The VA/Electrician journey to find a system that works

Road with hills

The VA/Electrician journey to find a system that works

 

If you are a trades business you need to read this!

 

18 months ago I signed my first client, Absolute Electrical Lincoln Ltd

Before Andy started using my services, he kept his diary and ‘things to do’ in a big A4 diary. I remember the day I met him and he whipped it out, one hand streaming through pages and pages of jobs and his various do to lists, the other holding his head!

Over the last 18 months, we have worked together to find a better system. One that worked for both him and the team in the field and me in the office, one that was more efficient and effective but most of all ensured nothing fell through the cracks. We needed something that could help us manage all operational aspects of the business.

We started with google calendar; manually booking jobs in to the calendar. That would work, right? Wrong! Andy was still using his A4 diary to follow up with incomplete jobs and I was keeping my notes in Asana. Two separate systems giving two separate pieces of information didn’t work at all. The only way to allocate jobs was to put each name on the booking, communication with clients was via a third party platform, emailing through Gmail and texting off my work my mobile, I set up a google form so the details of each job could be completed and submitted back to me. I would then move on to invoice the client through Xero. It was laborious and not efficient enough.

Then we tried Pipedrive, I set everything up at the back end, automations were created so the job would would move to a different stage of the ‘pipe’ once a task had been completed. Customers were getting emails when their appointment was booked but still this was a manual task. It was such an improvement on the google calendar system but wasn’t enough. Andy was still keeping his notes in that damn A4 diary as well as the google form and that didn’t work for effective lines of communication between what was happening in the field and me running the back office. The only way to automatically allocate jobs without paying for each user to have a log in and that was way too expensive.

The search continued for a better way…

 

 

Eventually, we found the game changer…

 

Servicem8

Each of the team, which is now 3, 4 including me, have their own log in, new online enquiries are forwarded straight from Gmail to the mailbox within Servicem8 and a new job can be automatically created. I am able to allocate jobs, email and text clients through the platform without having to use a 3rd party, communication from clients is received straight into the system, notes are kept within the system with the guys in the field use the App (only currently available on Apple), the ‘navigate’ feature informs the client they are on the way to the job with an estimated ETA. Appointments are confirmed automatically by email AND text. Quotes and invoices are raised within the system and once approved, sync with Xero. Notes and notifications can be created within each job card. Supplier invoices can be sent straight from the mailbox to the job within the platform, the inventory and price list can be imported to make pricing jobs easier. This list of functionalities is endless!

We are all still in the learning stages but every day I am discovering something new, and getting more excited each time I do! I am amazed at what it can do for the price.

If your a trades business and are looking for a well priced piece of kit that will keep you and your business in check and organised, don’t over look Servicem8. They offer a free trial and a free demo session to run you through the basics. If your anything like me though, I just like to get stuck in and figure it out for myself!

 

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