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Five years ago I had a brainwave. BigChange, which was just a start-up back then, was starting to make an impact and we had amazing customers coming on board every single day. That’s when it hit me: wouldn’t it be incredible if I could help these companies work together to grow, and become more successful than they could on their own?

That was the seed of an idea that would grow into the BigChange Network, a directory where our customers could find contractors, share jobs, and expand, both geographically and in terms of the services they could provide. Today, we have over 550 customers on the Network and we’re beginning to see how collaboration is accelerating their growth and success. 

Imagine you’re a plumbing business based in Brighton, and a customer in North London needs a job done. It doesn’t make sense to send someone all the way from Brighton to do the work – not from a business or carbon efficiency standpoint. So, you look on the Network, find a great London plumber, give them a call, and then send the job over via the BigChange platform. Once they accept, you can track the work in real-time. Once the job is complete, you have all the paperwork required for the end customer, with your company branding, and you get the signed off job card including all the completed health and safety processes and photos. This collaborative system also means that you make a nice profit on a customer that you may have had to turn down otherwise. What could be simpler?

In fact, our innovative customers are using the Network to solve increasingly complex business challenges. Lori Kidd, who manages the Network, has found all kinds of fascinating user cases. “We have some customers who offer maintenance but might be approached by customers looking for an installation,” she explains. “If they say they can’t instal the equipment and the customer goes elsewhere, that other company may end up servicing the equipment later, so the customer has lost out twice. We are seeing those companies finding an installer through BigChange and then handling all the future maintenance afterwards.”

I love hearing stories about how smart business leaders are using the Network to test out new services, expand their geographical reach, and take on urgent jobs when they are booked solid. I’d like to share some of these with you today. Even if you’re not a BigChange customer, I hope these insights fuel your ambitions, and if you are, and you’re not on the Network, I hope this inspires you to take the plunge!

Offering a seamless service

Steve Baker is the founder of Jardak Services, which started out as a contract cleaning company but now offers a full facilities management service. The business has been going for 22 years, and now employs 60 staff. Steve believes that the Network has transformed the way he contracts out work. “We have a sister business, called Trustwater, which offers fire risk assessments and health and safely consultancy,” he says. “Trustwater is on BigChange too, so we use the Network to refer jobs between the two businesses while ensuring that all our paperwork and processes are completely consistent. It’s an example of how you can use the Network internally to make the sub-contracting process even more seamless.”

Contract out with confidence

Dan Rochester founded Target with his brother Dean in 2014. From a standing start, the property management and fire protection company has grown to employ 90 staff and turn over £8.5m. “We have found the Network really helpful for finding like-minded companies and sharing jobs,” he says. “Because you are dealing with a BigChange customer, you know what kind of company it’s likely to be. We have found the standard of work has been very high, and we know that they can provide all the information we need in the right format for our records and our health and safety processes.”

Boost your revenues

Aaron Eastwood is the co-founder of Site Secure, a CCTV manufacturer and fire alarm installation firm. The business has been running since 2018 and joined the network a little over a year ago. “We always use the Network as the first port of call to find sub-contractors,” he says. “Without the Network, we could use some of the people we already have on our books as approved contractors but there would definitely be some work we would have to turn down without it, especially the stuff that is out of our area or is really urgent.” Aaron says that the Network has increased revenues by 10%-15%. “That has the ability to grow as we use the Network more and more,” he adds. “We are doubling in size every year.”

Free publicity!

“I can’t understand why every BigChange customer isn’t on the Network,” says Jardak’s Steve Baker. “It’s free publicity for your business. Once you’re set up to take on jobs, you don’t have to do anything, and the referrals come in whenever someone needs your help on a job.”

A virtuous cycle

When you refer a job to a contractor through the Network, you forge a new professional relationship that could result in more work coming your way in future. “We’ve had a few instances where we have referred work to a BigChange customer and then they have given us work back,” says Site Secure’s Aaron Eastwood. “We always give new contractors a ring when we find them on the Network, so you get to know each other.”

Sharing best practice with existing customers

It’s always useful when you find out an existing customer is already on the BigChange platform, according to Dan Rochester. “You can work together to improve the reporting and processes that you get from each job. I have one client that I work closely with, and we are always sharing our learnings and helping one another to get even more out of the software. I’ve made a lot of changes to our back end – it looks very different to the off-the-shelf product now – and I’ve shown him all our workarounds.”

Save time and resource

“When you search for contractors on BigChange, it shows you the exact catchment area they work in, and all their specialist services, which is a real time-saver,” says Jardak’s Steve. “We would otherwise use Google to try and find someone but then you often call up and they don’t work in the area that you searched for, or they don’t offer the specialist service that you need. Given that we only tend to subcontract out the more specialist stuff, we can’t afford to waste time ringing around.”

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.

An estimated 1.6 million people in the UK are currently suffering from work-related injuries or illnesses. Unlike office workers, a field-based workforce is susceptible to more risks because their location typically changes with every job. Such diverse risk factors at each site mean that filling out risk assessments is crucial so that your workers, assets, and reputation all remain intact and protected.

Many field service companies regularly deal with chemicals or hazardous substances, which comes with its own regulations. and COSHH regulations were introduced to protect employees from ill health when dealing with dangerous materials or chemicals as part of their work activities. 

In this article, we’ll take a deeper dive into the COSHH regulations. We’ll also explore how you can use technology to help keep your field service business compliant.

What are the COSHH Regulations?

Using chemicals or other hazardous substances at work can put people’s health at risk, so the law requires employers to control exposure to hazardous substances to prevent ill health. 

The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) law was introduced to protect employees exposed to chemicals or hazardous materials at work. Uncontrolled exposure can be a significant risk to employee wellbeing, so the law requires employers to take eight steps to prevent ill health if their workers have been exposed to dangerous substances during business activities.

The eight steps outlined in the COSHH regulations are:

  1. Assess the risks
  2. Decide what precautions are needed
  3. Prevent or adequately control exposure
  4. Ensure that control measures are used and maintained
  5. Monitor the exposure
  6. Carry out appropriate health surveillance
  7. Prepare plans and procedures to deal with accidents, incidents and emergencies
  8. Ensure employees are properly informed, trained and supervised

In 2016, the Sentencing Council introduced harsher penalties for companies that fail to manage health and safety matters competently. Now, the average fine sits at an eye-watering £150,000. So if one of your employees is injured or becomes ill because of dangerous working conditions, you could find yourself involved in a legal battle that ends with a hefty fine.

Aside from fines, not following the guidelines could result in the following: 

  • Lost productivity to your business if engineers take sick leave 
  • Vulnerability to prosecution under the COSHH Regulations 
  • Civil claims from your employees

The COSHH guidelines cover a range of hazardous materials, including: 

  • Substances used directly in work activities (adhesives, paints, cleaning agents)
  • Substances generated during work activities (fumes from soldering or welding)
  • Naturally occurring substances (such as grain dust)
  • Biological agents such as bacteria and other microorganisms (for example, COVID-19)

How Health and Safety Software Can Support Your COSHH Compliance

Adopting technology can help you be compliant with the eight COSHH steps. Here are just some of the ways you can use field service software to keep your workers safe on the job:

1. Assess the Risks and Prevent or Control Exposure

You’ll likely already be aware of the importance of risk assessments in field services. COSHH requires you to carry out a risk assessment on any job where an individual could be exposed to any of the substances mentioned earlier. 

When using a field service management platform with integrated health and safety software, your workers can fill out a checklist or risk assessment form on their mobile devices. They can then highlight potential hazards, which will immediately alert your back office team. 

If the worker identifies a risk, they can work with your back-office team to eliminate the danger and safely get the job back on track. As such, your employees can rest assured that they won’t sustain any health issues in carrying out the job and will also be able to complete the task at hand without significant delays.

Want to learn more about carrying out a risk assessment? Click here.

2. Ensure Control Measures are Maintained

The best field service technology providers have an asset management feature as part of their platform. All equipment, machinery, parts and safety gear are recorded on the register, so you’ll always have an up-to-date log of your stock. 

When an employee is working on a potentially hazardous job, your team can assign safety gear, protective clothing, or preventative equipment directly to the job case so that the engineer can turn up with the necessary equipment to get the job done safely.

3. Prepare Plans and Procedures

A mobile field service software can help your employees carry out work safely by ensuring they don’t miss any crucial steps. 

For example, you can create workflows, COSHH sheets and risk assessment forms that engineers must fill out before carrying out the work and filling in their timesheet. Mandatory safety documents ensure that all technicians stick to required plans and procedures that will ensure their safety.

4. Ensure Employees Are Properly Informed, Trained and Supervised

All your employees can stay informed when using field service technology. BigChange’s cloud-based health and safety compliance management software allows all essential documents to be readily available on the app, such as COSHH sheets, guidelines, risk assessments or job details. In addition, workers can access any training or procedures from the palm of their hand to ensure that they stay informed of all health and safety precautions wherever they are for a job. 

You’ll also be able to store all your risk assessments on the cloud-based platform so that records are never lost and all employees have visibility of the documents. Whether they work out in the field or the office, your staff can find documentation regarding COSHH regulations and see how the business handled any hazards in the past to ensure compliance in the future.

Cleaning Chemicals Safety is Made Simple on 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 digital risk assessments, COSHH guidelines and PPE and equipment log, you can rest assured that health and safety are a number one priority.

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

Selecting the right field service management platform for your business and its unique requirements can feel like a daunting task. But it doesn’t have to be. Although there are plenty on the market to choose from, they’re not all created equally, and there are particular features you should be on the lookout for when making a decision. 

In this article, we’ll explore the top four platform features you should expect to find when looking for field service management software. Read on to learn more.

The 4 Field Service Management Software Features That’ll Help Your Business Thrive

1. An Integrated Mobile App for Your Engineers

Having a mobile app isn’t a luxury for today’s engineers. It’s a necessity. According to 54% of field technicians, the industry’s biggest bottleneck is not having access to pre-work site data. So, to ensure that your business is running as efficiently as possible, you must give your team everything they need to do their jobs.

With a mobile app, not only will your engineers have access to pre-work site details that removes any obstacles that could stand in their way, but they can also do the following:

  • Communicate with your back-office and share their location
  • Access the CRM (customer relationship manager)
  • Log expenses
  • Capture photos and signatures
  • Complete DVSA-compliant vehicle walkaround checks
  • Carry out risk assessments and follow workflows
  • View stock and equipment availability
  • Issue digital invoices and accept online payments
  • Fill out timesheets

…All from the palm of their hands.

By eliminating unnecessary paperwork and additional journeys to the office, you’ll liberate more time for your engineers to attend extra appointments each day.

2. An Intelligent Scheduling Assistant

Currently, scheduling and dispatching difficulties are the main challenges for field service organisations. But, job management is such a vital component of running a successful field service business that you can’t just hope for the best. After all, your schedule is responsible for ensuring the right people are in the right place at the right time.

Therefore, you should look for a field service management platform that includes an intelligent scheduling assistant. Using the assistant, your back-office team can assign and dispatch workers to jobs based on their locations, traffic information, skillsets, vehicle types, qualifications and job constraints at the click of a button. 

By ensuring that you’ve allocated the perfect person for each job, you’ll be able to improve your first-time fix rates, impress your customers and increase your profits simultaneously. Better still, your back-office team won’t be burdened with any additional work.

3. An Asset Manager

Around 43% of small businesses don’t track their assets and inventory effectively, opting instead to rely on paper-based documents, spreadsheets and legacy systems — all of which are prone to errors. 

Human error, whilst unintentional, can eat into your profits and prevent you from taking on more ambitious projects that would directly contribute to company growth. As such, having a reliable asset management system in place is essential.

With a field service management platform like BigChange, you can apply serial numbers, QR codes and barcodes to each item in your warehouse, which your engineers can scan on their mobile devices to sign them in and out of storage. By digitising your inventory and linking it to your central system, you’ll have access to accurate, real-time data that gives you the power to make better long-term business decisions instead of reactively ordering stock. 

Learn more about the importance of managing your inventory effectively here.

4. An Online Invoicing and Payments Feature

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, late invoice payments have skyrocketed in the UK by 23%. Unfortunately, unpaid invoices can stunt your cash flow, leaving you unable to meet vital operational expenses. For businesses to thrive post-pandemic, you must consider ways to streamline your invoicing and payment method for a more rapid process.

Arming your engineers with a mobile app that’s linked to your central field service management platform doesn’t just help them get the job done, it also gets you paid on time. Once they’ve completed the work, each engineer can generate an electronic invoice and send it to your customer in minutes. 

Then, the customer can pay for the service using a range of convenient online methods on the same day. Aside from involving less paperwork, online invoicing and payments significantly reduce the chance of late payments, meaning you’ll always have a healthy cash flow.

Find All the Right Field Service Management Tools in One Place

A shocking 44% of UK workers say their company’s office technology is ‘woefully outdated’ and causes them to waste just over a quarter of each day on pointless administrative tasks. So, for your organisation to stay ahead of the curve and bounce back stronger post-COVID, you must look for ways to modernise your technology and streamline workflows.

BigChange enables you to manage the entire end-to-end process — from bookings to invoicing and payment — on a single easy-to-use platform. A worthwhile investment, the right field service management platform eradicates time-consuming activities and paperwork from your team’s day. As a result, everyone will have more hours each week to do what they do best, and your bottom line will enjoy a boost.

BigChange Has All the Field Service Platform Features You Need and More

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 here and arrange a free demo today.

For many field service organisations, scheduling workers and dispatching them on time presents a significant challenge. Heavy reliance on spreadsheets, whiteboards, legacy systems and paper-based documents means that delays and confusion are common occurrences.

Unfortunately, if you’re letting appointments fall through the cracks and not delivering speedy or reliable services to your customers, you’ll soon suffer from severe reputational and financial damage.

Thankfully, by upgrading to a field service management platform, scheduling and dispatching technicians won’t have to be a headache anymore. In this article, we’ll explain how field technician scheduling software enables you to guarantee that the right person is in the right place — every time.

How Field Technician Scheduling Software Enhances Your Schedule

1. Decreases Journey Times

With the price of petrol spiking to an eight-year high in the UK, reducing travel times doesn’t just increase the number of jobs you can attend each day, but it also slashes your cost to serve. But, if you don’t have complete visibility over your workforce, it will be challenging to plan routes without first spending hours figuring it out. 

In contrast, field service management software employs an intelligent scheduling assistant, which is a tool that matches technicians with jobs based on location, skillset, vehicle type and traffic information. As such, you can optimise hundreds of jobs at the click of a button, making it simpler than ever to plan efficient routes. 

With so much spare time available as a result, your back-office team can spend less time on creating error-prone manual schedules and, instead, focus on delivering a better service to your customers and helping your business to grow.

2. Matches Workers to Jobs

For your schedule to be as effective as possible, you must keep your first-time fix rate high. But, approximately 15% of issues aren’t resolved during the first appointment because the assigned technicians don’t have the required skills. Unfortunately, when you have to keep making additional appointments, you cause delays in your schedule and reduce the number of jobs you can attend each month.

However, as we mentioned in the previous point, field service scheduling software can match workers to jobs based on several key factors, including qualifications and skill set. By matching the right person to the right project, you can enhance your first-time fix rate and thus your reputation as a reliable field service organisation.
Better still, the best field technician scheduling software comes with an integrated app that allows your technicians to view everything your back-office team can see via their mobile devices. Consequently, they’ll be alerted to any changes in their schedule in an instant, meaning your team can respond rapidly to urgent requests and re-route the most appropriately skilled workers as and when needed.

3. Assigns Assets Directly to Jobs

Although it’s paramount to send the right worker to each job, it’s equally as essential to ensure they’re equipped with the right gear. Shockingly, on average, 29% of issues aren’t fixed during the first appointment because the technician has the wrong parts or the correct ones aren’t available. 

Luckily, you can avoid problems with stock, tools and equipment altogether when you upgrade to a field service management system like BigChange. The state-of-the-art platform includes an asset management feature that creates accurate records of inventory levels in real-time, so you can see how much stock you have whenever, wherever. 

Using data from the asset manager, your back-office staff can then assign vehicles, tools and parts directly to each job ahead of time to ensure that every technician has the items they need to complete the work on the first appointment. 

Not only will your technicians appear more professional and act as excellent representatives for your organisation, but your customers will be more satisfied, and you’ll be able to take on additional appointments each month.

Field Service Scheduling Software Improves Efficiency in Just a Few Clicks

A recent OnePoll survey revealed that nearly half (44%) of UK workers believe their company’s office technology is ‘woefully outdated’, causing them to waste an astonishing 26% of each day on pointless administrative tasks.

Inefficient ways of working not only slow down your back-office staff, but they also don’t make the most of your technicians’ time, which will cause you to lose a significant amount of revenue each year. 

It’s no secret that the pandemic has had a devastating effect on many organisations over the last two years, so companies can’t afford to be complacent and rely on ‘traditional’ scheduling methods. To bounce back stronger financially and stay ahead of the competition, business leaders must harness the power of field service management software to maximise their earning potential. 

With BigChange’s field technician scheduling software, you can do the following:

  • Match workers to jobs based on traffic information, location, vehicle type, skill set and job constraints
  • Assign tools, stock and other equipment directly to jobs
  • Communicate with technicians in real-time via the mobile application
  • Book recurring jobs
  • Optimise hundreds of routes at once
  • Prioritise jobs with certain service level agreements

…all on one easy-to-use platform. Scheduling workers will never have to be a challenge again.

Scheduling Workers is Simple with BigChange

Get the right resource to the right place. Every time. 

With BigChange’s field service management platform, you can work around constraints such as time, tools required, and vehicle attributes to ensure every job is completed promptly and to a high standard.

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.

Managing your inventory is just as vital as impressing your customers when it comes to running a successful field service company. In fact, as more business leaders realise the importance of keeping on top of their stock, equipment and assets, it’s caused demand for inventory management software to double over the last five years.

Harnessing the power of modern technology is one of the best ways to manage your inventory effectively. Long gone are the days when you would need to rely on error-prone sign in and sign out sheets or slow legacy systems to get the job done. Not only can you eliminate the inefficiencies caused by outdated inventory management methods, but you can also enhance the services you’re able to provide and boost your bottom line simultaneously.

We’ve put together this handy guide to inventory management, which will tell you everything you need to know, including how you can improve your current processes by selecting the right platform. Read on to learn more.

What is Inventory Management?

Put simply, inventory management involves keeping track of parts, equipment and any other assets (such as vehicles). Since field service companies have so many items to manage across a range of locations, it’s essential to have complete visibility over your entire inventory so you can make better business decisions. 

Unfortunately, an astonishing 43% of small businesses fail to track their inventory effectively, which loses them a significant amount of money each year. 

To put the issue into perspective, picture a company that’s using paper-based sign in and sign out sheets to manage stock levels. There’s a very good chance their engineers will forget to fill them out every time. Worse still, the engineers’ handwriting may be completely illegible, leaving their back-office team unable to decipher what they’ve written. Or, maybe, their engineers simply take too many items and store them in their van for a different project instead of putting them back.

In situations like the above, the numbers would quickly stop adding up. Although slight inconsistencies in stock levels may not seem that damaging, they can harm your organisation in the long run. For example:

1. Profit Losses

When engineers inadvertently take more items than they need, it will cause your stock levels to appear lower than they really are. Inconsistent inventory quantities and an inability to track what happened to each item will lead you to order more stock or replacement tools than you need, which eats into your profits.

2. Project Delays

On the opposite end of the spectrum, human error may lead you to believe that you have plenty of tools and equipment for your customers’ appointments when you don’t. As a result, you’ll have to put work on hold, which is inconvenient for your customers, and causes scheduling and financial issues on your end. In a worst-case scenario, dissatisfied customers could take their business elsewhere.

3. Lower First-Time Fix Rates

For field service businesses, having a high first-time fix rate is essential. Companies that achieve a first-time fix rate of over 70% enjoy an 86% customer retention rate, so you must ensure that your engineers always have the right tools and equipment to complete the job during the first appointment. However, as we covered in the previous point, inconsistent inventory levels could cause you to be unprepared for scheduled work.

The Best Ways to Manage Your Inventory Using Technology

The good news is, field service management platforms are designed to help you run every aspect of your business — from accepting appointments to inventory management and invoicing. So, using modern technology to handle your stock, equipment, and assets can improve your efficiency and profits. Here are just some of the ways you can benefit from digitising your inventory:

1. Assign Tools, Equipment and Stock Directly to Jobs

According to data from Aberdeen Strategy & Research, 29% of failed first-time fixes are caused by parts being unavailable, making it the most common obstacle. Fortunately, when you use a field service management platform to handle your inventory, you’ll have complete visibility over what stock you have, wherever it is.

Using the accurate data — which updates in real-time — you can allocate tools, equipment, parts and vehicles directly to customers’ appointments based on their unique requirements. As such, your engineers won’t have to worry about whether they have the right gear and, instead, they can focus on doing what they do best. Therefore, not only will your engineers be able to visit more customers per day, but you’ll find that your customer satisfaction and retention levels will rise.

2. Add Barcodes, Serial Numbers or QR Codes to Each Item

Barcodes, serial numbers and QR codes aren’t just useful for retail businesses. By adding a code or number to each item in your inventory, you’ll be able to keep track of everything at the click of a button. Therefore, even if someone does take too much equipment in error, you can find out what happened to it and who has it in their possession.

With a field service management platform like BigChange, your engineers can use the mobile app to scan items in and out of storage with ease. Whilst digital processes lower the risk of engineers forgetting to sign gear in and out, they also enable your back-office team to live track individual items without needing to scan through pages of handwritten notes.

3. Create Low Stock Alerts

When you use field service management software to handle your inventory, you’ll never have to worry about having enough stock. All you need to do is add in your minimum stock levels, and you’ll receive an alert whenever it’s time to replenish your warehouse.

In addition to saving time and reducing the amount of paperwork, a digitised inventory will save you money since it takes every item — including those in your engineers’ vans — into consideration. Therefore, there’s no risk of a false alert, which means you won’t be spending money on replacements when you don’t need to.

4. Create a Comprehensive Work Record

When trying to understand where parts have been used, don’t rely on paperwork, error-prone spreadsheets and legacy systems as a record of your work history. It’s likely to create confusion, and your engineers may needlessly end up replacing parts they replaced during the previous appointment.

Instead, you should use field service management software that keeps a comprehensive, accurate and detailed record of everything your engineers did during the appointment. Using their mobile devices, engineers can simply add the information to the platform and capture photographs of the work they carried out. 

As a result, should you need to revisit a problem, you won’t end up using parts that you don’t need to. Aside from saving you money, a well-kept record will also enable your engineers to work more rapidly, impressing your customers and boosting your bottom line. 

What Are the Benefits of Managing Your Inventory Efficiently?

1. Reduces the Chance of Human Error

Did you know that human error is the leading issue for just under half (46%) of warehouses? Many businesses struggle with large losses in inventory as poor reporting leads to inaccurate stock levels.

But, with field service management technology, managing your stock needn’t be a logistical nightmare. As we mentioned earlier, your engineers can simply sign tools and parts in and out of storage from their mobile devices, which enables your back-office team to track each item. 

Having full, real-time visibility over your valuable assets means that there will never be inconsistencies in stock levels and, therefore, you’ll always have the items you need to get the job done perfectly the first time.

2. Your Business Will be Financially Stronger

Worldwide, inventory distortion results in an astronomical $1.1 trillion loss. In a post-COVID world, businesses can’t afford to lose money if they are to survive, so you must consider ways to improve your processes and eliminate any problems. 

Digital inventory management systems give you the data you need to make better-informed decisions. Plus, with additional features that enable you to allocate stock directly to jobs and alert you when you need to reorder items, you can guarantee that you won’t be spending any money that you don’t need to.

3. Improved Efficiency

On average, companies spend approximately 16 days per year looking for paper documents that they’ve misplaced. In addition to losing paperwork, traditional administration methods are also time-consuming and usually riddled with mistakes. 

In contrast, you can improve the efficiency of your staff — and your business — by removing the need for pointless admin tasks. Using BigChange’s field service management system, engineers can log all vital information (such as what parts they used during an appointment) from their mobile devices. The system stores all details so your back-office team can easily keep track of your inventory and work history.

With your engineers spending less time manually filling in forms each day, they will have more time to complete additional appointments and provide a superior service to your customers.

Field Service Management Software Helps Your Business Succeed

Currently, only 18% of small businesses use inventory management systems. The remainder either don’t track their equipment, stock and assets, or they use manual methods that create issues further down the line. 

Consequently, that means that the majority of SMEs (small to medium-sized businesses) are missing out on an excellent opportunity to improve their operation, increase profits and take on more projects that will help contribute to company growth.

With BigChange’s field service management system, you can do the following:

  • Add serial numbers, barcodes and QR codes to each item so you can track their whereabouts
  • Allocate stock, equipment and assets directly to jobs
  • Set up low stock alerts based on your preferences
  • Manage your inventory across multiple locations
  • Keep a comprehensive record of all work your engineers carry out for future reference

With such a powerful tool at your fingertips, your inventory will run like clockwork, freeing up more time for you and your team to focus on more business-critical tasks.

Handle Your Stock, Equipment and Assets with Ease on BigChange’s Inventory Management System

With BigChange, you can create a detailed register of assets and equipment — both for you and your clients — on one easy-to-use system.

Manage items across a range of locations in real-time and view a complete record of your engineers’ work history. Receive alerts any time your stock is running low. Assign vehicles, tools and equipment directly to customers’ appointments. Keep track of all assets using serial numbers, barcodes and QR codes. 

Inventory management has never been simpler.
Discover how BigChange can make your business grow stronger here and arrange a free demo today.

As it becomes increasingly challenging to meet customer expectations, field service organisations will need to innovate and modernise the methods they use to interact with clients. Companies that ignore the evolving needs of their clients will lose out to their competitors or, at worst, become obsolete. The shocking reality is that one in three customers will abandon a business they once loved after a single bad experience. 

In this article, we’ll share some of the main expectations people have when engaging with field service companies, which will help you put together a strategy to impress your clients. Plus, we’ll explain how you can use field service management technology to improve the customer experience, boost your profits and reduce the volume of administration work for your team simultaneously. 

Using Field Service Management Technology to Improve the Customer Experience

1. Regular Communication

A meagre 14% of customers say they’re happy with current business communications. For example, people don’t want to have to sit on the phone for hours to book appointments or wait around all day for a technician to arrive because you provided them with a vague time slot. As such, companies must provide their customers with the convenient, digital experiences that they’ve become accustomed to in recent years if they are to stand out from the competition. 

Fortunately, sending updates to customers doesn’t have to be an admin-heavy task with a field service management platform. Instead, your back-office team can send out communications in just a few clicks. The system takes details from the integrated CRM (customer relationship manager) and adds them to professional, company-branded templates to create personalised emails that you can send at the most crucial points of the buyer journey.

Additionally, on the day of the appointment, you can send an automated text message to customers, including a live tracking link. As a result, your clients can see precisely where their technicians are, meaning they won’t have to keep calling the office for updates. So, not only do regular communications keep your customers happy, but they also free up more time for your back-office staff to focus on activities that contribute directly to business growth.

2. First-Time Fixes

Cur

Modern customers lead busy lives and therefore expect field service organisations to resolve their issues during the first appointment. Unfortunately, when companies’ first-time fix rates drop below 70%, they notice that their customer retention rate deteriorates by 10%

The good news is, field service management platforms make it simpler than ever to enhance your rate of first-time fixes. As soon as your customers make appointments via the online portal, your back-office team can see all the details of the bookings to assign the best technicians for each job based on factors such as skill set, location and vehicle type.

Then, at the click of a button, your team can allocate equipment, stock and other assets to jobs so that your technicians arrive at every appointment with the gear they need to carry out the work effectively. 

Ensuring that your technicians are adequately qualified and have the right tools will set them up properly to complete the job the first time. As such, your customers will be impressed at the speed of service, and your workers will be able to attend more appointments per day, boosting your bottom line and reputation simultaneously.

3. Data Security

Protecting your customers’ sensitive information is paramount in today’s digital age. Failure to take necessary precautions will have a detrimental effect on your company. In fact, a colossal 71% of people say that they would take their business elsewhere following a data breach.

If you currently rely on spreadsheets to manage your customers’ information, you’re putting your organisation at greater risk of a security crisis. Spreadsheets are easy to duplicate, meaning people’s private details could end up in the wrong hands.

Worse still, even if you have taken care to password protect your spreadsheet, there’s no guarantee that someone won’t be able to access it. Therefore, if you do fall victim to a data breach, it’s tricky to prove that you had any security measures in place. Currently, the maximum fine for GDPR infringements is £17.5 million or 4% of your annual turnover — whichever is greater — so you could end up paying dearly.

In contrast, a cloud-based field service management system significantly lowers the chance of a data breach. BigChange’s CRM secures all data in AWS (Amazon Web Services), the world’s most comprehensive and widely-used cloud platform in the world, to ensure that all data is protected against cybersecurity threats. 

By using superior technology to manage your customers’ data, you’ll both have peace of mind that their information is in good hands.

Using Technology to Improve the Customer Experience is a Must for Businesses to Thrive Post-COVID

Did you know, businesses that prioritise their customer experience enjoy 5.7 times more revenue than those that don’t? So in an economically turbulent post-pandemic landscape, now is the perfect time to focus on impressing your clients and boosting your income.
The best way to delight your customers and bounce back financially is by using a state-of-the-art field service management platform like BigChange that keeps your operations running like clockwork. From appointment booking to invoicing and payment, the system handles the entire end-to-end process for a seamless transaction every time.

Surpass Customer Expectations Every Time 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 here and arrange a free demo today.

A large part of a field service business’ day is scheduling and managing appointments. Yet, shockingly, 25% of companies currently use inefficient spreadsheets and manual data entry to create their schedules. The remaining organisations may rely on whiteboards, old technology or other error-prone processes. 

If you haven’t yet adopted job management technology, you’ll likely find that manual methods cause slow business operations for you and create inconvenient situations for your customers.

Unfortunately, traditional methods of scheduling jobs aren’t going to cut it in the modern world. Customers are used to seamless, convenient experiences that spreadsheets, paper-based documents and legacy systems cannot provide.

This article will guide you on how to improve customer convenience in the field service management industry using software to deliver superior, speedy services.

1. Offering Self-Service to Improve Customer Convenience

In 2019, 88% of consumers expected an organisation to have a form of self-service portal available. This self-service 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 provide your customers with added convenience, you should use job management software that allows people to book appointments when it suits them. Consequently, they can book when they need to, instead of waiting for business hours to contact your offices and organise a booking.

The added advantage of using job management software to manage appointments is that it immediately sends customers’ booking details to your back-office staff. Your team can then use the in-built intelligent scheduling assistant to optimise your schedule. For example, the software can create a more streamlined calendar based on each appointment and their purpose, freeing up any time that had previously been unavailable for booking due to errors caused by out-of-date manual scheduling processes. 

Aside from being able to take on more bookings, you can also respond to emergency call outs, as the schedule can be flexible enough to accommodate emergent customer scenarios. Finally, more appointments available means your customers will be more likely to find an appointment that suits them — and it means more cash flowing in for you.

2. Real-time Updates for Improved Communication

Organisations that fail to modernise and adopt technology to maximise their communications with customers now risk becoming obsolete. With a staggering 89% of customers preferring an “Uber-like” service for tracking technician arrivals, traditional methods of managing your schedule aren’t going to be convenient to your clients and keep them coming back in the future.

The latest field management software allows you to update your customers in real-time with GPS tracking. They’ll be able to track where their technicians are at the touch of a button and go about their day safe in the knowledge that they won’t miss their engineers’ visit. So, never again will your customers have to wait at home all day with an inconvenient, vague time frame for arrival.

3. Go Digital with Your Documentation for Better Customer Convenience

In the UK, late invoice payments have risen by 23% since the start of 2020, potentially due to manual or laborious payment processes. Make sure your business isn’t missing out on making payment convenient for your customers, and in turn, being paid faster.

Often, it takes a few weeks for an accounts payable team to create and deliver a paper invoice to a customer with traditional accounting methods. 

But, with digital payment methods making sending money simple, paper invoicing and delays aren’t convenient for your customers. Using a digital field service management platform allows you to digitise all your important documents. For example, 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 in seconds. 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 or hand-written.

Your customers can then digitally pay their invoice immediately using a range of convenient, online options. Not only do online payment methods 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.

4. Anticipate Your Repeat Customers’ Needs

Suppose your field services company deals with a lot of regular maintenance. In that case, you could use software to make repeat bookings even more convenient for your customers by saving them wasting time on any administrative tasks.

Software such as BigChange allows your business to send automated texts or emails to remind customers it’s time to book so they don’t have the headache of needing to remember. The scheduling assistant can also automatically catalogue routine maintenance to save customers from contacting your firm at all. 

Not only are you anticipating customers’ needs with these automated features, but you’re simultaneously providing a smoother, more frictionless experience, where customers have to do as little as possible to achieve the result they need.

Job Management Platforms Provide Greater Convenience to Your Customers

Software not only supports convenience when it comes to invoices, though. It’s no secret that the emergence of COVID has changed customer needs for good. Companies could no longer rely on “business as usual” because of the essential need to protect their workers and customers from illness, meaning more services had to move online. However, even as COVID restrictions become increasingly relaxed, customers still expect the same level of convenience that digital processes offered them throughout the crisis. 

With BigChange, you can move your entire operation online. You’ll be able to give your customers a convenient and efficient service with features such as:

  • Self-service portal for online bookings
  • GPS tracking for technicians vehicles
  • Automated text updates
  • Automatic repeat booking 
  • Fast and simple invoicing and payment methods
  • ‘No touch’ signatures to prioritise health and safety
  • Storage for important documentation so that all employees have access to crucial information about the job

Improve Customer Convenience and Provide Speedy Services 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 here and arrange a free demo today.

When it comes to attracting customers to your field service business, you can’t take a ‘one size fits all’ approach. Different people have different requirements, so you need to decide on the type of customer you will target your services towards and why. 

Aside from helping you tailor your services, determining who your perfect customers are will provide you with a highly lucrative opportunity. In fact, an impressive 86% of people say they would pay more for a superior customer experience. 

But, with so much to consider, where do you begin?

In this article, we’ll explain how to identify your ideal customer in a few simple steps. We’ll then explore how you can use a CRM (customer relationship manager) as a means of building customer relationships that will boost your reputation and your bottom line simultaneously.

How to Identify Your Ideal Customers: 4 Simple Steps

Here are four simple steps you can take towards identifying your ideal customers:

1. Know Your Products and/or Services

46% of people say they will abandon a brand if they’re not knowledgeable, so the best step you can take towards attracting the right customers is to know your products and services inside out. 

However, when it comes to having a solid understanding of your business, you must think about your customers’ perspectives. In other words, you can’t simply memorise your website content. Instead, you should consider the following:

  • What do you offer to your customers?
  • What pain points do your customers have, and how can you solve them?
  • Why should people use your company instead of your competitors’?
  • What is your unique selling point?

Finally, one of the most important questions you need to ask yourself is: who benefits the most from your products or services? Remember, it’s best to look at your current customer base to discover who is currently finding the most value. Focusing on who you want to find value in your offerings, instead of who actually does, won’t give you the crucial answers you need to understand your company.

2. Determine Your Business Goals

Next, you need to figure out what your goals are. Although you will have focused on your existing customers in step one to learn about your business, you need to decide whether you’re satisfied with the type of customer you currently attract. If not, why? And what do you need to do to draw in a different customer base?
For example, let’s say you’ve been completing several one-off jobs but would rather take on large, longer-term commercial contracts, you need to create a plan that helps you work towards that particular goal. You may want to consider re-branding, offering different services, changing the way you talk about your business or networking to achieve your target.

3. Collect and Analyse Crucial Data

Another vital piece of the puzzle is analysing your customer data. For example, you should look into any feedback you’ve received, sales statistics and your customer churn rate. Holding a magnifying glass over your past interactions, successes, and mistakes will give you insight into what you’re doing well and where you could use some improvement. 

However, you can’t notice patterns and trends in data if you aren’t collecting any or are still relying on error-prone spreadsheets, paper documents and legacy systems to store information. However, field service management systems like BigChange include integrated CRM systems that allow you to look back at all your customer interactions and gain a complete picture of your company in one place.

Plus, by using our pre-designed email templates, you can easily send satisfaction surveys to your customers at the click of a button. As such, you’ll have the details you need to keep making improvements to your business, and your customers will feel more valued

Not sure how to calculate your churn rate or what might be causing it to be higher than you expected? Click here to read our helpful guide.

4. Build a Customer Profile

You’ve completed your research and put in the work to create a plan of action. Now, you should build a customer profile — or persona — that includes everything you need to know about the people you’re trying to target. The list below isn’t exhaustive, but you may want to think about:

  • Their age range
  • Their gender
  • Their location
  • Their relationship status (e.g. are they single? Do they have any children?)
  • What influences their buying decisions
  • What problem(s) do they need to solve?
  • What concerns might they have about purchasing your goods and/or services?
  • How much are they willing to spend?
  • What are the best ways to reach this customer? (e.g. do they use Facebook frequently? Or perhaps they’re an avid email user)

Some questions may seem irrelevant at this stage, but they help build a clear picture of who would purchase your goods and/or services. Remember, the more in-depth you go when creating a customer avatar, the more knowledge you’ll have on attracting the right people to your business and building customer relationships.

Field Service Management Software Gives You the Tools You Need to Attract the Right Customers

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. Therefore, it pays to hone in on your ideal customer and learn who they are so you can deliver outstanding services that alleviate their unique challenges.

With field service management technology, you’ll have full visibility over every customer interaction — from phone calls to emails and satisfaction surveys — giving you an excellent understanding of what’s working and what isn’t. As a result, you can keep improving your offerings and reach your business goals more rapidly.

Building Customer Relationships is Straightforward on 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, and bring in new clientele with ease through the superior customer experience you can provide.

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

Did you know that it costs five times more to attract customers than it does to retain existing ones? Therefore, for your business to thrive in an economically turbulent post-pandemic world, you will need to focus on impressing your current customer base and keep them coming back for more.

However, not all retention strategies are going to be effective. What worked ten years ago is unlikely to be as successful today, especially as customer expectations continuously evolve and become more challenging to fulfil.

That’s why we’ve put together this helpful guide. We’ll begin by taking a closer look at the importance of customer retention and how it can benefit your business. Then, we’ll share the top four ways you can retain customers, boost your reputation and your bottom line simultaneously.

The Importance of Customer Retention

We’ve already established that customer retention is cheaper than acquisition, but that’s not the only reason you should be trying to impress your existing customer base. There are several benefits that your company could enjoy if you take the time to think about your service offering and customer experience. 

Firstly, the likelihood of an existing customer using your company again is an impressive 60-70%. Today’s customers don’t want to spend hours researching and comparing different businesses when they require field services so, if you impress them on your first visit, they’ll keep you in mind for the future. Customers who have used your services previously will know that they’re spending their money wisely, rather than taking a chance on an unknown competitor, which is a win-win.

Better still, repeat customers typically spend around 67% more than new ones. When you do an outstanding job, your customers will be more inclined to try out your other goods and services, creating the perfect opportunity to upsell and increase your profits.

Finally, your existing customer base is one of the best — and cheapest — forms of marketing. On average, repeat customers refer 50% more people to your company than new ones. So, if you have a large pool of loyal customers, you’ll find it much easier to generate more business. 

Now you know some of the main reasons why customer retention is so necessary, let’s look at the top four strategies that actually work.

Want More Repeat Customers? Use these Customer Retention Strategies

1. Review and Analyse Your Churn Metrics

You can’t create a strong retention strategy if you don’t analyse your churn metrics and figure out what might be driving people away — for example, 32% of customers would cut ties with a company after just one negative experience. To run a successful business with a loyal customer base, it’s your job to ensure that you’re delivering exceptional services.

But what is a customer churn rate?

Your customer churn rate, or attrition rate, measures how many customers have stopped doing business with your company over a specific period. The higher your churn rate, the more customers you’ve lost.

Here’s a simple way you can calculate your attrition rate:

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 is 0% in an ideal world, but, unfortunately, customer losses are inevitable. The best approach is to begin by calculating your current rate and then setting a realistic target for improvement.

The good news is, finding the stats you need to analyse your churn rate needn’t be a headache. With a field service management platform, you will have access to in-depth customer data that updates in real-time, giving you the most accurate picture of your business all in one place. No more searching across multiple platforms for the answer and no more human error that skews your analysis. 

Is your churn rate high? Check out our article here, which explains what might be driving your customers away.

2. Collect and Implement Customer Feedback

77% of people have a more favourable view of companies that seek out and apply customer feedback, so it pays to ask your customers for their opinions. Businesses that don’t consider their customers’ needs are missing out on a valuable opportunity to enhance their retention rate because there’s a good chance they haven’t thought about their services from a different perspective. 

With field services currently in high demand, it can be tempting to forgo creating a customer satisfaction survey to keep up with the volume of work. However, with a field service management platform like BigChange, collecting feedback is quicker and simpler than ever before. 

The system contains a pre-designed survey template that you can personalise with your company’s logo and customer information from the CRM (customer relationship manager). Once your workers have completed their jobs, your back-office team can send the customer satisfaction survey at the click of a button, meaning it won’t steal your staff’s attention away from other business-critical tasks. 

Customers fill out the survey on their mobile devices, and the platform stores each response so you can see what you’re doing well and where there are areas for improvement. With so many vital insights at your disposal, you’ll be able to enhance your services and make your customers feel valued, which will keep them coming back time and time again.

3. Communicate Regularly with Your Customers

A mere 14% of customers say that they’re happy with current business communications, giving you the perfect opportunity to stand out from your competitors who aren’t making an effort to keep in contact with their customer base. 

Modern customers lead busy lives and therefore won’t want to wait around all day for an engineer because they received a vague timeslot and poor communication. With so many companies offering live updates on purchases, 89% of people now expect an ‘Uber-like’ technician tracking service. 

Field service management technology gives your customers the ability to see the exact whereabouts of their engineer on the day of their appointments via text messages that include links and estimated times of arrival. Not only will the real-time tracker impress your customers, but it also means your back-office staff won’t have to spend time on the phones, providing manual updates.

Then, once the work is complete, you can send regular emails to your customer mailing list, which will help to keep your business at the forefront of their minds.

4. Build Trust with Your Customer Base

Impressing your customers is a good first step to winning repeat business, but it doesn’t guarantee that they will trust your company. To build trust, you have to follow through on your promises and deliver great services consistently. 

Here are just some of the ways you can get your customers to trust you:

Have a Good First-Time Fix Rate

Unsurprisingly, field service companies with a first-time fix rate of over 70% boast an 86% customer retention rate. As we mentioned earlier, people don’t want to take significant chunks of time out of their days to wait for an engineer to resolve their issue, so needing to make multiple appointments is a sure-fire way to disappoint. 

Fortunately, field service management software ensures your workers always have the right skills and tools to complete the job the first time. Using an intelligent scheduling assistant, your back-office team can see the customers’ requirements and match them up to a worker based on information like qualifications, location, vehicle type and job constraints.

Then, your staff can check stock and equipment levels in real-time, giving them the ability to assign gear to specific jobs. As a result, your workers will turn up to every appointment fully prepared and ready to do what they do best.

Work Quickly

According to PwC, speed of service matters most to 70% of customers, so it’s paramount that you eliminate any silos and inefficient processes that could slow down your services. In our digital world, paper-based documents, legacy systems and spreadsheets simply won’t cut it anymore.

In contrast, field service management platforms streamline the entire end-to-end process — from customer bookings to invoicing and payment — for a more rapid way of working. For example, once engineers have completed their jobs, they can create digital invoices on their mobile devices and send them to your customers in a matter of seconds.

Instead of waiting days (or possibly weeks) to pay for the service, customers can pay on the same day using a range of simple online payment options. Not only will your customers appreciate the convenience, but it also means that you’ll always be paid on time, making for a healthy cash flow.

Protect Your Customers’ Data

71% of people say they would take their business elsewhere following a data breach so, to ensure your customers are loyal to your company, you must take security seriously. Aside from data breaches presenting a threat to your customers’ sensitive details, if your business is found to be GDPR non-compliant, you could suffer from debilitating financial, operational and reputational damage. 

Traditional methods of handling customer information — such as spreadsheets — may have done the job in the past, but they’re no match for cybercriminals’ ever-evolving tactics. Worryingly, customers’ details can quickly end up in the wrong hands, even if you’ve password-protected your documents.
On the contrary, 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. With such a robust security system in place, you can show customers that you take data privacy seriously, and they can rest assured that their information is in good hands.

Retain Customers by Undergoing a Digital Transformation

By improving your customer retention rate by just 5%, you will benefit from an impressive 25-95% increase in profits, so it’s worthwhile investing in the technology that will make it easy to deliver services that delight your customers. 

With a platform like BigChange, you can do the following:

  • Give your customers the ability to make and amend their bookings online
  • Assign and dispatch workers based on their suitability for the job
  • Track vehicles, assets, stock and equipment
  • Take payments and invoices online

…and more, all on a single easy-to-use platform. Simplifying your ways of working frees up more time for your field-based workers to attend more appointments and enables your back-office staff to focus their attention on providing exceptional services to your customers. By making the most of your team, you’ll find that customers will become more loyal to your business.

Create More Repeat Customers on 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, and bring in new clientele with ease through the superior customer experience you can provide.

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

47% of people across the UK say they have higher customer service expectations than they did one year ago. Subsequently, field service companies must look at their current operations and consider making them more customer-centric. The first step to streamlining your processes and meeting customer expectations is by ensuring that your employees have the right tools to do their jobs effectively. 

In this article, we’ll look at the two different sides of your workforce (your back-office team and your field-based engineers) and explain how field service management technology gives them everything they need to deliver outstanding customer service.

Your Field Technicians

As the faces of your organisation, your field technicians are the team members that your customers will interact with most frequently. Therefore, you must ensure that you include more than just hammers and spanners in their toolkits.

Here are just some of the ways your engineers can use field service management technology to enhance the service they provide to your customers:

View All Work History and Booking Details on their Mobile Devices

As the saying goes, knowledge is power. But, if you don’t provide your engineers with the knowledge to do a good job, 46% of customers say they’ll abandon your business.

However, empowering your field technicians to do what they do best is simple when you use field service management technology. The best platforms on the market come with an integrated mobile app that enables engineers to see everything your back-office team has access to — all in the palm of their hands. 

As a result, your engineers can quickly view their customers’ work history and booking details before arriving at each appointment, meaning they’ll never be unprepared. Instead, each field technician can focus on delivering excellent services and getting the job done rapidly.

Issue Electronic Invoices and Receive Payments the Same Day

Did you know, the number of customers using mobile wallets to make payments increased from around 900 million to 1.48 billion worldwide during the pandemic? More people have realised the value and convenience that technology can provide, so businesses will need to keep up to survive in ‘the new normal’.

Equipping your engineers with a field service mobile app that enables them to issue invoices and accept payments is a sure-fire way to impress customers. For example, with BigChange Pay, customers can choose from a range of convenient payment methods and send the money on the same day.

Aside from creating a better customer experience, same-day payments also guarantee that you’ll always have a healthy cash flow, which will enable you to keep taking on more ambitious projects and growing your organisation.

Your Back-Office Team

When it comes to delivering outstanding customer service, your back-office team is just as crucial as your field technicians. After all, they manage everything behind the scenes and ensure that your engineers are fully equipped to do a good job.

Here are just some of the ways your back-office staff can use field service management technology to enhance the service they provide to your customers:

Allocate Stock, Equipment and Assets Directly to Jobs

Businesses that achieve a first-time fix rate of over 70% also maintain an extremely high customer retention rate of 86%. Consequently, it pays to ensure that your field technicians have everything they need to complete the job correctly the first time.

Field service management platforms allow your back-office team to see every appointment and job details on the system. Using the booking details, your staff can then allocate stock, equipment and other assets (such as vehicles) directly to jobs. 

By ensuring your engineers have the right gear every time, you significantly increase the chances of a first-time fix, which impresses your customers and frees up more time for your team to complete more appointments per day.

Communicate Regularly with Your Customers

Only 14% of customers are happy with current business communications, so companies that make an effort to stay in touch are likely to stand out from the crowd.

Fortunately, field service management platforms like BigChange make communication straightforward. Your back-office team can send emails to your customers using a personalisable template. The template can pull details directly from the CRM (customer relationship manager) in just a few clicks, so your emails will always be personalised and accurate.

Plus, your team can send automated text messages to customers with a live GPS tracking link on the day of the appointment. Using the link, your clients can see their engineers’ whereabouts, so they won’t have to keep calling the office for updates. As such, you’ll have happier customers and more efficient office staff who have more time to focus on other essential tasks.

Field Service Management Platforms Give Your Employees the Power to Do a Great Job. Every Time.

With customer expectations being more challenging to satisfy than ever before, now is the ideal time to undergo a digital transformation and find ways to stand out from the crowd.

We’ve touched on just a few ways a field service management platform can arm your employees with the tools they need to deliver outstanding customer service. However, there are many more applications, including:

  • Allocating engineers to jobs based on location, skill set, qualifications, vehicle type and job constraints
  • Mandatory risk assessments and workflows that ensure your engineers are completing work compliantly and to industry standards
  • Automated customer satisfaction surveys
  • Daily vehicle walkaround checks that keep your fleet in good working condition

Digitising your processes and moving them onto one easy-to-use platform benefits your customers, who will enjoy a more convenient service, and liberates your teams’ time to work on activities that contribute directly to business growth.

Delivering Outstanding Customer Service has Never Been Simpler on 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 here and arrange a free demo today.

When it comes to fleet management, it may seem sensible to repair your vehicles as and when they become damaged. However, in reality, reactive fixes cost an eye-watering three to nine times more than pre-planned maintenance, ultimately creating a large dent in your profits. 

In addition to being costly, unplanned maintenance can severely hinder or bring your projects to a halt, setting you back days, weeks or even months. Therefore, to lower expenses and keep all your appointments on track, you must conduct routine maintenance on your vehicles before it becomes too late.

In this article, we’ll explore the ways proper vehicle maintenance can save you money. We’ll also explain how field service management software helps you to keep track of your fleet, making it simpler than ever before.

How Proper Vehicle Maintenance Keeps Costs Down

1. You Only Replace Parts that Need Replacing

It can be tempting to ignore minor issues with your vehicles — especially if they present no risks to your drivers — as a way of reducing costs. However, what starts as a small problem can quickly become more serious and financially damaging than you initially suspected. 

In the long run, it makes good business sense to replace single parts as and when they wear out instead of waiting for a complete breakdown. Plus, there are hidden bonuses to keeping your vehicles in excellent condition. For example, regularly replacing your tyres can increase your fuel efficiency by up to 10%.
With field service management software like BigChange, proper vehicle maintenance is simple. Your engineers can complete daily walkaround checks of their vans and raise any potential problems with your fleet manager using the mobile app. As such, you’ll have a complete record of each vehicle, allowing you to perform maintenance before repairs start eating into your profits.

2. There’s a Lower Risk of Expensive Legal Issues

Unfortunately, there were over 100,000 road accidents last year in the UK. With your engineers spending a large chunk of their days travelling between jobs, it’s paramount that you do everything possible to prevent them from becoming part of the statistic. 

If you don’t regularly take the time to maintain your fleet, you are putting people at risk. For example, one of your vans could suddenly break down on the motorway, causing a collision that injures your employee or others. 

Aside from being a terrible experience for your employee, if you’re found guilty of health and safety negligence, you may have to face lengthy legal battles and hefty fines. In fact, the Sentencing Council introduced harsher penalties in 2016 for companies that fail to manage health and safety matters competently. Now, the average fine sits at £150,000.

Fortunately, by encouraging every engineer to complete a daily check of their vehicle and record their findings on the app, you can guarantee that you’re following health and safety best practices. As a result, you and your employees can rest assured that the likelihood of a serious accident is significantly lowered.

3. Working Vehicles Prevent Delays to Profitable Projects

Each year, around 20% of a fleet’s vehicles incur downtime due to accidents. Although some breakdowns are inevitable, regardless of how well you care for your vehicles, there are ways to substantially reduce the frequency and length of the downtime.

Firstly, as we mentioned before, daily vehicle walkaround checks are a must-have to ensure that your fleet is DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) compliant. In addition to improving health and safety measures, when your engineers consistently record their findings, you’ll have a comprehensive record of each vehicle’s history, which provides proof of compliance and any work carried out.

Secondly, you should monitor your drivers’ behaviour on the roads. With BigChange’s field service management platform, you can see reports on speeding, harsh acceleration, braking, cornering and idling. Your engineers then receive a score that builds an accurate picture of their driving style over time, giving you the chance to offer additional training to those who take more risks on the road.

By eliminating risky behaviour and driving styles that create more wear and tear on your vehicles, you’ll be able to reduce each vehicles’ downtime and maintenance costs annually, meaning you can continue taking on more projects that boost your bottom line.

It’s Easy to Lower Expenses with Field Service Management Software

Field service management eradicates the headaches associated with maintaining a fleet by digitising the entire process. Instead of needing to fill out several forms each day that could be lost or forgotten about, engineers can complete vehicle checks from their mobile devices in a matter of seconds.

Then, your fleet manager can see everyone’s reports, making them aware of any frequent issues or potential fixes they need to perform. Performing regular maintenance on your fleet is the best way to ensure that vehicles don’t become too pricey to repair or create long periods of downtime that reduce your profits.

Make Preventative and Predictive Maintenance Simpler on BigChange

Your fleet is a crucial component of your business, but it doesn’t have to be expensive to maintain.

With BigChange, your drivers can easily identify and report vehicle defects, enabling you to fix minor issues before they become major, costly problems.

Plus, our driver behaviour analysis feature provides you with complete visibility over each engineers’ driving style, so you can offer additional training to those who are more inclined to take risks on the road. 
Discover how BigChange 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 (CX) 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, you should think about every touchpoint before, during, and after a sale. Being efficient at booking, job execution, and aftercare will help set you apart from your competition. 

In this article, we will explain how to build strong customer relationships by optimising your schedule, driving growth and improvement, and strengthening your CX using job management technology such as BigChange.

What are the Benefits of a Customer Experience Strategy?

1. Increased Profits

Brands with superior customer experience bring in 5.7 times more revenue than competitors that don’t focus on their clients’ needs. Therefore, focusing some time and energy on improving the service you provide could significantly impact your bottom line.

2. More Loyal Customers

Research has shown that customers that give companies a high CX score spend 140% more and remain loyal for up to six years. Not only will improving your customer experience reap more profit in the short term, but these loyal customers who trust your business will spend more over the course of their relationship with you.
Plus, people who have a favourable view of your business are more likely to spread the word to their social and professional circles — and Nielson research showed that 92% of customers will trust recommendations over any form of marketing. So, providing excellent customer experiences could lead to word of mouth marketing, exposing your company to a new audience that could potentially turn into sales.

3. More Streamlined Operation

77% of customers say they view companies more positively if they seek out and apply customer feedback to improve their products and services.

By improving your after-appointment customer experience you could not only gain valuable insights that can improve your entire operation but you’ll build loyalty and trust with your existing audience as they will see you value their feedback.

What are the Buyer Journey Stages in Field Services?

1. The Booking Process

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 today 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 leisure without talking to a representative.

Customers will then speak directly to one of your back-office staff to make an appointment. However, when you require people to book appointments over the phone, they will either have to wait until business hours, or they could find themselves helpless in an emergency. 
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, if you are still using out-of-date legacy systems and slow manual administration processes for bookings, that isn’t enough to provide the best customer experience.

2. On the Day of Appointment

Customers don’t appreciate having to wait around all day for their appointment because they’ve been given a vague time slot for their technician to arrive, and communication has been poor.
In contrast, when a business sends automatic updates, 68% of customers have a better opinion of the company. Therefore, providing your customers with updates about the job status and their technicians’ locations is essential to creating a superior customer experience.

3. Post-Appointment Customer Care

To provide an excellent customer experience, you have to consider how you interact with people even after completing the job. 

Using traditional accounting methods might have taken a couple of weeks for a customer to receive an invoice. Drawn out payment processes could be inconvenient for your customers and detract from their overall experience, or make them consider a competitor in future who offers a more seamless payment experience. 

Therefore, in order to thrive in this stage, your business needs to modernise its invoicing methods. Let’s look at how technology can transform the experience you offer your customers before, during, and after an appointment.

How to Use Technology to Enhance Customer Experience

Using a job management platform improves the customer experience at all stages of the buyer journey. Here are the top three ways you can use technology to enhance your service:

1. Creating Excellent Customer Experiences in the Booking Stage

Using a Self-Service Platform

88% of consumers expect an organisation to have some form of self-service portal available. Suppose your business only enables customers to book appointments over the phone — the customer has to wait for business hours, which could clash with their own work schedule, or they might not be able to get the help they need quickly enough, leading to them using a competitor. In that case, you should consider adopting software that allows clients to manage their bookings online at their convenience.

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

As such, your workers will be able to get the job done right the first time and take less time out of your customers’ busy days.

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% retain 86% of their customer base. If they achieve less than 70%, their retention rate drops by 10%. 

Therefore, at the booking stage, 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 to gather information and allocate the right assets to a job means your technicians can confidently arrive for appointments with the tools they need to complete the job the first time. Not only does this provide a smoother experience for your customer, but your retention will benefit from your improved first-time fix rate.

Optimised Schedule

56% of field service professionals say that their customers are demanding faster response times. Therefore, businesses will need to modernise their schedules to meet the growing demand for quick services. By using job management software that optimises your schedule, you’ll have the resource to attend more emergency appointments and act quickly on emergent customer requests.
The best field service management platforms on the market include intelligent scheduling assistants that enable you to optimise your schedule, taking into account all appointments, their purpose, and the time they will take. The system then frees up any time that had previously been unavailable for booking due to manual scheduling or human error. As a result, you’ll free up more time for both back-office staff and make more profit from extra appointments.

2. Providing Stronger Experiences on the Day of Appointment

Let’s look at how you can streamline the experience on the day of the appointment:

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 may be illegible. Such mistakes mean items go missing easily, and replacements can be costly. A disorganised inventory could lead to a lack of necessary items and slow response times for a customer while you get parts or tools back in stock.

Instead, you can digitise your asset management, which removes the logistical headaches of managing an inventory. For example, field service management platforms like BigChange allow you to create a detailed register of equipment and parts. Then, you can track the movements of items using serial numbers, barcodes, or QR codes. 

Your technicians can check inventory in and out directly from their mobile devices, giving you better visibility over your valuable equipment. Consequently, 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 operations 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 to a customer, but traffic could cause them to take longer to arrive than another available person. In such a case, the system will suggest the best worker to allocate, saving your team from having to work it out manually.

Notification Features with GPS

BigChange’s field service management software allows your customers to get notifications about their appointment status and see the live location of their technician via the GPS vehicle tracking feature. So, never again will your customers feel like they’re left in the dark about the status of a job or have to wait at home all day.

3. Implementing Excellent After-Appointment Care

Follow-up Appointments

We’ve seen how using online scheduling software that allows your clients to manage bookings on their own is one step towards creating an excellent customer experience. However, you can go another step further by making it simple to book repeat appointments.

BigChange’s recurring job templates are perfect for clients who know they have many jobs. The recurring job feature enables you to group jobs so you can schedule them in bulk, saving both you and your customers a significant amount of time and stress.
In addition to scheduled work, the software includes a feature that allows you or your customer to create an automatic follow-up job should any unexpected work arise in the future. All new appointments will link to any previous jobs, meaning any relevant history is readily available for the 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, field service software with integrated payment gateways can speed up the payment process. 
Integrated payment solutions allow you to send your customer an invoice online automatically. 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 using a variety of payment options, making it more convenient for the client and better for your cash flow.

Asking for Customer Feedback

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.
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. This will show your audience that you value their feedback, and can adjust your service accordingly. This kind of development is great for customer retention as your loyal customers will feel valued and build more trust with the organisation.

Using Technology to Enhance the Customer Experience is Key

Using software like BigChange’s field service management system eliminates many burdensome and time-consuming processes throughout the customer journey. Subsequently, you’ll liberate more time for your staff to focus on making the customer experience the best it can be. Aside from being able to deliver superior experiences, you’ll also find that your optimised schedule enables your engineers to take on more appointments each day and boost your bottom line in the process.

Deliver a Superior Field Service Customer Experience, on BigChange

Make the change and 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 provide an excellent customer experience as well as increased profitability as a result. 

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.

It’s no secret that legislations form a large part of facilities management, and — to make matters more complicated — they’re constantly evolving. In recent years, as serious issues such as climate change and COVID-19 have impacted the way businesses operate, facilities managers have had to stay ahead of the curve.

Unfortunately, with so many regulations to remember and implement, the risk of non-compliance is high. That’s why we’ve put together this helpful guide, which will explain the top six facilities management legislations you need to know. We’ll also share how facility management software ensures that your organisation is running compliantly. Read on to learn more.

Why Legal Compliance in Facilities Management is Important

When managing facilities, it’s crucial to ensure that your operations are running compliantly. Failure to do so could mean you damage the following:

Your Reputation

In today’s digital world, news — good or bad — can spread and even go viral online in a matter of minutes. So, if your business is found to be operating non-compliantly, there’s a chance your customers will find out and potentially cut ties with you. In fact, 41% of people in the UK say they would stop using a company following a security breach.

Your Operation

Breaches of specific laws will mean that an organisation must cease operating until it has rectified the errors. Depending on how long it takes to resolve the issues, the downtime could significantly impact your ability to deliver services and make a profit. 

Worse still, your employees may not feel comfortable working for an organisation with a poor compliance record — especially if you’ve breached health and safety laws. As such, you’ll lose out on the best talent and won’t be as competitive in the market.

Your Finances

Did you know that the cost of non-compliance is typically double the amount it costs to follow all rules and regulations? In addition to fines, a damaged reputation and halted operations also prevent you from bringing more money in, making it even more challenging to recover following an incident.

Staying Safe in the Workplace: The Top 6 Facilities Management Legislations

Here are the top six facilities management legislations you must be aware of:

1. Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations

The UK Government introduced the Health and Safety at Work Regulations in 1999 to reinforce the Health and Safety Act of 1974. They clearly explain what employers must do to apply health and safety measures to every work-related activity. There are certain duties that both employers and employees are required to follow, including:

Employer Duties — Risk Assessment

The primary employer duty within the Health and Safety at Work Regulations is to undertake a risk assessment to identify any potential hazards to people on-site. Aside from being good practice, it is also a legal requirement to document your findings if you employ five or more people.

Once you’ve carried out your risk assessment, you must then make arrangements to implement health and safety measures to control or eliminate the hazards you identified. For each potential danger, you will need to assess the severity and apply the hierarchy of risk control to ensure that you’ve adequately handled the situation. 

Want to learn more about how to conduct a risk assessment? Click here to read our in-depth guide.

Employer Duties — General

As an employer, you must appoint at least one competent person — usually from within your organisation — to manage health and safety procedures and ensure that you’re complying with legislation. It is then their responsibility to do the following:

  • Provide everyone on-site (including temp workers and contractors) with necessary health and safety information in an understandable format.
  • Arrange for every employee to receive health and safety training.
  • Prevent workers from being given tasks beyond their competence or physical capabilities.

If you’re sharing your premises with another employer, you will need to coordinate your health and safety activities. For example, you should exchange any information from your risk assessment and include details about the preventative measures you’ve put in place.

Employee Duties

The majority of the responsibility falls with the employer when it comes to staying safe in the workplace; however, the Health and Safety at Work Regulations do include certain employee duties. They must:

  • Report health and safety shortcomings
  • Report dangerous situations
  • Report incidents and accidents
  • Use equipment in accordance with training and instruction
  • Take reasonable care of their own health and safety, and the safety of anyone who will be affected by their work

2. Manual Handling Regulations

Approximately 21% of all non-fatal workplace injuries are caused by incorrect manual handling, resulting in operational, financial and reputational damage. Therefore, it’s crucial to prevent situations where your workers could be harmed when lifting or moving heavy objects. The Manual Handling Operations Regulations (MHOR) legislation was introduced in 1992 and later updated in 2002 to provide employers with rules that will keep their workers safe.

As an employer, you must:

  • Avoid the need for hazardous manual handling, as far as reasonably practicable
  • Assess the risk of injury from any manual handling task that cannot be avoided
  • Reduce the risk of injury from manual handling, as far as reasonably practicable

Again, you will need to conduct a sufficient risk assessment and put measures in place to reduce or eliminate manual handling hazards where possible. Failure to implement the requirements could be subject to actions from the regulatory authorities.

3. Display Screen Equipment Regulations

The Display Screen Equipment Regulations outline what employers must do to protect their staff from display screen equipment (DSE) risks, such as computers and laptops. Incorrect usage of DSE or poorly designed workspaces can cause musculoskeletal pains, wrist and hand pain, fatigue and eye strain, so it’s essential to ensure your office staff have the right tools to do their jobs.

Although the DSE regulations won’t apply to your field-based workers, it does cover anyone in your back office who regularly uses screen-based equipment as part of their daily work. As an employer, you must:

  • Do a DSE workstation assessment or train workers to carry out basic assessments
  • Ensure that workers take regular breaks from DSE work or complete other tasks intermittently
  • Provide eye tests
  • Provide adequate training and information for workers

As with the other regulations we’ve covered so far, you will need to conduct a risk assessment and record your findings.

4. Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations

The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 (WHSWR) outline the workplace’s minimum health and safety requirements, though they exclude construction sites. As the name of the legislation suggests, there are three key areas of focus:

Health

The ‘health’ aspect of the WHSWR refers to the following:

  • Ventilation
  • Temperature
  • Work in hot and cold environments
  • Lighting
  • Cleanliness and waste material
  • Room dimensions and space
  • Workstations and seating

Safety

The ‘safety’ aspect of the WHSWR refers to the following:

  • Maintenance
  • Floors and traffic routes
  • Falls into dangerous substances
  • Transparent or translucent doors
  • Gates, walls and windows
  • Escalators and moving walkways

Welfare

The ‘welfare’ aspect of the WHSWR refers to the following:

  • Sanitary conveniences and washing facilities
  • Drinking water
  • Accommodation for clothing 
  • Facilities for changing
  • Facilities for rest and to eat meals 

5. Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER)

The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations, otherwise known as PUWER, place duties on anyone who owns, operates or has control over work equipment — including businesses and organisations whose employees use work equipment. 

PUWER requires that any equipment for work purposes is:

  • Suitable for the intended use
  • Safe for use, maintained and inspected to ensure that it’s correctly installed and isn’t deteriorating significantly
  • Used only by individuals who have received adequate information and training
  • Accompanied by suitable health and safety measures, such as protective devices and controls. Such devices typically include guarding, emergency stops, adequate means of isolation from energy sources, clearly visible markings and warning devices
  • Used in accordance with specific requirements

In addition to PUWER, certain types of work equipment may also be subject to other health and safety legislation. For example, lifting equipment will also need to meet the requirements of LOLER. 

Some work equipment is subject to other health and safety legislation in addition to PUWER. For example, lifting equipment must also meet the requirements of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER) and personal protective equipment needs to follow the PPE at work regulations. With COVID having a significant impact on how people use PPE in the workplace, it’s imperative to stay up-to-date with any changes to the legislation.

6. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Regulations

Following on from the previous point, let’s take a closer look at the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) regulations. Although PPE has gained attention throughout the pandemic, it has always been essential for any facilities manager to know how it should be used in the workplace.

PPE is equipment that protects the user against health and safety risks at work. You can provide such protection with items such as safety helmets, high-visibility clothing, eye protection, gloves, safety footwear or respiratory protective equipment (RPE). 

Whilst you may have taken every other precaution to reduce hazards on-site, you may still need to protect your workers against injuries to:

  • The eyes — e.g. flying particles
  • The skin — e.g. corrosive chemicals
  • The lungs — e.g. breathing in contaminated air
  • The head and feet — e.g. falling materials
  • The body — e.g.extreme temperatures

However, it’s important to remember that PPE should only be used as a last resort (except when facemasks are required due to COVID), and you should always try to put other health and safety measures in place first. If you require your staff to wear PPE on the job, you will need to provide it free of charge.

Facility Management Software Helps You Stay Compliant

Although we’ve covered the top six legislations, there are many more that you must consider depending on your industry. But, with so many other responsibilities on your plate already, how can you guarantee that your organisation is compliant?

The best way to manage your operations is by using facility management software like BigChange, which has many inbuilt health and safety features. Here are just some of the features you can benefit from:

  • Mandatory risk assessment and workflows that workers must fill out on their mobile devices before beginning work
  • Daily vehicle walkaround checks
  • Driver behaviour analysis

By digitising your health and safety procedures, you’ll have a complete record of the measures you’ve taken to keep your employees safe. As such, you and your employees can rest assured that your organisation is following all industry regulations and won’t get caught out for non-compliance.

Ensure Your Employees are Staying Safe 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 BigChange can make your business grow stronger here and arrange a free demo today.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic having a damaging effect on many field service businesses, the HVAC market growth shows no signs of slowing down. In 2020, the global HVAC market was valued at $127.4 billion and is expected to expand at an annual growth rate of 5.9% over the next seven years. 

However, although market growth is good news for business owners, it does mean that competition is fiercer than ever. To stand out and attract customers, you’ll need to look at how you run your company and identify any areas for improvement.

In this article, we’ll explain how to run an HVAC business and share how a job management platform can set you apart from your competitors.

How to Run an HVAC Business Effectively

There are many components to running an HVAC business; however, we’ve outlined the top three things you need to take into account below:

1. Plan

Companies that plan ahead grow 30% faster than those that don’t, so it’s essential that you take some time to put together a solid HVAC business plan. To begin, you might want to consider the following questions:

  • What is your unique selling proposition?
  • What is your vision for the next five years?
  • What is your target for sales, gross profit and net profit? If possible, you should break your profits down per department.
  • How many service calls should you aim to attend?
  • How many installations should you aim to complete?
  • How many technicians, installers, salespeople and back-office staff will you require?
  • How much business should you aim to get from repeat customers?

Then, you’ll need to project your cash requirements for each month. Calculate how much money will be coming in and compare it to your outgoings — is your remainder positive? If not, you’ll need to figure out how you will earn the additional revenue required.

Remember, having a steady cash flow is vital for any business, so you must ensure that your customers always pay on time. Otherwise, you will find it challenging to meet operational expenses and take on new projects that contribute to company growth. By investing in a job management platform, you can send electronic invoices the moment your worker has completed the work. Plus, with a range of simple, digital payment options available, your customers can pay on the same day, giving you peace of mind that your finances are in check. 

2. Collect Data

According to research from Aberdeen Group, the best performing field service businesses are driven by data and report a 7% decrease in operating costs. So, if you’re not already analysing your company’s stats, you should be.

The type of data you’ll want to collect will depend on your business goals. For example, ordering parts is crucial for running an HVAC business, but you could be spending far more than you should if you don’t have access to relevant, accurate data. Perhaps your workers forget to sign parts in and out of storage, or maybe their writing is illegible, and you can’t see what they’ve used. Either way, you’ll soon notice that the numbers aren’t adding up.

In comparison, job management platforms give you complete visibility over your operations and provide you with access to real-time data so you can make better-informed business decisions. So, not only will you be able to see how much stock you have available so you never accidentally over-order, but you can also take a closer look at whether the rest of your company is running as efficiently as possible.

3. Recruit the Best Talent

In stark contrast to the booming HVAC market, there is a serious shortage of talent. As more experienced workers reach retirement age and leave the workforce, they’re leaving behind a gap that 70% of field service organisations expect will severely impact operations within the next five to ten years.

Consequently, it’ll be the companies that can hire the best talent that will survive and grow in the years to come. But, to attract Millennial (1981-1996) and Generation Z (1997-2012) workers, businesses will need to modernise their ways of working. These tech-savvy generations will expect to work for companies that provide digital tools that enable them to work efficiently and deliver excellent services.

Therefore, now is the perfect time to undergo a digital transformation and become an early adopter of field service management software. With a platform like BigChange, you’ll be able to provide seamless communication between your field-based workforce and your back-office staff by equipping technicians with a mobile app. 

Using the app, workers can complete risk assessments and workflow documents, check the customers’ files for important notes, view their schedule in real-time, send digital invoices and accept payments — all from their mobile devices. By streamlining your processes and making it simple to complete each job, you’ll find that people will want to work for your company over those that continue to operate ‘the old way’.

Following Best Practices with Fleet Management Software

Job management technology is a must-have for HVAC businesses to thrive in a highly competitive, talent-short market. Platforms like BigChange give you the power to transform your company and manage business-as-usual tasks all in one place, saving you time and money to put back into activities that contribute directly to business growth.

Running an HVAC is simple on BigChange

Manage your entire operation on a single platform. 

BigChange transforms how your HVAC business operates, giving you the power to manage scheduled maintenance and respond to urgent reactive jobs more effectively. 

Give your team everything they need, from site directions and workflows to digital safety certification, and share live data with your back office as required.

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

There are an estimated 1.6 million people in the UK currently suffering from work-related injuries or illnesses. In addition to being inconvenient for staff and businesses alike, health problems inflicted by the workplace can cause severe reputational, operational and financial damage.

Subsequently, companies must take every precaution to protect their employees — especially field service organisations that often expect their technicians to use dangerous equipment or work in potentially hazardous environments.

In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of following health and safety best practices at work. We’ll also share how you can stay safe at work, including carrying out a risk assessment and consulting workers on health and safety. Finally, we’ll explore how field service management technology gives you all the tools you need to provide your employees with a safe working environment.

The Importance of Good Health and Safety Practices at Work

In addition to being morally wrong, failing to prioritise the health and safety of your workers may have severe consequences for your business. Let’s take a look at some of the main issues your company could face if you don’t help your staff stay safe at work:

1. Loss in Productivity and Delayed Projects

Currently, UK companies lose around 38.8 million working days to work-related illnesses and injuries. For field service organisations, such a significant loss of business hours can delay important projects and eat into profits. So, it’s crucial to have robust health and safety measures in place to prevent projects from being put on hold.

Plus, a safe workplace results in happier employees who are more loyal to your business. In fact, companies with highly engaged employees enjoy 21% greater profitability, indicating how vital staff happiness is to the success of your organisation.

2. Reputational Damage

Did you know that companies risk losing 22% of potential business if prospective customers encounter a negative article in their search results? As such, it’s paramount that you maintain your company’s reputation to avoid any bad press. Organisations that care about the health and safety of their staff can build a sense of trust between them, their staff and customers much more effortlessly

3. Legal Battles and Financial Repercussions

In 2016, the Sentencing Council introduced harsher penalties for companies that fail to competently manage health and safety matters. Now, the average fine sits at an eye-watering £150,000. If one of your employees is injured or becomes ill due to a hazardous workplace, you could find yourself involved in a legal battle that ends with a costly fine.

Stay Safe at Work: The Top 4 Health and Safety Best Practices for Field Service Businesses

As an employer, it’s your duty to protect your employers — and anyone else who visits your site — from injuries or illnesses caused by the work environment. As daunting as that responsibility may sound, it doesn’t have to be a logistical nightmare consisting of paper-based forms and admin-heavy tasks. 

Here are the top four ways you can protect people on-site using health and safety best practices and state-of-the-art field service management technology:

1. Conducting a Risk Assessment

Carrying out a risk assessment is one of the best ways to ensure that everyone will remain safe on-site. Risk assessments enable you to examine potential causes of harm and decide whether they have preventative measures in place that comply with the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Although it is a legal requirement to document your evaluation if you employ five or more people, it is still a good idea to keep note of your findings so that everyone in the organisation can refer to them at any point. Now more than ever before, risks in the workplace change constantly, so you will need to update your record at frequent intervals. For example, you may need to conduct a new assessment when:

  • The workplace has caused a health and safety incident
  • Someone has reported a near-miss
  • There have been significant changes within the workplace (e.g. new equipment)

Fortunately, conducting and documenting risk assessments needn’t be an admin-heavy task. With a field service management platform, you can keep a digital record of each review, saving you the hassle of manually writing out and storing your findings.

2. Consulting Workers on Health and Safety Policies

Sadly, in just one year, 142 people in the UK suffered a fatality at work. To prevent such tragic accidents, you should share your risk assessment results with your workforce. Providing employees with a strong understanding of potential hazards, and the measures you’ve put in place to mitigate them, will help to lower the risk of injuries or illnesses.

For example, if your staff frequently work in dangerous situations, you’ll need to share safe working practices and explain what tools and equipment you’ve provided to help them carry out the work safely. 

Ensuring everyone has the right gear is paramount to good health and safety at work but, if you’re currently relying on manual sign-in and sign-out sheets, you may find that there isn’t enough to go around. Human error can cause inconsistencies in your inventory — perhaps your workers accidentally took items without recording them, or maybe their handwriting is illegible.

The good news is, the best field service management platforms help you to keep track of your assets in real-time, regardless of their location. You can create a detailed register of items, track item movements, see a record of fitted parts and add serial numbers, barcodes or QR codes to each item. 

Plus, since your back-office team will have access to all your customers’ booking details, they can assign stock and equipment directly to each job, meaning your technicians will always have everything they need to stay safe and complete the project the first time.

3. Making Sure Your Technicians Assess the Safety of Every Site They Visit

As we mentioned earlier, it’s crucial to conduct a workplace risk assessment to keep your staff safe on-site. But what about your field-based technicians who travel to different customer sites every day? According to the Labour Force Survey, around 693,000 people sustain an injury at work.

Luckily, you can significantly lower the chance of injuries on client sites by providing your field-based workforce with a mobile application that links to your central system. You’ll be able to set up mandatory workflows and risk assessment documents that your technicians must complete via their mobile devices before they can begin the work or fill out their timesheet.

During the risk assessment, your workers can highlight potential hazards, which will immediately alert your back office team. The team can then work with your technician to eliminate the risk and safely get the job back on track. As such, your employees can rest assured that they won’t sustain an injury on the job and will also be able to complete all jobs without any obstacles.

4. Ensuring Your Technicians are Being Safe on the Road

Data from the Department for Transport indicates that there were 131,220 road casualties of varying severity during the year June 2019 to June 2020. Unfortunately, the risk of an accident only increases the longer your technicians have to spend on the road.

Therefore, you must ensure that you put measures in place to keep your technicians safe when travelling between jobs. There are three key ways you can maintain the safety of your workers who have to get behind the wheel:

1. Driver Behaviour Analysis

When you use a field service management platform like BigChange, you’ll be able to use GPS vehicle tracking to monitor your drivers’ behaviour on the road in real-time. The system will capture information on idling, speeding, cornering, braking and harsh acceleration to provide drivers with a score that you can track over time. As a result, you can build an accurate picture of technicians who may require additional training to ensure that they’re driving as safely as possible.

2. Proactive Vehicle Maintenance

Not only does unplanned maintenance cost three to nine times more than planned preventative maintenance, but it can also put your technicians at risk. Defective vehicles can break down on the road, increasing the chances of collisions.

Field service management platforms enable you to catch potential issues before they become perilous and costly. Technicians can use their mobile devices to complete daily electronic vehicle walkaround checks and report problems to your fleet manager, who can take action to resolve them rapidly.

3. Smart Scheduling and Optimised Routes

Decreasing the amount of time your technicians spend driving each day is another sure-fire way to cut down the risk of road accidents. Thanks to technological advancements in recent years, you can now keep technicians’ driving times to a minimum.

Using an intelligent scheduling assistant, field service management platforms such as BigChange suggest ways to optimise your workers’ routes and keep them as short as possible. 

Your back-office team will be able to assign technicians to jobs based on location, qualifications, skillset and vehicle type, meaning that you can attend to more bookings each day confident in the knowledge that your workers are safe.

Technology is a Key Component to Following Health and Safety Best Practices

There are many harsh consequences for businesses that don’t follow health and safety best practices. From costly legal battles to expensive fines and a destroyed reputation, your company risks being devastated by the fallout of not adhering to the latest guidelines. However, field service management software can transform the way businesses keep their people safe on the job and make it simpler than ever to remain compliant.

With a platform like BigChange, you can take advantage of the following:

  • A mobile application that gives technicians access to all health and safety documents
  • Real-time GPS vehicle tracking and driver behaviour analysis
  • Digital vehicle maintenance records
  • Complete visibility over your inventory
  • An intelligent scheduling assistant that optimises every route
  • Electronic records of every risk assessment

With so many health and safety features available at the click of a button, you and your team can spend less time managing stacks of paperwork and, instead, focus on doing what you do best.

Help Your Employees Stay Safe at Work with BigChange’s Field Service Management Software

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

Did you know, an astounding 86% of people are willing to pay more for a great customer experience? Today’s tech-savvy customers expect companies to deliver a convenient, speedy and satisfactory service. Still, with so many field service organisations continuing to rely on outdated ways of working, they’re falling behind the curve.

To survive and thrive going forward, businesses will need to modernise and use technology to enhance their operations. Fortunately, with the right CRM system, it’s never been easier to deliver on customer expectations in a cost-effective way.

In this article, we’ll explain what CRM is before sharing how it can increase customer satisfaction. Finally, we’ll discuss the ways in which CRM systems can benefit field service businesses and explore how BigChange can transform your current methods of working.

What is a CRM?

CRM stands for customer relationship management. As the name suggests, it is a piece of technology specifically designed to manage a business’ interactions with customers or potential customers.  

CRM systems now make up the most prominent software market globally, and it isn’t slowing down anytime soon. In fact, experts are predicting that the CRM market will skyrocket to over $80 billion in revenues by 2025. The reason for its popularity lies within the many benefits it provides to businesses in a range of industries, which we will explore in-depth later on in the article.

Not only can CRM enable organisations to build stronger relationships with their clients, streamline processes and increase profitability, but it also provides you with access to real-time data. 

As such, you can gain complete visibility over your exchanges with customers at the touch of a button and use the information collected to inform future communications, which traditional spreadsheets, paper-based documents and legacy systems can’t provide.

In simple terms, CRM is revolutionising the way businesses interact with their customer bases.

Read on to learn more about how a modern customer relationship management system can specifically benefit field service organisations and improve customer experience.

How CRM Improves the Customer Experience

CRM systems have come a long way since their introduction in 1987. More than just a digital Rolodex of customer details, present-day software includes a range of features that enable businesses to provide the best customer experiences. 

Here are four ways you can use a CRM system to enhance the customer experience:

1. Promotes Better Communication

When it comes to creating an excellent customer experience, communication is everything. According to data from Microsoft, 68% of people say they perceive a brand more positively when companies send them proactive customer service notifications.

With a state-of-the-art customer relationship management system, you can pull client data into company-branded email templates. The system then sends these personalised emails to your customers regularly to keep them in the loop about their appointment.

Plus, many CRMs also provide access to real-time GPS data so you can see where your workers are when they’re on the road. Consequently, you’ll be able to send your customers automated ETA (estimated time of arrival) text and email alerts to let them know when their technician is nearby.

2. Enables You to Consider Customers’ Needs

People appreciate it when brands consider their opinions, with 77% saying they view companies more favourably if they seek out and apply customer feedback. Therefore, you must consider ways to capture different viewpoints and use them to tailor your services. 

However, when you’re using multiple systems, spreadsheets and physical documents to manage your operations, it can be tricky to collate customers’ opinions, much less do anything 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. 

The CRM automatically stores all interactions you have with your clients, so you can easily access survey results in the future and use them to adjust your services based on customer needs.

3. Gives You the Tools to Respond Rapidly to Requests

Our brains are hardwired to seek instant gratification, so it’s unsurprising that 70% of customers say that speed of service matters the most when dealing with companies. Unfortunately, antiquated legacy systems and slow manual administration processes aren’t going to cut it anymore.

In contrast, when you use CRM software to manage your workflow the system will update in real-time, giving you the ability to act upon customer requests in an instant.

For example, your customers can book appointments using an online self-service portal, which sends an alert to your back-office staff. Your team can then use the data the client provided to schedule and dispatch the most appropriate technician based on location, traffic information, vehicle type and job constraints.

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, rather than filling out and mailing a paper cheque.

4. Guarantees that Customer Information is Safe

79% of people say they are somewhat or very concerned about how companies use the data they collect about them. 

Suppose your customers don’t believe you’re storing their details safely and protecting their privacy. In that case, they may choose to purchase products or services from your competitors who are more transparent about data protection.

Unlike spreadsheets and legacy systems, which are notoriously challenging to manage compliantly, CRM systems allow you to carry out GDPR-compliant management of individuals’ details. For instance, customers can edit their opt-in preferences, giving them control over what you do with their data.

Plus, many advanced CRMs include robust security features. For instance, BigChange’s system secures all data in AWS (Amazon Web Services), the world’s most comprehensive and widely-adopted cloud platform. As a result, you can provide your customers with peace of mind that their data is safe and that you take privacy seriously.

How Good Customer Experience Benefits Your Field Service Business

It may seem that CRM is only designed to improve your customers’ experience, but that isn’t strictly true. In reality, businesses that prioritise the customer experience outperform those that don’t by an astounding 80%.

Here are just some of the many benefits your organisation could enjoy by adopting a CRM system to improve CX:

1. You’ll Have a More Loyal Customer Base

82% of customers who feel valued will always purchase from the same company when they need something and are less inclined to shop around. Subsequently, when you use a CRM system to enhance customer satisfaction, your clients are more likely to be loyal to your business.

With a CRM, you can send out regular, personalised communications to keep your customers engaged and make them feel appreciated, even after their job is complete. By keeping in touch with your clients, you’ll remain at the forefront of their minds, and they will consider your business next time they require your services.

2. Your Company’s Reputation Will Improve

Your clients will be more inclined to recommend your services to their family, friends, and professional network when you deliver outstanding customer service. Customer endorsement is one of your most effective marketing tools, with 60% of people saying they trust it above other forms of advertising. 

A CRM system enables you to provide your customers with a better, more effective service. For example, your team can use real-time data to ensure that they dispatch technicians with the right skill sets for each job, along with all the necessary equipment and tools. As such, your technicians will be able to complete work to a high standard on their first visit.

3. Case Management Becomes More Straightforward

Currently, employees believe they spend around two hours each day on pointless administration tasks, which significantly slows the entire workflow down. Not to mention that manual processes make it much more difficult to keep track of each customers’ case, leading to more problems down the line.

But, with CRM software in place, wasted time and lost information can become a thing of the past. You can log every call, email and customer interaction directly in the system, making it painless to track whenever you need to find essential details quickly.

Plus, your team can share and allocate cases through custom tickets, notes and @ tags to keep everyone updated on the status of each job.

4. You’ll Be Able to Charge More for Your Services

Organisations that improve their customer satisfaction rates could double their current revenue within just 36 months. The only problem is, it’s near-on impossible to meet high client expectations if you’re still relying on inefficient, outmoded processes.

In comparison, CRM systems give you the tools you need to delight your customer base by anticipating their needs. For example, using the information that the system has collected about your clients, you’ll be able to book recurring jobs if required and send automated reminders, so your customers don’t have to remember to make another appointment in the future.

When clients feel like you value them and care about their requirements, they are more willing to pay a premium for your services, rather than going to a cheaper competitor who doesn’t prioritise the customer experience.

5. Employee Productivity and Profits Will Skyrocket

Teams with higher employee engagement are, on average, 22% more profitable. However, when your staff has to spend hours each day on arduous, repetitive administration tasks, their morale takes a nosedive, and productivity decreases exponentially.

But, with technology, you could revolutionise the way your team works.

BigChange’s workforce management software, which includes a built-in CRM system, eliminates burdensome processes that weigh down your staff’s to-do lists, freeing up their time to focus on more business-critical tasks. 

For example, they don’t have to spend hours planning a complex job schedule each time a customer books an appointment. The system will handle it for them based on the information your clients provide. Your back-office staff can then simply select the most suitable worker and equipment and assign them directly to the job.

As a consequence, your employees will feel more motivated by the work they’re doing, and your customers will enjoy the seamless interactions with your business, leading to higher profits in the long run.

Boost Your Customer Satisfaction 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.

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.

For 46% of businesses, customer experience (CX) is expected to be their number one priority in the next five years. With today’s customers wanting organisations to anticipate their needs and deliver outstanding services at every buyer journey stage, a robust CX strategy is key to company survival. Unfortunately, those that fail to consider the needs of their clients risk being left behind.

But, how do you maintain a high customer engagement rate in the later stages of the buyer journey, once the job is done?

In this article, we’ll explore the top three ways you can leave a positive impression on your clients and keep them coming back for more. Plus, we’ll share how job management software can simplify the entire process.

Keeping Your Customer Engagement Rate High Once the Work is Done

89% of companies see customer experience as a critical factor in driving customer loyalty and retention. Therefore, learning how to delight your clients — even once the work is complete — is essential. Here are our top three tips on keeping engagement high in the latest stages of the buyer journey:

1. Send a Customer Satisfaction Survey

Did you know, companies that measure customer satisfaction are 33% more likely to describe themselves as successful than those that don’t? By collecting customer satisfaction data, not only can you check that people are happy with the work your technicians carried out, it also enables you to address problem areas and improve your CX. 

With modern field service management technology, it’s easier than ever to collect customer feedback. Once your technicians have completed their jobs, the system will automatically send a company-branded satisfaction survey to your clients.

The system collects all the data and allows you to see your Net Promoter Score (NPS), which indicates how willing your customers would be to recommend your services to others. You can then break your customer base down into three categories:

Detractors

Detractors will usually provide an overall satisfaction score of six or lower. The chances of these customers using your business again are incredibly slim, and they may even dissuade others from purchasing your services.

Passives

Passive customer scores of around seven or eight indicate that they were happy with the service but aren’t necessarily loyal to your company. They wouldn’t think twice about switching to a competitor if they had a better offering.

Promoters

A score of 9 or 10 will indicate that these customers are promoters of your organisation. They were delighted with the outcome of the work and would actively recommend your services to others.

Collecting key metrics, such as customer satisfaction, enables you to see what you’re doing well and where there is room for improvement. Over time, you’ll be able to enhance your services and, in turn, your NPS.

2. Maintain Regular Communication

Email marketing is one of the most effective ways of keeping yourself at the forefront of your clients’ minds. In fact, 80% of small-to-medium-sized businesses rely on email as their primary customer retention channel. 

Luckily, setting up regular email communications with your customers needn’t be a headache with the right job management software in place. For example, with BigChange, you can use custom-branded templates to send automated emails to your client base. Plus, using the built-in, dynamic data fields, you can pull the customers’ names directly from the CRM (customer relationship manager) for a personal touch that will make them feel valued.

Maintaining communication with your clients, even after their projects are complete, is a great way to remind them of your existence and increases the likelihood that they’ll think of your business next time they require field services.

3. Leave a Lasting Impression

According to Gartner, more than two-thirds of companies now compete primarily based on customer experience. Consequently, you will need to make CX a priority to stay competitive and retain customers.

With job management software, you can deliver seamless, convenient services to your customers that will leave a lasting impression and encourage brand loyalty. For example, a platform like BigChange provides the following:

  • Easy, online bookings: no more waiting on the phone to speak to a representative
  • Allocation of stock and equipment to jobs: ensure your technicians arrive at the job with the gear they need to complete the work the first time
  • Real-time status updates: allow your customers to track the location of their technician
  • Instant, digital documents: your technicians can send invoices and essential documents to your clients in seconds for same-day payment
  • Modern payment methods: enable your customers to pay using the methods they’re accustomed to — gone are the days of paper cheques

Providing a smooth end-to-end process and excellent customer service will make you stand out from your competitors that rely on outdated, manual processes. As such, you’ll increase the likelihood that clients will remain engaged with your business long after the work is complete.

Improve Your Field Service Customer Engagement Rates Using Technology

40% of field service organisations have enjoyed business growth due to adopting state-of-the-art technologies to manage their operations. Subsequently, companies will need to modernise their processes and undergo a digital transformation to maintain a high customer engagement rate and thrive in a competitive, post-pandemic landscape.

With BigChange’s job management software, you can digitise a large portion of the customer experience, making for a convenient, straightforward and excellent buyer journey that won’t add extra administration tasks to your team’s workload.

Elevate Your Customer Engagement Rate 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.

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.

According to data from Glassdoor, the average cost of recruitment for a new employee in the UK is £3,000. Therefore, ensuring each hire will add value to your organisation long term is paramount.

Although it can be tempting to hire more resources during busy periods, ultimately, it doesn’t account for troughs in activity and could eat into your profits as a result. In other words, you could end up hiring people only to realise that you no longer need them a few months down the line, which is not only financially damaging but also destroys your employer brand.

Fortunately, being more selective when hiring new employees doesn’t mean that your current staff have to take on extra work. With the right job management platform in place, you’ll be able to handle your current workload — and more — without needing any additional resources.

In this article, we’ll explain how you can use modern technology to make the most of your existing team and efficiently deal with a high volume of work.

How to Grow Your Business with Your Existing Team

Here are the top three ways your team can deal with a high volume of work without becoming burnt out:

1. Digital Job Scheduling

Did you know that field service organisations waste a staggering 140 hours per year by creating their job schedules manually? Aside from causing productivity to take a nosedive, burdensome administration tasks take time away from your back-office team, which could be focusing on activities that directly contribute to business growth. 

Not to mention that manual processes are inherently error-prone, leading to delays and scheduling conflicts that leave a bad impression on your customers. 

Instead, when using a job management platform, your team can schedule jobs and dispatch workers at the touch of a button. The best systems on the market include an intelligent scheduling assistant, which suggests technicians for each job based on their location, availability, skillset and vehicle type. 

Since job management platforms provide real-time updates, your technicians can also see any changes to their schedule in an instant, regardless of their location. As such, they’ll be better equipped to deal with emergency appointments, and you can rest assured that you’ll always have the right resources in the right places. 

2. Provide Your Technicians with a Mobile App

80% of technicians think that mobile technology is a vital tool for enhancing efficiency and enabling them to help customers more effectively. Yet, many field service companies don’t provide mobile technology as a standard. 

When you rely on text messages, phone calls and paperwork to receive updates on the status of each job, vital information can be miscommunicated, incorrect or delayed. Poor communication can have a knock-on effect over your entire operation and leave customers with a negative impression of your business.

In contrast, a mobile application that links directly to your back-office team’s central platform will arm your technicians with everything they need to complete each job the first time. They can instantly see any changes to their schedule, read essential information about each case, complete risk assessments and mandatory forms, as well as issue invoices — all from the palm of their hand. 

With all information updating in real-time, your back-office staff won’t have to sit on the phone for hours each day, chasing technicians for updates. They can see all changes as they happen, making for seamless communication and integrated workflows across your entire operation. 

3. Take Advantage of Networking Opportunities

One of the most effective ways to grow your organisation is through networking. But, with 41% of people believing they don’t have the time to attend networking events, a large percentage of business leaders are missing out on lucrative opportunities. 

Thankfully, when you use BigChange’s job management platform, you’ll gain free access to the Network. So rather than having to forfeit a day at the office to attend an event, you can simply post your business on the system and start receiving connection requests from thousands of other trusted field service organisations the same day.

With each connection you make, you’ll have the chance to collaborate on a range of projects around the world, expanding your reach further than ever before without needing to make a single hire. You can specify which jobs you have available, along with the skills required, to ensure that only the most relevant subcontractors represent your company. 

Most importantly, you’ll have access to a virtual meeting every month with other members to network and form partnerships. Subsequently, you’ll gain practical ideas on how to drive your business growth further.

Field Service Management Technology is Key to Growing Your Business

It’s no secret that COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on many businesses in the field service industry. However, one key takeaway from the crisis is that technology can help organisations overcome a range of challenges. In fact, companies that adopted technology quickly during the pandemic reported a higher rate of recovering from COVID-related economic issues. 

Consequently, in today’s turbulent market, you must consider ways to maintain business-as-usual without needing to go through costly recruitment processes that could end in frustration for both you and your new hire. 

With the right job management software in place, you can be confident that your team will have everything they need to deliver outstanding service and grow your business without becoming overworked. 

Deal with a High Volume of Work 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. 

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.

After a tough period, the building maintenance industry is back up and running with a 3.3% growth since the first quarter of 2021. As the economy continues to pick up, it’s a great time to start getting building maintenance contracts. 

However, if you’re unfamiliar with the tender process, new to the business, or you’re no longer using a tender writing service, the prospect of bidding for contracts can be intimidating. 

In this article, we’ll discuss how to get building maintenance contracts. We’ll explore what tenders are, tender types, and the process for bidding. You’ll also learn how BigChange’s workforce management software can not only help you manage your building maintenance company but also make the tender writing process simpler.

What Are Tenders?

While word-of-mouth or a simple business proposal may be enough to bring on a new client in some industries, getting a building maintenance contract typically requires bidding on a tender.

But, what is a tender?

Tenders are requests for work to be performed and are a staple of the building maintenance and construction industries. A tender will often include the scope of the work, the type of work, and the client’s specific needs. Unlike a job posting, a tender requires a multi-step application process in which applicants must hold the exact qualifications and credentials requested.

Types of Tenders and Tender Writing

One of the most complicated aspects of getting building maintenance contracts is tender writing and preparing all the documents required for bidding. Before you start tender writing, it’s important to learn about the two tender types.

Open Tenders

Open tenders don’t require a pre-qualification questionnaire before obtaining the Invitation to Tender (ITT) document. You can begin responding to a business’ tender right away.

Closed tenders

Closed tenders have a two-phase process. The first phase essentially vets bidders with a pre-qualification questionnaire before sending you the ITT. 

The pre-qualification questionnaire is intended to ascertain your experience in relation to the bid you’re applying for and ensure you meet the requirements. If you pass the pre-qualification questionnaire, you will receive the ITT. 

Now that you know about the two types of tenders, let’s discuss how to approach a tender step-by-step. 

1. Find Out Who’s Taking Tenders

The first step to getting building maintenance contracts is to find out where companies are posting tenders. The site OJEU is a great source for finding new building maintenance contracts. 

Some companies will also release a prior information notice (PIN) which informs building maintenance companies that the client intends to release a tender in the next 12 months. It’s a good idea to keep tabs of these clients and prepare any necessary materials for bidding in advance. 

2. Apply to The Right Tenders

The next step is to examine each tender and see which jobs are realistic and viable for your company. Each building maintenance contract posted should include the following information for your review:

  • The type of contract
  • Its approximate value
  • The duration of the contract

Remember, you won’t be considered for tenders whose qualifications and certifications you do not meet. In order to decide if you are a good fit for the job, ask yourself the following questions: 

  1. Do you meet the financial criteria and stability to make the bid? 
  2. Can you deliver the maintenance required? 
  3. Do you have the necessary certifications? 

If you answer no to any of these questions or are unsure if you can meet the requirements, you should reconsider whether it’s worth taking time to bid on the job.

3. Familiarise Yourself with Contracts

Reading through contracts is one of the most important aspects of winning new business. Ensuring that you’ve understood the terms and responded to them appropriately in your tender writing will improve your chances of success. 

Although every contract you receive from a client can vary, the following are the four most common types of building maintenance and construction contracts used in the UK:

  • JCT (The Joint Contracts Tribunal)
  • ACA (Association of Consultant Architects)
  • FIDIC (Fédération Internationale des Ingénieurs-Conseil)
  • NEC (The New Engineering Contract)

It’s important to acknowledge that contracts can have different specifications depending on the client and the needs of their business. Likewise, some of the above can have additional contracts, such as the CIC BIM Protocol, which is required for Level 2 BIM projects. 

For more information on the different types of building maintenance and construction contracts, click here.

4. Respond to the ITT

Now you’ve found some tenders to bid on, have gone over their contracts, and even been pre-vetted after answering the pre-qualification questionnaire, it’s time for you to fill out the Invitation to Tender (ITT). At this stage, the tender writing can be challenging, but it’s the most crucial step in getting new building maintenance contracts. 

The ITT exercise is where you address the tender and state why you are the best organisation for the job. When responding to the ITT, we recommend preparing the following information and documentation:

  • Scope of work and pricing list 
  • Details of how you will perform the initial phase of work 
  • Your proposed work schedule
  • Important staff members involved in the work
  • Resources and equipment you will use
  • Systems and technology used to organise and perform work 
  • Prior experience in the field 
  • References from previous clients

Once you’ve completed and turned in your tender, you will need to wait to see if you’re awarded the job. The ITT should specify how the client will rate each part of the tender. The rating is a way for the client to measure how qualified you are for the job and will give you a great insight into how well your bid performed. 

Make Tender Writing Easier with BigChange

When it comes to writing a tender, you must be able to provide a range of information about your business, which can be tricky when you don’t have complete visibility over your operations.

Imagine writing a bid where you could ensure you have all the information you need to hand, from how many people you have working for you and where, what skills they have, and what equipment and assets you have in stock. 

BigChange’s job management software offers a complete solution for planning, scheduling, and tracking your mobile workforce that is sure to impress your potential clients. 

In the competitive building maintenance landscape, having digital all-in-one solutions for your procedures will give you a sure advantage over the competition. 

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.

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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.

With the global field service market predicted to reach $4.45 billion by 2022, the adoption of field service management (FSM) software is increasing dramatically to keep up with growing demand. Field service management apps have the power to revolutionise the industry by enabling data-driven decision making and eliminating historically burdensome manual processes.

Therefore, businesses that continue using outdated legacy systems and manual, paper-based processes must undergo a digital transformation to stay ahead of the curve and avoid becoming obsolete.

That’s why we’ve put together a guide on everything you need to know about field service management apps. Read on to learn more about the history of FSM technology and discover how apps for service technicians can benefit your business, your team and your customers simultaneously.

A Brief History of Field Service Management Technology

Historically, most field service organisations have relied on spreadsheets, whiteboards, outdated software and paper-based documentation to manage their operations. But, while these traditional methods may have worked in past decades, they won’t cut it in today’s world where customer expectations are becoming trickier to meet, and there is less tolerance for error.

In the digital era, customers demand transparency across the entire transaction, strong communication, a personalised experience and speedy services. In fact, a staggering 76% of people now expect companies to anticipate their needs and will decide to purchase goods and services based on customer experience (CX) alone. 

Thankfully, technological advancements in recent years have made it possible to meet customers’ high standards. By automating the entire process — from appointment booking to invoicing and payment — your clients receive straightforward, convenient experiences that will make them want to use your organisation time and time again. 

However, technology can do more than simply impress your clientele. With talent shortages expected to disrupt field service companies within the next decade significantly, business leaders will be forced to innovate and think outside the box to ensure that they can still manage a high volume of work. 

For instance, repetitive administration tasks like filling out timesheets slow down technicians and steal time away from them that could be better spent attending to bookings. Field service management software automates such tasks, which frees up their time to complete more jobs without becoming burnt out. 

Read on to learn more about some of the main advantages a field service management app can provide.

How Apps for Service Technicians Can Benefit Your Organisation

There are many positives to adopting field service technology to manage your entire operation. Here are the top five benefits your business could enjoy by providing your technicians with a field service mobile application:

1. Live Tracking and Real-Time Updates

Did you know that 89% of today’s customers prefer to use an ‘Uber-like’ service to track field service technicians and receive updates on arrival times? But, if your team has to rely on phone calls and texts from your technicians, providing such updates is impossible. 

In contrast, when you use modern field service management technology, you can use GPS vehicle tracking to provide your customers with real-time updates on the whereabouts of their technicians. 

The system will automatically send text and email alerts to your clients, including an estimated arrival time and a link that allows them to track the technicians live. So, never again will your customers be left disgruntled from waiting at home all day after being provided with a vague time slot.

Plus, apps for service technicians have the added advantage of enabling rapid communication to the back office via instant messaging, eliminating the need for time-consuming phone calls. As such, your administration team has an accurate picture of what’s happening in the field and can make better-informed decisions when dispatching workers to jobs.

2. Happier Customers

80% of field service technicians believe that access to a mobile application is critical to increasing their efficiency and effectiveness at helping customers. Suppose you send your technicians into a job without providing them with essential information; it is much more challenging for them to complete the work correctly the first time.

Unfortunately, modern customers lead busy lives and won’t appreciate needing to make multiple appointments for a simple job. At worst, you could end up losing business as clients opt to use your competitors who were early adopters of FSM technology and therefore better equipped to deliver satisfactory service. 

Stay ahead of the curve by seamlessly connecting your technicians and back-office team and enabling them to communicate in real-time. For example, your admin staff can allocate stock, equipment and assets to each job, meaning your technicians will always arrive at an appointment with the correct gear to complete the job the first time.
Then, once the job is complete, your technicians can fill out all the necessary paperwork from their mobile devices and provide your customers with an electronic invoice straight away. Clients will appreciate the rapidity of the service, alongside the straightforward payment methods, and your back-office team will have a complete digital record of all the documents for future reference.

3. More Engaged Team Members

Economists at the University of Warwick have found that being happy at work makes people around 12% more productive. Consequently, to get the most out of your team, you must consider ways to ensure they feel valued and have all the tools they need to do their jobs effectively.

If you’re expecting your technicians to turn up at each booking with limited knowledge of the job and then fill out several pages of paperwork each day before manually turning it into the office, you’ll likely find that your team is disengaged. Workers who aren’t engaged may struggle to deliver high-quality work to customers and suffer from more accidents on the job.

However, apps for service technicians are designed with your team’s needs in mind. When you use FSM technology to manage your operations, it records every interaction you have with your customers. Subsequently, your technicians will be able to see a detailed report of the job requirements, so they have all the information they need to carry out the work effectively.

Additionally, technicians can complete all paperwork directly on their mobile devices and immediately send it to your back-office team. They can fill out their timesheets and send customers invoices as they go. FSM technology eliminates the need for technicians to hand paperwork into the office at the end of the day, and in turn you both reduce the margin for error and free up more time for your technicians to attend extra bookings. 

Paperless processes don’t just benefit your field-based team, however. You will also benefit from increased productivity behind the scenes. When you go paperless, you eradicate the time-consuming administrative tasks that have long plagued office staff. Your back-office team will appreciate the simplicity of seeing customers’ files on one easy-to-use platform, leaving them with more hours to focus on tasks that can help grow and develop the business.

4. Rapid Troubleshooting and Improved Health and Safety

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has revealed that UK businesses lose approximately 38.8 million working days each year due to work-related illness and injuries. Aside from potentially damaging your reputation and causing harm to your workers, health and safety blunders can cause severe delays and impact your entire organisation.

The good news is, with the right technology, you can minimise the risk of illness or injury. For example, field service management apps enable you to set up mandatory workflows and risk assessments that technicians must complete before they can begin the work or fill out their timesheets. 

If your technicians come across a hazard that could jeopardise the project, they can immediately alert your back-office team. They’ll then work with the technician to safely mitigate the issue and get the work back on track. 

By making health and safety a priority, you’ll lose fewer days to illness and injury, and your team will be able to carry out their work without worrying about their surroundings.

5. Maximised Schedule and Ability to Respond to Emergency Call-Outs

Half of all fleet managers believe that the ability to quickly reroute field technicians for emergency jobs is the most crucial factor to their success. Keeping everyone updated on schedule changes comes in close behind at 48%.

But, if you don’t have an effective communication channel between your back-office team and field-based workers, it can be tricky to contact the necessary individuals and inform them of changes to the schedule. Not to mention that information can be misinterpreted or cause confusion that leads to missed or delayed appointments.

Let’s imagine a customer has just called with an emergency job, but your office is using a spreadsheet for job scheduling. Your team would need to manually work out who is local to the customer and call each technician to see if they can cover the work. In addition to being a lengthy process, it could have a knock-on effect on your other bookings and cause customers to become frustrated.

Instead, when your technicians have access to a field service management app like BigChange, they can see any schedule changes in an instant. Your back-office staff will be able to locate the most relevant technician local to the emergency job and re-allocate other bookings to those with availability. Everyone can continue with business-as-usual, and no appointments will be impacted due to the schedule change.

Field Service Management Apps are a Worthwhile Investment

According to data from Verizon Connect, meeting customer expectations is the biggest challenge for 56% of field service companies today. For 38%, scheduling and dispatching inefficiencies present the most significant obstacle. Clearly, traditional methods of working aren’t working anymore. 

Reliance on legacy systems, spreadsheets and paper-based processes cannot keep up with the rapid pace of the modern workday. Nor can they provide the level of service required to delight your clients and keep them returning to your business in the future. 

In order to survive and thrive in a competitive post-pandemic landscape, field service organisations will need to ensure their technicians have access to the latest and most accurate information. Fortunately, field service management apps provide workers with everything they need at their fingertips. 

From detailed information on the customer’s booking, to pre-assigned stock and digitised paperwork, your technicians will be able to spend less time on time-consuming tasks and, instead, focus on doing what they do best.

Arm Your Technicians with the Right Tools. Transform Ways of Working with BigChange’s Field Service Management App.

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.

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.

Did you know it takes the average small-to-mid-sized company an astonishing 25 days to process a single invoice manually? Unfortunately, the longer it takes to issue a customer with an invoice, the higher the chance you won’t be paid on time.

When clients consistently pay late, your cash flow suffers, preventing you from affording other operational expenses. In a post-pandemic world, companies need to shore up their supply chains and ensure they pay suppliers promptly, or else they risk severe financial and reputational damage.

Fortunately, modern invoicing and payment software solutions have made it easier than ever to keep your finances on track. Read on to discover how implementing innovative technology can help you get paid on time, every time.

How Invoicing and Payment Software Ensure Invoices Are Paid on Time

1. Digitising All Documents

There are many positives to adopting field service technology to manage your entire operation. Here are the top five benefits your business could enjoy by providing your technicians with a field service mobile application:

2. Live Tracking and Real-Time Updates

According to data from BlueSnap, businesses that use traditional invoicing and payment methods typically spend around 11 hours managing a single invoice across a range of five different systems.

Aside from being time-consuming, manual processes can be a morale-killer for your accounts receivable (AR) team. They not only have to complete arduous, repetitive tasks each day but also inevitably spend hours on the phone chasing up late payments. Sadly, when team morale begins to take a nosedive, so does productivity. 

Fortunately, when you use cutting-edge invoicing and payment software can liberate your team from the monotony of dealing with endless paperwork.

For example, once your technicians have completed their jobs, they can simply fill out all essential paperwork instantly. Then, they can send electronic invoices to your customers directly from their mobile devices.

The most advanced platforms, such as BigChange, also include an online payment feature to make it even more straightforward for your customers to pay for goods and services. By making it possible for your clients to pay immediately, you won’t have the headache of chasing overdue invoices. Plus, when you eliminate unnecessary administration associated with invoicing, you free up more time for your AR team to focus on business-critical activities.

3. Reducing the Margin for Error

Around 88% of all spreadsheets contain at least one mistake. When you rely on people to manually input data over an extended period, errors are unavoidable.

However, minor inaccuracies cost your business dearly. If your AR team relies on spreadsheets and legacy systems to create invoices, chances are some details won’t be correct. As a result, the likelihood of a customer calling up to contest a payment undoubtedly increases. 

When a customer has to take time out of their day to iron out mistakes, their impression of your company becomes less favourable, and they will be unwilling recommend you to others. At worst, they may decide to not use your services again in the future.

Additionally, incorrect invoices create excess work for your employees. AR teams have to raise a brand new invoice and start the entire process over again. Delays in invoice processing cause businesses to miss deadlines, hurting their professional reputation and destroying their cash flow.

That’s where invoicing and payment software comes in. 

Pulling information directly from the integrated CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system, your technicians can instantly create an invoice with all the clients’ correct details. They can then send the digital invoices to your customers for same-day approval. 

By providing people with their invoices more rapidly, you can ensure that they are satisfied with the details or, if not, mitigate any potential issues before they become problematic. As a result, you’ll find that your invoices are paid on time and you can keep your operations running smoothly.

4. Providing Modern Payment Methods

The UK is currently the largest digital payments market in Europe by valuation, currently worth a total of  £157.7 billion. Today’s customers want smarter, simpler ways to pay and, therefore, field service businesses will need to get ahead of the curve to avoid becoming obsolete.

When it comes to invoicing using traditional methods, the entire process can take weeks. Let’s imagine your technician has just completed a job. The technician informs your AR team, who then waits for the next payment cycle before creating, printing out, and mailing the invoice. By the time the payment cycle has come around, it’s been several days since the engineer completed the job.

A few days later, your customer receives the invoice and puts it on their finance team’s desk. Their finance team is slowly making their way through the pile of existing invoices, and it takes another day before they get to yours.

Your customer’s finance team checks the invoice to ensure it’s correct and writes out a cheque. They then post it to you in the mail, and it arrives later in the week. Worse, the finance team could have inadvertently misplaced or thrown out the paper invoice, delaying the process even further.

Not a very efficient system, to say the least. 

In contrast, businesses that use modern invoicing and payment software get paid the moment technicians complete their jobs. BigChange Pay enables your clients to pay from their mobile devices using the modern methods they’re accustomed to, such as Apple Pay.

In addition to swift, effortless payments, you can also benefit from the extra layer of security that online payments provide. Unlike cheques, which leave you vulnerable to fraud, payment software can detect criminal activity. As such, you can rest assured that all payments are legitimate and that you won’t have any unpleasant surprises further down the road. 

Digital Invoices and Payments are the Future

With invoicing and payment software, you can wave goodbye to the inefficiencies that traditional methods create. When you arm your team with state-of-the-art technology, you can create a more productive work environment, reduce the margin for human error and guarantee that invoices are paid on time.

Guarantee Your Invoices are Paid on Time with BigChange

Get paid on time. Every time.

With BigChange, you can rapidly create financial documents based on pre-saved line items or automatically calculated job costs. Plus, you can generate and share invoices, quotes, estimates, purchase orders and credit notes in seconds.

Make payments simple for your customers with BigChange Pay by enabling them to send money straight from their mobile devices. 

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

Did you know that only 12% of customers say they fully believe when companies claim they put their customers’ needs first? In today’s world, where customer expectations are high, it’s not enough to simply do a satisfactory job and move on. For field service businesses to stay afloat in a competitive market, they must consider how to take the overall customer experience (CX) to the next level.

But, anticipating customer needs and delivering a service that genuinely impresses them can be tricky if you rely on outdated systems and spreadsheets to manage your client relationships. 

That’s where field service management software comes in.

In this article, we’ll explore how the latest technology gives you the tools you need to satisfy your customers and maintain your client base.

Using Technology to Delight Your Customers

1. Automate Processes to Save Customers’ Time

As technology is becoming more integrated with many aspects of our lives, customers want companies to provide the convenient digital services they’re accustomed to elsewhere. In fact, 70% of people now expect business websites to include a self-service application.

By providing your customers with an online bookings portal, you’re allowing them to make and manage appointments in their own time. As such, they won’t need to sit on the phone, waiting to speak with a representative. 

When using field service management (FSM) software, all customer bookings come straight to your back office. The system then assigns the job directly to a customer profile, so you have a comprehensive record of all interactions you have with the client, eliminating the need for error-prone spreadsheets and hours of manual administration tasks.

Plus, storing all customer information and interactions within a central CRM (customer relationship management) system enables you to take automation one step further. Customers can receive real-time, accurate updates instead of waiting at home all day, waiting for a technician, or needing to call into the office to find out when they will arrive.

State-of-the-art FSM platforms pull through information from the CRM to send automated texts and emails to customers. The notifications provide your clients with an estimated time of arrival and a GPS tracking link so they can see the exact location of their technicians — allowing them to go about their day without worrying that a worker could turn up at any moment.

2. Get the Job Done the First Time

Unfortunately, companies with a first-time fix rate of under 70% notice that their customer retention rate declines by 10%. When customers make an appointment, they want you to solve their problem on the agreed date, so you must have the tools to get the job done the first time.

Thankfully, field service management platforms make high first-time fix rates a possibility. For example, once your customers make their bookings, your back-office team can assign technicians to the job based on skill set, vehicle type and location. 

Then, they can allocate stock, equipment and assets to each project, so your technicians turn up to every job with the correct gear. Your workers will never have to waste time making another appointment again because they realise they don’t have the right part in their vans. 

As a result, you’ll free up more time for your technicians to attend additional bookings each day, meaning you can deliver a speedier service to your customers. 

3. Listen to Customers’ Feedback

According to data from Microsoft, a colossal 89% of customers want the option to provide businesses with feedback. Therefore, you should provide your clients with a platform to share their opinions.

Fortunately, field service management systems like BigChange make capturing customer feedback simpler than ever. Once the technicians have completed their jobs, the platform will instantly generate a personalised email with a customer satisfaction survey included. The email serves as an opportunity to thank customers for their patronage and collect their thoughts on the service, making them feel valued. 

Aside from making clients feel appreciated, the email serves as a chance for you to see if any trends are emerging from the feedback. With such vital data at hand, you’ll be able to make changes to your business that you know will delight your customers and keep them coming back time and time again.

Delight Your Customers: Field Service Management Technology is the Key

In the UK, 47% of people say they have higher customer service expectations than they did just one year ago. Consequently, field service organisations need to think outside the box and leverage the power of new technologies to stay ahead of ever-changing demands.

Field service management software automates the time-consuming, admin-heavy aspects of managing customer relationships, benefitting both you and your clients. Your back-office team will appreciate the extra time they have to focus on more business-critical tasks, and your customers will enjoy the convenience of managing their bookings online.

Subsequently, you’ll likely find that your bottom line is boosted, your customer retention rates skyrocket, and you’re able to attract more clients.

Anticipating Your Customers’ Needs is Simple 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 here and arrange a free demo today.

With many more experienced field service technicians fast approaching retirement age, they’re leaving behind a significant skills gap that younger generations cannot fill. In fact, 70% of organisations expect the ageing workforce to severely impact their operations within the next five to ten years. 

Therefore, business leaders will need to create innovative ways for their teams to deal with their usual high volume of work without requiring additional hires. 

In reality, the missing piece of the puzzle may lie with field service management (FSM) software. Thanks to technological advancements in recent years, FSM platforms have the power to revolutionise how companies operate and deal with the fallout of the ever-growing skills gap. Read on to learn more. 

How to Close the Skills Gap with Field Service Management Software

Here are the top three ways a field service management platform can help reduce workload for your existing staff and enable you to take on more jobs with fewer resources:

1. Go Paperless and Streamline Administration Processes

Employees believe they waste a staggering two hours per day on admin, paperwork and other pointless tasks instead of focusing on business-critical activities. Worse still, they spend at least 26 minutes of an average seven-and-a-half-hour working day working out how to use outdated or failing technology.

Therefore, if you’re still relying on the same legacy systems and manual processes that you did in the past, it’s time to consider an alternative. When you reduce the workload currently sitting on your team’s ‘to-do’ list by automating time-consuming tasks, you free up their time to take on other activities that would’ve previously required additional hires to cover. 

For example, when you use a field service management platform, customers can make and amend their own bookings via an online portal, meaning your staff won’t have to take phone calls and manually manage the calendar. Instead, they can instantly see the details on the system and use them to assign and dispatch a worker at the click of a button. 

2. Simplify Your Schedule

For many field service businesses, scheduling and dispatching workers presents the most challenges. High levels of reliance on paper-based documents, spreadsheets and multiple inefficient systems cause delays, confusion and even leave some bookings to fall through the cracks entirely.

In contrast, job management platforms take care of the entire process and help your schedule to run like clockwork. The system uses its integrated intelligent scheduling assistant to find technicians for each job based on their location, skillset, qualifications, and vehicle type. 

By significantly shortening your workers’ routes and ensuring that they’re the best person to complete the job the first time, you’ll find that they have time to attend additional bookings each day. So, instead of needing to take on new hires, you can maximise your current workforce’s time to make the most out of their schedules.

3. Take Advantage of Networking Opportunities

41% of people recognise the importance of networking and want to attend more events but don’t believe they have the time. However, networking is one of the best ways to expand your reach and make important professional relationships. 

The good news is that there are now a wide variety of options for time-starved business leaders. When you invest in BigChange’s field service management platform, you’ll instantly gain access to the BigChange Network. As such, you won’t have to leave your office to build partnerships with thousands of other trusted field service organisations worldwide.

You’ll be able to list your company on the site for free and begin receiving connection requests immediately. Additionally, you can post active jobs and hire subcontractors to carry out the work on your behalf. Each listing allows you to include specific requirements, such as qualifications, so you can rest assured that only the most relevant people will represent your organisation. 

As a result, you can offer more services in a broader range of locations, giving you the power to grow your business without needing to embark on a costly recruitment process or struggling to find talent. 

How to Close the Skills Gap with Field Service Management Software

In 2020, 52% of field service businesses were still relying on inefficient, antiquated systems and error-prone manual administration methods to manage their operations. Unfortunately, with the skills gap becoming an ever-increasing issue in the field service industry, businesses will need to modernise their processes in order to manage a higher volume of work with fewer people.

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.

Make running your business easier 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.

According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), UK companies lose an average of 38.8 million working days each year due to work-related illnesses and workplace injuries. Not only are occupational ailments inconvenient for workers and companies alike, but they also damage your reputation and have the potential to destroy your bottom line.

Therefore, for field service organisations to thrive in a competitive, post-pandemic landscape, they must make employee health and safety their number one priority.

Fortunately, thanks to technological advancements in recent years, maintaining visibility over your workforce and health and safety procedures needn’t be a headache. Read on to discover how you can use state-of-the-art job management software to look after your employees and avoid disruptions to business-as-usual activities.

Looking After Employees: How Do I Ensure My Staff are Safe at Work?

Historically, it has been tricky for field service organisations to gain a bird’s eye view of their entire operations to guarantee that health and safety procedures are being followed to the letter. Reliance on outdated legacy systems and manual paper-based administration methods create a significant margin for errors to occur. So, how can companies obtain accurate information and keep their workers safe?

At the opposite end of the spectrum, modern technology has the power to handle your health and safety measures without creating extra admin for your back-office team. Here are the top three ways a state-of-the-art job management platform can enhance health and safety in the workplace:

1. Manage Timesheets Electronically

Around 44% of businesses struggle with timesheet errors — some of them on a weekly or daily basis. However, apart from being time-consuming to correct, timesheet mistakes can prevent you from keeping an accurate record of working hours, leading to technicians potentially working over the legal limit per week. 

The good news is, inadvertent errors caused by manual timesheet processing can be a thing of the past when you move over to a job management platform. By providing your field technicians with a mobile application, they can easily log their start and finish, breaks, and travel times directly from their mobile devices.

The platform instantly logs the data from your technicians’ devices and reconciles it against detailed vehicle tracking reports and time-stamped records of job activities. As such, you’ll have an extensive, accurate record of each workers’ day and can ensure that they’re working within legal limits.

2. Maintain Your Equipment and Assets

Data collected by the Labour Force Survey (LFS) suggests that around 44,000 non-fatal injuries are caused by machinery at work each year. Unfortunately, the likelihood of being seriously hurt only increases when you don’t properly maintain your equipment and assets. 

Consequently, predictive and preventative maintenance is key to lowering the risk of harming one of your technicians on the job. With job management software, you can easily keep track of all your equipment and assets to ensure that they’re in excellent working condition.

For example, technicians can perform daily vehicle walkarounds and log the results in the app. Your fleet manager can then see common, recurring issues and work to mitigate them before they become a dangerous or costly hazard.

3. Carry Out Risk Assessments

As an employer, it’s your responsibility to protect your staff and anyone who visits your site from illness or injuries caused by the work environment. A risk assessment enables you to identify all hazards and work to prevent them before they affect people. In fact, if you employ five or more people, it’s a legal requirement to document your findings.

However, keeping a paper record of your risk assessments can be a logistical nightmare, especially if you need to refer back to them further down the line. In contrast, when you manage your risk assessments electronically, you create and view a complete record of your appraisals in an instant.

But, with a job management platform such as BigChange, risk assessments aren’t limited to your site exclusively. You can protect your technicians on customer visits by providing them with mandatory digital risk assessment forms that they must complete before beginning any work.

The risk assessment results instantly appear on your back office’s system, enabling your team to mitigate hazards and safely get the job back on track without any delay. 

Job Management Software makes Looking After Employees Straightforward

With businesses across the country shelling out an estimated £16.2 billion due to injuries and ill-health caused by the workplace, it’s evident that a lack of proper health and safety procedures presents a costly issue.

Since COVID-19 has impacted many companies countrywide, very few can afford to risk the fallout resulting from occupational harm. Luckily, technology provides a straightforward solution and ensures that your people feel safe at work.

Using BigChange’s job management platform, you’ll have access to the following health & safety features:

  • DVSA-compliant vehicle checks
  • Driver behaviour analysis
  • Risk assessments and method statements
  • Individual resource profiles that show how many hours technicians are working

Subsequently, you and your staff can rest assured that health and safety remain at the forefront of everyone’s minds, regardless of their location.

Create Robust Health and Safety Procedures 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 BigChange can make your business grow stronger here and 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.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on the number of new businesses being set up countrywide. In fact, UK business incorporations increased by 30% in December 2020 compared with the same period in 2019.

Therefore, if you’re setting out on a new window cleaning business venture, you must learn how to stand out from the competition. Fortunately, with the right tools and know-how, creating and growing a company can be extremely rewarding.

In this article, we’ll explain how to run a window cleaning business, breaking down the steps you will need to take to set up your company and begin attracting clients. Plus, we’ll explain how state-of-the-art field service management technology will help you manage your new business.

Setting up Your Business and Finding Window Cleaning Jobs

1. Write a Business Plan

Although the start-up costs for a window cleaning business are relatively low, you will need to consider your organisation’s future. For example, if you plan to take on extra staff, you’ll need to cover training and additional insurance costs. Or, if you want to spread the word about your new company, you’ll need to pay for marketing materials.

Therefore, it’s worth taking some time to put together a business plan. Many small businesses forgo creating a plan, but it helps you keep your operations on track and gives you the chance to forecast additional costs further down the line. 

If you hope to grow your business and purchase high-end equipment to take on larger clients, you may wish to consider obtaining financial backing to get started. There are many routes you can take to gather funds, so do some research on the best method for your organisation.

2. Take Out an Insurance Policy

To start taking on window cleaning jobs, you’ll need to have the right insurance policies in place. You should consider taking out the following:

  • Public Liability Insurance: Covers your legal fees and compensation costs if your business injures a member of the public or one of your clients, or damages their property.
  • Personal Accident Insurance: Covers and compensates you in the instance of accidental injury or death.
  • Employers’ Liability Insurance: Covers and compensates your employees in the case they are injured at work.
  • Business Equipment Insurance: Covers and compensates you in the instance of damage, loss or theft of window cleaning equipment.

If you plan to hire a team, the best way to keep your insurance premiums low is by providing comprehensive health and safety training. By investing in field service management software, you can create mandatory risk assessments and workflows that your technicians must complete before they can start the job. As a result, you can rest assured that the chance of a workplace injury is kept low.

3. Register Your Business

Once you’ve arranged your new business’ legal and financial aspects, you will need to register it with HMRC. There are three routes you can take, depending on your company type:

Sole Trader

If you’re a sole trader, you run the business alone and are self-employed. You can keep all your companys’ profits once you’ve paid the tax, but you’re also personally responsible for any losses you make.

Limited Company

When you form a limited company, your personal and business finances are separate. However, there are more management and reporting responsibilities. Although you can set up a company by yourself, it may be helpful to get help from an accountant. 

Partnership

A partnership is usually the best route for two or more people who want to run a business together as you share financial responsibilities. You can learn more about partnerships here. 

For further support on setting up a business, visit the GOV.UK website.

4. Market Your Business and Attract Clients

Now you’ve set up your new company, you’ll need to spread the word to get your first window cleaning job. Today, around 71% of small businesses create a website to market their organisation, making it a popular choice.

Luckily, you don’t have to be a tech whizz or know anything about coding to make a professional-looking website. There are plenty of templates you can use to share important details about your business, such as:

  • Contact details
  • Your services
  • Locations you cover
  • Social media links
  • Customer testimonials (once you start receiving feedback)

Although customer attraction is crucial, retention will ensure that your business has a consistent stream of income. As such, you should ensure that you’re providing a great customer experience at all stages of the buyer journey. 

With a field service management platform like BigChange, your customers can easily make and change bookings via our online portal, track the location of their technician in real-time and receive automated email updates from your business. By keeping your clients in the loop, they will feel valued and prefer to use your company’s services over your competitors’.

Field Service Management Software Provides the Perfect Window of Opportunity to Grow Your Business

It’s no secret that COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on many businesses in the field service industry. However, one key takeaway from the crisis is that technology can help organisations overcome a range of challenges. According to research from Cisco, companies that adopted technology quickly during the pandemic reported a higher rate of recovering from COVID-related economic issues. 

Consequently, in today’s turbulent market, you must consider ways to maintain business-as-usual without needing to go through costly recruitment processes that could end in frustration for both you and your new hire. 

With the right job management platform in place, you can be confident that your team will have everything they need to deliver outstanding service and grow your business without becoming overworked. 

Deal with a High Volume of Work 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 here and arrange a free demo today.

According to data from the Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme UK (CHAS UK), the COVID-19 pandemic decreased overall HVAC business turnover by 70%. As a result, just under half (45%) of stakeholders believe their company is under threat.

With that in mind, it’s never been more necessary to bid for larger contracts that will provide enough work in the long run. However, if you usually deal with residential customers exclusively, taking the leap to bid on a commercial agreement may be intimidating. 

In this article, we’ll explain how to bid for HVAC service contracts in a few simple steps and share how field service management technology can streamline the process.

How to Bid for HVAC Contract Work

1. Find Appropriate Contracts to Bid On

Before you can begin bidding on a contract, you must first find one you believe your business will be able to manage. A good place to start is by looking on the Contracts Finder page of the GOV.UK website. The Contracts Finder allows you to filter searches by sector. You can also see upcoming contracts and search for details of previous agreements.

You should then familiarise yourself with the three most common contracting procedures, which we’ll explain below.

1. Open Procedure

An open procedure means that:

  • Anyone is permitted to 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 such, an open procedure is often used for straightforward procurements.

2. Restricted Procedure

A restricted procedure means that:

  • Any interested parties can express their interest in bidding.
  • A minimum of five suppliers must be invited to bid — provided enough candidates have applied — so there is genuine competition.
  • Clients cannot negotiate with bidders, although they can clarify details and finalise terms.

Again, there are no restrictions on when clients can use the process above. Often, restricted procedures are suited to less stable markets where there are several 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 are permitted to negotiate with bidders to seek better offers.

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

2. Gather Accurate Data About Your Business

Once you’ve selected the HVAC contract work that you want to bid for, it’s time to gather some data. To justify your quote, you need factual evidence and accurate numbers — so you should calculate the following:

  • Labour costs
  • Prices of supplies
  • Equipment usage costs
  • Profit margin
  • Average timescales to complete work

Remember, although the price is important, it’s not a race to the bottom. Your company’s experience, certifications, qualifications and track record are also crucial factors, so clients will be looking at more than just who can offer the lowest bid.

Collecting all the vital information you need to share about your business can seem daunting — but it doesn’t have to be. With field service management software, you can obtain real-time, accurate data on anything from your inventory to finances in just a few clicks. Consequently, you’ll have all the details you need to write a successful bid without the headache of sifting through mountains of paperwork.

3. Put Your Bid Together

Begin your bid submission with a brief overview of your company’s qualifications and why you should win the contract. Then, explain how you will complete the job by answering each question concisely and sharing all the relevant information you sourced earlier. Don’t forget to submit any additional paperwork that the client has requested, such as proof of insurance, certifications, or a list of key personnel.

Whilst it’s beneficial to mention the positive aspects of your organisation, you must ensure you keep the focus on the client. The reader will want to know how you can help them with their specific requirements. Search your document for incidences of the word ‘we’ and consider how you can change them to ‘you’ instead.

Above all else, once you’ve double-checked your bid for errors, you must ensure that you submit it before or on the deadline. Failure to do so will likely cause the client to discount your submission entirely, meaning you’ve lost both valuable time and a potential customer. 

Field Service Management Technology Speeds Up the Bidding Process

Bid writing is a time-consuming process and, when there’s no guarantee that you’ll win the contract in the end, it can be tempting to simply continue attending to one-off jobs. But, to survive in a post-COVID world, HVAC organisations will need to secure a steady pipeline of work, which you can achieve by winning contracts. 

Fortunately, you can cut down your time writing bids by arming yourself with the vital data you need to impress potential clients. With field service management software such as BigChange, you can view details:

  • 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 

As a result, you can 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 HVAC Contract Work 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.

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

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.

Workforce scheduling and optimisation are critical elements of any field service company. They ensure that your operations are running smoothly and that you are making the most of your engineers’ time. 

But, organisations that fail to modernise and adopt technology to maximise their job scheduling efficiency now risk becoming obsolete. With a staggering 89% of customers preferring an ‘Uber-like’ service for tracking technician arrivals, traditional methods of managing your schedule aren’t going to delight your customers and keep them coming back in the future.

Thankfully, the latest job scheduling software eliminates the headaches associated with creating an efficient workflow and automates the entire process, impressing customers and freeing up your back-office staff’s time simultaneously. 

Read on to learn more about what field service job scheduling software is, why it’s important and how it can benefit your business.

What is Job Scheduling Software and Why is it Important?

Workforce scheduling involves planning each field workers’ day to manage the workload within your business. However, 25% of companies currently use spreadsheets and manual data entry to create their schedules. The remainder relies on whiteboards and other inefficient, error-prone processes.

Unfortunately, traditional methods of scheduling jobs aren’t going to cut it in the modern world. Customers are used to seamless, convenient experiences that spreadsheets, paper-based documents and legacy systems cannot provide.

Picture this: a customer calls your back-office team, asking to make an appointment for Wednesday at 3pm. Your employee makes a note of it and assigns Sasha to the booking in the spreadsheet.

But they don’t notice that they’ve made a typo and put 4pm instead. In the meantime, another team member has received a call for Wednesday at 3pm, and they assign Sasha to it, not realising that she is supposed to be in another location at that time.

On Wednesday, Sasha receives her schedule and begins the day. At 3pm, she attends the booking on her sheet. However, about ten minutes into the job, she receives a call from a back-office team member who wants to know why she didn’t show up to an appointment.

After some back and forth, your team finally concludes that there’s been a scheduling error. Only problem is, your employees now face the dilemma of either letting one customer down and rescheduling or trying to find an engineer who can visit the customer at the last minute.

Not only is a poorly managed schedule inconvenient for staff and customers alike, but it can be costly and destroy your reputation in the process.

That’s where field service job scheduling software comes in.

Using intelligent scheduling technology, you can ensure that you always have the right resources in the right places. 

Customers can book and reschedule their appointments directly via an easy-to-use online portal. Your back-office team can then use the customers’ booking information to schedule and dispatch workers without needing to worry about the potential for human error. 

The intelligent scheduling software is designed to account for traffic information, worker location and skill set, availability, and job constraints, so you know that you’re assigning the best person for the job.

The 5 Top Benefits of Using Field Service Job Scheduling Software

Here are the top five benefits your business could experience by adopting field service job scheduling software:

1. Optimised Routes Between Customer Bookings

A large portion of a field engineer’s working day is spent on the roads, travelling between customers. In addition to long journeys being extremely pricey, especially since petrol prices in the UK have skyrocketed to an eight-year high, they also take up a large chunk of time that could be better spent attending to customers.

Using traditional job scheduling methods doesn’t provide you with the complete visibility you need to plan routes in the most efficient way. If you can’t see who’s working for you on what day and where, how can you ensure that you’re keeping time on the road to a minimum?

Instead, with state-of-the-art job scheduling software, you can use real-time data to assign appropriately skilled workers to jobs, accounting for location, traffic information, job constraints and vehicle type.

The inbuilt intelligent scheduling assistant enables you to optimise the travel distance of hundreds of jobs at the touch of a button, slashing both time and cost of each journey. In fact, you’ll be able to see the ‘cost to serve’ each customer directly on the system so you can factor it into your future budgets.

By optimising each technician’s journey, they’ll have more time than ever before to attend additional bookings and focus on doing what they do best.

2. Better First-Time Fix Rates

Did you know that companies with a first-time fix rate of over 70% enjoy an 86% customer retention rate? Conversely, those with a rate under 70% only manage to retain 76% of customers, which is a 10% reduction. Consequently, completing jobs the first time is paramount to run a successful business.

Still, businesses continue to risk banking on spreadsheets, paper-based documents and legacy systems to manage their scheduling effectively. Although traditional methods may have worked in the past, customer expectations are constantly becoming more demanding, and people don’t want the inconvenience of needing to book more than one appointment. 

Luckily, thanks to modern job scheduling technology, you can dramatically improve your first-time fix rates and impress customers simultaneously.

Your back-office team can use real-time data to assign skilled resources, equipment and assets such as vehicles directly to a booking. By ensuring that your technicians have the right skills for the job and are armed with the correct gear each time, they are far more likely to complete the project on the same day.

When you use technology to streamline your processes, you can rest assured that everyone on the team can do their jobs effectively and satisfy your customers. Ousting repeat visits will also free up more time for your technicians to complete more visits each day and boost your bottom line further.

3. A More Motivated Team

It’s no secret that manual administration processes can be time-consuming. In reality, workers say they spend around two hours every day on admin instead of focusing on more business-critical tasks.

Aside from taking up your team’s precious time, arduous, repetitive work can obliterate employee morale and cause productivity to hit an all-time low. The worst part is that when your staff aren’t engaged in their work, the margin for error increases exponentially. 

As such, you may find that there are more missed appointments, delays and scheduling clashes, which bruises your company’s reputation and costs you in the long run. 

In contrast, field service job scheduling software is designed to streamline processes and eliminate the repetitive nature of administration work. Your back-office team can schedule and dispatch workers based on their location, availability, vehicle type, and skill set at the touch of a button.

For maximum productivity, you could use a platform that incorporates a CRM. For example, BigChange’s complete Job Management Platform enables your team to pull customer information directly into bookings, reducing the room for mistakes. Plus, the system updates live so your team can’t inadvertently book your technicians to be in multiple places at once.

With your team needing to spend less time on monotonous tasks, you’ll find that their motivation levels will rise, and they’ll have more opportunities to work on jobs that directly contribute to business growth.

4. Ability to Mitigate and Respond to Emergencies

Over half (56%) of field service professionals say that their customers are demanding faster response times. Therefore, you must have the means to act rapidly, regardless of the situation.

Let’s imagine that a customer’s pipe bursts in the only bathroom in their house. They call your back-office team to see if you can send a plumber over as soon as possible. Sadly, your employee cannot get hold of an engineer because they’re all busy and aren’t answering their phones. 

As a result, the employee can’t schedule someone to get there soon, and they have to decline the job, meaning the customer goes to your competitor instead. 

Fortunately, frustrating scenarios like the above are entirely avoidable with field service job scheduling software such as BigChange. Communication with technicians is straightforward as they all have access to an app that provides them with all the information they need to know in real-time — no more missed calls or text messages.

Additionally, your back-office team can use GPS tracking and live data to see which engineers are nearby. As a result, they can rapidly allocate resources to emergency call-outs and ensure that no bookings are left unattended.

Because your company can respond so speedily to emergency requests, you can mitigate a host of expensive issues and impress your customers, meaning they’ll be more inclined to use your services again in the future.

5. Guarantees Compliance

In addition to keeping your customers happy, a large part of running a field service business involves taking measures to protect your workers’ health and safety and ensuring that you follow industry regulations.

When you don’t have complete visibility over your workers, guaranteeing that you’re running your operations compliantly becomes a near-impossible task. Nevertheless, if your business is found to be in breach of specific regulations, you could be hit with severe financial and reputational damage. 

The good news is, with a suitable job scheduling software such as BigChange in place, compliance worries can become a thing of the past.

BigChange records all actions in the system for a detailed audit trail, from engineers’ time spent on the road to timesheets and jobs completed. Subsequently, you can ensure that your field engineers are working within legal hours and that you’ve paid them the right amount for the work they’ve completed.

Additionally, your back-office team can create workflows to assign to each scheduled job. The workflows are mandatory and ensure that the technician has carried out appropriate health and safety measures, such as conducting a risk assessment before starting the project. 

Once the work is complete, they can capture photos and signatures from their mobile devices to ensure that the work is compliant and meets industry standards. The system instantly assigns every piece of information your technicians capture to the scheduled job, so you have a complete record to look back on should you need to in the future.

Make the Switch to Intelligent Scheduling 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.

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.

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