Software is changing the world. At first we thought it was the ‘computer revolution’ but time has shown that the ‘software revolution’ is far more important. Industry by industry has been transformed by software. Our pest control industry will also be transformed. This post gives a few examples of how software can improve and even re-invent your business.
Software is changing the world. At first we thought it was the ‘computer revolution’ but time has shown that the ‘software revolution’ is far more important. Industry after industry has been transformed by software. Our pest control industry will also be transformed. This post is intended to look at the big question of why software is so important.
It can be fun to compare nice, well-made cars to good software. This is an apt comparison. Slip into a nice car and just look around. Notice how few labels there are? Now, very few controls in a car have labels. Crazy! Their function, instead, is identified by location and perhaps an icon. This is a classic representations of minimalism. As Jony Ives, Apple’s guru of design, would say, “If it is not essential, it’s just not there”. Great design is not about packing lots of buttons and features into a solution, rather it is the elimination of those things not critical to its essential core.
Where does great customer service start? Knowing your customers needs well and using that knowledge effectively. The means of carefully keeping and curating information for customers defines any good software software in our industry. Customer Relationship Management (‘CRM’) pieces are perhaps the most critical component of ANY pest control software package.
In the early days of pest control software, work orders, tickets, service orders, and invoices were all considered the same thing. Most represented work needed to be done. Of them, ‘Work Orders’ has become perhaps the most widely used name. But what about Invoices? Are they the same thing? No, Invoices have grown to represent something different. An Invoice is something created to request a payment. Typically, it would be for work completed, but it also could be for some purchased product, like sticky traps or ant bait. As software became more refined through time, most software packages began to separate these two concepts because of the power this separation provides.
Icons and Glances are changing software as we know it. Thanks to the Apple Watch, there is a new paradigm shift happening in software today. This revolution is based upon the idea of glances. Software glances could be described as ‘roadsign-like’ icons where needed information is viewed very quickly in, well, a single glance.
Once upon a time, each home would typically have a single landline phone number for their contact. Boy, have those days changed! Now, a family will commonly have a bunch of contacts, particularly when you include cell phones, e-mails, web sites, and tweets. Many of us have work phone, home phone, wife work phone, wife cell, wife email at home, wife email oat work, husband cell, husband cell, husband email at home, husband email at work, children phone, website, etc etc. The list is seeming endless. And this list seems to grows longer with every new tech device. Will we see more ‘Contact Details’ in the future? Bet on it.
Change Logs are a permanent record of all changes to a given record. They quietly record each edit, along with the previous value (if any), who typed it in, what computer was used, and the time and date of the edit. Change Logs provide a powerful tool for correcting mistakes, and the viewing of historical data.
We all want to grow our businesses. And there are only two ways to do this: More volume from existing customers or get new customers. There is no doubt the first way is easiest. They already know that you provide excellent services. But growing your biz with new customers is potentially much better. But also much harder….
Postcards and Emails are both important ways to stay in touch with your customers. The goal is to maximize the value without becoming a nuisance. These notes are a few ideas to help you you compete in the marketplace.