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HVAC Service Software: Expectations vs. Reality

Posted by Victoria Hurley on Nov 14, 2019 10:00:00 AM

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Businesses are waking up to the advantages of HVAC service software. In fact, the demand for more organized systems and streamlined workflows has driven the field service management software industry to be worth an estimated $1.4 billion. At the same time, it’s expected to grow by 13 percent through 2019. However, with this demand comes unrealistic expectations that can cause problems for businesses. Here are some common misunderstandings about HVAC service software.

Common Misunderstandings About HVAC Service Software

Expectation 1: HVAC service software doesn’t require training

Oftentimes, software companies will try to sell a dream. It would be nice to be able to buy software and automatically know how to use it on the spot. Unfortunately, that’s not how high-quality HVAC service software works.

Reality: You’ll want training to get the most out of the software

In order to use the software effectively, it’s important to undergo training and take the time to fully implement systems. This usually will take somewhere around 4-6 weeks.

This misconception can lead to several problems. Too often, businesses are caught off guard by the amount of time and resources that training requires. They might not enter the process with internal resources such as technical support or field tech leaders. It can also turn into frustration, and business managers can end up skipping over or missing out on key features.

Additionally, if your team isn’t properly trained in the software, it may not understand what the software really can do. The result can easily be expensive software churn or going back to outdated, inefficient systems.

Expectation 2: Software benefits only office users and administrators

It’s easy to think software is designed only for back-office users, especially because these are the people who tend to be more familiar with the software systems.

Reality: The right software improves work for the whole team and the customer experience

If your business picks an all-in-one software system, it will make the whole team better. That’s because effective software makes it easy to schedule jobs, manage dispatching, look up customer histories, and use on-the-job resources.

When businesses inaccurately think software will benefit only office staff, groups such as field techs might be resistant to the system. After all, why would they take the time to commit to new processes if they don’t think they’ll be seeing benefits?

Similarly, owners don’t always recognize how much software can improve their lives. It not only makes it easy to manage workflows, but it also simplifies reporting and gives owners easy access to company data, finances, and performance metrics. That makes it easier to improve systems and grow the business.

This unrealistic expectation also might mean management doesn’t understand the full scope of benefits, and the team isn’t working efficiently together. Software should unify teams, make work easier for everyone, and improve the customer experience.

Expectation 3: Software will replace you or your workers

It’s a common misconception to think software will replace workers. In fact, 52 percent of people believe technology will take over most of their job duties in the future.

Reality: Software makes work more efficient and organized

In reality, field service management software doesn’t take the place of jobs; it makes it easier to do jobs well.

Of course, a staff that’s worried about being replaced will be preoccupied, resistant, and stressed. What’s worse, if leaders think software will be doing all of the work, they’re setting themselves up for failure. Automation and software are supposed to help facilitate productivity, which, in turn, allows you to increase revenue without adding more overhead.

In the long run, software won’t replace a person; it will make the worker more profitable and better at the job.

Expectation 4: All software is one-size-fits-all

One-size-fits-all software is another pie-in-the-sky expectation that companies try to sell businesses. However, if it sounds like a simple solution now, it probably won’t satisfy your needs in the future.

Reality: High-quality software will be scalable and fit your business

Software that is packaged and sold as easy to set up, user-friendly, and requires little to no implementation often means that you are purchasing software that doesn’t have the functionality that can handle the complexities that come with running a growing business.

When your business is ready to start things like parts distribution or progress -based billing, turn-key software solutions usually can’t deliver. As a result, owners end up rushing into software that has one of these specialized functions rather than taking time to pick an all-encompassing solution.

Unfortunately, even if business owners learn their lesson the second time around. They’re left with extra costs to retrain and re-implement a brand new system. This is why it’s so critical to get it right the first time around!

When shopping around, we recommend you look for a system that scales from the start, and choose software that fits industry-specific needs—no matter how minor they might seem. Providers should speak the industry’s language, and software features should be tailored to the demands of your field.

Expectation 5: Software shouldn’t change processes you’ve been using for years

It’s common to resist change, and the longer you’ve used a set of processes, the easier it is to overlook problems.

Reality: Outdated processes are hurting efficiency and customer satisfaction

Customers expect better systems, and they appreciate efficiency. This unrealistic expectation can cause managers to lose customers. Customers can easily be caught in the cross fire of sloppy systems and chaotic communication. Outdated systems can also lead to lost paperwork and poor project management. In turn, that means a tougher job for workers and frustrated customers.

The Right Software Systems Will Help Close the Gap

The right field service management software will help your business avoid these mismatched expectations. However, not all software systems are created equal. Here are some quick tips for choosing a software system based in reality:

  • Make sure it’s transparent: If the provider is trying to sell a one-off dream that can be implemented right away, it’s probably not robust enough to be effective. It should take around 4-6 weeks to implement a software system and conduct training.
  • It should provide training: A powerful software program isn’t much good if you don’t know how to use it to better your business. Without training, it’s easy to miss out on functions and get frustrated early. The right provider won’t just sell you software; it’ll offer one-on-one training.
  • Training options should be robust: There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution for software. The same goes for training. A solid software provider will offer different training options that let you choose how in depth you want to go and teach you how to use the software to accomplish your company goals.

Get Started with the Right Software

Interested in learning more about HVAC service software? We want to help. Request a demo here to learn about the best solutions for your team.

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Topics: HVAC, Field Service Software, HVAC Service Software

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