07 Nov How to Choose Software for HVAC Businesses
Running an HVAC business presents a lot of challenges not faced by other types of businesses. With workers out in the field much of the time, it can be challenging to coordinate everything going on both inside and outside of the office – the contracts, permits, paperwork, and billing records. Perhaps even more difficult is the constant need to track and dispatch your employees efficiently and effectively so customers are served in a timely fashion without unnecessary waste on your side of things.
To that end, using some kind of field service management software is essential if you want to stay profitable and competitive. The right software solution can make sure your records and accounting are coordinated, and that your resources (both equipment and employees) are dispatched efficiently. It also ensures your employees can get the information they need when they need it, rather than forcing customers to wait while they call back to the office and have someone else assist them.
Choosing the Right Software for HVAC Businesses
But how do you choose the right software for your HVAC business? With so many options, it’s not always easy to know which one will be right for your particular set of needs.
In hopes of making the task a little easier, we’ve prepared some tips to help you wade through the sea of HVAC software options.
HVAC Industry Experience
When you’re looking for the right field service management software, always seek out a company with a wealth of industry experience. If a company rarely works with HVAC businesses, there’s a good chance their solutions won’t be as tailored to your specific needs as they should be.
Look for an Established Company with a Long Track Record
Any time you adopt a piece of software that integrates with so many parts of your business, it’s a big change. It takes time and money to get it set up, and more time for your employees to learn to use the new system.
For that reason, we strongly recommend you choose a company with many years of experience dealing with field service management needs and specifically, HVAC companies. You need to be able to count on the company and software being around for many years to come – and you need to know they have the experience to deal with all the issues common to businesses with field service employees.
Any company that’s been around for very long is bound to have some reviews online. Look at both the good and the bad reviews. You may find it helpful to take notes so you can talk to a sales rep to address any concerns they raise.
Find a Company with Helpful, Knowledgeable Employees
The first step to selecting software for an HVAC business is to make contact with companies. Make a list of questions ahead of time, then see how they’re handled. You need to know that whatever arises, you’ll get the help you need in a timely fashion.
When you make contact, pay attention to whether the company is genuinely trying to solve your problems or just sell you on their software. Are you talking to someone who wants to roll up their sleeves and dig in to see how they can help YOU?
Complete a Demo
Never choose software for your HVAC business without a proper demo. The best software in the world isn’t going to help if it doesn’t suit your needs and you don’t know how to use it. With a demo, you get the chance to see how it works and get your questions answered by a knowledgeable sales rep.
If there are things that don’t seem quite right for your business, this is the time to ask about those issues. In some cases, you’ll learn that perhaps you misunderstood something, and a representative can help walk you through the parts that weren’t clear. In other cases, you may find that what you thought wasn’t quite right for you can actually be tailored precisely to your needs.
Talk about Budget
Investing in software to grow and improve your HVAC business can be intimidating. The good news is that good field service management software will improve virtually every aspect of your business. Dispatching, accounting, billing, and paperwork all become more efficient. Not only does that reduce costs, but it can have a very real impact on customer satisfaction, helping you retain customers at a higher rate (meaning you won’t have to spend as much on marketing to get the same amount of business).
Field service management software also helps to empower your employees in the field. They can quote jobs more quickly, and with more authority – giving customers confidence in your company’s ability to serve them. Employees who feel empowered are also more likely to report greater job satisfaction and stick around longer.
A sales rep should be able to walk you through not only the costs, but the areas where your business could cut costs or increase revenue by using their software. They won’t be able to guarantee exact figures about how much your business could save, of course, but they can alert you to things you may not have considered while you’re doing your own cost-benefit analysis.
Making Your Decision: Which HVAC Software Do You Choose?
Ultimately, your decision will probably come down to a mixture of facts and gut feeling. You need to feel comfortable with the interface of the solution you choose, and you need to feel assured that the company will be there when and if you ever have trouble.
We wish you the best of luck in your search for the right HVAC software for your business, and we’d love the opportunity to show you what SAWIN can do. If you’d like to learn more or set up a demo, you can use the links below to take the next step.