Plumbing, Business Tips

Plumbing Booking App: Automate and Streamline Scheduling & Dispatching

September 14th, 2022
8 Min Read

Efficiently booking plumbing jobs is a surprisingly complex process because it requires customer service reps to:

  • Know which plumbers are available on specific days and at specific times

  • Understand what skills are required for each type of plumbing service

  • Identify which plumbers on the team are qualified for specific jobs

  • Work out how much time a certain type of job will take

  • Combine all the above with customer availability and preferences

In addition, CSRs have limited time on a call to execute the booking process. Customers want their plumbing problems dealt with quickly—and they don’t want to wait on the line while CSRs cross-reference numerous schedules and make calls to confirm tech availability.

Increasingly, plumbing businesses are using plumbing booking apps (also called plumbing scheduling apps) to make this process easier for CSRs, as well as provide better customer experiences to people who call in. 

However, plumbing businesses need to choose between apps built solely for scheduling, and holistic plumbing business software that facilitate scheduling in addition to dispatching, estimatesinvoicespayments, etc.

The challenge with booking-only apps is that they often don’t seamlessly integrate with the other plumbing apps businesses use, such as their dispatch software, work order apps, pricing apps, or billing software. As a result, office and field staff deal with a number of inconveniences, such as:

  • Investing in different apps

  • Learning different app interfaces

  • Re-entering the same information into multiple apps for every job

To avoid these inefficiencies, which can introduce errors, we’ve built robust scheduling and dispatching features into our plumbing software. In this article, we’re going to walk through how these features work.

Specifically, we’ll cover:

  • Office Experience: The desktop side of our platform used by CSRs, dispatchers, and office staff to schedule jobs and dispatch field technicians.

  • Online Booking: The website widget available to ServiceTitan users that allows customers to book jobs directly through a service business’s website (based on current schedule and capacity).

  • Mobile App: The mobile side of our platform used by techs in the field to view their schedules, job details and service history, navigate to jobs throughout their work day, and more.

ServiceTitan streamlines your call-booking process along with giving you all the tools to manage your plumbing business operations. To find out more about how ServiceTitan can help your business, schedule a free personalized demo here.

Office Experience: Seamless Booking and Dispatching for CSRs

When a customer calls in, ServiceTitan’s call-booking screen automatically shows CSRs whether the caller is a new or repeat customer.

Repeat customers can be greeted by name, in recognition of their loyalty, and CSRs can easily view all previously recorded details such as name, address, and complete job history, along with property data. This immediately provides call takers with all the information they need, gives them a chance to ask how previous work is performing, and eliminates wasted time searching for customer files.

When new customers call in, CSRs are guided through a simple step-by-step process to record all new customer details, eliminating the possibility of forgetting to ask for vital job and booking information.  

In both cases, a series of drop-down menus ensure they ask all the right questions and make a note of every essential detail for the job to be done right.

In addition, job histories and property data give your CSRs the information they need to identify opportunities to upsell bigger-ticket services. For example, if they notice that on a previous visit a plumber noted the advanced age of the property’s water heater, the CSR can suggest this again, or provide a new range of estimates for installing the updated equipment.

Using ServiceTitan’s call-booking features, call takers can view all available time slots in the next few weeks at one glance. They don’t need to exit the original screen to access that information (a common trait of other booking apps and field service management software), which makes it much simpler to find potential appointment dates without losing track of which screen they need to go back to.

When a CSR has established a specific time slot that is convenient for both your business and the customer, they can book the appointment and it will automatically appear in the dispatch board. In addition, the plumber who has been selected for the job can see it on their personal schedule in the ServiceTitan mobile app (more details on this below).

Advanced Capacity Planning: Set Parameters to Prioritize Specific Bookings and Optimize Your Schedule for Profitability

Plumbing contractors and business owners can also set rules within our scheduling tool to implement a specific capacity strategy, without having to remind or train CSRs to recall exactly the type of jobs and services to prioritize when booking jobs.

For example, you can choose to set a parameter to exclude regular plumbing maintenance work during traditionally busy periods for urgent calls (such as holiday weeks). This prevents CSRs from overbooking maintenance calls and frees up your capacity to deal with high priority, and more profitable, new jobs as they come in. 

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Our scheduling tool will show only availability to book certain types of jobs based on the parameters you’ve set, so your booking strategy can easily be implemented without CSRs needing to think about it.

Conversely, at traditionally slower times for urgent calls, parameters can be set to open up more slots for regular maintenance work, keeping your plumbers busy even when demand is down.

Easy-to-Use Dispatch Board: Change Bookings in Real Time, Keep in Touch with Techs, and Send Customer Notifications

ServiceTitan’s dispatch board gives dispatchers an overview of job statuses on any chosen day. It’s highly intuitive and user-friendly to make job scheduling as easy as possible.

Dispatchers can see all alerts and the following job statuses at a glance:

  • Unassigned

  • Scheduled

  • Unconfirmed

  • Dispatched

  • Working (underway)

  • Paused

  • Done (finished)

  • Canceled

  • On Hold

When changes occur, dispatchers are immediately alerted to those changes. They can see which jobs are unassigned and select an available tech using our drag-and-drop system.

CSRs don’t need to input information from scratch into rescheduled jobs. They just drag and drop the whole job, including its details and the assigned plumber, from the old time slot to the new one. If the technician changes along with the schedule, they can simply add the new technician to the new timeslot.

Any changes to appointments can trigger an automatic customer notification to ask the customer for job confirmations, warn them of changes to appointment times, notify them that their plumber is on the way, and more.

The dispatch board also shows dispatchers a job activity feed, which updates them on what stage each job is at. This includes when plumbers are on their way to a job, when they arrive, and when the job is completed. From the board, dispatchers can also directly message techs individually, or send out messages to the whole team, making it easy to communicate with plumbing service professionals in the field.

Techs are also tracked by GPS in real time as they drive between appointments, so dispatchers can keep an eye on their location, which they can then communicate to customers when required.

Online Booking: Our Website Widget for Customers to Schedule Their Own Appointments

For plumbing companies that want to free up their CSRs time and simplify the booking process even further, ServiceTitan provides a website widget that lets end customers book their own appointments online.

Some customers prefer this remote booking process to making a call to your office, and as our widget syncs with your job availabilities and all your capacity planning parameters, there’s no chance of double booking, booking jobs that you don’t have capacity to deal with, or plumbers without the right skills for the job.

Customers get immediate job confirmation, rather than having to wait for a confirmation email (a common feature of many other online booking apps). They can also cancel or reschedule appointments using a link they get by email or text message.

The website booking widget is included in ServiceTitan’s base package, so you don’t need to deal with APIs to add it to your website, or pay for an additional online booking tool that you manage separately from ServiceTitan’s other tools.

Mobile App: Our On-the-Go Tool for Plumbers in the Field

ServiceTitan’s mobile app (available on iOS and Android devices) provides technicians with an intuitive dashboard that allows them to easily view their schedule and upcoming appointments.

Plumbers can click on individual job cards to see the specific details of each appointment, including:

  • Customer information (name and address)

  • Type of service booked

  • Complete job details and notes

  • Recording of the initial customer call

  • Driving directions to the job address

  • And more

Optionally, plumbers can manually dispatch themselves to each new appointment as they start driving toward it, and an automatic customer notification is sent to alert the customer to their arrival.

The tech dashboard in ServiceTitan Mobile syncs with the desktop side of our plumbing scheduling software back at the office, so as new appointments are booked, techs can see them in real time (and if appointments are rescheduled, that change is also immediately reflected).

Our mobile app also includes a route-optimization feature that directs plumbers to their next appointment using the most efficient route and taking into account the changing traffic conditions on the way. Techs are rerouted if traffic gets congested, and ServiceTitan optimizes an alternative route, even if the tech isn't familiar with the area.

Just as dispatchers can send messages to techs, plumbers in the field can also use the mobile app to keep in touch with the team back at the office. They can send and answer messages right from their mobile device, and don’t have to make or answer time-consuming calls while out on a job.

Additionally, ServiceTitan Mobile lets your plumbers:

  • Take on-the-spot credit card payments

  • Issue invoices

  • Access product details

  • See updated pricebooks

  • Present accurate estimates and good, better, best proposals

  • Give customers financing options with on-the-spot approvals

  • And much more.

To learn more about these other features, check out this article for an in-depth walk-through of mobile app functionality.

ServiceTitan: Business Management Software with a Built-In Plumbing Booking App

While ServiceTitan’s plumbing booking app gives you a hassle-free and automated way of booking plumbing appointments both via calls and online, our plumbing service software solution goes much further. It’s an all-in-one platform to manage all aspects of your business, whether it’s a small business or a large plumbing company.

Our call booking and online booking tools integrate directly and seamlessly with the rest of your service business workflow, and help you manage all operational, marketing, and accounting aspects of your business. 

ServiceTitan streamlines your call and online booking processes and gives you a comprehensive set of job management tools for your plumbing business. To find out more, schedule a free personalized demo here.

ServiceTitan Plumbing Software

ServiceTitan is a comprehensive plumbing 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.

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