Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) organizations, whether original equipment manufacturers or field service companies that service the equipment, face evolving challenges in a highly competitive industry. There is a pressing need to continually differentiate their brand, and attract and retain customers – all in the face of a fluctuating economic landscape.
Fortunately, innovative field service management software empowers HVAC field service organizations to digitally transform their business and solve these evolving obstacles. In this blog post, we’ll cover the challenges that HVAC field service organizations face, define and analyze HVAC field service management software, review key evaluation considerations, and make the case for deploying this field service technology.
Field Service Management HVAC Challenges
Today, HVAC service companies are dealing with a myriad of obstacles that often impede the path to growth, customer satisfaction, and, ultimately, revenue. The top four challenges facing field service HVAC companies are:1. Economic Disruptions
First, global inflation is projected to increase to 6.7% in 2022 while global growth is expected to decrease from 5.7% in 2021 to 2.9 percent in 2022. Therefore, it’s vital for HVAC field service organizations to strategically invest in the right measures to combat inflation or an economic downturn in order to stay agile and competitive.
2. High Customer Expectations
As the technological landscape evolves, customers are increasingly expecting companies to offer cutting-edge technological services that provide a positive customer experience. For instance, 73% percent of customers agree that the customer experience helps drive their buying decisions. Furthermore, 92% of customers will forget about a brand after experiencing two or three negative customer experiences with them.
3. Outdated Approaches for Complex Workflows
Manual and paper-based HVAC workflows are typically complex, expensive, laborious, and ultimately, inefficient. For example, field service technician scheduling – as well as the travel time and right parts inventory – needs to be optimized to increase productivity, first-time fix rates, and combat unnecessary service visits.
4. HVAC Industry Growth
HVAC jobs are predicted to grow 5% through 2026. Despite limited employment growth, most of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who have transferred to different occupations or exited the labor force. Likewise, HVAC service organizations will need to be ready for scaling workflows efficiently as well as dealing with a potentially blended workforce composed of both employed and contracted workers.
Benefits of Field Service Software for HVAC Companies
Forward-thinking HVAC service companies are starting to deploy HVAC field service management software in order to reap the many benefits.
Below are the key benefits of using field service software specifically designed for HVAC companies, and what to look for when evaluating software solutions.
Contractor Management & Onboarding
Select software that can help with full-time field technician and contractor onboarding, dispatch, and management. Look for a solution that is mobile-platform enabled to help drive improved efficiency, transparency, control, and visibility. Field technicians will therefore have access to all of the information necessary to complete a service job on the first try (customer, parts inventory, maps, etc.). Moreover, the business will be empowered with visibility into and control of real-time service orders and analytics.
AI and machine learning will handle about 40% of all customer interactions by 2023, according to research from Super Office. The right HVAC field service management software should be mobile-enabled to help drive great efficiencies for field techs. It should also be part of an integrated solution that leverages AI capabilities to optimize complex workflows in real time. Not to mention, additional technologies including IoT and Augmented Reality (AR) add value to HVAC companies in a holistic and impactful way.
As an example, HVAC service companies can leverage IoT for predictive maintenance, which is a technique to detect anomalies and possible defects in equipment and processes so that they can be fixed before a malfunction or failure actually occurs. Predictive maintenance allows HVAC manufacturers and HVAC service companies to move from a reactive repair-and-replace model to a predict-and-fix maintenance modeling when needed.
Improve customer experience
HVAC companies who embrace digital transformation are enabled to take control of their brand and own the customer journey to provide the best experience possible. Likewise, HVAC companies that invest in field service software can tap into various beneficial results including improving crucial metrics such as first-time fix rates, mean time to service and mean time to repair. Moreover, businesses that focus on improving the customer experience have been able to increase revenue by 80%.
When looking for HVAC field service software, consider solutions that feature self-service customer portals that are focused on customer empowerment. Certain features to look for when evaluating customer portals include self-scheduling capabilities, real-time communications, custom notification, and job status updates, technician’s location tracking, and customer claims access.
ServicePower’s Engagement Customer Portal has been recognized by Gartner for the fifth year in a row.
Teaming up with the right HVAC field service management technology partner
Investing in digital transformation for HVAC companies is critical for success in the modern industry. Getting this investment right the first time is a key aspect of this success; therefore, HVAC organizations need to select a digital transformation partner that has an integrated, innovative solution specific to the HVAC industry’s unique challenges and opportunities. Selecting an ad-hoc solution or attempting to combine separate technology solutions creates integration problems, complexity, low adoption, and a potentially wasted investment.
Fortunately, ServicePower has the field service experience and expertise of working with HVAC companies to overcome the challenges covered. Results for HVAC companies transforming themselves with ServicePower software include a 20% increase in customer satisfaction, a 15% reduction in technical travel times and fuel costs, a 30% increase in the number of jobs completed per day, and a 15% improved technician productivity.
Discover how ServicePower can help your HVAC business embrace digital transformation and start increasing your time to ROI.