We work directly with plumbers, so we know firsthand that many are still using old CRM or Customer Relationship Management methods. While there is nothing wrong with the old ways, plumbing CRM software can increase efficiency and productivity. However, how small plumbing operations handle customer relations usually holds them back.
Still, choosing the right CRM software can be a challenge in and of itself. So in the following post, Plumbing Webmasters presents a guide for selecting the right CRM software. We will also describe what CRM software can do for your business and the advantages it brings.
What is a Plumbing CRM?
Plumbing Customer Relationship Management software seeks to streamline many of the processes that take up the time of your staff and service team. CRM software suites usually offer digital tools for getting in touch with clients, keeping track of your plumbers in the field, managing invoices, and following up with customers.
Here are some of the processes that CRM software typically automates:
- Document Filing: Once your plumber gets out to the customer’s home or place of business and certain services are agreed upon; a CRM will allow your service team member to automatically file paperwork detailing the work agreed upon so that your office staff will be able to review it.
- Team Check-Ins: Instead of having all of your plumbers call your staff members after finishing a job, CRMs have check-in tools that allow plumbers to notify staff and dispatchers of completion instead of having to pick up the phone, call the office and potentially miss a connection because your office staff is busy fielding calls from customers.
- Fleet Management: Many CRM’s for plumbers will include fleet tracking so you can see exactly where your service team is at all times.
- Customer Follow-up: A good CRM software suite will include a tool that automates the customer follow-up process by alerting staff members to contact a customer or send out an email at an allotted time.
As you can see, plumbing CRM software goes beyond how your company interacts with customers – it streamlines many critical moving parts of your business. However, the goal is still the same: facilitate your operation to offer better service to the customer.
Plumbing CRM Benefits
If you have gotten along just fine without using plumber CRM software, you may be wondering why you should change things now. The fact is that any business could always do better. CRM software will provide you with the means to operate your business with even more efficiency and effectiveness.
Here are some of the essential advantages of using CRM software:
Eliminates Human Error
All the moving parts of your operation are opportunities for human error. A CRM will eliminate some of these moving parts. For example, when one of your team members has to write down customer information with pen and paper, there’s no guarantee that your field team will be able to understand the handwriting.
Misplaced documents can also be a significant setback for your operations. CRM automates many of these processes and decreases the chances for miscommunication, lost documents, and missed connections.
Serves as a Phone Service
Your staff can only field one call at a time. What if they are talking to one customer while another calls to schedule an appointment? That’s a missed opportunity and lost money. Most CRM software suites will include a phone service that fields calls or directs them to available staff members.
Improves Use of Man Hours
When menial tasks like filing paperwork, sending out invoices, and sending important emails are automated with a CRM suite, your team has more time to focus on more critical tasks. One of the most vital advantages that CRM’s offer is the ability to delegate your man-hours in the most efficient way possible.
Has your team even gotten mixed up in the field? For example, maybe two plumbers showed up at the same property when one was supposed to go somewhere else.
With CRM software, field mixups will happen a lot less. All of your team members will know where they are supposed to be and what’s more, this software makes it easier and quicker to pull team members off of a job and send them somewhere else when needed.
Saves you Money
In the end, fewer wasted man-hours, fewer missed customer connections, and better resource allocation will make your business more profitable.
The best CRM software suites for plumbing contractors will also include options for keeping track of tools, materials, and supplies you have in your inventory. Some even have tools that keep track of your inventory and automatically order more supplies when needed.
Unless you specifically ask the customers who call you how they heard about your business, you won’t know which marketing efforts yield results. Some CRM software suites will track where leads are coming in from to know which plumbing marketing tactics are working and which ones need improvement.
Best Plumbing CRM Software Features
Now that you know some of the most important benefits of using a plumbing company CRM software suite, let’s talk about some of the features that plumbers should keep an eye out for:
Mobile App Access
Your plumbers out in the field have to be able to check-in and relay important information to you or your staff on the go. Any good CRM software suite will include access to a centralized mobile app that your team can dispatch important information from the field.
Connecting with customers when they call or reach out via online chat is vital for your business. So try to opt for a CRM software suite that includes automated customer support chat and an answering service to avoid missed calls.
Chances are, some of your team members won’t be familiar with CRM software. That’s why it’s crucial to choose CRM software with a user-friendly interface. Of course, there will always be a learning curve; but the best CRM tools will help flatten that curve.
It can benefit existing customers to have a history of services rendered to them on hand. CRM software that allows you to keep a record of customers will make it easier to assign technicians to jobs and improve customer service.
SMS automation is a helpful feature as it eliminates the need for your team to call the customer the evening before an appointment to remind them that they will be coming the next day. Other types of plumbing software often feature text automation tools, but CRMs should offer them as part of their suite.