When a new call comes in, HVAC contractors know they need to ensure their customer service reps are able to efficiently and accurately collect the caller’s job details, schedule a service visit, and assign that job to an appropriate HVAC technician as soon as possible.
However, attempting to manage scheduling and dispatching manually, without help from HVAC scheduling software, is often a recipe for frustration.
For example, HVAC businesses deal with challenges such as:
Lengthy customer hold times as CSRs consult whiteboards or spreadsheets for tech availability.
Inefficiencies resulting from the need to engage in back-and-forths with dispatchers to book a single service visit.
Reduced quality of customer experiences from the appearance of a chaotic, unprofessional scheduling and dispatching process, potentially limiting business volume and revenue flow.
To make matters worse, CSRs are frequently the greenest employees at an HVAC company. Often, they don’t have a firm understanding of how to optimize schedules for maximum profitability. For example, to prioritize or deprioritize different job types depending on seasonal demand.
To solve these issues, many HVAC contractors are looking for tech-enabled solutions like scheduling apps or field service management software (FSM). But it’s not uncommon for these tools to require CSRs to maneuver through multiple screens and interfaces to access calendars and book jobs. As a result, scheduling tools often fail to reduce the kinds of slow-downs and mistakes that are common in a manual approach.
In this post, we’re going to walk through how our scheduling and dispatching functionality works, while highlighting the areas where our design gives users a serious leg up on contractors using other HVAC apps.
For simplicity, we’ll break things down into three key areas:
Office Experience: Scheduling and dispatching functionality for office staff
Automated Web Booking: Direct customer booking via our website scheduling feature
Mobile Experience: Scheduling and dispatching functionality for techs in the field
Want to see how ServiceTitan works to streamline your HVAC business operations? Schedule a call to get a live, one-on-one walk-through of the features we describe throughout this article.
Office Experience: Scheduling and Dispatching via Our Desktop App
Call Booking for CSRs: Fostering Accountability While Providing Better Customer Experiences
The ServiceTitan scheduling experience begins with our call booking screen, which provides a user-friendly interface for CSRs to capture all of the necessary customer information to begin scheduling a job.
In cases where the incoming call is from an existing customer, CSRs can see the names of callers before they pick up, allowing them to greet that customer personally. This helps build strong customer relationships. They can also easily access that customer’s data and complete job history, as well as view tags that indicate key information such as whether they’re due for a system replacement, or whether they’re pre-approved for financing on a new air conditioning unit.
Alternatively, when a new customer calls in, CSRs are prompted to fill out a series of fields and drop-down menus that indicate the job type, business unit, priority, and other key details. This customizable, predefined workflow makes CSRs’ jobs easier while also fostering accountability and ensuring they don’t forget to collect important information while on a call.
At that point, the customer’s information is saved in ServiceTitan for future customer relationship management (CRM).
Scheduling Jobs for Maximum Profitability
When it’s time to schedule a service visit, CSRs can view their current calendar and availability within the same screen, as shown here:
Now, this is where our scheduling software begins to shine compared to other scheduling apps.
With our Advanced Capacity Planning feature, HVAC business owners and managers can set capacity strategies that dictate how many bookings of a particular job type CSRs can take on at a given time. And CSRs will see only the calendar slots that correspond with that strategy.
For example, HVAC businesses can choose to limit the number of maintenance calls during the holidays to leave more space for one-time service calls or heating system replacements. Or, during shoulder seasons, they can increase capacity for service agreement calls to maintain revenue flow during times of less demand.
With ServiceTitan, CSRs don’t need to think about these scheduling preferences. The system does this automatically, taking the burden off of CSRs to remember how many assignments of a particular job they can book at a given time.
Similarly, our scheduling feature guarantees that the right tech is sent to the right job every time, allowing CSRs to choose only those techs with the know-how and equipment necessary for a given task. Since the availability of employees is updated within ServiceTitan in real time, CSRs are physically unable to double-book techs.
Among other benefits, this kind of streamlined workflow often increases the number of calls CSRs can handle, even as the quality of the customer support they’re providing improves.
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It’s true that ServiceTitan is not unique in allowing contractors to edit their schedules to accommodate factors like seasonal variability. But these features usually aren’t seamlessly integrated into the call-booking process. This means that CSRs have to do a lot more manually, often switching back and forth between multiple screens in a less efficient workflow that can lead to delays and errors.
Easy-to-Use Dispatch Board
With ServiceTitan, once an HVAC job has been scheduled, that job and customer data is automatically added to the dispatch board for the appropriate staff members to manage. It’s also added to technician schedules that they can view via our field service mobile app, as we’ll discuss below.
Every dispatch board item is augmented with vital job management information: tech arrival window, job type, and customer information (including name, address, and the like).
In addition, our software provides customer appointment confirmations via text, and when a customer text comes in, that info also appears—via an automation-enabled process, on the dispatch board.
In the service business, scheduling is a dynamic process, and the ServiceTitan dispatch board allows for smooth and painless fluidity. Using right-click menus and/or drag-and-drop, CSRs and techs can reschedule jobs, alter routes, add notes to individual jobs, and reassign techs without missing a beat.
The dispatch board also provides full visibility into job progress and real-time GPS tracking, giving employees back at the office a global and highly detailed view of what’s going on out in the field.
Furthermore, our HVAC dispatch software enables office staff to use SMS text messaging via their computer to communicate with techs on their mobile phones.
Since they don’t need to toggle between their computer and their phone, CSRs and dispatchers are much less likely to overlook an urgent message.
Yet another advantage of our dispatch board design is the capability to mass message team members. Office staff can message every employee at their company or a specific group or team. Very few types of HVAC service software offer this functionality, and it has become a favorite among ServiceTitan users since its introduction.
Automated Web Booking: How Our Web Scheduler Allows Customers to Book Easily Through Your Website
As such, our users also have access to our web scheduling feature.
Appearing as a text box in the bottom right corner of a potential customer’s screen, the widget allows customers to quickly book appointments—without ever having to pick up the phone.
They’re guided through the following steps to book their service:
Enter Customer Information
Availabilities in our web booking tool mirror those in the advanced planning capacity that we described above, which HVAC company owners will already have set up.
Review and Confirm
At this point, all that’s left for a customer to do is review their information and confirm their booking. Jobs scheduled this way appear automatically in the HVAC dispatch board.
Using text or email, customers can manage their booking independently, reschedule, make updates, or cancel, as necessary.
This simultaneously allows HVAC businesses to offer customers their preferred booking experiences while freeing up CSRs to focus on other areas of customer management. For small businesses with limited office staff, this feature is particularly useful.
Mobile Experience: How Techs View Scheduling and Dispatch Updates On the Go
From the dashboard in our mobile app—supported on both iOS and Android mobile devices—HVAC technicians can view each upcoming job that’s scheduled.
Technicians can tap on each job card to view all relevant details—including the appointment time, type of job, customer’s address, and contact information.
In addition, they also have access to a recording of the customer’s initial phone call with the office, customer records and service history, directions to the job, and more.
ServiceTitan can be set up to allow field technicians to self-dispatch, or limit dispatching authority to office employees. Similarly, to track job progress, ServiceTitan can be set up to register when a tech comes within 100 feet of a job site, automatically beginning the work-in-progress portion of the job cycle. Business owners can also choose to allow techs to enter their start-of-work time themselves.
These are just the scheduling and dispatching features of our mobile app. Among other things, it also enables techs to:
Create purchase orders and initiate requisitions of equipment and materials
Text appointment notifications, arrival times, and follow-ups to customers
Offer on-the-spot financing
Manage HVAC invoicing
View and manage work orders
Accept payments via credit card or check
Ready to Streamline Your Job Scheduling and Dispatching?
ServiceTitan’s approach to scheduling and dispatching is aligned with our overall emphasis on seamlessly linking the core processes involved in HVAC business operations—both from the office and in the field.
In addition, we also offer features for:
To date, we’ve helped over 100,000 contractors ramp up their efficiency while increasing their close rates and average ticket prices to grow their bottom line.
Want to see how our HVAC Business Software solution can transform your operations and grow your revenue? Schedule a call to get a free demo of the features we describe throughout this article.
ServiceTitan HVAC Software
ServiceTitan is a comprehensive HVAC 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.