‘Tis the Season to Be…On Call

Posted by Stacey Papp

Now that the presidential election and the World Series are over, we can discuss another divisive topic: the holidays.

Some people are all about Thanksgiving dinner, Black Friday sales, holiday parties, shopping and gift-giving, decorating, and celebrating with family and friends – in fact, we like to think that most people enjoy at least some aspects of the holidays.

Others, however, have feelings about the holiday season that range from cautiously optimistic to straight-up traumatized – largely based on past experiences.

Do you know anyone who has put a turkey into the oven and, when they opened the oven door an hour later to baste it, realized that the oven had croaked – so instead of having a beautiful golden bird as their table’s crown jewel, they had to Google “pizza delivery on Thanksgiving” instead?

Or maybe you know someone who invited their whole family to stay with them for a week (a la Clark W. Griswold), only to have the septic tank back up, creating all kinds of terrible problems for everyone forced to be in that house?

And what about the friend who decided they had to have the most blinged-out pad on the block and looped thousands of twinkly lights across their house (geez, again, just like Griswold), with the big reveal during a holiday cocktail party – and it ended up short-circuiting the house’s electrical mainframe and leaving all the guests literally in the dark?

You can see why the holidays can be the cause of post-traumatic stress for some. (Hopefully none of these sagas ring too true for you.)

Of course, the holidays could have been saved if the above unfortunates only knew who to call (no, not the Ghostbusters). Plenty of appliance repair businesses, plumbers or septic tank servicemen, and electricians (as well as other businesses) are available on call over holidays – but it takes a certain amount of business savvy, as well as helpful technology, to be able to handle emergency calls over the holidays. 

Emergencies need to be resolved without delay even in “normal” circumstances, but when they happen over holidays, they take on a whole new kind of urgency – even normally calm customers might be freaking out if something goes wrong during a holiday celebration. 

A field service business needs an efficient way to take these calls and then get someone out there stat – and the easiest and simplest way to do this is using field services management software

Because of the mobile nature of the software and the fact that it lives in the cloud, staff can work anywhere – meaning (depending on company policy) the employees on call for dispatch don’t actually need to be in the office as long as they can bring home a work laptop equipped with the software, or they can even use the mobile app to schedule or update job orders if the company computer can’t come home. 

Take a minute and relish how good that sounds – yes, a dispatcher might still be on call, but their holiday is that much nicer because they can still be with family and friends while having scheduling capabilities and access to customer information via mobile device or laptop for when those emergency calls come in. And with the software’s drag-and-drop functionality, a dispatcher can assign jobs in minutes.

Same deal with the field techs – if they’re on call, they just need to have the mobile app on their device and keep their device turned on, turned up and close to them. When a job order is placed, they’ll get an alert and can jump into action. They can bill right from the app, too, and take credit card payment on their device. 

What all this means is happier holidays for everyone involved. Customers get someone at their house and fixing their issue quickly because the technology lets everything happen in a flash, and employees – although still on the clock – don’t actually need to sit in an office or in a truck while they’re on call because the tech is mobile. 

Learn more about how a field services business can go from “I hate being on call over the holidays” to “This isn’t so bad.” 

And pro tip: Forget basting – it’s brining that makes for tender turkey.

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While we aren’t award winning chefs, we are pretty good at GPS vehicle tracking & workforce management! Learn more how we can help you & your business.