Managing scheduling and dispatching manually in an electrical service business is fraught with challenges. For example, there’s the need to:
Manually scan calendars or white boards to check technician availability
Have back-and-forth contact with dispatchers over the phone
Figure out which techs have the right skills for a given job (ensuring you assign the right techs to the right jobs)
Repeat this process several times to find a date and time that’s mutually convenient for both the business and the customer
All of this, among other crucial steps (such as noting down relevant job details and customer information) has to be executed seamlessly on the fly as customers wait on the line.
Too often, mistakes are made (e.g. customer details are missed or recorded incorrectly, techs with the wrong skill set are assigned to a job, etc.) or calls take too long — both of which lead to lost customers and lost revenue.
To solve these challenges, electrical service businesses are turning to scheduling and dispatching apps to help streamline these processes. However, many scheduling software solutions still require call takers to scroll through multiple screens to identify free time slots and available electricians, and ultimately perpetuate the problems you’re trying to solve.
In addition, scheduling apps often do not integrate with the other apps you use to run your business (e.g. your tools for work orders, estimates, invoices, payments, timesheets, payroll, etc.). So your staff ends up entering and re-entering the same information into various apps, which wastes time and opens up room for errors (causing headaches for business owners and staff members alike).
In this article, we’re going to walk through how our electrical contractor software, ServiceTitan, solves all of these problems — truly streamlining scheduling and dispatching while connecting these key business functions to the other areas of your business.
Below, we’ll walk through:
ServiceTitan’s electrician software gives you tools to make your electrical business operations more efficient, allowing you to effectively grow your business and revenue. Request a demo to see for yourself how our scheduling and other features can work for you.
1. Scheduling and Dispatching from the Office: Streamlining Processes for CSRs and Dispatchers
Call Booking That Leads CSRs Through a Guided Workflow
Using ServiceTitan, CSRs are provided with a set workflow that reduces their time spent on each call, while ensuring all crucial details are collected from the customer.
Even before your CSRs pick up a call, ServiceTitan’s call booking feature displays the caller’s name (and, if applicable, existing customer information), allowing you to provide a top-notch customer experience from the get-go.
In addition, CSRs can view the caller’s address, and relevant details about their property (including property size, age, etc.). This allows them to have the utmost context about the customer calling in, and also provides opportunities to spot potential sales.
To ensure accuracy and consistency, CSRs are guided through a series of drop-down menus and form fields that need to be completed for every booked job, so no detail is missed and electricians will show up at the appointment fully prepared. These menus can be customized to suit your organization’s needs and the specific types of services you offer.
As a backup that techs and managers can refer to later, every customer call is automatically recorded and attached to the customer’s booking details. The electrician assigned to the job can listen back to the conversation to double check the job details the client provided, right from their tablet as they drive to the job site, for instance.
Scheduling Automatically Takes into Account Tech Skills and Capacity Planning Strategy
As soon as a CSR wants to check the available time slots in the schedule, they can do so from the same screen, which highlights available times for a selected date range.
Our scheduling functionality has two key features that separate it from other scheduling tools:
First, our system ensures that only electricians with the right skill set can be selected for specific types of jobs. This eliminates the need for CSRs to memorize the skills of every one of your electricians and recall their names to decide which tech to assign to a specific job.
Second, we offer Advanced Capacity Planning. This allows business owners to set parameters of availability for certain job types, depending on the season, tech capacity and skills, etc.
For example, during busy seasons, electrical contractors can choose to create more room in their schedule for jobs that bring in the highest revenues. Or, during slow times of year, they can open up more availability in their schedule for maintenance agreement appointments.
This means you don’t need to train call takers to understand the nuances of your capacity planning priorities; they are simply prevented from booking the wrong jobs at the wrong times. Time slot availability automatically takes these preferences into account, so CSRs can only offer appointments to customers based on these priorities.
Using our efficient, automated, and cloud-based scheduling process, one ServiceTitan customer managed to reduce average call times from 5 minutes to 3.5 minutes, which allowed the CSR team to answer more calls, book more new jobs, and ultimately bring in more revenue.
Dispatch Board Updates in Real-Time and Seamless Communication Between Field and Office
When an appointment has been scheduled, the CSR can immediately see it — along with its details — in the dispatch board, which is visible without skipping through several different screens.
Each entry in the dispatch board includes key job management information such as type of job, arrival window, assigned electrician, and relevant customer information. Additional notes also can be added to these fields for techs’ reference, such as helpful directions to the property.
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All of these appointment details can be changed at any point. CSRs and dispatchers can easily alter the assigned tech, reschedule the service for another time, and make any other necessary changes, either by using the drag-and-drop function, or using the right-click menu.
As your electricians drive between appointments, dispatchers can monitor their progress in real-time. Staff back at the office also can message electricians directly through ServiceTitan to keep them up to date on developments throughout the day.
ServiceTitan’s advanced APIs allow dispatchers and techs in the field to communicate by text message between the dispatch board at the office and mobile devices in the field. There is also the option to send group messages to specific teams, or even the entire workforce, when necessary.
2. Scheduling and Dispatching from the Field: The Technician Experience
Using our field service mobile app (on Android or iOS mobile devices), field techs have access to a wide range of features on the go.
These features include:
Customer call recordings
Detailed customer histories
Templates to build multi-option estimates
Access to pricebooks, product catalogs, and product details
The ability to send customer notifications (about arrival times and follow-up work, for example)
Offer a range of customer financing options (with immediate approval)
Issue invoices and send them by email
Take credit card payments
All of this information is accessible both online and offline, so connectivity issues will never affect your electricians’ ability to access all the necessary information and tools on their mobile device.
ServiceTitan’s field service app is also designed so that electrical business owners can decide how much control and autonomy they want to pass on to their technicians.
Managers may prefer to limit techs’ visibility of their schedule to a certain number of days, or alternatively, to give them access to their schedule at any time in the future. There’s also an option to allow electricians to dispatch themselves, or to allow only office staff to do so.
As a way of monitoring progress on a specific job, ServiceTitan tracks when an electrician is within 100 feet of the location of their next appointment, and allows managers to set permissions for the tech to record their arrival, click to start the job, or to allow only certain staff to launch a job.
3. Website Booking Features: Automated Scheduling Options to Offer Your Customers
Many customers now prefer to book their electrical and other home services appointments online. They might even opt to make an appointment with a competitor if your electrician business doesn’t provide that option. To allow your customers to easily book online, and without searching your website for a number to call, ServiceTitan offers a web widget for online booking.
You can add the widget to your website (it will appear as a form on screen), and customers simply input their details and select the type of service they want to book.
Customers are then prompted to explain their electrical issue type and add a description of their issue.
After the customer fills in their information (name, address, and phone number), they select a convenient time slot for their appointment.
The availability shown through the web widget is exactly the same as a CSR sees on their screen when they take a customer call. It’s updated in real-time so customers can rest assured their booking is confirmed.
Before confirming their appointment, customers get a chance to review all the information they’ve provided and make necessary changes. Bookings made via the web widget can be modified or canceled via the customer’s account.
Effortlessly Improve Your Scheduling & Dispatch Process with ServiceTitan
ServiceTitan has helped thousands of electrical contractors, ranging from small businesses to multimillion-dollar enterprises, to streamline their booking and scheduling workflows.
By implementing our user-friendly, all-in-one field service management software, they have not only managed to improve call close rates and book more jobs, but have also reaped the multiple benefits of automating and integrating the following business processes:
Want to see how ServiceTitan helps automate and grow your electrical contracting business, including scheduling and dispatch processes? Find out more about the features we covered in this article by booking a free demo.
ServiceTitan Electrical Software
ServiceTitan is a comprehensive electrical business software solution built specifically to help service companies streamline their operations, boost revenue, and achieve growth. Our award-winning, cloud-based platform is trusted by more than 100,000+ contractors across the country.