Contractor Corner

Summer is a time for thunderstorms which means electrical issues for your customers. System shorts, power surges and also things like more construction means your business is busier than ever. It makes it so much harder to answer your phones and return messages to customers and prospective customers. You need help, but not just any kind of answering service. You need an electrical answering service that provides more than just answering your phones.

Ask questions

When someone hires you do they ask questions about your business and service? Of course they do. So shouldn’t you when hiring a service for your business? You need to know things like their business hours and process. You need to know how they handle emergency calls. You need to know how they hire the employees that will be answering your phones. How educated are they? What standards of knowledge are required? Have they been educated about at least basic electrical systems?

Basic knowledge

You need to know these things because it’s important that the people answering your phones have at least a basic knowledge about what your customers and prospects will be calling about. They should at least be able to troubleshoot for the customer. Why send a tech when it is a problem as simple as a flipped breaker? Keeping small issues from becoming big ones will make your customer happy. It will also mean they call back if that problem does become bigger. If it is a bigger issue, it’s important that you get details about the issue, not just a name and number.

Like any other business, you need one that is reliable and has a good reputation. That means after you ask your questions you should do your due diligence and investigate the business.

Do your due diligence

Check with the Better Business Bureau, state and local court searches, making sure the electrical answering service you are considering has all needed licenses, etc. Check with other similar businesses that may use them and get recommendations. Don’t hire anyone that will harm your reputation by doing substandard service when answering your phones. You deserve better, and so do your customers.

If you are looking for a great Electrical Answering Service, check out our options today! click here

5 Things You Should Look For When Hiring An Electrical Answering Service | Summer is a time for thunderstorms which means electrical issues for your customers. System shorts, power surges and also things like more construction means your business is busier than ever. It makes it so much harder to answer your phones and return messages to customers and prospective customers. You need help, but not just any kind of answering service. You need an electrical answering service that provides more than just answering your phones.

There is a lot of contractor scheduling software out there and they all claim to be the best. So how do you know? Investing in software to help your business is a big cost and investing in the wrong software can be a costly mistake. Here are three that are high quality and would be a good investment for your business.

Service Fusion

Service Fusion is a full service software package and it includes a great dispatching and scheduling module. It has great features to help you schedule jobs and dispatch your employees. Things like a drag and drop dispatch grid so you can easily assign work to your employees even while they are on the road. That job information will then dispatch it to employees in the field to their cell phones or tablets. The drag and drop is very visual and easy to use, and lets you map out the best routes to get them there on time.

Find out more about Service Fusion

Jobber

Jobber is another full service contractor software that includes scheduling software. The scheduling software makes assigning jobs easy as can be. It can easily create and duplicate complicated job schedule for recurring jobs. It has a drag and drop calendar which includes day, week and month views. You can include map routing with their intuitive map that helps get the best routes to make getting to jobs easy. You can send those job schedules to your employees with a few clicks of a mouse.

Find out more about Jobber

Service Bridge

Service Bridge is a full service contractor software package. It has a scheduling and dispatch portion that also includes a mobile app. This app is a great app that allows you to push job and customer information to your employees in the field. It also automatically informs them of new assignments and last minute changes to their schedules or job updates. It also allows you and your employees to find the fastest routes to and from jobs and includes turn by turn directions.

Find out more about Service Bridge

Try one or all of them. Each has a free trial so you can see which is a better fit for your business.

If you would like to have some help with your scheduling, please check out our Scheduling and Dispatching Services.

The Best Contractor Scheduling Software | There is a lot of contractor scheduling software out there and they all claim to be the best. So how do you know? Investing in software to help your business is a big cost and investing in the wrong software can be a costly mistake. Here are three that are high quality and would be a good investment for your business.

One of the first key hires that you make when your HVAC business is getting busy should be an HVAC Answering Service. In today’s post we will talk about key things to look for when hiring an answering service and then the ONE THING that you must watch out for that could cause major problems down the line.

Your HVAC business is booming and you’re finding that it’s becoming more and more difficult to get back to your customers and prospects. Having an answering service would be a huge help, but not just any answering service. You need one that understands your type of service business. So what should you look for?

First, a HVAC answering service that has a good reputation

It should go without saying, but check out this business like you would any other. Do your background due diligence: Better Business Bureau, state and local court searches, making sure there are any needed licenses, etc. Check with other similar businesses that may use them and get recommendations. Do your homework! If you hire a fly by night or a business that doesn’t live up to what they promise you’re not only out money, but your customers won’t get the service they deserve.

Next, ask questions.

How long are they open and answering your phones? What about emergency calls? Find out their process. How often do they let calls go to voicemail? Are there live people there during all business hours? How are they screened? What is their average employee turnover rate? It may seem like a strange consideration, but it’s important for one of the next reasons.

Knowledgeable employees

Next, be sure that this answering service has employees knowledgeable about HVAC work. This is important because when customers call with a problem, they want to have a company that understands their problem and can ensure them they can help them. The person answering the phone needs to know the capabilities of the technicians and the company resources to keep a simple issue from escalating to a big one, it saves the customer money and gives them a positive view of your business.

Not generating even more work for you

Last but not least, you need to make sure that your HVAC answering service is not generating even more work for you! A “normal” service will answer your phones and email or text you message. While that is nice, you could do that simply through using Google Voice.

However, if you are truly looking for this to be helpful to growing your company, you need to make sure that the answering service you hire is part of your team. They should not only answer calls, but also be able to schedule technicians and service calls right into your scheduling software. They should also be able to answer simple billing questions on the spot by checking your accounting software.

If you want to grow your company you HAVE to get these kinds of tasks off your plate and being handled quickly and competently by trained staff. Hiring a professional HVAC answering service like Contractor In Charge will allow you to take your business to the next level!

Give us a call today to find out more (813.438.3666 nationwide) or check out our HVAC Answering Service Program today!

Things To Look For When Hiring An HVAC Answering Service | One of the first key hires that you make when your HVAC business is getting busy should be an HVAC Answering Service. In today's post we will talk about key things to look for when hiring an answering service and then the ONE THING that you must watch out for that could cause major problems down the line.

What plumbing software should you use? Your plumbing business is doing well, but you’re feeling out of control. It’s hard to keep on top of all of the things you need to; scheduling, new business, bookkeeping and where your business is, financially. Upgrading your software would be a great idea. Let’s look at some options.

Jobber

There are a ton of software programs out there to help with plumbing businesses. One of them is Jobber. Jobber includes a CRM that will help with client retention and new clients, invoicing that allows QuickBooks sync, e-payments and easy tracking of receivables, scheduling as easy as drag and drop into a calendar and team management to track jobs, tasks, assignments and use GPS to know exactly where your teams are and when.

Evernote

One way to go is Evernote. Evernote is an online service that ranges from free to from $2.99 per month to $5.99 a month for unlimited service. Basically, you can set Evernote up how it works best for you. It’s set up in notebooks with notes in each book. Whether each notebook is for each client, or each notebook is for each service tech, it gives you flexibility in how to use it. The best part is that it works across platforms so your techs can access notes via their smartphones or tablets, whether iPhone, Android or Windows. Archiving old records is easy and plans vary on your needs.

Microsoft programs

Another idea is using Microsoft programs. Buying an Enterprise license will give you access to Microsoft programs, Word, Excel, Powerpoint, OneDrive and more. OneDrive can be used to access your folders and documents anywhere at anytime. Like Evernote, you can set up these folders and documents in whatever configuration you need using whatever programs you need. Techs can check in and update documents on the go on their smartphones or tablets as well.

Accounting and bookkeeping

For your accounting and bookkeeping needs, using QuickBooks is a great program for almost any size business. QuickBooks can be used to handle simple bookkeeping to payroll and more. While it can’t be used for scheduling and dispatching, it can be used in conjunction with Microsoft programs or Evernote.

Find out what works for you and use it.

If you need some help, give Contractor In Charge, 813-438-3666 Nationwide.

Plumbing Software Every Plumber Needs | What plumbing software should you use? Your plumbing business is doing well, but you're feeling out of control. It's hard to keep on top of all of the things you need to; scheduling, new business, bookkeeping and where your business is, financially. Upgrading your software would be a great idea. Let’s look at some options.

You started your contracting business to improve your life. Now you find that your business IS your life. Instead of enjoying your success and spending all your time with your friends and family, you’re spending all your time playing phone tag, scheduling service calls, handling the bills and money and chasing people for meetings. Not what you pictured, is it? There is a better way: operate your contracting business like a business.

Hours of operation

Think about some of your favorite businesses. Do they operate 24/7? Of course not. They have definite hours of operation, whether it’s a store, your doctor or CPA. Why is your business different? You shouldn’t be spending off hours running around like a chicken with its head cut off. Limit your business phone calls to set hours. 8 or 9 am to no later than 7pm is a good guideline. Customers will realize that you need to have a life too. They don’t expect to be able to get a call back from their dentist or banker at all hours of the night.

Billing and bookkeeping services

Did you picture yourself pouring over financial paperwork for hours on end when you thought about starting your business? Probably not. So why not farm that out as well? Doctors have billing and bookkeeping services so they can spend their time with patients.

Scheduling service and phone calls

How do you want to spend your day, doing paperwork or spending time on your open job sites? What about those return calls to those who have contacted you to do a job for them? Wouldn’t it be fantastic to have someone who is able to answer their questions intelligently, handle the call and schedule the appointments for you? Wouldn’t that leave you more time to handle the sales calls or work the actual jobs? And then there’s the marketing and prospecting. The jobs won’t always come to you, so who will help with that?

Don’t let your business run your life. Instead, run your business so you can have a life!

How Outsourcing Your Dispatch Scheduling Can Help Your Contracting Business

Do you feel like you spend more time scheduling service visits rather than going on them? Not what you pictured when you started your business, is it? Well, having a dispatch scheduling service may be the answer to your dilemma.

If you and your technicians are spending more time in the office answering phones, ordering parts or doing other “office duties” than spending time on actual service calls, then you need help. Hiring someone to do the phones and other office duties may mean you need to be in the office supervising instead of out working.

The answer? Outsourcing your dispatch scheduling. Dispatch scheduling services like Contractor In Charge will provide someone off site who can handle the phones, schedule appointments and service calls, or contact your technicians for dispatch.

The best part of a dispatch scheduling service is that you are free to do what you do best, represent and sell your services. What’s even better is in times of high demand, you won’t have one person in the office trying to handle multiple calls. Instead, you’ll have multiple people handling your calls and getting your customers the help they need.

Then there’s the tax and payroll savings. No wages, no payroll taxes, no vacation time, no health insurance, no expensive benefits.

Your business, the reason you went into it, is what you want to be working, not your “office duties.” Find someone to handle that for you so you can do what you love.

Looking for a great dispatch scheduling service? Give us a call today to find out how we can help get this off of your plate! (813) 438.3666 Nationwide

How Outsourcing Your Dispatch Scheduling Can Help Your Contracting Business | Do you feel like you spend more time scheduling service visits rather than going on them? Not what you pictured when you started your business, is it? Well, having a dispatch scheduling service may be the answer to your dilemma.