Visiting a customer (or potential customer) to conduct a survey for a job although vitally important to get new jobs took a lot of time out of our day. Then after we got back home or back to the office we still needed to prepare a quote (or estimate) for the job. This seemed to be relegated to the evenings or a weekend. We knew that it was vitally important but could prove a ‘bug bear’.
Since we have used the opportunities / estimates option within Light Degree CRM we can now usually prepare the quote while we are still with the customer and by the time we leave our customer already has a copy on their email. Occasionally we have to carry out some research with a supplier to check pricing which means we still have to finish the quote later. However even when this happens it is still much easier as it takes significantly less time because we have prepared the draft quote while still at the customers site.
This has freed up time and most importantly this has removed the shadow which was always hanging over us where we were always being behind and having to find the time to finish the quote. We have also found that our uptake on the quotes has improved now that the customer has the quote in their hands sooner. They just have to click on the quote to accept it and we are notified immediately as well.
Another advantage of having the quotes in the system is that when we click to convert a quote into a job, all of the notes are carried over into the job sheet. This has made it easier for our technicians when they are doing the job as well because the instructions made when we did the survey are now clearly recorded as a part of their job sheet.
Another great outcome is that we have dramatically reduced return visits on our jobs to fix things that had been agreed in the survey but somehow might have been missed when the job was done. A positive effect is that our customer feedback has improved also. We believe this is helping us to win more jobs now.
Previously when the job was completed, the invoicing for our account customers would be done the next day after the technicians returned the completed jobs sheets back to the office. Now the invoice, in most cases, is completed automatically by the technician on site and emailed directly to the customer. We still complete some of the invoices from the office, but now this happens immediately, as soon as the job is signed off by the customers on the technician’s phone or tablet and marked as completed. Which ever way we invoice it, it means that our customers are receiving their bills quicker.
For our casual or one off customers previously the technician had to call into the office to give us the details so we could prepare an invoice. The technician then collected the payment and we would send the invoice in the post to the customer. We would receive the payment when the technician brought the cheque or cash back to the office. Now in most cases the customer pays either on the technician’s phone or tablet or directly from their own computer (by clicking on the invoice). This is a great benefit because we are receiving the payments into our account much faster.