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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Web Tools Wednesday-Five Ways to Use a Smart Phone on Service Calls

More and more companies are using smart phones to make their technicians more efficient and productive. In case you didn't know or need some convincing as to why you might want to upgrade your old cell phone here are 5 ways appliance service people can use a smart phone to help run their service calls.

  1. Use your camera. Take a picture of the model number label. There are some techs who do this for every service call and save themselves a lot of writing. Even if you are in the habit of writing down the model number this is good insurance against damage to your notes. That camera can also come in handy for some of those hard to describe parts, just take the picture and let your part researcher see it for reference.
  2. Research parts on the fly. W.L. May Company has full illustrated part breakdowns optimized for mobile phone available to our account holders. You can see a breakdown of the machine, get the part number, share a quote with your customer, and place the order all from the field saving you office time at the end of the day. And if you are in a really sticky situation, you can always use the phone to contact the factory tech line.
    Courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net
  3. Help with scheduling, There are several apps that can help you with scheduling and/or to-do lists. Also, an appreciated courtesy would be to let the consumer know you are on  the way shortly before you arrive at the home. If you will be late or early for your appointment that would also likely merit a call of warning. You may not be able to control surprises that can throw off your schedule, but you can minimize the effect by respecting your clients time and communicating with your clients if you will not be there at the time you said you would.
    Courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net
  4. Maps and navigation. Years ago, when you didn't know where you were going, you could call the customer for directions or find it in the grid of  a Thomas Brothers map. These days life is so much easier when it comes to maps. You can even have a voice to guide you to your destination. Granted, dedicated GPS units have more features and may prove to be more useful depending on your needs, but the navigation included in most smart phones will do the job for you pretty well for many situations.
    Courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net
  5. Financial tools. There are a lot of financial tools available for smart phones. I know of several companies that are already using credit card processing apps to bill their service calls from the field. Also several banks offer check deposit options using the phones camera features. If you are going to use your phone for location based finances, make sure you are dealing with a reputable company with secured access and other means of security.  

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