Wait, There’s An App for That?

By: Joe Crisara

Apps that translate the field to the customer save time and make the tech’s job a whole lot easier.

Welcome to 2017, where smart technology is wearable and apps are everywhere. While it’s true that contractors have been getting along just fine for years without being completely connected to their phones, there is a lot of software out there that aims to lessen some of the burdens and annoyances that technicians face on and off the field by streamlining some of the processes and making customers more accessible. This month we wanted to showcase some apps that incorporate functions like scheduling, building customer relationships, troubleshooting, GPS mapping — basically anything that eliminates paperwork, saves time and makes a job run smoother.

Jobi App

jobi is a field service software that provides contractors with a platform to manage and grow their business, right from their phone. From scheduling to dispatch, price packaging to invoices, GPS mapping to sales metrics and much more — jobi has compiled the tools contractors need to get the job done right. Jobi also comes with a homeowner app to stay connected with customers on the go. Users can generate more sales on the same number of calls and create a steady revenue stream.

The jobi app features the functions service contractors need to get the job done, including:

• Schedule service calls and dispatch opportunities.
• Track technicians in the field and find the fastest route via GPS mapping.
• View current sales and set sales goals on real-time dashboard.
• Create premium, mid-range and economy choices in one click.
• Scan credit cards and capture signatures all in the app.
• Record audio during service calls for training purposes and to improve customer satisfaction.
• Import and export to QuickBooks to keep all transactions in sync.
• Create on-the-fly digital invoices for individual products and services.
• Get branded homeowners app to stay connected with customers.
• Customers can track service plans, warranties and service history right from their phones.
• Make remote presentations and share with all decision-makers.
• Easily track purchasing trends on the real-time results dashboard.

Contractors using the app and Service Level Option Maker report an average 378 percent increase in revenue from the same amount of calls. Using jobi’s built-in price level option creator (Platinum, Gold, Silver as well as various warranty plans and more) gives customers a choice of repairs or solutions. One user account is free and plans are affordable for service contracting businesses of all sizes.

Visit jobi.pro for more information.

Rinnai Control-R

Rinnai America Corp.’s new app Control-R Wireless Module for Demand Recirculation and accompanying smartphone app quickly connects via a two-wire interface and can be purchased with a new Rinnai tankless water heater or installed on existing Rinnai models manufactured since 2006. Once connected, the module pairs with the free Rinnai mobile app using a local Wi-Fi network.  Homeowners can enable maintenance alerts and communications with a Rinnai independent dealer easily, right from the app. Additionally, users can control their tankless water heater from a smartphone or tablet to turn the system on and off, change the water temperature, monitor status and, on select models, activate the recirculation system.

Rinnai’s wireless push buttons are also available to interact with the Control-R system. Each push button is wirelessly mounted near the point of use, like a kitchen faucet or bathroom sink, and operates the Rinnai tankless unit’s recirculation system. For dealers, this solution serves as a remote diagnostics tool and saves time. The Control-R module pushes system codes and other service information automatically to dealers, enabling them to proactively contact their customers and arrive at a customer’s location with the right equipment and parts. Dealers are also able to reference diagnostic codes, product information and step-by-step instructions, with links to manuals, training, videos and more. Visit www.rinnai.us for more information.

Bosch Toolbox Mobile App

The Bosch Toolbox is an innovative collection of digital tools for tradespeople and other professionals. The app boasts a wide variety of time-saving, practical applications including a unit converter, flashlight, measurement camera, dealer locator and service locator. It also includes building documentation features and information on how to contact the Bosch brand department. Bosch added the building documentation feature, empowering professionals to efficiently document multiple project elements directly on the construction site.

Using the building documentation option, professionals can record voice memos to store information and data for different building projects in a central location. With its photo and voice memo capabilities, a project manager or foreman can manage information for a large number of jobs simultaneously. Construction professionals and employers can also administer and enter timesheets digitally using the Toolbox app and keep close track of project progress. An export function allows timesheets and other documents saved in the app to be shared as PDF or TXT files.

The measurement camera helps users quickly and easily document data on the construction site for a variety of projects. Simply take a photo of the jobsite, enter the measured distances and angles directly into the photo, make notes on important details and send the photo by email to colleagues or vendor partners. Pictures can also be used to identify tools, materials, room layouts and more for easy recall and increased efficiency. The Bosch Toolbox is available for free in the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store for smartphones with Android and IOS operating systems. Visit www.bosch-professional.com/static/specials/toolbox-app/gb/en/ for more info.

ServiceTitan Mobile 2.0 

ServiceTitan Mobile 2.0 helps plumbing, HVAC and electrical contractors deliver exceptional customer experience while driving sales and business results. Mobile 2.0 incorporates best-in-class practices and user-centric design. ServiceTitan Mobile 2.0 app uses the Location Background mode. Continued use of GPS running in the background can dramatically decrease battery life. Other features of Mobile 2.0 app:

• In app-financing
• ST payments
• Optimized price books
• Good, better, best flat rate pricing
• Content portal: From the office, you can post announcements and other content for technicians to view in ServiceTitan Mobile 2.0. Content can vary from new product announcements, selling points, videos to best practices and reminders.
• Estimate templates: From the office, you can post frequently offered estimates/packages for technicians to use in ServiceTitan Mobile 2.0
•Form findings: Allows you to share the results of a form with your customer in the estimation templates. Extra details, better options, more sales.

The Mobile 2.0 increases customer satisfaction and repeat business by providing customers with a personalized experience the moment techs arrive onsite with information like job details, service history and recommended estimates. It gives them the ability to become a trusted advisor and engage customers in your services and benefits using a visual pricebook and multi-option presentation mode.   This app gives technicians a powerful, intuitive app to improve their day-to-day performance and provide a world-class customer experience. Even greener technicians can get up to speed and gain confidence in their trade with smart features including technician dashboard, triggered forms, image doodling and more.

Mobile 2.0 eliminates all paperwork and automates data entry so that technicians can complete jobs faster and service more clients. This gives them the time to dedicate to building stronger relationships, getting better reviews and increasing referrals. Visit servicetitan.com for more information.

A.O. Smith Xpert App 

Available at Hotwater.com/Xpert or on the A. O. Smith App for iOS and Android, the Xpert Water Heater Selection Tool is designed to help contractors lead their customers through the process of choosing a water heater by asking eight easy-to-answer questions about hot water usage, available space and power sources. The app uses proprietary algorithms to provide estimates for performance and energy cost by incorporating localized information for the homeowner, such as area groundwater temperatures and state energy prices. Analyzing user responses and local data, the Xpert then matches those data points to hundreds of A.O. Smith water heaters from a broad range of technologies including: gas, propane, electric, tankless and hybrid.

The Xpert then recommends the top three water heaters in three categories: “Meets Your Needs,” “More Hot Water” and “Lower Energy Cost.” To recommend models that meet the homeowner’s lifestyle and needs, the Xpert asks can guide homeowners to the right A. O. Smith product for their home, educate that customer about the benefits of that model and make a personalized recommendation with confidence. The Xpert function bolsters the already impressive A. O. Smith App, which provides a robust product cross-reference tool, as well as warranty check functionality.

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