CRM for Contractors & Service Business (The Complete Guide)
Have you ever found yourself dreading the phone ringing? Your paperwork and customer tracking system is such a mess ….. imagine getting the phone call from a customer saying “Remember me? You installed my AC unit three years ago at 123 sesame street and I was hoping you’d come back and take a look as it’s making an awful sound.”
The problem is, you don’t remember who they are or what sort of AC unit they have. Will it still be under warranty? Has it been serviced? You can either admit to the customer you don’t remember who they are or try to bluff your way out and send a technician to likely waste a site visit and then decide what to do.
Wouldn’t it just be so much easier if you could search by name or address and bring up all the customer details and job history? You could determine what sort of unit they have, any past issues, the serving history and improve your customer service with your efficiency and ‘great memory’.
What is CRM?
CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management and is a vital tool for your HVAC business. A great CRM is built from years of years of blood sweat and tears along with hours of work. It is your entire history of customers, the work you have done and the source of your future work.
One of the biggest challenges with incorporating CRM into a business can be finding where to start. It can be a daunting process and if you have no previous experience in integrating software like this, it can be easy to get wrong and you’ll find yourself further behind than when you started.
Commercial HVAC Software can help CRM become a vital asset in your business so you can capture important information like:
- Job history
- Email/SMS history
- Lists of Assets
- Access Codes
- Induction checklists
- Induction status
When you can use this information to better understand your customer’s needs, you will find that your team’s efficiency will dramatically increase. Ask yourself, what would it feel like if your HVAC business had an efficient CRM system and you can remove all the unnecessary calls from the field to the office to get a full picture of what is going on at the customer site.
Why Every Contractor and Service Business Should Be Using a CRM
When you have a poorly constructed CRM system, or no CRM at all to speak of, information will get lost. As much as the human brain is amazing it is not going to remember the level of detail about a job, customer or worksite that will help with meaningful activities such as invoicing, quoting or compiling reports.
Without CRM it can be frustrating to keep track of details for each customer that could help you grow your relationship, increase revenue and increase your recommendations.
When a customer calls back….
Nothing looks worse for a business when a long time customer calls for service work and you can’t remember who they are or what work has been done. In any HVAC business, customer service is key and if your customers are getting the impression you don’t care or have the time for them, they are likely to take their business elsewhere.
Customer relationship management can help your customers feel recognised when they call up. You will be able answer that call with all the relevant information on hand. When you have a system for CRM incorporated in to your sales pipeline you can provide quality customer service and have the foundation for call-backs or even to leverage in HVAC marketing plans to market a new campaign to drum up HVAC preventative maintenance contracts or special summer or winter offers.
Save time by removing paper handling
When you have a technician driving across town to a customer’s site and they realise they don’t have the access code to get on site or the job history for the asset, it wastes time chasing paperwork or unnecessary calls to the office. It can be all well and good to have a paper based system for your customer details, but paper can be easily lost, damaged or forgotten and not to mention hard to update. When you and your team turn up to a customer’s site without the information you need you won’t just waste your time, but you look unprofessional and waste time and cost the customer in multiple visits. The expectations of customers on service provision is much higher than it has ever been and customers are quick to cancel or find alternatives and loyalty can disappear overnight. Read our post of the 7 tragedies of paper for HVAC.
With the benefits of automated CRM software you can access all your information in the one, easy to use place and there are no variations between Field and Office. From a mobile phone or tablet your technicians see the same information the office does including asset information, previous asset testing, photos and generate reports in real time.
Keep track of different sites for one customer
Whether you are a big or small HVAC business it can be hard to keep track of multiple sites. The struggle for any HVAC business can be delivering quality services across multiple sites when several new assets are introduced to a site. Setting up your CRM to ensure you can asset new information such as Assets, Tests, Service schedules etc can mean you keep the customer happy and you have full control on what has happened and what is planned for that customer.
How To Get The Most Out Of Your CRM
CRM can be an effective tool for any HVAC business, one of the key steps in making your CRM effective is remembering to update your customer details and information. If your customer changes email address, gets a new asset or replaces a part on an old asset, you want to have that information documented so you can be on top of your game.
When you have an updated job history of your customer’s assets you can see the servicing needs for each asset. This can be an opportunity for you to remind your customer of upcoming service work or even suggest the installation of a new asset to replace an older model that may be costing them more in electricity bills than it should.
When you incorporate an automated field service management software with your customer relationship management you will increase your productivity and get the most out of your CRM.
Define your CRM SOP (Standard Operating Procedure)
Standard Operating Procedures or SOP can greatly assist in defining your CRM and improving customer support for your clients. It also means you can consistently and repeatedly capture the right information at the right time. SOP can be a great point of reference for your team to work from and it can define the level of quality your team needs to provide for your customers.
Mandatory fields when you take a call
Capturing customer data is an important first step when you have a new client. It can be easy to forget something simple like asking for a site address or an email address when talking to a new client. It can look unprofessional when you have to call back to ask for their details.
Having a list of things to ask documented in you SOP can be a great tip to ensure all of your team is on the same page. Basic details can include:
- Name of customer
- Phone numbers
- Email address
- Site address
- Assets on site (manufacturer, model etc)
When you capture the data you need for your customers you start off your relationship on a positive note and allow your team the beat chance of success when visiting the site.
Customised to your own data needs
Just as every customer site is different, we know that every HVAC business is unique in its own way too. You need the data and information you collect to be relevant to your services you provide to customers.
If you are a business that specialises in installing air conditioners, information regarding servicing furnaces may be of no use to you. For this reason you need to define what information you want to obtain.
Begin with asking yourself simple questions. What service do you offer? Who are your customers? To think about what information you need to gather from your data, you need to know what goal you are aiming to achieve. Read out blog about Starting a HVAC business or Running a HVAC business.
Adding checklists and drop downs to speed up data entry
When you capture customer information it can become repetitive and time consuming. A handy tip when customising your data entry is the addition of checklists or drop downs that can save time and ensure nothing is forgotten.
If you know the avatar of your typical customer you can predict questions that you need the customer to answer. If you know you need to ask a new customer “What type of asset do you have on site?” you can have drop downs to reflect this such as “air conditioning unit; refrigeration unit; heating system; furnace; ventilation system” and so on.
Not only does this save time, you can reduce the chance of missing valuable information that could be key to the job.
What are the best CRM software?
Here are some recommendations, but do your own research to determine what is best your business based on features, price , integrations and support.
HubSpot is a CRM software that is widely used to increase customer relationships for a HVAC business. Services like HubSpot can be excellent and well designed, but with expensive start up fees, it isn’t for everyone.
Zoho is another CRM platform that offers an end-to-end software to build your CRM and grow your business. Zoho as a software is a very feature rich program but can be complex for users or businesses.
There are many others: SharpSpring, ActiveCampaign, MailChimp etc.
Check our out blog on HVAV Apps to help Automate for our recommendations.
For the best of automated software that performs in real time and improves your CRM management, FieldInsight is what you are looking for. FieldInsight as an automated software works to combine all aspects of your business in the one, easy to access place.
Some of the main benefits of FieldInsight include features such as:
- CRM management
- Easy report generation
- Customer and job history
- Available templates to chose from
- Accessible from field or office with the use of mobile apps
- Project management
- Asset management
- Triggered reminders
- Automatic follow up
- and much more…
With FieldInsight you allow your business to have a helping hand to better your competitors in the field and give your HVAC business a leading edge.
FieldInsight can combine customer relationship management for your service business to enable you to build long lasting relationships with your customers. With features benefits such as triggered reminders, you can ensure that you are getting the service work for your assets and show your customer that your team knows what they’re doing.
Specialist Field Service Management Software for HVAC workflows
FieldInsight as a job management software has over ten years in experience in the HVAC field and dealing with valued customers. With tailored features that will compliment your business and our helping hand, transitioning into an automated software is a breeze.
For complex HVAC solutions, FieldInsight has the tools and the experience that can help your business succeed. For a taste of what FieldInsight can offer you, book a Demo today and ensure your business has the right CRM management you need.
What You Should Do Now
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