and improve productivity by freeing up your technicians’ time to attend to more projects per day. 

4. Enables You to Create Accurate Budgets

According to a BlueSnap report, 37% of organisations cannot accurately forecast their cash flow because they use outdated processes and legacy systems to manage their finances. If a lack of financial visibility is plaguing your business, you may be spending more than you should be.

In contrast, when you adopt a workforce management software, it collects real-time data, which you can use to have more clarity and control over:

  • Stock and equipment quantities
  • Outstanding customer invoices
  • Cost centres

With the exact quantitative data to hand, you can make better-informed budgeting decisions for the future. For example, you are less likely to inadvertently over-order stock because you’ll have the exact number recorded in the system. Instead, you can use your profits to continue growing your business.

Access Real-Time Data and Maximise Efficiency with BigChange

See your entire operation at a glance on BigChange’s complete Job Management Platform.

Our cloud-based job management software provides you with live data so you can:

  • Schedule and dispatch workers based on location, skill set and availability
  • Assign assets and equipment directly to jobs to increase first-time fix rates 
  • Respond to urgent requests and mitigate potential issues
  • Make informed, accurate decisions about your business

Want to find out more?

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

Did you know that a stressed and anxious driver’s heart rate can accelerate from its typical 70bpm to 180bpm? Road rage increases a driver’s chance of getting into an accident, and when it comes to travelling between jobs, managers should do all in their power to ensure their field service engineers are driving stress free. 

As a leader in driver safety, BigChange has developed workforce management software, including a GPS vehicle tracking system, whose goal is to make roads safer. Through our initiative Leaders for Life, we have conducted studies that reveal the true nature of this problem, such as our 2017 study, where we learned that possibly a third of fatal crashes happened on the job

In this article, we’ll discuss ways that you can positively influence your operations so that your field service technicians can travel between jobs safely.

1. Use a GPS Vehicle Tracking System

In the 21st century, it’s hard to imagine ordering something, whether a product or a job, and not receiving an update on when it will arrive. Unfortunately, this is the experience that many businesses in the field service industry experience when they rely on non-digital means of communication and paperwork. 

BigChange’s advanced GPS vehicle tracking system makes poor visibility problems obsolete. Not only will you see when your field service technician will arrive on the customer’s job site, but you can track their drive live on the platform. The system also shares real speed limits so that you can tell if a driver is speeding, which could increase the likelihood of an accident. 

The GPS vehicle tracking system also ensures your field service engineers arrive at the exact location they need to be. While mobile maps, such as Google maps, are often correct, there are times when the exact location of a job isn’t available on the map. Unreliable information could cause your field service technician to drive around searching for the location, which could distract them from focusing on the road. 

Using the BigChange platform, you can create and manage territories and geofences so that your field service engineer knows exactly where to meet your client.

2. Ensure Vehicle Safety Checks

If you’re the Head of Operations at your company, it’s unlikely you’ll know everything about every vehicle in your fleet. At most companies, the state of a field service technician’s vehicle is logged in a book or spreadsheet somewhere only accessible to the back-office staff. 

With BigChange’s mobile workforce software and GPS vehicle tracking system, you’ll have access to your entire fleet’s history and real-time-location with the tap of your finger. Not only does this give you a comprehensive overview of  each vehicle, its age, mileage, and condition, you will also be able to access each DVSA compliant walkaround to ensure your vehicles are safe for driving. 

Now you’ll know the status of every vehicle you have out on the road and your field technicians will be less likely to encounter problems while traveling between jobs. 

3. Analyse Technician Driving History

When most companies hire field service technicians, the last thing they think about is how they drive when they travel between jobs. Usually a business’s priority is to hire top talent with the most competitive rates. When it comes to safety, though, managers need to keep an eye-out for how their field service technicians are driving. 

BigChange’s commitment to improving safety on UK roads is why we’ve developed an advanced driver behaviour analysis feature for our platform. Using our GPS vehicle tracking system, you can generate an analysis for each technician that includes their idling, speeding, cornering, braking, and harsh accelerations. To give managers an at-a-glance view of each field service technician’s driving behaviour, the platform assigns a driving score for each driver. 

Combine this driver behaviour analysis with our advanced time-stamping records for each driver, and you’ll be able to understand how your field technicians are driving and if they’re taking the necessary breaks to ensure they’ll be alert on the road.

4.Reduce Time Spent Traveling Between Jobs

As we mentioned earlier, stress can lead to road rage, and one of the best ways to stress out a field service technician is to overlook their travel between jobs. Although field service technicians are paid for travel between jobs, the annual road casualties report indicates that the time spent traveling between jobs can influence the likelihood of an accident. 

Put simply, the more time your field service technicians spend traveling between jobs, the more opportunities there are for a crash. 

Fortunately, it’s easy to reduce a technician’s travel time between jobs using BigChange’s intelligent scheduling assistant. The intelligent scheduling assistant enables you to shorten your technicians’ routes by sharing the following real-time information:

  • Real-time resource location
  • live-traffic information
  • job constraints (such as skills or qualifications)
  • Type of vehicle
  • Inventory
  • Detailed service information
  • Customer history and requirements

This data will show you the nearest and most experienced technicians, allowing you to reduce travel time, and potential accidents, by hiring someone who is already near the job site.

5. Prevent Texting While Driving

Without field service management software like BigChange, many field service technicians end up having to answer calls, texts, and emails while on the job, or worse, on the road. Hiccups on the job, such as an unexpected missing part, can also put field service engineers off schedule, resulting in the need to inform the next customer of a changed arrival time. 

When using BigChange’s job management software, your field service technicians no longer have to notify the client if they’re running late. The platform will send an automated message with the driver’s ETA as well as a live tracking link so that the customer knows exactly how far away your field technician is.

Help Your Field Service Technicians Travel Safely with BigChange

Creating safer roads is in everyone’s best interest, and as managers, you have the opportunity to make a big difference in making our roads safer. By using BigChange’s GPS tracking system you can receive your field service technician’s real-time driving information and verify they’re not speeding. 

Our job management software also gives you access to vehicle safety checks and driver behaviour analysis that will give you a clearer picture of how each driver is behaving so you can identify problematic driving patterns and vehicles. Auto-alerts sent to the client and geofenced locations can also keep your field service technicians from getting distracted on the road. 

Want to find out more?

Discover how BigChange can make your business grow stronger, arrange a free demo today.

Checking in on a job and finding out your field service engineer has exceeded the legal working hours is a surprise no manager wants. As we all know, working in the field isn’t exactly predictable. There are contracts to sign, parts to order, and sometimes a job that should have taken one hour ends up taking four. Not to mention that driving time, an essential aspect of a field service engineer’s job, is counted as hourly work. 

Unless you’re prepared to receive a formal grievance from a resource, it’s best to learn the facts behind the UK’s employment laws and ensure you have procedures in place to prevent illegal overtime work before it happens. 

In this article, we will discuss what constitutes legal working hours and five strategies to help you maintain a compliant work schedule for your engineers.

How to Maintain Legal Working Hours: Five Top Tips

Like most workers in the UK, field service engineers are allowed to work a maximum of 48 hours a week, including overtime. For field service engineers, travel to and from each site, time spent on call on a worksite, and even travel between home and work all count as legal working hours. 

Whether or not overtime is stipulated in the contract, working more than 48 hours is considered in excess of the legal working hours. Employers have the option of asking their employees or contractors to opt out of the 48-hour work week, but a special contract must be signed stating so. 

Although there is a lot to keep track of, managing your employees’ working hours needn’t be a headache. 

Fortunately, we are living in a digital age where mobile workforce solutions like BigChange can help keep jobs on deadline, track working hours, and help you stay in compliance with UK labour laws.

1. Reduce Administrative Time with Digital Paperwork

What’s worse than knowing your field service managers are wasting hours on the job trying to find the right paperwork? 

Digitising your processes and procedures could greatly reduce the time that each field engineer spends on the job. With a mobile workforce management platform like BigChange, field service engineers can use their phone cameras to provide proof of a finished job, send requests for additional equipment with the tap of a finger, and view and share relevant files with the back office in real time. 

Best of all, using modern workforce management technology lets you see how each job is going and, most importantly, how long it’s taking, right from your phone, tablet, or computer.

2. Easily Track Field Engineer Hours

The easiest way to make sure your field service engineers stay within legal working hours is to see how many hours they’re putting in each day. Using BigChange’s mobile workforce management software, you will have access to each individual’s working hours, hourly pay, and any special out-of-hours rates. 

The software will help your back-office staff keep track of resource timesheets, expenses, and holidays. Using BigChange’s complete Job Management Platform, managers can also quickly approve and reject timesheets, holidays, and expense claims. 

BigChange’s detailed time-stamping feature also goes beyond when an engineer clocked in and out. It also includes when jobs were received and accepted, when the engineer began traveling, and when they arrived to begin work. Not only will this help you see exactly how your engineers are spending their time, you can also use this information if you face a customer complaint.

3. Reduce Driving Time with Intelligent Scheduling

One of the main reasons many jobs end up taking longer is due to driving time. Now that companies are required to pay field service engineers for time spent driving to clients, the hours can add up fast. 

The best way to address this problem is to reduce how far each technician travels for each job. Using BigChange’s intelligent scheduling assistant enables you to shorten your technicians’ routes by sharing the following real-time information:

  • Real-time resource location
  • live-traffic information
  • job constraints (such as skills or qualifications)
  • Type of vehicle
  • Inventory
  • Detailed service information
  • Customer history and requirements

As such, you can rest assured that you’re making the most of your technicians’ time and attending to more customers’ jobs per day.

4. Stop Overbooking Before It Happens

When business is moving at such a fast pace, it’s not always easy to make sure that your field service engineers aren’t accruing excess hours. While having an individual profile of each engineer’s working hours, holidays, and absences can help you stick to the legal working hour limit, having systems in place to alert you if there’s a possibility of overtime work is your best bet. 

Beyond simply tracking hours and cutting out time-consuming paperwork, BigChange’s mobile workforce management software enables employers to set up custom alerts to notify engineers if they’re in danger of over-running a job. 

Field service engineers are also empowered to pause, suspend, or reject jobs that they either don’t have the bandwidth to perform or are running over schedule. All of this communication can be done seamlessly through the BigChange app so that field service engineers and the back-office are always on the same page instantaneously.

5. Complete Extra Work Orders with Subcontractors

When you’re doing good work, you often end up with more work as a result of your great reputation. Although a boost to your bottom line is always beneficial, it could make sticking to each individual’s 48-legal working hours a challenge if you don’t have the field service engineers on-hand to handle your workload.

Being able to easily hire subcontractors when you have an unexpected workload is a great way to address this problem. Luckily, setting up subcontractor licenses through the BigChange Network makes hiring extra help a breeze.

Guarantee Legal Working Hours with BigChange

BigChange’s mobile workforce management software doesn’t just help simplify your business procedures, it also provides you with various ways to avoid exceeding legal working hours for your field service engineers. 

Whether it’s digitising job paperwork, easily tracking your field service engineers’ hours, hiring the best and closest engineers for the job, or bringing on a subcontractor when there’s a large workload, using the BigChange mobile workforce management platform will help you keep your staff within their legal working hours. 

Want to find out more?

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

Running a business isn’t an easy task, and it becomes even trickier when you throw complex data protection laws into the mix. Shockingly, over half (52%) of businesses aren’t GDPR compliant, putting them at risk of severe operational, financial and reputational damage.  

For field service businesses, collecting customer data is a necessary part of the process. You couldn’t send an engineer to a customer’s home without knowing their address, for example. So, how do you ensure that you’re managing sensitive information compliantly?

In this article, we’ll break down the jargon to explain what GDPR is and how it affects field service businesses that need to store customer data. We’ll then share how you can manage your clients’ details compliantly and explore the benefits of using a cloud-based CRM (customer relationship management) system.

What is GDPR and How Does it Affect Field Service Businesses?

GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation, which is the strictest privacy law in the world. Although the European Union (EU) originally drafted and passed the regulation, it affects any organisation that targets or collects data related to people in Europe. 

Ultimately, the regulation is designed to give people more control over their personal data.

Since GDPR came into effect on 25 May 2018, businesses have had to follow more stringent processes when obtaining and storing customer information to avoid the harsh penalties of non-compliance. 

But, how do you ensure that your business isn’t in breach of GDPR? Read on to find out more.

Customer Data Compliance: How Do I Ensure My Business is Not in Breach of GDPR?

Whether you’re a large corporation or an SME (Small or Medium-Sized Enterprise), you are fully responsible for protecting your customers’ data. As it stands, the maximum fine for infringements is £17.5 million or 4% of your annual turnover – whichever is greater.

Consequently, it’s essential to put together a compliance strategy.

Below are five steps you can take towards ensuring that your company is GDPR-compliant. However, it’s also essential to seek advice from a lawyer about legal requirements for your particular business.

1. Identify the Type of Data You’re Collecting

The first step to managing customer data according to GDPR is identifying and categorising the type of information you’re collecting. Here are some examples of personal data that field service organisations may need to keep a record of:

  • Names
  • Home addresses
  • Email addresses
  • Phone numbers
  • Credit card or bank account details

Once you’ve figured out the type of data you’ll be storing, you can determine the best method of processing it compliantly. 

2. Process the Data Correctly

Any time you obtain, use, share or store a customer’s data, you need to follow the seven GDPR principles, which are:

1. Lawfulness, Fairness and Transparency: You must process all personal data according to the law and ensure that you’re transparent about the actions you’re taking.

2. Purpose Limitation: You shouldn’t collect or store customer data for anything other than its intended, legal purpose or without proper permission.

3. Data Minimisation: Only collect the minimum amount of personal data you need to deliver your service.

4. Accuracy: Never collect, store or use inaccurate or outdated details.

5. Storage Limitation: Only keep data for as long as necessary. Once you no longer require the details, you must dispose of them correctly. You may also anonymise data if you intend to use it for business reporting purposes (for example, how many customers visited your website over the last five years).

6. Integrity and Confidentiality: You must process all data in a manner that ensures appropriate security, including protection against unauthorised or unlawful processing and accidental loss, destruction or damage.

7. Accountability: You should be accountable for how you handle customer data.

Remember, the GDPR requires you to prove the nature of consent between you and your customers. As such, you should keep a comprehensive record of how clients joined your database and what permissions they provided.

3. Keep Customers’ Information Secure

Regardless of how you choose to store your customers’ details, you must adopt safety measures to secure the database. Unfortunately, if you rely on spreadsheets and legacy systems to defend sensitive information, you risk becoming the victim of a data breach. 

Instead, you can ensure that your database is completely secure when you use a modern, cloud-based CRM system. Unlike in-house CRMs, which are vulnerable to hackers, cloud CRM providers encrypt customer data and create backups. 

Cloud systems enable you to take immediate action whenever security threats are detected so you can prevent any issues before they become serious. Additionally, the backups ensure that you can restore your entire database if the system crashes due to a virus.

4. Listen to Your Customers and Action their Requests

58% of people in the UK said they are concerned that a company might sell their personal information to other companies. Naturally, your customers will want to protect their data and GDPR is designed to give them more control over the way businesses use their details.

Therefore, you must make provisions for clients to exercise their rights by allowing them to access their data and deleting or modifying their details when asked. Your responses should be prompt, and you will need to provide a genuine, logical reason if you wish to delay or refuse their requests.

5. Assess Your Database for Risks

Since field service businesses deal with a high volume of customer data and collect information such as home addresses and bank details, you should carry out a DPIA (Data Protection Impact Assessment). 

Much like a standard impact assessment, a DPIA is designed to help you identify and minimise any data protection risks. Your DPIA must:

  • Describe the nature, scope, context and purposes of the processing
  • Assess necessity, proportionality and compliance measures
  • Identify and assess risks to individuals
  • Highlight any additional steps to mitigate risks

If you identify a high risk that you cannot mitigate, you must consult the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) before you begin processing data.
To learn more about DPIA and when you should carry out an assessment, click here.

What are the Benefits of Using a Cloud-Based CRM System to Manage Customer Data?

Evidently, there is a lot to think about to ensure that you’re operating compliantly. However, thanks to modern technology, customer data compliance needn’t be a headache. In reality, using CRM software not only ensures that you’re following the GDPR but also boasts a range of other benefits that your business will enjoy. 

Here are four reasons why a cloud-based CRM system is a must-have for any field service management business:

1. More Straightforward for Your Team

A study conducted by Professor of Business, Raymond R. Panko showed that the probability of human error is between 18-40% when people manually enter data into simple spreadsheets. For complex spreadsheets, the possibility of error escalates to a staggering 100%. So it’s not that people are lazy or incompetent, but that repetitive data entry directly causes mistakes. 

But, when it comes to GDPR, there is no room for error. 

If you’re still relying on antiquated legacy systems, spreadsheets and other paper-based methods of managing customer data, you’re increasing the likelihood that you’ll be fined for non-compliance.

Luckily, modern CRM systems eliminate all the arduous manual processes and paperwork by keeping everything on one easy-to-use platform. Your team can find your customers’ contact details directly in the system using Google Maps to ensure all the data is correct as it goes into the database.

Your back-office staff can then use the pre-populated information to communicate directly with customers, who will have the option to opt-in or out of marketing emails. Since the CRM stores all correspondence with customers, it will immediately record their preferences and sort them into categories. Your team then doesn’t have to worry about remembering which customers don’t want to be contacted each time they send out communications.

2. Lower Costs

Field service organisations that use paper-based documents and manual processes to manage their operations spend more money than needed. Gartner estimates that as much as 3% of a company’s revenue is spent on paper, printing, filing and the costs to store and maintain files of information.

Therefore, going paperless and managing customer data on a CRM system isn’t just great for the environment. It makes good business sense.
Instead of paying for additional storage or needing to hire people to manage the admin processes associated with paper files, your team can handle all your customers’ information on one online platform. Subsequently, you can respond much more rapidly to clients’ ‘amend’ or ‘delete’ requests, enabling you to meet the 30-day GDPR requirement.

3. Improved Communication with Your Customers

It may seem like GDPR is designed to stop companies from reaching out to their customers, but this isn’t the case. In truth, the regulation has led to an increase in data quality, which is good news for the 64% of businesses that believe inaccurate data undermines their ability to provide an excellent customer experience. 

When you use a cloud-based CRM system to manage customer data, you will be able to see the bigger picture and categorise your clients based on their preferences. As a result, you’ll only be sending personalised marketing communications to customers that opted-in, meaning that click-throughs and engagement are likely to skyrocket.

With increased customer engagement, you can use the data the CRM collects to inform future marketing campaigns and tailor your services to client requirements.

4. Customers’ Data is Protected

In today’s digital world, protecting your clients’ data is more critical than ever. In fact, failure to keep sensitive details safe could be detrimental to your organisation, with 71% of people saying they would take their business elsewhere after a data breach.

When you use a spreadsheet to store and handle customer information, you’re inadvertently putting your organisation at risk of a data breach. Spreadsheets are easy to duplicate and share with others, meaning your database of sensitive customer data could end up in anyone’s hands. 

Even if you have protected your spreadsheets with passwords, you still can’t guarantee that someone won’t gain unlawful access to them. So, it can be challenging to prove that you have taken the proper precautions to secure customer information in the event of a breach.

In contrast, a cloud-based CRM system significantly lowers the possibility of a data breach. For example, BigChange’s CRM secures all data in AWS (Amazon Web Services), which is the world’s most comprehensive and widely-used cloud platform in the world. 

As such, you can show customers that you take data privacy seriously, and they can rest assured that their information is in good hands.

Guarantee GDPR Compliance on BigChange’s Cloud-Based CRM System

Managing data subject consent doesn’t have to be time-consuming.

BigChange equips you with the tools you need to handle all customer data compliantly at the touch of a button, with our market leading Job Management Software.

Carry out GDPR-compliant management of an individuals’ data within the system, including opt-in preferences. Anonymise data, and add flags to segment contacts for financial or marketing purposes. 

Want to find out more?

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

Did you know that 40% of organisations experience growth using field service management software solutions? By modernising and streamlining your processes, you can eliminate inefficiencies and spend more time concentrating on business-critical tasks instead. 

However, you must ensure that you’re choosing the right solution for your company.

In this article, we’ll explore the top four things you should consider before implementing a solution and share how BigChange can help field service businesses reach their full potential.

What to Consider Before Implementing Field Service Management Software Solutions

There are many field service management software solutions on the market. But they’re not all created equally. To ensure you’re implementing the right one for your business, you should consider the following:

1. Your Pain Points

The first step to figuring out what solution to implement is to think about your pain points. Currently, only 52% of organisations are using field service management software solutions. The remaining businesses continue to rely on error-prone manual processes and antiquated legacy systems to manage their operations, which leads to a host of challenges. 

Here are some of the most common issues field service businesses encounter:

  • Job scheduling issues
  • Poor first-time rates
  • Inadequate communication methods
  • Lack of visibility over operations
  • Inconsistent cash flow
  • Inability to track performance

You should look at your current ways of working to figure out where the weaknesses are and what you can do to alleviate any problems. For example, if cash flow issues are plaguing your company, you may want to consider a solution with an inbuilt invoicing and payment feature

For more insights on the top field service management challenges and ways to mitigate them, click here.

2. Team Requirements

The next most important aspect you must consider is your team since they will use the system daily. Remember, your back office employees will have different requirements to your field technicians, so it’s worth getting both teams’ opinions.

Back-Office Staff

If your business currently relies on outdated systems and manual, paper-based processes, chances are you’re missing out on the opportunity to boost productivity. Workers who have to complete repetitive, mundane tasks on a daily basis are likely to be less satisfied with their jobs, leading to more errors and slowed workflows.

However, companies that go paperless notice that team productivity rises by nearly 30%. By eliminating the monotonous aspects of the job, your team will have more time and feel more motivated to focus on activities that directly contribute to business growth.

Therefore, you should take time to identify where processes could be streamlined and modernised. Once you’ve determined what you can do to improve your working practices, you can look for the right field service management solutions to help you achieve your goals.

Field Technicians

45% of technicians report that their current tools aren’t fast enough, and a further 38% say they can’t access all the information they need. Aside from being frustrating for your technicians, lack of correct tools or information leads to delayed work, confusion and dissatisfied customers.

Because your team spends most of their day off-site at customer jobs, you should consider using a cloud-based field service management software that includes a mobile app. With access to all the information they need at their fingertips, your technicians will be able to focus on getting the job done. Plus, they can instantly provide real-time updates to your back-office staff and complete digital documents on their mobile devices, making for a more seamless and rapid workflow.

3. Customer Needs

In today’s client-driven market, customer experience (CX) is king, and more field service businesses will need to consider how to make their operations meet expectations. In fact, 92% of field service executives want to transform their service models to meet customer needs.

Fortunately, improving customer experience needn’t be challenging or costly, thanks to cloud-based field service management software. Using a platform with an inbuilt CRM (customer relationship management) system allows you to anticipate your customers’ needs using real-time data and deliver an outstanding service.

State-of-the-art CRMs allow you to easily manage each customer’s case in the system, allocate and dispatch workers, provide personalised updates using templates and instantly issue important documents for speedy invoicing and payment. As such, your customers will appreciate the swift and convenient service and may be more likely to use your company again in the future.

4. The Future of Your Organisation

Processes that currently work for your business may not work in the future. Using inefficient methods to manage your operations could result in errors, delays, and burnt-out staff. According to University College London (UCL), overworked employees report more health problems, and as a direct consequence, are less productive and use more sick days.

Therefore, you must find software that can scale alongside your operations. With BigChange’s cloud-based field service software, you’ll have access to five helpful workforce management systems all on one, easy-to-use platform. 

Get the most out of your existing staff without hiring extra resources to keep up with increasing business activities by streamlining processes and going paperless. Your team can complete various actions, such as scheduling jobs, dispatching workers and updating your customers, at the touch of a button. As a result, they’ll have more hours each day to target more meaningful tasks.

Grow Stronger on the BigChange Complete Job Management Platform

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.

Want to find out more?

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

As of 2020, only 52% of businesses are using field service management software. The rest continue to rely on outdated legacy systems and error-prone manual processes to manage their field service operations.

Therefore, it’s unsurprising that field service organisations experience a host of common issues, including miscommunication, delays, and inconsistent cash flow. But, by modernising your processes and using the latest technology to improve your workflow, you could eliminate complications and free up your time to focus on business-critical activities instead.

Also, you’ll be able to stay ahead of the curve. Roughly half of your competitors haven’t yet made the most of technology, so early adopters will find themselves in a highly lucrative position.

In this article, we’ll explore the top four challenges in field service management and share how field service management technology can provide a cost-effective and straightforward solution.

The Top 4 Field Service Management Challenges

1. Scheduling Conflicts

Scheduling and dispatching difficulties present one of the main field service management challenges for businesses today. However, job management is one of the most crucial aspects of running a field service organisation since it ensures that your people know what they’re supposed to be doing, when and where.

Without proper scheduling processes in place, you may find it tricky to keep track of everything, leading to delays, clashes and double booking. Not only are these conflicts inconvenient for both your technicians and your customers, but they also have the potential to affect your bottom line.

However, by replacing traditional manual processes with an intelligent scheduling assistant, you won’t have to worry about allocating resources anymore. Modern software uses real-time data to guide you to the perfect engineer for each job, taking into account location, traffic, job constraints and vehicle type.

Consequently, you can be confident that you’re making the most of your technicians’ time and keeping your customers happy simultaneously. 

2. Asset and Stock Management

It’s estimated that inaccurate asset management reporting results in an approximate $1.1 trillion loss for companies worldwide. As such, your asset and stock management reports must be reliable; otherwise, you could be haemorrhaging revenue.

Businesses that rely on paper-based documentation and spreadsheets may find that, over time, numbers become skewed, and equipment goes missing. As a result, you may have to halt projects because you don’t have the right items available or end up over-ordering on stock that your staff has miscounted.

In comparison, when you use live asset and stock management software, you can easily keep track of all your belongings, regardless of location. Plus, you can assign stock and assets directly to jobs within the system, so your technicians will never be without the correct gear.

3. Communication and Administration

When businesses rely on archaic manual methods of communication, such as phone calls, texts and paper-based documentation, they are missing out on an excellent opportunity to increase efficiency. Poor communication and administration processes often lead to confusion and could destroy your entire workflow.   

In contrast, companies that adopt digital tools to alleviate field service management challenges achieve a 45% increase in the number of jobs completed each day. With a complete job management platform, you can manage the entire end-to-end process on one system, giving your back office staff and your field engineers complete visibility over the information they need when they need it.

The system updates information in real-time, meaning your team will receive live status updates on projects and be able to send automatic, personalised communications to your customers. Then, once your technicians have completed a job, they can simply fill out all forms from their mobile devices and generate an instant invoice.

By making administration and communication methods simpler for your team, you’ll find that they’re able to make the most of each day. For example, your back-office staff can allocate resources based on accurate information, and your technicians don’t have to spend hours completing paperwork. Instead, they can move straight onto the next scheduled job.

4. Invoicing and Payment

Since the beginning of the pandemic, late payments in the UK have shot up, with a 23% increase in unpaid invoices impacting companies nationwide. Subsequently, for your business to survive in a post-COVID world, you must streamline your payments process.

Organisations that don’t receive payments by the deadline could be unable to meet operational expenses, pay vendors, take on new projects or grow their operations. Fortunately, BigChange’s invoicing and financial technology integrates directly with your accounting software to increase efficiency, reduce errors and ensure that you get paid on time. 

Additionally, the system makes all documentation paperless, meaning that engineers can send invoices directly to your customers via their mobile devices as soon as they’ve completed the work. Customers can then pay on the same day using BigChange Pay, which provides them with the speediest and most convenient payment options.

By advancing the invoicing process, reducing the margin for human error and providing your customers with straightforward payment methods, you can rest assured that your cash flow will remain consistent.

Overcome Typical Field Service Problems with 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.

Want to find out more?

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

Historically, field service businesses that want to expand have had to rely on unfamiliar subcontractors and invest money in hiring more staff to keep up with the volume of work. However, it can be tricky to maintain a smooth operation when you don’t have visibility over your workers or control over the processes they use.

Plus, with the skills shortage making it increasingly challenging to find talent, companies will need to consider other, more modern ways to grow. Luckily, technology can provide a cost-effective and convenient solution.

Read on to find out more about the BigChange Network and learn how networking with other businesses will enable you to enhance your operations.

What is the BigChange Network?

Joining BigChange means that your business can gain access to the BigChange Network, where you can connect with thousands of trusted, like-minded organisations around the country. You will have the opportunity to collaborate with each other to expand your services without the risk that usually accompanies company growth.

Since the Network is integrated with our BigChange job management software platform, you won’t have to wrap your head around another system. Instead, you can simply manage your subcontractors using the back-office technology you currently use for your own team, making for an efficient and uncomplicated workflow. 

Want to discover more? Check out this informative video.

The BigChange Network: How Technology Can Help Your Business

Here are just some of the ways the BigChange Network can benefit your organisation:

1. Straightforward Networking Opportunities

Did you know that 41% of people want to network more frequently but believe they don’t have the time? In-person networking events can take a significant chunk out of your day when you could be focusing on running your business. But, in today’s talent-short market, networking has never been so crucial.

With the BigChange Network, you won’t have to leave your office to enjoy the benefits that networking provides. Rather, you can post your organisation on the system for free and start receiving connection requests immediately. From there, you’ll have the choice to collaborate on projects with a range of different, BigChange-approved field service companies.

You can also specify the types of jobs you have available, along with the skills required, so you can rest assured that you’ll only be working with the most relevant subcontractors. 

2. Complete Visibility Over Operations

Over 75% of field service organisations currently rely on third parties to carry out work. Although reliance on subcontractors is a necessary part of scaling your operations, it comes with a whole host of potential issues. 

Whether you pin your reputation on an unfamiliar technician who does an unsatisfactory job, or you have to spend time chasing them because your customers need an update, you’ll quickly find that traditional methods of hiring subcontractors do more harm than good.

That’s where the BigChange Network comes in.

All businesses on the platform are approved BigChange members, so you can be confident that you’ll only be working with the most reputable engineers who will represent your company appropriately. Plus, you can see how each job is progressing in real-time as subcontractors can provide you with live updates straight from their mobile devices.

You’ll receive an alert as soon as the subcontractor has completed the work, ensuring that everything remains on schedule and your customers are satisfied. 

No more waiting. No more chasing.

3. Control Over Processes

81% of customers claim they need to trust a brand in order to buy products or services from them. Consequently, if you’ve spent time and effort building up your reputation in the market, it can be daunting using a third party to represent your business. 

Not only could they fail to meet your high standards, but paperwork with a different organisation’s branding on it could be confusing to your customers and potentially cause them to lose trust in your company. As a result, you’ll be spending more time resolving problems than focusing on business-critical tasks.

When you become a member of the BigChange Network, you don’t have to worry about confusing processes. You’ll be able to carry on using your preferred worksheets and procedures to ensure the subcontractor completes the job exactly as you expect. Additionally, customers will receive paperwork with your company’s branding, so they know a trusted technician has carried out the work.

You’ll also be able to invoice as usual, using agreed rates shared via the Network. As such, you’ll still benefit from the convenient, paperless processes that the BigChange job management platform provides, and your customers won’t notice any difference from your usual service.

Networking with Other Businesses is Simple when You Use BigChange

Increase your reach without high levels of capital expenditure.

The BigChange Network is a seamless way of connecting with other trusted contractors and subcontractors in our system. Experience the perks of expanding your business without worrying that unfamiliar contractors are misrepresenting your brand or carrying out unacceptable work.

Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to increase your bottom line even further by selling your services to other BigChange users around the world.

Want to find out more?

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

According to The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), UK businesses lost an eye-watering 38.8 million working days due to occupational ill health and non-fatal workplace injuries during 2019-20. However, companies could avoid a large proportion of these lost days in the future by ensuring that they manage their health and safety protocols effectively.

Fortunately, health and safety has come a long way since the days of clipboards and pens. There are now more superior ways to assess and mitigate risks, thanks to the technological advancements we’ve experienced in recent years. 

Read on to find out more about how health and safety compliance management software can aid in keeping your employees safe and benefit your business simultaneously.

Keeping Your Employees Safe with Technology: What are the Benefits?

As an employer, it is your responsibility to ensure that your employees, and anyone else who may be affected by your business, are safe from harm during working hours. However, when you rely on manual processes and paper-based documents to handle your health and safety procedures, you run the risk of occupational illnesses and injuries becoming more commonplace and, at worst, being fined for non-compliance.  

In contrast, health and safety compliance management software can simplify the entire process, reducing the potential for human error and improving worker health and safety. Here are just some of the benefits your organisation could enjoy by using technology to handle workplace hazards:

1. Less Human Error

When it comes to health and safety, human error can be the difference between life and death. With HSE recording 111 fatal workplace injuries over the course of just one year, businesses must do all they can to improve their processes and reduce the frequency of avoidable disasters.

By using health and safety compliance management software, you can significantly lower the margin for errors to occur. You will be able to manage all health and safety-related documents in the system using pre-populated, correct information. For example, you can add method statements that field engineers must complete from their mobile devices before they can begin a job. 

Promoting health and safety in the workplace via mandatory method statements reduces the likelihood that your technicians will forget vital protocols.

2. Guaranteed Compliance

In 2016, the Sentencing Council introduced harsher penalties for businesses that fail to manage health and safety risks appropriately. Consequently, the fine has skyrocketed to £150,000. Therefore, to avoid a severe financial hit, you must ensure your business manages workplace hazards compliantly.

Fortunately, keeping your employees safe needn’t be challenging or costly when you use the latest health and safety software

You can create mandatory electronic workflows and integrated mobile safety checklists, ensuring your technicians follow industry-standard protocols. Not only do these digital documents enable your workers to complete jobs compliantly, but they also have the potential to increase first-time fix rates significantly because they ensure that workers complete jobs to the highest standard.

3. Streamlined Processes and Improved Productivity

Typically, UK workers spend around two hours per day completing administration tasks. Consequently, companies are missing out on opportunities for growth since their employees are focused on manual processes instead of business-critical work.

Digitising your health and safety procedures eliminates the time-consuming paperwork and provides your team with a more streamlined workflow. Engineers can complete digital forms from their mobile devices and instantly send them through to your back-office team instead of filling out paper-based forms and hand-delivering them to the office at the end of the day.

The system automatically records all details, including any photographs the technicians take on-site, to ensure that you have an easy-to-access record of all work. As such, your employees won’t have to spend hours filing and sorting through documents and, instead, they can focus on doing what they do best.

4. Boosted Worker Morale

Research shows that companies with highly engaged employees experience 21% greater profitability, indicating that worker happiness plays a significant role in business success.

But, when your employees don’t believe that you’re prioritising their health and safety, their morale will take a nosedive. Plus, if there are lots of barriers standing in the way of your workers being able to complete jobs safely, they will have to waste time trying to resolve issues.

As a result, you’ll find that your workers take more sick days, and productivity reaches an all-time low.

With BigChange’s health and safety compliance management software, you and your employees can rest assured that suitable measures are in place to prevent workplace hazards. 

For example, field engineers can answer a questionnaire from their mobile device, which identifies risks at the customer site. The system automatically triggers an alert to your back-office staff, allowing them to take immediate action and protect the technician.

Plus, you can carry out daily electronic vehicle walk-around checks, which allow you to identify defects and potential problems. As a result, you’ll have a reliable and legal fleet on the road, and your technicians won’t have to worry about their safety as they travel to your customers.

Promoting Health and Safety in the Workplace Has Never Been Simpler with BigChange

Your people are your most important asset. 

BigChange gives you the power to keep your employees working safely and ensure their personal information is secure and up-to-date.

With our online driver behaviour analysis, risk assessments, method statements and vehicle walk-around checks, you can rest assured that health and safety are a number one priority.

Want to find out more?

Discover how our Job Management Software can make your business grow stronger, arrange a free demo today.

According to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the hospitality industry was one of the worst affected throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. As countrywide lockdowns prohibited events and forced many public locations to close their doors, catering businesses had to await further announcements and place staff on furlough, creating a sense of uncertainty.

Now we’ve entered the ‘new normal’, it’s the perfect time to grow your company. One way to obtain more clients is to win a public sector catering tender. The public sector — for example, schools, care homes, hospitals, airports and offices — regularly outsource catering services, so plenty are available.

In this article, we’ll walk you through each step of tendering for a catering contract. We’ll also share how field service management software can help you easily manage your growing business.

7 Simple Steps to Winning Catering Jobs

1. Do Your Research

Firstly, you’ll need to find a tender that’s relevant to your business. In the UK, all public tender opportunities are listed on Contracts Finder or Find a Tender, and you can search using keywords related to your services.

2. Complete the Pre-Qualification Process (PQQ)

Once you’ve selected a tender you want to apply for, you’ll need to complete the PQQ process, which involves filling out a questionnaire. The questionnaire should cover topics such as experience level, past and current clients, geographical reach, financial information and insurance details. 

The answers you provide will enable the client to shortlist the suppliers that fit their requirements. All shortlisted suppliers can then officially tender for the contract, so take some time to fill out the questionnaire in detail and research the client to improve your chances of making the cut.

3. Invitation to Tender (ITT) 

If you’re invited to tender for a contract catering job, the client will invite you to tender and should supply the following information:

  • The scope of works
  • An explanation of the tender process and instructions
  • The criteria
  • How they will assess applicants

However, the above list isn’t exhaustive, and some clients may require you to include more information. The client might also have a preference over the format of your response; for example, you may have to upload your answers via an online portal with a maximum word count.

4. Visit the Client’s Site

The client will likely invite all bidders to their site to outline their catering objectives and provide a tour of their facilities. You’ll have the chance to see the working environment and equipment and learn more about the services and standards required. Plus, you can gain more insight into the company’s culture and ethos, which could help you decide whether the client is a good fit for your business.

5. Write the Tender Document

Now you’re ready to begin writing your tender. Often, you’ll need to submit the tender in both hard copy and digital formats, and you will need to include the following:

  • Sample menus
  • Staff information
  • Method statements
  • Specific company policies
  • Description of support resources
  • Mobilisation plan
  • Service innovation
  • Supply chain information
  • What differentiates your company from the competition

Therefore, it’s worth taking some time to review all your vital company data and highlight anything that should take priority in your answers. Remember, your responses will be more authoritative if you have accurate statistics to back them up. 

With a state-of-the-art field service management platform, gathering accurate, real-time data needn’t be a headache. In fact, you’ll be able to find everything you need — from finances to staff details — in one place. 

6. Prepare for a Client Visit 

After the client has evaluated all tender documents, they will arrange a visit to your site. The purpose of the visit is to see your catering abilities in person. As such, you must focus on delivering excellent service. You should pay particular attention to your menu, food presentation, customer service and marketing materials.

The person visiting your site will typically be your main point of contact if you are successful. Consequently, you should aim to make them feel like you could have a good working relationship in the future. 

7. Presentation

The presentation is the final stage of the tendering process and is an opportunity to showcase your proposal in reality. It may seem as though you’re simply repeating what you already included in the written tender, but don’t be lulled into a false sense of security. You could lose the opportunity if you don’t go into the presentation fully armed with the correct information.

Although it’s impossible to know what the client will ask, you should know your proposal inside out, including facts and figures. Subsequently, you’ll be able to answer all questions confidently and prove to the client that you’re the best supplier for their requirements.

Field Service Management Technology Simplifies the Tendering Process

It’s no secret that catering companies have faced many difficulties in recent years. As a result, it may be tempting to forgo tendering for larger opportunities in favour of completing ‘quick win’ jobs. After all, gathering vital data to support your proposal can be time-consuming and complex.

But, in a post-COVID world, job security is essential. The best way to ensure you have a steady pipeline of work is to bid on contract catering jobs. 

Fortunately, you can streamline the tendering process by equipping yourself with the crucial data you need to impress potential clients. With a field service management platform such as BigChange, you can view details such as:

  • Who is working for you, where, and what qualifications they hold
  • Your clients and their feedback 
  • Your assets, equipment and stock
  • Payments and outstanding invoices
  • Your health and safety procedures 

You’ll eliminate the need to search through spreadsheets, paper documents and various systems for crucial information. Instead, you’ll have everything you need to write a persuasive bid, plus time left over to focus on other business-critical activities. 

Win More Catering Jobs with BigChange

All the essential information you need at the click of a button.

BigChange’s Field Service Management Software gives you a 360˚ view of every account, contact site and contract. Deliver positive customer experiences at every level thanks to an array of dynamic product features.

Want to find out more?

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

Did you know that increasing your customer retention rate by just 5% can increase profits by a colossal 25-95%? Therefore, to thrive in a post-pandemic world, companies will need to consider innovative ways to attract new business and turn one-time patrons into loyal customers.

Nevertheless, to enjoy the benefits that long-term customers bring to your business, you first need to know how to attract them. Fortunately, customer attraction and retention needn’t be challenging when you have the right technology in place to delight your customers.

In this article, we’ll explore the value of repeat customers before sharing some top tips on how to attract new clients and retain them. Plus, we’ll discuss how technology can make attraction and retention more straightforward.

What is the Value of Repeat Customers?

Often, when business leaders consider ways to grow their company, they focus on acquiring new customers. But, it costs five times as much to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one. As such, you must have a strategy in place to retain your customer base, which we will explore in more detail later in the article. 

Repeat customers are particularly valuable because they are typically:

Easier to Sell to Again:

If customers are satisfied with your services, it’s usually easier to win more business from them in the future. In reality, there is a 60-70% chance that repeat customers will use your company again. 

Likely to Spend More:

On average, repeat customers spend around 67% more than new customers, so it’s worth spending time focusing on how you will keep them engaged and coming back to your business for more.

Your Biggest Advocates:

Repeat customers commonly refer 50% more people to your company than new ones, making it one of the most cost-effective methods of marketing your business.

Before you can focus your attention on maintaining your client base, however, you need to ensure that you have enough customers in the first place. Unfortunately, customer attraction can be challenging if you don’t have the know-how or the right technology, so how do you bring in more clients?

How to Attract New Clients

Although 82% of companies agree that customer retention is cheaper than acquisition, it doesn’t mean you should ignore potential clients altogether. The larger your client base, the more customers you’re likely to retain. So, you must deliver a service that will make you stand out against your competitors.

Here are the top three ways to attract new clients to your business:

1. Have Knowledgeable Employees 

Unsurprisingly, 46% of people will abandon a brand if they’re not knowledgeable. Subsequently, you must ensure that your office and field-based employees have all the necessary information to deliver outstanding service.

Only problem is, it can be tricky to ensure that everyone is on the same page when you rely on multiple systems, paper-based documents and spreadsheets to manage your operations. Vital information can become lost, incorrectly recorded, or duplicated, making it tricky to know which is the most up-to-date version.

Fortunately, thanks to modern technology, you can equip your staff with everything they need to know in one easy-to-use platform – from appointment booking details to invoices and payments. With access to accurate, real-time data, your back-office team will always be ready to answer enquiries and provide regular job status updates for your customers. 

Most modern workforce management platforms also come with an app that your engineers can use on their mobile devices whilst at customer sites. Your engineers will never have to arrive at a job again feeling unprepared as they can access all the case management notes in seconds and ensure that they’re fulfilling all of the customers’ requirements. 

2. Provide a Great Customer Experience and an Effective Solution 

Companies that prioritise their customer experience outperform those that don’t by an astonishing 80%. In a world of instant gratification and seamless, online processes, people have come to demand more convenience when dealing with businesses, from taxi services to pizza delivery.

So, why would they expect any less from your organisation?

Fortunately, with a modern field service management system in place, your business can stay ahead of the curve and delight clients simultaneously. 

Customers can book and reschedule appointments at the touch of a button via a user-friendly self-service portal, which then alerts your back-office team. Your employees can use the booking information to schedule and dispatch a worker in minutes, based on availability, location and job type, before sending an update to your customer.

Your engineers will arrive at their customers’ locations with all the correct gear they need to complete the jobs on the same day since your back-office team can assign equipment directly to projects. Finally, the engineers can send essential documents and invoices to customers from their mobile devices for speedy online payments once the work is complete. 

By providing your clients with a straightforward experience and solving their problems quickly, you’ll find that your reputation will skyrocket, and more customers will come knocking on your door. 

To learn more about how to deliver a seamless customer experience, click here.

3. Word of Mouth

Word-of-mouth relies on using your existing customers to recruit new ones. But, it is one of the most effective forms of marketing, with 92% of customers trusting direct recommendations above all other forms of advertising. 

As we explained in the previous point, providing an excellent customer experience will make your clients more inclined to spread the word about your services to their friends, family and professional networks. Yet, you can’t rely on all your customers to advertise your business completely unprompted.

Sometimes, you have to nudge them in the right direction.  

Thankfully, using the latest CRM (customer relationship management) system, obtaining customer referrals has never been simpler. As soon as your technicians have completed the work, you can send clients a satisfaction survey at the touch of a button. 

Not only will the surveys enable you to continue tailoring your products or services to customer requirements, but they also ensure that your customers are satisfied with the work. If they are not, you will be able to address any issues early on. 

Once you’ve confirmed that your customers are satisfied, you can use your CRM system to send them company-branded emails. The CRM pulls client data into the templates to give all your communications a professional, personalised look. 

You can use the emails as an opportunity to follow up with customers and ask them to refer you to others, possibly in exchange for a small discount next time they use your services. In doing so, you’re likely to attract a host of new customers and retain your existing ones at the same time. Win-win. 

How to Retain Your Clients

Once you’ve built up a substantial customer base, you need to put in the work to retain your newly acquired clients. Fortunately, the success rate of selling again to a customer you already have is 60-70%, so you’re already at an advantage. However, some methods are more successful than others.

If you’re wondering what your current customer retention rate is, here’s a simple calculation:

  1. Determine how many customers you have at the end of a given period (e.g. a quarter)
  2. Subtract the number of new customers you acquired during that time
  3. Divide by the number of customers you had at the beginning of that period
  4. Multiply by one hundred

Not happy with the number? Read on to find out how to retain your clients and reduce your churn rate.

1. Make Your Customers Feel Valued

According to Google Econsultancy, 89% of successful businesses say anticipating customer needs and providing assistive experiences along the customer journey are critical to growth. An excellent customer experience (CX) is more likely to make your customers feel valued and want to use your business again in the future.

With a state-of-the-art CRM system in place, you can manage the customer journey end-to-end for a seamless experience. Anticipate your customers’ needs by giving them the power to book and reschedule their appointments via an online portal. Provide them with regular, real-time job status updates. Then, schedule and dispatch technicians to promptly resolve their issues.

Once the groundwork is complete, your engineers can arrive at the location on time with all the equipment they need and complete the job the first time. They can then instantly complete all the paperwork, obtain customers’ signatures and complete the payment process straight from their mobile devices. No longer will your customers have to wait several days for a paper invoice in the mail.

Instead, they’ll be impressed that you considered their needs and delivered a stellar service.

2. Maintain Consistent Communication

Communication is the key to retaining your existing customer base. In fact, top-performing companies are 50% more likely than their peers to have well-designed user journeys that facilitate clear correspondence. 

Using a modern CRM (customer relationship management) system, you can use real-time data to provide your customers with job status updates. For example, once your team has scheduled and dispatched a technician, they can automatically send a text message notification to your client via the platform, so they know what time to expect the worker to arrive. 

Plus, many modern CRMs provide company-branded templates that allow you to pull through pre-existing customer details and create personalised email communications. As a result, you can send satisfaction surveys and regular email updates to your customer base once the work is complete to keep your business at the forefront of their minds.

Routine communication not only builds trust with your customers but also boosts engagement with your services, meaning that customers who have already purchased your products or services are more likely to do so again in the future.

3. Make a Good Impression

In today’s digital world, customers expect straightforward, convenient processes. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, 70% of customers believe that speed of service matters most. Consequently, you’ll need to streamline your workflows to ensure that customers are satisfied. 

By using BigChange’s advanced job management system, you can eliminate the inefficiencies that create a slow service. For example, you can set up an easy-to-use client portal, where customers can book and reschedule appointments at the touch of a button. 

Your back-office staff can simply assign and dispatch workers to the customers’ jobs based on location, availability and skill set. 

You can also equip your field technicians with all the information they need upfront to complete the job the first time through the accompanying mobile workforce app. Then, they can instantly send paperwork to the customers from their mobile devices for a quick and straightforward payment process. 

As a result, your customers will be impressed by the rapidity of your service and satisfied with the quality of work. When they need similar services in the future, they’re more likely to use your business over your competitors. 

Experience the Value of Repeat Customers with BigChange

Some systems manage relationships. BigChange helps you master them with our market leading Job Management Software.

Our fully integrated CRM system gives you a 360˚ view of every account, contact site and contract. Deliver positive customer experiences at every level thanks to an array of dynamic product features.

Want to find out more?


Discover how BigChange can make your business grow stronger here and arrange a free demo today.

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 free demo today.

Did you know, up to 76% of customers decide to purchase from a brand based on customer experience alone? Therefore, to continue growing your customer base, you must consider how your clients will perceive your business at each stage of the buying process.

To create a superior customer experience at every buying stage, you should think about every touchpoint before, during and after a sale. Being efficient at booking, job execution, and aftercare can set you apart from your competition. 

This article will guide you on how you can build relationships, optimise your schedule, drive growth and improvement, and strengthen your customer experience on BigChange.

Delivering Great Service at First Contact

Traditionally, customers would have had to pick up the phone, use a contact form or send an email to scope out booking a job with a field service provider. However, 42% of people vastly prefer online scheduling over picking up the phone. The ”first contact” is crucial to get right, or you could miss out on business — solely because customers want to finalise their booking at their own leisure without talking to a representative.

Using a job management platform makes it easy for customers to see your availability and book jobs with you. Making the ”first contact” stage as simple and customer friendly as possible is one of the most effective strategies for creating an excellent customer experience.

A Great Customer Experience During the Booking Process

In this day and age of immediate gratification, it’s not surprising that 70% of customers have said that speed of service matters the most when dealing with a business. But, unfortunately, out-of-date legacy systems and slow manual administration processes for bookings aren’t going to cut it anymore. That’s where BigChange comes in.

Using a Self-Service Platform

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 customer appointments, you should consider adopting software that allows customer to manage their bookings online. Not only do self-service portals improve the customer experience, but you will likely see an increase in bookings because of the convenience it provides.

An added advantage of using an  online self-service portal is that it will send an immediate alert to your back-office staff. Your team can then use the information the customer provided to schedule and dispatch the most appropriate technician, based on factors like:

  • Customer location
  • Traffic information
  • Vehicle type
  • Job constraints
  • Necessary qualifications
  • Equipment needed

Gathering all the Information

In the field service world, high first-time fix rates are essential to a good customer experience. Companies with a first-time fix rate of over 70% manage to retain 86% of their customer base. If they achieve less than this, their retention rate drops by 10%. Therefore, in the early stages of the booking, it’s essential to gather as much information as possible about the job and the constraints that might be relevant so that your engineer can fix the customer’s issue the first time.

Using a job management platform like BigChange to gather information and allocate the right assets to a job means your technicians can confidently arrive for appointments with all the right tools to complete the job the first time. In addition, efficient information gathering creates a better customer experience because your engineers won’t have to return with parts or equipment that your staff may have missed in the initial stages of planning the job.

Optimised Schedule

Currently, employees believe they spend around two hours each day on pointless administration tasks. Manual administrative processes can slow the workflow internally and make for a bad customer experience if important information is missed or bookings fall through the cracks. 

With the intelligent scheduling assistant on BigChange, you can optimise your schedule and free up more time for both back-office staff and your technicians to attend additional jobs each day. 

The scheduling software can create a more streamlined calendar based on appointments, their purpose and the time they took. The system then frees up any time that had previously been unavailable for booking due to manual scheduling 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 attend more emergency appointments and act quickly on incoming customer requests.

What Customers Expect on the Day of Service

Now, the day of the appointment has arrived. Let’s look at how you can streamline the customer experience in this part of their journey.

Ensuring Parts and Equipment are Available

According to a report, a staggering 43% of small businesses fail to track their assets and inventory effectively. Using manual or paper methods for asset tracking opens your company to many risks caused by human error. 

Engineers could inadvertently take spare items or writing on forms can be ineligible, and such mistakes can mean things can go missing easily and replacements can be costly. Not to mention that a lack of necessary items lead to slow response times for a customer while you get parts or tools back in stock.

Instead, you can digitise your asset management. BigChange allows you to create a detailed register of equipment and parts, and you can track the movements of items using serial numbers, barcodes or QR codes. Your technicians can then check inventory in and out directly from their mobile devices, and you will have better visibility over your valuable equipment. Doing so means your customer will never suffer a wait for parts or tools that were an oversight in the planning process.

Identifying the Quickest Routes

Using software to manage your people allows you to match the right person to the right job quicker than ever. For example, you might have a technician in a nearby location, but traffic could cause them to take longer to arrive than another available person. These scenarios are where software can help streamline the customers’ experience. BigChange can identify the quickest routes for your field service workforce and match the best person for the job based on time and travel.

Notification Features with Geolocation

On the day of an appointment, there is nothing worse for a customer than waiting at home all day because they were given a vague timeslot. Therefore, providing your clients with transparency about the job status and their technicians’ locations is essential. 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 get notifications about their appointment status and see the precise live location of their technician via the geolocation vehicle tracking feature. Never again will your customers feel like they’re left in the dark about the status of a job.

Excellent After-Appointment Care

Brands with superior customer experience bring in 5.7 times more revenue than competitors that don’t focus on their clients’ needs. 

It’s no secret that customers who are satisfied with the service they received will be more willing to purchase your service or product again. Plus, people who have a favourable view of your business are more likely to spread the word to their social circle, family and professional network, providing you with a new audience that could potentially turn into sales. So, how do you improve the after-appointment experience?

Follow-up Appointments

We’ve seen how using online scheduling software that allows your customers to manage bookings on their own is one step towards creating an excellent customer experience. 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. So, not only have you saved your customer time and stress, but the software makes for less administrative work for your office staff simultaneously.

The software still has features that allow you or your customer to create an automatic follow-up job if the customer requires more, unexpected work, in future. Fortunately, the new appointment for the additional work will also link to any previous jobs. Thus, all the relevant job history is readily available for the customer or engineer working on it.

Easy Payments

For the average small-to-mid-sized company, it takes approximately 25 days to process an invoice manually from receipt to payment. As a result, businesses have to deal with overdue payments, processing costs and employees wasting time on drawn-out manual methods. However, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software with integrated payment gateways can speed up the payment process. 

Integrated payment solutions allow you to automatically send your customer an invoice via the CRM — where all your other documents are stored — and receive the funds instantly. So once the job is complete, your customers won’t have to wait for several days to receive an invoice as they have in the past. 

Instead, your technicians can fill out all the necessary paperwork directly on their mobile devices and send the invoice across immediately. Customers can then view the invoice and pay online the same day, making it more convenient for the customer, and better for your cash flow.

Better Security

79% of customers say they are concerned about how companies use their data. However, unlike spreadsheets and manual paperwork, CRM systems allow you to carry out GDPR-compliant management of individuals’ data. For instance, customers can edit their contact preferences, opt-in or out to marketing, which gives them more control over what you do with their information.

Plus, many advanced CRMs include robust security features. BigChange’s system secures all data in AWS (Amazon Web Services), the world’s most comprehensive and widely-adopted cloud platform. Your customers can then have peace of mind that their data is safe during their experience working with you, and beyond.

Asking for Customer Feedback

Though your interaction with the customer is almost over, it’s essential to understand what you could have done better. In fact, 77% of customers say they view companies more favourably if they seek out and apply customer feedback. 

However, when using multiple systems, spreadsheets and physical documents to manage your operations, it can be tricky to collate customers’ opinions, much less do anything useful with the information.

That’s where CRM systems come in.

As soon as your technicians have completed their jobs and marked them as complete from their mobile devices, you can automatically send digital satisfaction surveys to your customers to ensure that they’re happy with the work you completed and their overall experience with your company.

Improving Your Operation

Once you’ve gathered your satisfaction surveys, the BigChange CRM automatically stores all interactions. You can then easily access survey results in the future and use them to adjust your services based on customer feedback about the previous stages of their purchase journey.

Using software like BigChange’s field service management system eliminates many tiresome and time-consuming processes throughout the customer journey. The technology can free up your staff time to focus on more business-critical tasks to make your customer experience the best it can be at every stage of their journey with you.

Deliver Excellent Field Service Customer Experiences Effortlessly, on BigChange

Manage your entire operation on a single platform. 

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.

Our fully integrated CRM system gives you a 360˚ view of every account, contact site and contract. Deliver positive customer experiences at every level thanks to an array of dynamic product features.

Want to find out more?

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

On average, employees waste around 26% of each day on burdensome administrative chores and outdated ways of working. Consequently, field service businesses are losing out on opportunities to improve their customer experience, complete more work, boost their bottom line and grow their company.

That’s where BigChange comes in. 

Martin Port, Founder and Chairman at BigChange, commented:

“I founded BigChange in 2013 to liberate businesses of all sizes from inefficient, manual processes. With our innovative platform, we have democratised the industry, creating a simple, scalable platform that lets any business manage its whole operation all the way from quotation to invoice on a mobile or tablet.”


Read on to learn more about BigChange’s field service management software and how it can help grow your business.

How BigChange’s Field Service Management Software Can Benefit Your Business

BigChange is a field service management platform that enables you to handle all aspects of running a field service business in one place. Modernise your ways of working and experience the following benefits when you deploy our system:

1. Advanced Back Office and CRM Processes

Research shows that 52% of field service businesses still rely on manual methods to keep their operations running. Although tried and tested processes may eventually get the job done, they’re terribly inefficient and could cause several problems, including:

Dissatisfied Customers

61.5% of marketing professionals agree that poor customer experience (CX) leads to a loss in clientele. Modern customers are used to straightforward, digital experiences, and they expect the same from your company, so you must consider ways to make your processes meet their standards. 

Unfortunately, sluggish, manual workflows aren’t going to cut it in today’s world of instant gratification, and businesses that don’t stay ahead of the curve run the risk of becoming obsolete.

However, with BigChange’s fully integrated CRM, customers can easily book and reschedule appointments via an online portal. You can then instantly log all interactions with each client for simple case management and create templates for automated communication, which keeps your customers in the loop. 

Plus, you can digitise all your paperwork, meaning that your field technicians can immediately send forms to your back office once they have completed a job. Customers won’t have to wait several days to sign documents as they’ll be able to sign straight away from their mobile device and receive an invoice the same day. 

Demotivated Workers

Did you know that happier employees are up to 20% more productive than unhappy ones? Therefore, to get the most out of your people, you must ensure that their work is fulfilling and exciting. 

Teams that have to carry out laborious, repetitive tasks will become dissatisfied, leading to lowered productivity, poor communication with field engineers, more errors and, in some cases, resignations. 

Instead, when you arm your back-office employees with BigChange’s state-of-the-art field service management software, you eliminate several monotonous administration tasks and free up your team’s time to focus on business-critical projects. 

Irregular Cash Flow

Typically, it takes 11 hours for an AR (accounts receivable) team to manually process an invoice. Your customer then has to wait several more days to receive the invoice in the mail before they can write a cheque and mail it back to you, provided there are no errors that could inadvertently stall the process further.

Since manual processes are slow and inherently error-prone, they often lead to late payments, which can be detrimental to field service businesses. A poor cash flow may prevent you from taking on new projects, meeting operational expenses, maintaining supplier relationships, and growing your business.

In contrast, BigChange’s CRM software significantly reduces the risk of human error by making the entire invoicing process digital. You can produce all documents directly in the system using pre-populated customer data to ensure the information is correct.

According to Helen Carrison, Company Secretary at Kingston Cleaning Solutions:

BigChange is the perfect CRM solution. We don’t need delivery notes anymore, which saves us time and money. Now, customers can sign off jobs on the BigChange computer, and we can invoice straight away.”

2. Superior Job Scheduling

With so many organisations depending on outmoded processes to maintain their job schedule, it’s easy to see how scheduling and dispatching difficulties present one of the top challenges for field service businesses.

When you don’t have complete visibility over who is working for you, where they’re working and when, it can be tricky to ensure the right resource is always in the right place. 

But, with BigChange, scheduling issues can be a thing of the past. Our smart scheduling software enables you to do the following:

  • Account for location, traffic information, job constraints and vehicle type
  • Optimise technicians’ routes to reduce time spent on the roads and lower costs
  • Create rules for unscheduled jobs and automatically allocate them to custom categories
  • Produce custom pricing models for each job type, with customer-specific prices and rate tables
  • Check parts, equipment and stock availability in multiple locations and assign them to jobs
  • Design step-by-step workflows that mandate work against your standard processes
  • Create and share electronic certificates, reports and job cards instantly

As a result, you’ll be able to improve communication, boost first-time fix rates, complete more jobs per day, and offer better service to your customers, all of which help grow your business.

According to David Robbie, Managing Director at McDougall:

“BigChange has fundamentally impacted the way we operate. By automating job scheduling and routing, we have increased the number of jobs we can do with the same resources. Productivity has been boosted by 17 per cent.”

3. Real-Time Vehicle and Asset Tracking

Shockingly, 43% of businesses cannot track their inventory and assets effectively because they still use traditional methods such as paper-based tracking sheets.

Although, in theory, it may make sense to ask your technicians to sign equipment and assets in and out, it doesn’t work in practice. Whether the engineers’ writing is illegible, they forget to sign the sheets, or they accidentally take too many items and store them in their van for future projects, numbers will soon become skewed.

At worst, inconsistent numbers could eventually halt your projects because you may not have the right equipment available, despite your tracker showing that you do. You may also end up ordering replacement items needlessly, putting a dent in your profits.

BigChange’s real-time vehicle and asset tracker is designed to prevent inconsistencies and give you visibility over your assets, regardless of location. Also, with the system updating in real-time, you can track the location of all your vehicles and assets on the road to allocate resources rapidly throughout the ever-changing workday. 

Marty Collins, Office Manager at CMT Wood Flooring, commented:

“With BigChange’s software, we now have complete visibility, enhanced productivity, better customer service and improved driver behaviour. It’s also helped resolve disputes regarding times and locations.”

4. Easy-To-Use Mobile Workforce App

Although field technicians are off-site for most of the day, mobile technology is still not standard in field service businesses. However, 80% of field service technicians say that mobile technology is critical to increasing their efficiency and effectiveness at helping customers.

With BigChange’s mobile workforce app for iOS and Android, you and your technicians will have access to all the necessary information in one place. Furthermore, you can manage the entire end-to-end process, from appointment booking to invoicing, in the palm of your hand.

The app synchronises new jobs, completed jobs and those in progress between technicians’ mobile devices and your back office in real-time. Subsequently, your team can send job cards and certificates directly to your customers as soon as work is complete. 

Not only can the app free up more time for your technicians to focus on doing an outstanding job, but your customers will appreciate the more rapid service and excellent communication.

5. Revolutionary Collaboration Network

Historically, field service businesses that want to grow have had to hire more staff to keep up with increasing workloads. But, with the skills shortage presenting a threat to the industry, companies will need to think of other, innovative ways to expand without needing to take on more people or rely on unfamiliar subcontractors who are difficult and costly to manage.

Fortunately, with technology, the possibilities for business growth are endless.

BigChange’s Network is a seamless way of connecting with other trusted contractors and subcontractors in the system. You can collaborate with them to expand your services and increase your reach without high levels of capital expenditure.

Here are some of the benefits you can enjoy by using the BigChange Network:

Free Business Listing

Post your business on the system and start receiving networking requests immediately. You’ll have the choice to work with a range of different companies.

Robust Security and Privacy

All information on the Network is entirely secure as we use the latest cloud-based technology.

Real-Time Progress Updates

You’ll be able to see how the job is progressing as contractors and subcontractors can provide live updates from their mobile devices.

Instant Alerting

Your contractor will receive an alert as soon as the subcontractor has completed the work, improving communication and ensuring everything remains on schedule.

Superior Processes

You can continue to use your own preferred worksheets so you can rest assured the subcontractor completes the job to your high standards.

Define the Job Types You Want

You’ll be able to share the types of jobs you want, along with the skills required to complete them.

A Straightforward Experience

Customers will still receive paperwork with the original company’s branding on it, but you can invoice as normal, so there’s no disruption on either end.

Agreed Rates

The system uses agreed rates shared via our Network to calculate the invoice, meaning you’ll never be out of pocket.

Above all, by meeting virtually every month with other members to network and form partnerships, you’ll feel inspired and have practical ideas on how to drive your business growth further.

Grow Your Field Service Business with 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.

Want to find out more?

Discover how BigChange’s complete job management platform can make your business grow stronger here and arrange a free demo today.

When your team is working across various customer sites, it can be tricky to maintain visibility over who is working, where and when. The fact that 52% of field service businesses continue to rely on outdated legacy systems and manual administration methods only adds to the dilemma further.

When you’re unable to properly manage your field service engineers, it directly affects the service you provide to your customers. Unfortunately, with everyone’s lives being so busy, your customers won’t appreciate having to wait for late technicians, needing more than one appointment to fix their issue or spending hours chasing down your back-office team for updates.

However, thanks to modern field service management technology, effectively managing your field technicians is more straightforward than ever before. With access to real-time data and visibility over your entire operations, you can rest assured that your field service engineers are doing an outstanding job and that your customers are satisfied.

In this article, we’ll explore what field service management is before sharing the top five ways businesses can effectively oversee their field-based workers using modern workforce management technology. 

What is Field Service Management?

To put it simply, field service management (FSM) is a method of organising and enhancing work performed outside of the office. But, as we mentioned earlier, the majority of businesses rely on antiquated, error-prone manual processes to manage their workflow.

Unfortunately, traditional methods of handling your field technicians are time-consuming and ineffective. Not to mention that they can cause a host of issues, including poor first-time fix rates, delays and booking clashes, and workplace-related injuries.

In contrast, field service management technology has the potential to completely revolutionise the industry, giving managers more control and visibility over their entire operations than ever before. Consequently, you’ll be able to improve productivity, provide better service to your customers and boost your bottom line.

The best field service platforms come with an app that arms your field-based workers with all the essential information they need, regardless of location. With such a powerful tool at their fingertips, your technicians will have the ability to do the following:

  • Log expenses in seconds
  • Capture photos and signatures
  • View available stock, parts and equipment
  • Complete risk assessments and view method statements
  • Access the CRM (customer relationship management) system
  • Carry out electronic vehicle walkaround checks
  • Fill out and submit timesheets
  • Communicate with your back-office staff in real-time

Providing your field technicians with the best technology not only ensures that they can complete each job to the highest standard, but you’ll have a better understanding of what is happening off-site. You can then use the real-time data that the FSM technology captures to make crucial business decisions that enable you to grow your operations more rapidly.

How Can Modern Technology Help Manage Field Service Engineers?

If the COVID-19 outbreak has taught us anything, it’s that technology has the power to transform the way businesses operate. In fact, companies that adopt technology report a higher rate of recovering from pandemic-related economic challenges.

In addition to the overall advantages to your organisation, technology can also help you manage your field-based workforce more effectively. Here are the top five ways that your business could benefit from implementing a field service management platform:

1. Create a More Effective Job Schedule

Currently, 25% of field service businesses rely on spreadsheets for job management. The remainder use whiteboards and other unreliable manual methods. As such, it’s no surprise that job scheduling presents a significant challenge to many organisations.

Let’s imagine that a customer has requested a plumber to fix their shower on Thursday at 10:00am. They schedule an appointment with one of your employees, who assigns Dev to the job. 

At the same time, another team member is also making a booking for a customer on Thursday at 10:00am. They can see that the customer is based in Wakefield. Dev’s 9:00am appointment on Thursday is in Wakefield, so it makes sense to assign him to this job straight after.

Both employees add the bookings to the spreadsheet, not realising that there’s a scheduling issue. Unfortunately, on Thursday, Dev finishes his 9:00am booking and realises that he somehow has to be in two places at once. 

Now you face the dilemma of either letting one of your customers down or trying to find another plumber nearby who can attend one of the appointments at the last minute. Not ideal.

Luckily, job scheduling issues can become a thing of the past with modern field service management technology. With access to real-time data and an intelligent scheduling assistant, your team can assign technicians to jobs based on location, availability, traffic information, job constraints and vehicle type.

Therefore, you can rest assured that you’ll have the right resource in the right place. Every time.

2. Provide Real-Time Connectivity

Data from MarketsandMarkets estimates that the global field service management market will more than double in size between 2019 and 2024. One of the primary reasons for such rapid growth is the increasing demand for mobility solutions that support real-time visibility into field service operations. 

In a world where technology can provide real-time connectivity, it doesn’t make good business sense to continue banking on phone calls and texts from technicians every time you or your customers need an update. Second-hand information is slow and unreliable, leading to a range of potentially costly issues further down the line.

Modern field service management solutions, such as BigChange, allow you to view your entire operations at the touch of a button and keep everyone in the loop simultaneously.

For example, once your team has scheduled and dispatched engineers, they can send instant messages to your customers, which provides an estimated arrival time. In the meantime, you can see exactly where your technicians are using geolocation vehicle tracking so you can ensure that everyone is on schedule.

Once your technicians are on-site, they can complete pre-determined workflows from their mobile devices, which guarantees that they’re carrying out their projects to your high standards. Finally, once the work is finished, they can again use their mobile devices to send essential documents and invoices to the back-office team and customers before marking the job as complete.

It’s never been simpler to stay connected with your field-based workers. 

3. Promote Efficiency and Productivity

Did you know that around 75% of field service businesses that adopt mobility tools have enjoyed increased employee productivity?

Whilst traditional methods of managing your workflow may get the job done eventually, they are slow, leave a significant margin for error, and are unfit to deal with modern customer expectations. 

If your workers often have to arrive at jobs without the information they need to hand, or the information is consistently incorrect, their morale will take a nosedive, and they won’t be as productive.

Contrastingly, when you use state-of-the-art field service management software that includes an integrated mobile app, you can provide your technicians with everything they need to know in the palm of their hands. With the ability to access vital information in seconds, your technicians can complete their jobs more promptly and efficiently.

Plus, using the intelligent job scheduling feature, your back-office team can organise each field service engineer’s working day in a way that optimises their time. Instead of spending several hours travelling between customers, you can dramatically decrease the amount of time spent on the road by assigning work to your technicians based on proximity and traffic information.

4. Increase First-Time Fix Rates

According to 54% of field technicians, not having access to pre-work site data is the industry’s biggest bottleneck. Suppose you expect your field engineers to attend a job without giving them all the information upfront. In that case, it becomes much harder for them to do an adequate job and will likely mean that they’ll need to revisit the customer later to complete the work.

On the contrary, when your engineers can access a field service management platform directly from their mobile devices, they can view the most up-to-date case files and ensure that they gain a strong understanding of the customers’ requirements before starting the work.

Plus, your back-office staff will have already used the real-time data the system provides to assign the right stock and equipment to each project, meaning your technicians will never arrive with the wrong gear.

With the proper knowledge and equipment in place, your field technicians won’t have to worry about finding a workaround, wasting time going back and forth with your back-office team, or scheduling another appointment with your customers. Instead, they can focus on doing what they do best.

5. Improve Health and Safety

Research from The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) shows that UK businesses lost a staggering 38.8 million working days due to non-fatal workplace injuries and occupational ill health during 2019-20. Aside from inconveniencing businesses and employees alike, poor health and safety measures can also cause severe reputational and financial damage.

The good news is, by using a field service management system, injuries and illnesses can – for the most part – be avoided. For example, before beginning any job, your field engineers can view method statements and complete risk assessments to ensure that they’re operating compliantly.

When required, technicians will need to obtain sign-off on the documents, which are completed on their mobile devices, before they can begin any work. 

Furthermore, if a field engineer deems the environment unsafe or believes a hazard could jeopardise the job, they can immediately alert your back-office team. Your employees can then communicate directly with the field technician to mitigate any risks and get the work back on track without compromising anyone’s health or safety.

However, for technicians working on the field, customers’ sites are not the only place where workplace injuries can happen. A large portion of their day is spent on the road, so you must also consider ways to keep workers safe as they travel between projects.

With a field service management platform like BigChange, you can use the geolocation vehicle tracking feature to assess your technicians’ driving. Your drivers will then receive a score that you can track over time, meaning you can reward safe behaviour and provide additional training for those who take more risks on the road.  

Manage Your Field Technicians More Efficiently with 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.

Want to find out more?

Discover how our market leading Field Service Management Software can make your business grow stronger here and arrange a free demo today.

As a field service business leader, it’s your responsibility to ensure that your workers are safe and that your operations are compliant. Failure to meet compliance laws and regulations, such as the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, could put your business at risk of severe operational, financial and reputational damage. 

However, it can be tricky to maintain strict compliance when you don’t have the right tools or complete visibility over your operations. 

Thankfully, there are plenty of ways that you can use modern technology to run your organisation compliantly. Read on to learn how to improve compliance within your field service operations using BigChange’s job management software.

How to Improve Compliance: Four Top Tips

Running your field service operations compliantly doesn’t have to be a headache. With the right solution in place, you and your employees can maintain accurate records, carry out work according to rules and regulations, and protect customer data all on one platform.  

Here are just some of the ways you can improve compliance using state-of-the-art workforce management software:

1. Complete a Risk Assessment

Not only will a risk assessment help you to identify any potential hazards in the workplace, but it’s also a legal requirement to document it if you employ five or more people.

There are several pieces of information you must note when carrying out a risk assessment:

  • Which hazards the assessor identified
  • The persons or groups that could be affected
  • The methods your organisation put in place to mitigate risks
  • Who is monitoring the preventative measures
  • Who carried out the assessment
  • The date of the assessment

You must also show that you’ve taken measures to mitigate risks that comply with the Health and Safety at Work Act and associated regulations.

Historically, field service businesses have relied on humble clipboards and pens to conduct their risk assessments. But, traditional manual methods of detailing workplace hazards are inefficient and challenging to keep a record of for future reference. 

Instead, when using a field service management system with built-in health & safety features, you can keep a digital record of all risk assessments for easy access. Plus, you can use your findings to create method statements in the system, which all engineers will have access to, ensuring that they carry out all work safely and compliantly.

For guidance on how to carry out a risk assessment, click here.

2. Enhance Your Communication Methods

When it comes to health and safety compliance, communication is critical. Engaged employees are five times less likely to have a safety incident than non-engaged employees. Therefore, you should ensure that every member of your team has access to essential information.

BigChange’s field service software for iOS and Android provides your engineers with everything they need to know in the palm of their hands. Then, once your workers have completed a job, they can fill out all the necessary paperwork from their mobile device and send it straight back to the office in real-time.

You can set mandatory fields in each document to ensure that your technicians are carrying out work compliantly. For example, you can require your workers to attach photos of their completed projects or obtain customers’ signatures. 

As a result of improving communication between technicians and back-office staff and providing necessary information upfront, you’ll find that your workers can operate more compliantly. Additionally, by streamlining your processes, your workers can maximise their time to complete more jobs per day.

3. Create Mandatory Workflows for Field Technicians

Not only can intelligent, digital workflow automation increase productivity by 20%, but it also ensures that your technicians are working compliantly. 

With the BigChange job management software, you set your own workflows in the system that technicians must follow. The workflows prevent your engineers from carrying out any work until they’ve electronically confirmed that they have followed all your health and safety protocols beforehand.

The system also allows you to create multiple vehicle-specific or role-specific safety checks. Your team will also have access to all previous tests, enabling them to view outstanding defects and fix or reconcile issues directly from the app. 

4. Manage Confidential Customer Information Digitally

Keeping records is an essential part of running a business. However, when all your documentation is paper-based, you have to find somewhere to store it and potentially hire staff to manage the filing system. Not to mention that you run the risk of breaching GDPR (general data protection regulation) if you don’t manage customer information correctly.

In contrast, BigChange’s CRM system enables you to carry out GDPR compliant management of individuals’ data and give your customers opt-in preferences, so they have peace of mind that your team has recorded their information with their consent. 

Most importantly, our software is cloud-based, meaning that all information is highly protected. Consequently, you and your customers can rest assured that all confidential information will remain that way.

Guarantee that Your Field Service Operations are Compliant with BigChange

Your people are your most important asset. 

Using our leading Field Service Management Software will give you the power to keep your employees working safely and ensure their personal information is secure and up-to-date.

With our online driver behaviour analysis, risk assessments, method statements and vehicle walkaround checks, you can rest assured that health and safety are a number one priority.

Want to find out more?

Discover how the BigChange complete Job Management Platform can make your business grow stronger here and arrange a free demo today.

During the height of the Coronavirus outbreak, 78% of all field service organisations completely stopped deploying technicians to customer sites because of health and safety-related issues. 

Understandably, companies are now eager to return to business-as-usual to prevent any further disruption to their operations. Nevertheless, despite official government restrictions easing significantly, COVID remains a severe public health risk. 

Therefore, businesses will need to consider ways to deliver a great customer experience whilst ensuring clients and technicians feel safe during these uncertain times. Failure to do so could be detrimental to organisations that took a financial hit in 2020. 

Thankfully, with the latest field service management software in place, it’s possible to transform your ways of working to impress customers during the pandemic and beyond. 

Read on to find out more. 

How to Deliver a Great Customer Experience During and After the Pandemic

The COVID-19 virus has impacted how field service businesses operate over the last year. However, if the pandemic taught us anything, it’s that technology has the power to revolutionise industries and help overcome a range of challenges. 

Fortunately, many of the technological advancements that field service organisations put in place to deal with the crisis have the potential to continue benefiting your business post-pandemic.

Here are some of the ways you can deliver a great customer experience during COVID and beyond:

1. Clear Communication with Customers

68% of people say it increases their perception of a brand when companies send them proactive customer service notifications. Unfortunately, it can be tricky to provide your customers with job status updates if you don’t have access to all the real-time information you need.

Instead, when using a state-of-the-art workforce management system, you can use the live data it collects to see where your technicians are and send your customers automated messages.

Your customers can then ensure that they have time to prepare for the appointment, which is especially important if they need or want to put COVID health and safety measures in place. 

Good communication not only creates a safer experience for your customers and technicians but also demonstrates a high level of professionalism that clients will welcome long after the pandemic. 

2. Improve First-Time Fix Rates

Did you know, organisations that have a first-time fix rate of over 70% boast an 86% customer retention rate?

Aside from the benefits a high first-time fix rate provides your business, it also limits the amount of contact your technicians and customers need to make during the pandemic.

By empowering your team with the software they need to assign the right technicians and equipment to jobs, the likelihood of requiring a second visit plummets. Technicians will be able to arrive at the job on time, with the right equipment and have all the information they need to hand to complete the work on the same day.

Whilst it’s essential to reduce contact with customers whilst COVID still presents a health risk, reducing the frequency of multiple visits is more convenient for the customer in general. Consequently, businesses that continue to use workforce management software to streamline and enhance their operations stand a better chance of thriving in a post-pandemic world.

3. Offer Flexibility

Many of today’s customers don’t want the inconvenience of sitting on the phone to book or reschedule appointments. In fact, 42% of people across all ages prefer to book online. 

Straightforward appointment booking and rescheduling processes have never been more essential than during the pandemic, which constantly disrupts plans. As a result, companies have had to learn how to become more flexible than ever before.

Thankfully, with modern workforce management technology, flexibility doesn’t mean you have to bend over backwards to deliver a great customer experience.

Your customers will simply log into an easy-to-use portal where they can pick an appointment that suits them or reschedule when necessary. Plus, your back-office staff won’t have to worry about the headache of additional admin or paperwork because the system will handle the scheduling.

The smart scheduling assistant enables your team to allocate and reallocate resources at the touch of a button based on location, traffic information, job constraints and vehicle type. With access to the most accurate real-time data, you can rest assured that you’ll always have the right resource in the right place. Every time.

Again, your customers will appreciate a high level of flexibility long after COVID, so it’s worth investing in a platform that can handle the unpredictability of job scheduling to continue delivering a great service. 

4. Be Respectful of Customers’ Wishes

Remember, although COVID safety measures aren’t as strict as they were at the height of the pandemic, many people still don’t feel comfortable returning to ‘normal’. For example, a recent BBC study showed that 40% of Britons want to keep wearing masks in shops and on public transport permanently.

Subsequently, you must be respectful of your customers’ health and safety wishes — continuing to wear a mask and sanitising your hands if required, for instance. With field service management software such as BigChange, you can take COVID prevention measures one step further. 

BigChange’s platform offers a ‘no touch’ app, where customers can sign paperwork directly from their mobile devices instead of needing to use the technicians’. Once the documents and invoices are ready, customers can also make instant, online payments, eliminating the need for paperwork and physical cheques.

Many customers will enjoy the convenience and simplicity that contactless features offer, even once the pandemic is a distant memory.  

Deliver a Great Customer Experience with BigChange

Some systems manage relationships. BigChange helps you master them.

Our fully integrated CRM system gives you a 360˚ view of every account, contact site and contract. Deliver positive customer experiences at every level thanks to an array of dynamic product features.

Want to find out more?
Discover how BigChange can make your business grow stronger, arrange a free demo today.

Since summer 2021, UK ministers have confirmed that consumers have the right to repair any goods they buy. The new law is designed to cut down on energy and reduce the need for new materials. As a result, manufacturers will be legally obligated to make spare parts available to product owners for the first time.

But, whilst the new law may be positive news for consumers countrywide, how will it affect plumbing companies?

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the new law and explain what it means for plumbers. Plus, we’ll share how you can deliver an outstanding service that will make customers want to hire a professional plumber rather than attempt DIY fixes.

Will People Still Hire a Professional Plumber for Fixes?

According to a YouGov survey, 60% of Britons feel most confident fixing wooden furniture out of all home items and appliances. However, with plumbing being a highly skilled trade requiring qualifications to practice professionally, does the general public feel as safe repairing more dangerous household appliances?

Let’s take a look at some of the most common items you would find in the average home:

Bathroom Appliances

When it comes to carrying out fixes in the bathroom, the public’s opinion is divided. Only 41% of people would try to repair the toilet themselves, but around 7% have had a negative experience doing so and would hire a professional plumber instead next time. Those who have been put off attempting a repair again in the future join the 59% of people who wouldn’t fix the toilet themselves, so there is undoubtedly still a significant demand for plumbers.

Although toilets and taps are considered more straightforward fixes for the average homeowner, only 16% of people indicated that they would feel comfortable mending an electric shower. So, whilst manufacturers must make parts available to consumers, there’s a good chance they will still want a professional to carry out the repair.

Kitchen Appliances

You’ll be able to find most of the appliances covered in the ‘right to repair’ law in the kitchen. Yet, YouGov data suggests that not many people are comfortable taking advantage of the scheme and attempting to restore broken items. Out of all kitchen appliances, people feel most comfortable repairing their washing machines, but that only covers a meagre 22% of the population.

For fridges and freezers, the percentage drops even lower to just 13%. But, cookers are by far the most unpopular item to repair, with only 9% of people claiming that they would try to mend them.

Other Household Appliances

Did you know, 77% of the UK’s population uses a gas boiler to heat their homes, making it the most popular method? Still, only a quarter of people would be happy to repair a radiator, and just 8% would tackle a problem with their boiler. 

The good news for plumbers is that it is often much more cost-effective and efficient to carry out repairs instead of simply replacing the boiler altogether. As a result, you can still expect many bookings, especially during the winter months.

Tap into Your Plumbing Business’ Full Potential with Field Service Management Software

Climate change is a serious issue, with electronic waste having risen by 21% over five years to a total of 53.6 million metric tonnes. Therefore, the ‘right to repair’ law is a good move, environmentally speaking. Plus, it seems that consumers’ newfound access to spare parts hasn’t affected their willingness to attempt DIY repairs. Nevertheless, plumbers will still need to ensure that they deliver outstanding services to maintain a reliable stream of customers.

Luckily, with field service management software like BigChange in place, you can impress your clients at all stages of the buyer journey. Customers can easily make and amend bookings using our online portal, meaning they won’t have to wait on the phone to speak to a representative.

Then, you can immediately assign and dispatch a plumber based on location, qualifications and vehicle type, meaning the best person for the job will attend and fix the issue the first time. In the meantime, you’ll be able to keep your customers in the loop by sending them an automated email update that includes a live GPS tracking link and an estimated time of arrival. As such, your customers won’t have to wait at home all day for their plumbers to arrive.

Once the work is complete, plumbers can complete essential documents and send invoices directly from their mobile devices. Customers can then pay the invoice the same day using a range of convenient payment methods.

Finally, you can keep client engagement high post-job by sending out a customer satisfaction survey to make them feel valued. Additionally, the survey gives you the vital data you need to make continuous improvements to your business and persuade people to use your business instead of attempting DIY fixes.

Manage Your Bookings at the Click of a Button with BigChange

Plan, manage, schedule and track your field-based workforce. 

BigChange gives you the power and freedom to manage the key parts of your business from a single platform. Seamlessly connect your office, field-based workers and customers using our state-of-the-art field service management technology.

Want to find out more?
Discover how BigChange can make your business grow stronger, arrange a free demo today.

As more experienced and seasoned field service technicians approach retirement age in the UK, the ageing workforce threatens to severely impact around 70% of organisations within the next five to ten years. So, with a shortage of younger people to fill the empty roles, field service businesses will need to look to the EU to find the talent they need. 

However, since Free Movement ended on 31 December 2020, the government now requires anyone coming into the UK to prove their eligibility to work via a points-based system. 

In this article, we’ll break down the steps and explain how you can hire EU nationals in the UK post-Brexit. Plus, we’ll share how field service management technology helps you manage your entire workforce. 

How to Hire Candidates from the EU

1. Check that You Can Legally Hire from the EU

There are many positives to adopting field service technology to man

Before you can begin hiring European nationals, you must first check that your business is eligible. If you were already a licensed Tier 2 or Tier 5 sponsor on 30 November 2020, your licence would have automatically been transferred to the new system.

However, if you don’t already have a sponsor license, you must apply for one. Remember, although a license is a legal requirement, it does not automatically guarantee that your candidate will get a visa to work for you in the UK.

Certain groups do not require you to obtain a sponsor license:

  • Irish citizens
  • People with indefinite leave to remain in the UK 
  • People with settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme

Ensuring that your business is eligible to hire from the EU before you attempt to hire will make the process much smoother. Once you have a license, you can start hiring people from outside the UK.

2. Ensure the People You Want to Hire Meet the Requirements

There are two main routes that a worker can take to enter the UK, which we will explore below. For both routes, there are certain requirements that the candidate must meet:

1. Skilled Workers

To hire someone outside the UK as a skilled worker, they will need to demonstrate the following:

  • They have a job offer from you — a Home Office licensed sponsor
  • They speak English at the required level (B1)
  • The job offer you have provided them with is at the level of skill needed of RQF3 or above (equivalent to A level)
  • Their salary will be at least £25,600 or the standard rate for the job offer, whichever is higher
2. Intra-Company Transfers

If you want to transfer an employee from an overseas part of your organisation to work for you in the UK, they can apply for an Intra-Company Transfer. Those who are transferring will need to:

  • Be existing workers who will undertake roles that meet the skills and salary thresholds
  • Receive sponsorship as an Inter-Company Transfer by you — a Home Office licensed sponsor
  • Have at least 12 months’ experience working for an overseas company linked by ownership to the business they’ll work for in the UK
  • Accept a role at the required skill level of RQF6 or above (equivalent to graduate level)
  • Earn a salary of at least £41,500 or the standard rate for the job, whichever is higher

It’s worth noting that Intra-Company Transfers are temporary. People can be assigned to work in the UK multiple times, but they aren’t permitted to stay for more than five years across a six-year period. 
Different rules apply for graduate trainees or anyone paid over £73,900, which you can learn more about here.

How to Carry out a ‘Right-to-Work’ Check

As an employer, you will need to check that job applicants have the right to work in the UK before you hire them; otherwise, you risk being liable for a civil penalty. Workers will need to meet a minimum of 70 points to be eligible. 

There are two types of ‘right-to-work’ checks: manual and online.

  • Manual: You can use a manual check on UK and Irish citizens who may use their passports as proof of eligibility. You will also need to complete a manual check for anyone who doesn’t have an online immigration status, for example, eVisa.
  • Online: An online check applies to individuals who only hold an eVisa, which applies to most EU citizens. To carry out an online check, you’ll need the applicant’s birth date and share code.

You must not discriminate when conducting right-to-work checks. To read the Home Office’s statutory codes of practice, click here.

Managing Your New Hires with Field Service Management Technology

Now you know how to hire candidates from outside the UK, you can rest assured that your business-as-usual activities won’t be affected by the looming talent shortage.

But, whilst a strong team of talented employees is the first step to maintaining a competitive business in a skill-short industry, how do you ensure they’re providing outstanding services to your customers?

That’s where field service management (FSM) software comes in.

With FSM technology, you can see who is working for you, when and where. Additionally, you can make sure that everyone delivers consistent services to your clients by equipping your technicians with an integrated mobile app. The app gives workers all the information they need to complete the job the first time round and provides them with mandatory workflow documents that ensure the work is being carried out to your high standards.

Then, once your technicians have completed their jobs, you can gather feedback from your clients via an automated customer satisfaction survey. With such vital data at hand, you can make continuous improvements to your business that impress your customers and set you apart from your competitors.

Manage Your Entire Workforce at the Click of a Button with BigChange

Plan, manage, schedule and track your field-based workforce. 

BigChange gives you the power and freedom to manage the key parts of your business from a single platform. Seamlessly connect your office, field-based workers and customers using our state-of-the-art field service management technology.

Want to find out more?
Discover how BigChange can make your business grow stronger, arrange a free demo today.

Aside from having a devastating impact on people’s health and the NHS, COVID-19 has caused significant damage to UK businesses and the economy. Even today, 32% of field service businesses are considering lowering their operational costs by reducing headcount, indicating that there are still lingering effects from the pandemic.

But, thanks to technological advancements in recent years, which were only accelerated further during the crisis, business recovery is possible. By investing in the correct field service management (FSM) technology, companies can get their operations back on track without sacrificing their workforces. 

In this article, we’ll explore how the UK COVID restrictions impacted field service organisations. We’ll also delve into how FSM technology can mitigate the main issues the pandemic caused for businesses. 

How Did UK COVID Restrictions Affect Field Service Organisations?

1. A Need for Contactless Options

According to the Technology & Services Industry Association (TSIA), 78% of field service organisations completely stopped deploying technicians to customer sites during the height of COVID-19. 

With restrictions requiring people to maintain a six-feet distance and to limit anyone from outside your household coming onto your property, businesses and customers could not interact as they had previously. 

Although the government has now lifted most restrictions, many people are still unsure about returning to ‘normal’. So, field service companies have had to think outside the box to maintain business-as-usual activities. 

Fortunately, companies can still complete all their bookings without any obstacles thanks to field service management technology. With a platform like BigChange, technicians can capture clients’ signatures once the work is complete using the NoTouch feature, enabling customers to sign from their mobile devices. As such, businesses can still deliver vital field services whilst still respecting customers’ concerns over the virus.

2. Supply Chain Disruption

A survey conducted by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) showed that approximately three-quarters of field service companies experienced supply chain disruptions since the breakout of COVID-19.

Unfortunately, if you don’t have complete visibility over your stock and equipment, it can be tricky to predict future requirements. However, when you use field service management technology, you’ll have access to accurate real-time data on all your assets, regardless of their location.

Software such as this allows you to assign gear directly to bookings, enabling your technicians to arrive with everything they need to complete the job the first time. Plus, you can see the exact quantities of every item in your inventory, giving you ample time to order more if needed, ahead of time. Ordering in advance has been particularly crucial for businesses throughout the pandemic, who are finding that scarcity of materials and factory shutdowns have led to shortages.

3. Talent Shortages

The pandemic caused an increased requirement for service jobs, which may seem positive for businesses on the surface. However, the unprecedented demand caused a shortage of talent, meaning field service organisations have had to increase investment in workers by 72%.

The good news is that attending to a high volume of work doesn’t have to eat into your profits. When you use BigChange’s field service management software, you automatically gain access to the BigChange Network.

The Network enables you to list your business for free and start connecting with thousands of other trusted field service organisations worldwide. Consequently, you can hire professional subcontractors from any location and expand your reach further than ever before, without needing to make costly hires.

4. A Need for Rapid Communication

With COVID rules and restrictions changing so constantly throughout 2020 and affecting how businesses could operate, many organisations recognised the importance of sending rapid communications to their customers.

With 99% of email users checking their inbox daily, it’s clear that emails are still one of the best ways to spread vital information and updates en masse. Luckily, with a field service management platform like BigChange, you don’t have to sift through endless spreadsheets or spend hours setting up an email template to contact your customer base.

Instead, the system pulls your clients’ data from the CRM (customer relationship management software) into a pre-designed email template, allowing you to send personalised communications. You can also edit the template to include your company branding so customers immediately know that it’s from your organisation.

With the ability to send automated email updates to your customers at the click of a button, you’ll never have to worry about keeping everyone in the loop about important business updates, even after the pandemic is over.

What the Pandemic Has Taught Us

If there’s one key business takeaway from the pandemic, it’s that technology has the power to overcome any unexpected obstacles. In fact, data from ECI Partners shows that twice as many small to medium-sized businesses invested in technology by Q1 in 2021, growing from 32% in 2019 to 64%.

Therefore, field service organisations will need to adopt the latest technology to survive in a competitive post-pandemic landscape and guarantee complete business recovery. Using software like BigChange to manage your operations enables you to:

  • Manage all customer relationships
  • Plan and schedule jobs
  • Track your vehicles and assets
  • Process invoices and payments electronically
  • Handle customer bookings online

All from one easy-to-use platform. Plus, with the mobile app, you can provide your field-based technicians with all the tools they need to deliver excellent service to customers during the pandemic and beyond.

Business Recovery Made Simple with BigChange


Plan, manage, schedule and track your field-based workforce. 

BigChange gives you the power and freedom to manage the key parts of your business from a single platform. Seamlessly connect your office, field-based workers and customers using our state-of-the-art field service management technology.

Want to find out more?
Discover how job management software from BigChange can make your business grow stronger, arrange a free demo today.

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