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How Field Service Management Software Can Improve Your Business

In many work environments, business owners and managers are tasked with the incredible feat of managing a mobile workforce. This workforce may be responsible for making on-site visits to customers, maintaining your facilities in various locations across the city and beyond and more. Regardless of the tasks that your field team works on regularly, you can improve your business substantially when you use the right field service management software. There are many programs to choose from, and you can quickly narrow down the options when you look for a program that can improve your business in each of these important ways.

Job Scheduling
Field service scheduling is perhaps one of the top reasons field service software management software programs are used. The best software programs are used to communicate directly with your team in the field. They may send open work orders to specific individuals, communicate back to you when work has been completed and more. Whether you want to simplify the scheduling process or monitor the actions of your team throughout the day, this software program can benefit you.

Billing Assistance
Each service technician may complete a wide range of projects throughout the day. Some may offer preventative maintenance service, and others may perform critical repairs in a timely manner. Your service technician team will benefit greatly by using the billing and invoicing features in these programs. These programs automate the billing process so that you can control billing remotely, view invoices that have been created, monitor payment activities and more.

Customer Database
As a busy owner or manager, you understandably want to maintain contact with your customers on a regular basis, and the right software program can assist with this. The best program allows you to input data about each customer that your team visits. They often can do this remotely from their various locations in the field. They may also input specific details, such as notes to follow up at a later date, specific services they requested and more. Such details can be used to improve sales and marketing efforts going forward.

Managing a team of service technicians in the field has many challenges. For example, you may have difficulty getting each employee to the location of their next project or work order. You may struggle to keep up with invoices that were generated by your team throughout the day. You may wonder if your team is capturing all of the leads possible from each contact with a new customer. These are among the top ways that the right software program can benefit you. As you explore programs, consider looking for a program with these great features in it.

Three Ways to Make Your Lead Generation Efforts More Effective

Lead generation software is commonly used to capture the names and contact information of those who visit a website. This list of names can then be used for B2B marketing and other related purposes. It is an effective way to increase your direct email campaign’s mailing list without having to buy an expensive list. While all lead generation software is effective at various levels, the reality is that your own efforts at conducting a successful lead generation campaign will make a significant difference in your overall efforts.

  Ensure Your Website’s Content Is Relevant

One of the most significant steps you can take to conduct a successful email lead generation campaign is to make your website’s content relevant to your target audience. You may need to use SEO and other methods to increase traffic to your website in a targeted way. The content should position you as a leader or authority in the area of your business in some way so that your visitors are enticed to take the additional step and sign up for your opt-in campaign.

Use an Effective, Powerful Call to Action

Some lead generation software captures IP addresses through visitor tracking methodology, but it is preferred by many businesses to contact their target audience after they have chosen to receive your marketing content. To entice your viewers to opt into your email distribution list, you must provide them with an effective and powerful call to action. The call to action should give them a sufficient benefit for signing up, such as valuable tips that will be provided in an email newsletter or the promise of coupon codes for financial savings.

Test Your Lead Generation Process

If your campaign is not producing the results you desire, there may be a problem with your lead generation system. Some people assume that because they have used lead generation software, their process is effective. However, there may be glitches, lags or a generally poor design that make the process frustrating for your visitors. When a process is slow or frustrating, they may click off before finalizing the sign-up process. Testing your lead generation process initially and then several times after you have launched your campaign are important steps to take to ensure that you are capturing as many leads as possible through the use of your lead generation software.

Lead generation software can make it easier for you to track visitors to your website and capture leads, but the use of software alone is not enough to generate the best efforts. When you combine your use of software with these valuable tips, you can increase your chances for success. For further information, Clickback has online resources available on their website.

Thoughtful Ways to Make a Software Program More Usable

 If you are preparing software requirements for an upcoming development project, you may be focused on creating the most user-friendly program available. You may have specific functional requirements for the program, such as facilitating your sales staff or your engineering team in some way. However, in order to make a program truly beneficial for the functional applications you have in mind, it may need requirements tools to boost productivity and facilitate the easy completion of specific tasks. These are factors that boil down to how usable the program is. There are some simple tips you can follow when drafting your software requirements that can make your program more usable for your team.

Focus on the Ease of Learning

Your team’s first experiences with the program will be during training sessions and with trial and error efforts on their own. Ease of learning and ease of usability are two very different things in the development world, but how easy it is for your team to learn specific functions of the program can dictate how easy it is to apply certain features of the program in practical use. Therefore, your first step should be on making the program easy for your users to learn how to use.

Incorporate Pop Up Help Windows

Even with basic training sessions on the proper use of the program, your team may still have questions about the program from time to time as they use it on a daily basis. Rather than expect your team to fiddle with the program until they stumble upon the answers they are looking for, you can create pop up help windows that offer practical advice and tips. As you tinker with the program during test sessions, you can advise your developer of areas of application that may need pop up help windows.

Make Help Topics Searchable

Even with pop up help windows and after your team has been properly trained on the use of the program, questions still may arise from time to time. You can instruct your developer in the software requirements to create a searchable help section in the program. This can be a costly and time-consuming feature to incorporate, and this is because it is akin to incorporating a full training manual on all features in the program. However, if your program will be used by many or if it has complicated functional abilities, this can be helpful.

When developing a software program, you understandably want your team to maximize its use for their benefit in the workplace. Usability is one of the most significant factors that will impact how beneficial a program is. You can enhance the usability of your program through these tips.

How Call Centre Services Can Improve Your Business

The decision to use call centre services is not a matter to take lightly. Everything from how well your customers will be served through inbound call centres to the cost and even the ability of the answering service to grow with your company should be taken into account when making this decision. With many call centre services available, you also need to consider the benefits that one specific center offers over the other options to make a more informed decision about which one to move forward with. Whether you are on the fence about using an answering service or you are trying to decide which one to hire, consider these ways that the right service can improve your business.

Improve Your Level of Customer Service
Not all call centers are the same, and some offer considerably better customer service than others. Focus on factors like operator training provided on the job, employee incentives, a great working environment and other factors when making a decision about which call centre to hire. However, bear in mind that an answering service in general is designed to handle a considerable number of calls, and it likely can handle more volume than your bu. This means that your customers may have less hold time and may be less likely to get a busy signal when calling you. In this way, your business can benefit through improved customer service.

Extend Your Business Hours
Many business offices operate with standard business hours, but this can be inconvenient for your customers who may need to speak with a professional outside of those business hours. For example, many people work at their own jobs during normal business hours and are unable to make personal calls during this team. Extending your business hours with an answering service is a great way to better serve your customers’ needs.

Decrease Overhead
You may think that outsourcing your call centre needs to a third party provider would tack on unnecessary overhead, but you actually can save a tremendous amount of money by outsourcing. For example, you will not have to pay salaries and benefits to employees. You also will need less office space, supplies and more. When all of these factors are taken into account, you can see that your business can save a small fortune through an answering service.

While you may enjoy each of these benefits to some decrease through all answering services, keep in mind that all services are not equal. By taking time to review the different options, you can find the solution that is more cost effective and beneficial for your needs. Your decision can ultimately improve your business in many substantial ways. You can always learn more at the Extend Communications blog.

Canada Enters a New Era of Data Centers and Remote Tech Support

By the end of this decade, most Canadian business owners whose companies are not bound by compliance to operate their own office network will have switched to remote IT support and managed IT consulting services. The rationale for this business shift can be seen in the Montreal region, where the data center market is beginning to mature.

Increased competition in the cloud services market is transforming Montreal into the data center capital of Canada. Business owners are demanding greater quality of IT support solutions; they are no longer wiling to put up with data centers with downtime periods adding up to a few days per year. When company owners in Canada decide to put their entire data infrastructure in the cloud, the want to get the best IT consulting services.

The Future of Enterprise Cloud Computing

Canada has lagged behind the United States in terms of cloud services adoption. Until about 2010, many companies were still using the legacy client/server model of business computing, which requires keeping IT support staff onsite and on payroll. Once American data centers started offering cloud services to Canadian clients, local entrepreneurs took notice.

Enterprise cloud services are the ideal solution for modern Canadian business owners who don’t want to use up too much capital on hardware or on hiring IT staff. Modern workplace trends such as “bring your own device” negate the need for office networks, and disaster recovery planning calls for keeping backups in reliable offsite locations. The better option is clearly to use cloud platforms.

Why Montreal?

Corporate data centers are quickly disappearing across all provinces; the new trend is to look for managed services, server co-location or moving all data assets to the cloud. To this effect, Canadian companies no longer have to seek American solutions; affordable electricity rates in Montreal have sparked a Golden Age of data centers.

Electrical utility companies such as Hydro Quebec offer rates as low as 5.2 cents per kilowatt hour. Toronto’s rates are closer to 10 cents per kilowatt hour. The new data centers being built in Montreal are carrier-neutral, which means that clients can leverage their internet access subscriptions through Shaw, Rogers, Videotron, and others.

Aside from affordable electricity, business leaders in Montreal have created a friendly regulatory environment for data centers to set up shop. Government contractors who are required to keep electronic records within Canada are happy to learn that Montreal is attracting data center operators.