For most field service providers, managing a team of technicians who barely report to the office is one of the toughest operational tasks. They may still depend on obsolete manual methods to allocate work and track their mobile workforce, a tedious and error-prone task.
On top of that, field technicians answer emergency calls daily that need to be prioritized over their regular workflow, and require on-the-spot schedule changes. Slight miscommunication, delays, or missing information can all lead to poor customer service, idle technician time, and low efficiency.
Enter field service management software. While choosing a tool can be a challenge due to the plethora of available software features, capabilities, and considerations, we've compiled a list field service management software features, followed by a brief description of each feature, to aid your search.
If you click on a feature below, you'll land on a page listing all software solutions offering that specific feature in GetApp's field service management software directory.
Scheduling: Enables you to receive job requests from customers, prioritize and schedule daily activities, and create schedules based on optimal routing that account for the location of each job site on the schedule.
Dispatch management: Match the most qualified employees to each job based on job requirements, and notify technicians of assignments and changes.
Work order management: Track and monitor the progress of a job from scheduling to assignment, as well as throughout the job's progress until completion/payment.
Mobile access: Provide technician access to key operations in the field.
Most field service management software solutions have features in common. The below list covers features most applications have, but don't necessarily need to have to be considered field service management software.
Many of these can be considered subsets of the four core features above. For easier navigation, we grouped common features by overall business function.
A decade ago, one could easily expect at least a week-long gap between the technician visiting and the customer receiving the invoice. With modern field service management software, generating invoices and receiving payments is easily manageable within a day. Most field service management apps offer invoicing and payment processing features that allow you to generate single or bulk invoices in a single-click and receive instant payments.
Here are some of the estimating, invoicing, and payment-processing features you can expect:
Estimates: Automate quoting and quote proposal forms by inputting necessary information while at the job site.
Billing and invoicing: Manage customer balances and send invoices for payment. Some systems allow mobile payments, thus eliminating the need for invoices and speeding up final payment receipt.
Mobile payments: Swipe a credit card or manually process payments while with the customer in the field.
If you've got experience managing field staff, then you've multitasked. A good field service management tool comes equipped with scheduling and dispatch functionalities that can take some of the burden off your shoulders.
Here are some common scheduling and dispatch features to look for:
Route optimization: Provide directions and plan the day's work to optimize employee scheduling.
Alerts: Notify technicians and managers of scheduling changes and other events.
Knowing your customers well and understanding their needs is the key to great customer service. You can easily store your customers' contact details, billing cycles, customer history, and interactions with field technicians, as well as set personal communication preferences.
Look for these customer management features when evaluating field service software:
Client portal: Dedicated portal for customers to perform basic administrative activities such as submitting service requests, tracking job progress, making payments, communicating with service agents, and more.
Customer management: Record, track, and analyze customer job histories as well as contact and payment information. Some solutions also add a marketing component for reminding customers about routine maintenance.
Data is essential to increasing the visibility of your business operations, and being able to collect data on remote sites is especially important for field service businesses.
Here are some common data collection and processing features:
Time and expense tracking: Technicians can clock in and out of jobs to track how much time each job requires.
Custom forms: Customize your contracts and forms to increase brand awareness and familiarity among customers.
Electronic signature capture: Efficiently complete a contract in one email, and allow digital signature capturing by technicians in the field.
Reporting: Use gathered data to generate business insights.
It's important that the software solutions your business uses properly integrate. Disparate systems that can't talk to each other make your job harder.
Here are some key integrations and features to look for in your field service management app: .
Accounting integration: Supports integration with third-party accounting software to handle your business' accounting needs.
API: Application Programming Interface refers to a set of functions that allows users to integrate multiple independent applications together to build a robust platform.
CRM integration: Integrates with third-party CRM solutions to seamlessly transfer customer details and service history across applications with the aim of improving customer engagement and providing better service quality.
Mobile integration: This feature offers mobile employees the ability to access all or a limited set of functions on their mobile device, using the software's dedicated mobile app or a native mobile browser.
Third-party integration: Allows users to integrate their field service management software with other applications (such as a fleet management solution) to build a complete business management software platform.
Depending on your unique business needs, these features are worth exploring in your field service management software research:
Employee management: Record employee information for HR processes.
Inventory management: Track and manage the quantity of equipment and tools used for service. Some systems even account for inventory on a vehicle-by-vehicle basis, ensuring mobile employees know what parts and tools are stocked in their vehicle.
These GetApp resources will assist you further in your field service management software selection:
Compare the top 25 solutions in our Category Leaders ranking of top field service management software.
Use our field service management software scorecard to identify the most suitable apps for your company based on your unique pricing and feature requirements.