Assessing Free Field Service Management Software: The Good, Bad, and the Ugly

If you’re considering working with free field service management software, you might be a believer in the old saying that “the best things in life are free.” But another old adage reminds us that we “get what we pay for.” So where do you turn when old clichés contradict one another?

In today’s post, the FranchiseSoft team assesses the value of free field service management software. Read on for a breakdown of the good, bad, and ugly!

Is free field service management software really free?

A quick Google search for “free field service management software” yields 35,500,000 results in 0.75 seconds. But are all of these results really pointing to free software?

While many reputable companies will give you free access to their product, the program’s bread-and-butter will usually only be available once purchased. In some cases, you may be able to find a free trial, as with FranchiseSoft’s no-cost, no-commitment demo, but these expire once the trial period has elapsed.

If you do find a truly free product, make sure that you adjust your expectations. Free software usually boils down to limited calendar services that are only useful for logging appointments.

A review of the top three free scheduling apps listing in Google’s search listings shows that the following features may be available at no cost:

  • A shared online calendar
  • FAQ page
  • Basic messaging system limited to 1-3 users

Unfortunately, these services are not really worth writing home about; in fact, you can find better versions of both the calendar and “messaging” software through basic Google services.

Top free services require paid upgrades to access the following functions:

  • Confirmation and reminder emails or texts
  • Email or chat support for training, retraining, and customer queries
  • Multiple staff users
  • Ability to schedule recurring appointments
  • Ability to sync with Google calendar
  • Reports and analytics

In light of these findings, it seems as though reputable paid programs are much more worthwhile.

Is free field service management software really worth my time?

So long as you’ve chosen a reputable product, adopting new field service management software shouldn’t be a huge headache, but any kind of digital transition will tie up business resources and personal time to some degree for setup and training. With this in mind, it’s crucial that you choose a product that is worth your time. That means finding field service management software with enough advantages to offset the productivity lost during its learning curve.

Unfortunately, this is rarely true of free software. Simple scheduling programs aren’t worth disrupting workdays and forcing old-timers to modify their work processes.

On the other hand, low-priced field management apps are absolutely worth the investment. FranchiseSoft’s field service management software will improve your internal communications, client relationships, sales cycle, payment and invoicing process, customer satisfaction rating, and save you thousands of hours in bookkeeping. You will immediately offset the time and money you spent, and implementation is easy with our unparalleled franchise support services.

Rating Free Field Service Management Software: The Good, Bad, and Ugly

  • The Good: Free trials of reputable, comprehensive, and paid field management software services. You can sign up for a no-cost, no-commitment trial at http://franchisesoft.com/franchise-solutions/field-service-management/
  • The Bad: Free programs that offer paid upgrades.
  • The Ugly: Free software offering limited calendar scheduling options and basic internal communications.

3 Ways Field Service Management Software Increases Your Company’s Cash Flow

It goes without saying that maintaining a robust cash flow is critical for the ongoing success and profitability of your service-based franchise. Working capital allows your company to respond to business opportunities and client emergencies quickly and efficiently. Furthermore, a higher cash-to-receivables ratio gives you much stronger negotiating positions when borrowing funds to replace equipment or expand your franchise.

With this in mind, the FranchiseSoft team has outlined 3 ways that field service management software allows you to collect as quickly as possible, stretch your payables to the limit, and increase your agility without having to alter your balance sheet.

Optimize The Customer Payment Cycle

One way to improve your service-based franchise’s cash flow is to prioritize converting invoices to cash as soon as possible. While traditionally this involved a lot of frantic trips to the bank, FranchiseSoft field service management software allows franchise owners to streamline the conversion process – in fact, you will often get it done before your service trucks return at the end of the day!

Single-visit work orders should be handled using on-site payment options. Ideally, you want to make sure that you are able to process both debit and credit card payments, as some people prefer one over the other. Our field service management software allows employees to invoice at the customer site and collect payment on the spot. Furthermore, our software seamlessly integrates on-site payments with your Quickbooks so that balancing the books is made simple.

For jobs where on-site payment is not the answers, you can still streamline the payment cycle with job-site invoicing. Use our software to upload pictures of the job, get sign-off from the client, and email itemized invoices to the customers before you leave the job-site. The payment can then be handled through the office at a later date. When it’s time to invoice, field service management software can help you create compelling emails in a fraction of the time with our beautiful templates.

Identify Payment Procrastinators At A Glance And Adjust Accordingly

Though invoicing clients is made easy with field service management software, we still rely on our clients actually confirming their payments on-time; as the old saying goes, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink.

A number of service-based franchises are forced to deal with habitual problem payers, though they often aren’t even aware of the problematic trend. This is where field service management software truly shines. FranchiseSoft provides a comprehensive dashboard to analyze leads and referral sources, detailed reports to track and analyze sales cycles, and easy-to-access documentation of all communication shared with leads and current clients.

Service-based franchise owners can use these metrics to identify which clients need relentless but gentle reminders, and to track progress to monitor whether accounts improve month-by-month. If not, it is up to the individual franchise owner to determine whether they would like to continue working with this client, or redirect their effort on securing new business that would improve cashflow.

Pounce On High-Performance Promotions

FranchiseSoft’s comprehensive reporting metrics allow franchise owners to pinpoint high-performance services and promotions at a glance. This means you can direct more energy into meeting demand with supply, and generate higher cashflow as a result!

Schedule Your Free Demo With Franchisesoft

You can learn more about how our field service management software can improve your franchise systems by visiting http://franchisesoft.com/franchise-solutions/field-service-management/ and requesting a demo to discuss how this software can help your franchise increase cashflow.

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