When your customers are faster than your sales reps, it’s time to make some changes. That’s the position in which Chris Cunningham from Service Plus Heating and Air Conditioning of Indianapolis found himself.
Cunningham’s five technicians would make service calls to businesses and homes. If the system they were working on needed to be replaced, the technician would go back to the office and arrange for one of the two sales reps to visit the customer with printed product sales sheets. Writing orders had a 24-hour turnaround, and in the meantime many customers would go online and do their own research. Cunningham needed a faster way to respond.
At the same time, even regular service calls required technicians to go back to the office at the end of the day to write up forms for paper invoicing. Their handwriting often was difficult to read and, since this was usually the least favorite part of the job, some technicians were sloppy or forgetful.
Cunningham started imagining a paperless system that would make his technicians more customer-responsive and efficient, and would eliminate the need for handwritten forms.
Cunningham looked at several industryspecific applications, and then decided to go paperless using an iPhone and Formstack forms application. After spending just one weekend watching online tutorials and building his mobile forms templates, including repair and service forms, Cunningham was ready to roll out the new system to his five technicians.
Now, technicians take their trucks home with them at night and are emailed their service call schedule for the next day, eliminating the need to stop in the office first thing in the morning. Most days, they never visit the office, since all their ordering and invoicing information is entered on forms available on their iPhone and sent directly to the office for processing.
In addition, each of the field technicians now is empowered to be a commissioned sales rep. Technicians already at the repair locations now can handle quotes for parts or a new system. The technician emails all the information to the customer, including a link to the manufacturer’s site. Or, the technician can show the customer the manufacturers’ sites on their phone. On most proposals, the product model number links back to the manufacturer’s site.
Despite the recession, sales at Service Plus Heating and Air Conditioning are up more than 60 percent compared to last year. Efficiency improvements include less use of paper and a reduction in travel expenses, because technicians only come into the office once a week.
Customer service is improved now that sales can be made immediately. In addition, customers get timely service reminders about tune-ups and filter replacements through email.
And, since the data is all collected online through Formstack’s iPhone application, it can be integrated with billing and inventory control.
Cunningham’s next growth area is the residential market where he feels his high tech, high customer service approach will win him even more loyal customers.
Location: Brownsburg, IN
Industry: Small Business
Challenge: Service Plus needed a system in place that would provide its technicians with an easier way to make sales/service calls, cut down on travel time, and provide them with an easier way to collect customer data.
Solution: Online form application was put in place to reduce the amount of travel time, give customers direct and immediate customer service, and open doors for new opportunities.
Benefits: Cut down on time it takes to make a sale, decreased travel time, efficient data collection, and no more sloppy forms!
Service Plus is a family owned and operated full service commercial and residential heating and air conditioning company located in Indianapolis, Indiana. Service Plus has been striving to offer exceptional service and installation for HVAC products in the greater Indianapolis community since 2000. Since its inception, Chris Cunningham and his family have striven to distinguish themselves in the Indianapolis community by providing quality services at a flat rate.