work order management software

Author: Shannon Spollen

Content Specialist/Events Manager

GPS Insight Forward IconField Service Management Software at a Glance

Work order management software can make a positive impact on your business. We’ll discuss these three ways it can help you.

  • Improved Communication
  • Organized To-Do Lists
  • Buttoned-Up Documentation

Three Reasons to Use Work Order Management Software

It’s a well-established fact that customers are far more vocal about negative experiences with businesses than positive ones. So, it makes sense that a recent survey of field service companies found that more than 70 percent of them were prioritizing improvements in customer satisfaction – that’s just one of many customer service stats that are driving the conversation.

Work orders are the lifeblood of field service companies; they contain information that is essential to performing work out in the field. You may already know that field service management software offers many advantages over manual processes – and that moving from a paper system to one that automates work orders offers perhaps the best potential for improving the customer experience.

To demonstrate the value of work order management software, we will take a look at the top three ways it delivers, sharing in some instances the perspective of the office manager, the technician, and, most importantly, the customer.


Scenario #1: Poor Communication

The Office Manager

You’ve just received a phone call from an existing customer with an issue. You’re still using paper work orders, so you’re spending extra time writing down all the details. You’re also left to manually search through files to pull the customer’s service history and jot down any additional notes the technician should know about.

The Technician

Your day has been a little hectic, and you’re running behind. When you arrive to the job, you write down the time and review the work order. You spend the first 15 minutes at the customer’s property calling the office to clarify illegible notes on the work order. Once you have spoken to the customer and properly diagnose their issue, it is clear the fix is going to take 30 minutes more than what’s been allotted. You call the office to give them a heads up, but no one answers, and you get started.

The Customer

Your doorbell rang 30 minutes after your scheduled appointment time and you spent another 10 minutes explaining your original challenge to the technician. While your schedule for today was pretty packed, you carved out just enough time to be home based on how long you were told the appointment would take. Now the technician, who was already late, is telling you it is likely going to be a bit longer – time you do not have – leaving you frustrated with how your interaction with this service company is going.

How Work Order Management Software Would’ve Helped

The office manager is spending extra time tracking down information, which then gets hastily scribbled onto the work order. The technician, already behind schedule, is losing time making phone calls to the office. Worst of all, the customer experience is, so far, not positive.

Work order management software is the glue of field service management software, marrying together scheduling and dispatching with customer data. Hand-written or incomplete information on a piece of paper is replaced with an electronic work order that can be quickly created with clicks of a mouse and shared via mobile app. It clearly communicates the customer’s pain point, their history, and complete information, eliminating wasted time spent calling the office from the field. Technicians are also able to update their status in real-time, alerting the office to delays that will impact the rest of the schedule.

Scenario #2: Lack of To Do and Task Lists

Most field service companies have requirements for their technicians to follow when on-site. It could be anything from cleaning muddy shoes before entering a customer’s home to setting up and deconstructing a work space. Still others may have very specific and/or lengthy check lists employees must run through, depending on the type of job being done.

Maybe you’re handwriting lists for every work order, printing or photocopying them, or relying on your technician’s memory and the honor system to follow proper procedures. The customizable digital check list features found in work order management software save you time. They allow you to easily pull them straight into work orders, while giving you peace of mind that employees are following your processes.

Scenario #3: Disorganized Documentation

The Office Manager

You’ve just received a text notification from your technician that he completed a job, but the pictures he included won’t download. You get sidetracked by another project and forget about them until later in the day when he returns to the office. He lets you know he’s since deleted them, but he also tells you that a form the customer needs was not included with the work order for that job.

The Technician

At your customer’s home, you take photos with your cell phone of the job you’ve just completed. After you text them to your office manager to alert them that the job is completed, you delete the pictures. You now also realize you’re missing a form the customer needs, so as they sign off on completion of the job, you tell them to call the office to get it.

The Customer

As the technician is wrapping up, you ask about a form you need from him for your files. While it’s frustrating enough that he does not have it, he’s left it in your hands to call his office about obtaining it. As you’re signing off on job completion, you notice that the paperwork not only contains scribbled notes and sketches, but also some coffee spots where someone must have spilled something on it.

How Work Order Management Would’ve Helped

The curse of a disjointed manual system struck again, frustrating the customer, and leaving them without the documentation they needed. The customer’s file back at the office is also missing pictures that the technician took to back up the work that was completed.

In this scenario, work order management software would’ve allowed the technician to take photos that would not only automatically show up in the customer’s electronic record at the office, but also in a portal that the customer could log into. Forms, sketches, and additional documentation would be in these same places, ensuring everyone has access to what they need when they need it. The availability of a customer portal, as well as the capture of signatures on a mobile device, would also have very likely increased the company’s professional image.

The Bottom Line

It is easy to draw parallels between the job being done in front of the customer and their overall satisfaction with your company. But consider how you run your business behind the scenes and how that impacts the customer experience, and, subsequently, how they speak about your company to others. How much time do you think you could save if you didn’t have to hand-write work orders while digging through files? Are your technicians set up to be successful and efficient in the field? Or do they have the bare minimum to complete a job? Have you ever thought you could present a more professional image to your customers?

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