Using software to streamline your business is becoming a more commonplace practice for businesses. Many business owners see the value in finding software to manage necessary business tasks, instead of doing them manually or patching together a bunch of softwares that don’t quite fit for their business needs (over the phone, using google calendar, using low-quality software, etc.). Specifically, by using job scheduling software it can help you to overcome scheduling inefficiencies in your business and increase sales. This software can be beneficial for businesses with mobile workers who rely on appointment scheduling at job sites.
What is job scheduling software?
There are two definitions that will help you understand what job scheduling software is and who you can use this software to manage.
Job scheduling software for mobile workers - software that helps to manage service appointments. Using this platform your clients can schedule, reschedule, or cancel their appointments with your mobile workers.
Mobile workers - the people who provide the services your business offers. What makes them mobile is that these workers typically travel to people’s homes in order to provide the service. Job scheduling software can be used to manage mobile workers and help with scheduling their appointments at job sites with clients.
Features of job scheduling software that make your mobile service business more efficient:
Setting travel zones for your mobile workers
Not every job scheduling software has a travel zone and availability feature. This feature can make a big difference in the efficiency of your service business. Your mobile workers can set their travel zones, which is the geographical area that they are willing to provide the service in. Then they can set their availability meaning the times in which they are available to provide the service. This two-part scheduling works in tandem to ensure that mobile workers have route-optimized appointments. The software will ensure that your workers are getting clients that are located in close proximity to each other so that they are not driving farther than they need to. This also reduces the wear and tear of vehicles and improves fuel efficiency.
Invoicing and processing sales online
Not all job scheduling software can process sales directly on the platform. However, this feature can be extremely valuable because you don’t need to rely on another system to process payments or to create and send invoices. Customers can pay using their credit cards directly over the internet via the job scheduling software platform. This makes payment fast, easy and convenient for both the customer and the business. For example, with the MarketBox software, customers can go to your business’ website, and click the Book Now button to see what appointments and service providers are available to travel to their home or business. Your mobile workers will no longer have to take payments in person or worry about carrying card readers when they’re at jobs. You no longer have to worry about collecting payments from past due customers or cashing cheques. MarketBox for example, can connect with Stripe to make invoicing and payment processing easy. You can choose which MarketBox setting you prefer - you can take payment before the appointment has occurred, or afterwards. And this will all happen automatically via the MarketBox platform. The system also supports recurring billing and payments. By automatically processing payments and sending professional looking invoices and receipts, you will greatly reduce your account receivables and the hours spent collecting payments. This sales processing feature is truly a recurring revenue engine for your service business.
Setting availability for your mobile workers
Some job scheduling software has a set availability feature which allows mobile workers to set their availability in advance. Their availability are the times they are available to provide the service to customers. Once their availability is set, you customer service representatives can receive incoming requests from clients and schedule appointments based on the mobile workers availability. Some service businesses also allow their customers to directly schedule their appointments on the platform themselves. This availability feature can help your business to increase sales and avoid losing clients during the job scheduling process. This is the result of less back and forth between clients and mobile workers during the scheduling process. This is a competitive advantage because your competitors may take hours or days to get back to a client with a specific time for their appointment. Yet, with the right job scheduling software, you can ensure your clients can book their appointments with confidence when you have them on the phone. This will create a pleasant scheduling experience for your customers and reduce the amount of customers that can be lost during the scheduling and sales process.
Waitlist management and automated matching
Do you have to turn away clients because you don’t have enough service providers or because all of your clients want the same time slots? If so, the waitlist feature of job scheduling software will be extremely useful to your business. Instead of manually keeping track of customers waiting for an appointment, the job scheduling software takes care of this automatically. The software lets you add a customer to a waitlist and then notify them as space becomes available so that you can close the sale. The automated matching will match the mobile workers availability with the customers availability. This feature can help reduce loss of clients through the job scheduling process, because your clients won’t need to keep checking/communicating with your business to see if there is a cancellation. It is frustrating for them and also not a productive use of your time to manually manage a waitlist. Therefore this software feature will improve the efficiency of your business and help you to increase sales and avoid losing clients in the process of job scheduling.
Cancel and reschedule bookings
Your clients can schedule their appointments with your company using the scheduling software or your customer service reps can instantly book on the customer’s behalf when they call in. The ability to instantly know which worker is available and when, will give your business a huge advantage over your competitors who can take days to get back to a customer with a time. If they end up needing to reschedule or cancel appointments, then they can also do that using the software. This helps to avoid the back and forth that can happen when a client needs to schedule, cancel, or reschedule their appointments.
How a high-quality job scheduling software differentiates from other software
A truly effective job scheduling software won’t require your team to complete multiple steps when scheduling a service appointment. Some software will require your team to create a job, choose a client, assign it to your team, and more. This seems easy, but scheduling can be dynamic and change quickly. Not all job scheduling software is created equal, as mentioned previously some software won’t be able to fully manage scheduling from start to finish including the sales and payment processing the way MarketBox can. However, a high-quality job scheduling software will create even more efficiencies within scheduling. This includes scheduling appointments within specific travel zones and giving your clients the autonomy to schedule, reschedule or cancel their appointments in just a few clicks. And if an appointment slot isn’t available they can easily opt into a waitlist and the software will manage the waitlist for you.
This high-quality job scheduling software removes the need for your team to manage both scheduling and dispatching of mobile workers to job sites. This can take a huge workload off of your mobile workers and allow them to simply focus on providing a great service. The software will also ensure there is no room for human error when it comes to scheduling-- avoid overbooking, underbooking or the dreaded double booking. These administrative tasks can be limited by job scheduling software, especially one that is built to automate scheduling completely and reduce the amount of time/effort your team needs to schedule appointments and dispatch mobile workers to job sites.
Another way a high-quality job scheduling software differentiates from other software is by helping to increase sales and profit. Every feature of the software should in some way contribute to making the customer experience and the mobile worker experience better to result in more sales. The software will replace manual ways of doing things in the business to not just streamline the business overall, but also to streamline the sales process.
How job scheduling software can benefit your service business
There are important reasons job scheduling software is useful for your business and worth considering:
Increase sales and profit
Job scheduling software that is packed with useful features can truly help your service business increase sales and profit. The set travel zone and set availability features create a scheduling process that allows your business to quickly schedule appointments and take payments, unlike your competitors who may take days to get back to a potential customer with an appointment time, not to mention trying to collect payment afterwards. The software will also allow you to add customers to a waitlist, and then they will be automatically added to a time slot when it becomes available and notified when this happens. The ability for your customers to cancel/reschedule appointments using the platform gives them more convenience and autonomy with their scheduling.This results in a more pleasant and less frustrating scheduling experience for your customers, which means you’re more likely to increase sales and less likely to lose customers during the scheduling process. Since the job scheduling software can sometimes also process payments on the platform, this can be a recurring revenue engine for your business. The software will automatically generate invoices and send them to your customers when a job is complete. Plus payments online means getting paid faster compared to other methods such as cheques.
The reason job scheduling software is important is because it can increase sales and profit. Manual ways of scheduling can be frustrating for the customer and cause you to lose them in the scheduling process. However, if scheduling appointments with your business are simple, then clients will be more likely to complete scheduling with confidence and not turn to another competitor in the process. Another reason job scheduling software can make a difference to your bottom line is because it can reduce wear and tear of vehicles in your fleet and improve fuel efficiency. Even if your mobile workers are driving their own vehicles this can still apply, because the happier they are the more likely top service providers will want to continue working for your business. Thus, reducing employee turnover and keeping recruiting costs down.
When you use manual scheduling, there is a lot of back and forth between your business and the client. In an increasingly time conscious society, the last thing people want to do is waste time. Therefore, if it takes a lot of time to schedule appointments with your business then it can turn a client off to scheduling more appointments, or even rescheduling appointments. From the client’s perspective they may not want to schedule an appointment with your business and as a result you have the potential to lose them in the process to another competitor. From the perspective of your business, manual scheduling takes a lot of time and effort for your staff. As your service business grows, scheduling can become more complicated and require more time. Especially if you want to optimize scheduling routes to ensure that your mobile workers are travelling to clients within specific travel zones. By saving your customer more time, your sales will naturally increase because your customers value your service offering.
Job scheduling software can help to manage mobile workers at job sites and help you overcome inefficiencies in your business. This software is packed with features that will create more scheduling efficiencies such as waitlist management and automated matching, cancel/reschedule bookings, and the ability to set travel zone and availability. However, the differences between types of job scheduling software is evident. Some are able to fully manage scheduling from start to finish, while others will still require work from your mobile workers or internal staff to complete scheduling. Regardless, it is clear that job scheduling software has the potential to benefit your business by saving you time and saving you money. It can also make your clients and mobile workers much happier because of how seamless scheduling appointments become by using the software. Beyond this, the features will also streamline the sales process for your service business and as a result your sales and profits will increase.