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By Rachael Pritz, RB Retail & Service Software Solutions
As hot tub owners remain at home and are utilizing their hot tubs more frequently, service professionals are busier than ever keeping those hot tubs clean and in working order. To maximize the profitability that comes from this opportunity, service techs must be able to efficiently maintain their hot tub service contracts and in doing so, must be able to do water testing and reporting in the field as well as selling chemicals on-site. Providing a high level of customer service is easy if techs take advantage of the many new mobile software solutions now available to improve their hot tub maintenance programs and online sales.
Contract Maintenance & Revolving Service
As with many technology trends, service pros can now obtain industry-specific software designed specifically to help spa and hot tub service professionals manage their service contracts for additional profitability. This component saves service professionals hours of valuable time by allowing them to set up tasks JUST ONCE! The program creates service orders and schedules tasks for the duration of the maintenance contract. This eliminates the need to create a service order for each weekly, bi-weekly or monthly visit. The program also allows you to run a report to show when contracts are expiring so you can quickly renew a contract. Save time by mass invoicing weekly, bi-weekly or monthly—simply highlight multiple invoices to quickly print or email hundreds of invoices simultaneously. The system even allows service professionals to determine the profitability of a job by displaying revenue earned to date, percentage complete, total completed tasks, balance due and overdue balance.
There are even software offerings with features that provide hot tub service techs the flexibility and options for managing service contracts. Revolving service allows users to schedule a customer’s preferred service person, their preferred day of the week, frequency, location, type and time of service.
In fact, hot tub service techs can create multiple types of revolving services for each customer, such as weekly or monthly spa cleanings. Services can be weekly, multiple days per week, monthly or annually. When you create your contract service plans for a customer the software will automatically:
This software feature also allows techs to bypass the schedule if the calls are routine.
Water Testing Interface
One of the most powerful tools now available to service professionals is the ability to use their mobile devices to interface with their water testing devices so water test results are saved directly into the customer’s account in your business software. This allows in-field staff to instantly access all customer information, previous reading and hot tub equipment profiles.
For example, there is now business software that allows service techs in the field to connect to their mobile device to record water test results using programs such as Alex by BioGuard or LaMotte SpinTouch. Using a mobile service app, service techs can then easily link to their customer database back at the office.
At the click of a button on a mobile device, service techs can see a customer’s previous water test results along with their previous purchase history. This information allows techs to have all the information at their fingertips to quickly help your customer and provide superior service. After completing the hot tub water analysis, simply go to the customer’s shopping cart to easily add items to the shopping cart to the sale. You can even up-sell larger sizes or cases through the shopping cart for contactless transactions. Or the customer can then pay online or you can even take payments in the field with a credit card.Selling Chemicals in the fieldThere is an incredible ability for service professionals to increase their profits by selling chemicals in the field. Being able to email or text customers with chemical reading results and recommendations gives service techs an opportunity to sell chemicals while they are on-site at the customer’s home. By having a mobile software solution that allows techs to take payment in the field makes it easy to immediately leave products during the service call.
With the ability to take mobile payments in the field service techs will never have to chase customers for payment. Take credit card payments instantly while on the job and watch cash flow quickly improve! To ensure you get paid, use a magnetic strip reader on your smartphone or tablet and take credit card payments at the job site, or give your customers the convenience of securely paying their bills online with a credit card using an online bill-pay system.
Mobile technology has had a profound effect on a pool service company’s ability to fluidly adapt to their clients’ needs and expectations by giving them instant access to customer contact info, equipment and purchase history, and much more. In a world that is becoming increasingly more data-oriented, consumers have the expectation that companies, regardless of size, are able to access their records more quickly, and communicate even faster.
Some of the new mobile service apps allow techs to view all scheduled jobs along with a customer’s hot tub information including equipment profile, job notes and pictures on record. Having a mobile live service app allows techs have immediate access to all updates done at the office, and the office is instantly updated with in-the-field service work.
Using a mobile live service app eliminates service forms and allows techs to record spa water test results, any visible water problems and the test readings will automatically be recorded as a matter of permanent record. Some apps will even calculate recommended chemical dosages. Techs can then add job notes and select from an easy to use customized “check list” to record the service work performed. Finally, techs are able to add any parts and chemicals used directly to the “sales order” through their mobile device.
Additionally, service techs will never miss ordering a part needed for a customer. Technicians can place their parts orders on the “wish list” from the job site and they will immediately be available for the purchasing agent or order. To take customer service to the next level, these mobile apps will even allow service techs to email customers a ‘virtual door hanger’ to let them know they were there and the work that was performed.
Mobile service apps help pool service companies provide this high level of service by ensuring techs can instantaneously send detailed information back to the office and directly into the customer’s service order; this includes information such as job status, job materials, chemical readings (before and after), time spent, and any special notes for the customer.
With the influx of new hot tub owners on the rise, the demand for service will be more important than ever in this coming year. Now is the time for service companies to invest in the latest mobile software technology to not only make the most of their service routes but also to capitalize on the opportunity to grow the business.
Service professionals have everything to gain by using mobile technology to improve business operations. This season, look to incorporate business software including powerful mobile components that make service techs incredibly efficient.
Rachael Pritz has been active in the pool industry for more than 20 years, which has provided her with an all-encompassing expertise in the trade. She worked at a local pool store while pursuing a master’s degree at the University of Pittsburgh. With her technical skills and industry knowledge, she joined the launch of RB Retail & Service Solutions in Pittsburgh in 2003. She can be reached via e-mail at [email protected]