The ongoing outbreak of COVID-19 is an unprecedented event for most businesses, shaping everything from the services that are permitted to operate to the way in which customers expect their services to be carried out. It is certainly a challenge for field service businesses, with nearly everyone seeking out new ways to carry on with their work while simultaneously protecting their staff and customers.

For those using WorkWave Service to streamline their processes, there are a number of ways in which the software can enable you to carry out services efficiently to protect your bottom line and adhere to best practices for minimizing the spread of the virus—including a number of features and functions that can help you to operate as effectively as possible during this challenging time.

1) Enable Your Staff to Work Remotely With WorkWave Service’s Web-Based Infrastructure

Depending on your location and the industry you’re in, it’s extremely likely that you’re doing all you can to help your staff to work remotely and steer clear of the office whenever possible during the COVID-19 crisis. In this situation, it’s important to equip them with the necessary hardware and software to complete their daily job tasks and responsibilities.

Consider allowing your staff to bring home a company-owned computer or laptop to make the transition easier—without causing any disruption to WorkWave Service usability. If you plan for them to use personal computers at home, make sure their workstations have up-to-date operating systems and browsers to meet the requirements for WorkWave Service so that the software can run properly. 

If you’re an owner, administrator, or manager, use the Activity Log to get a deeper understanding of your employee’s activities throughout the workday—especially if you have transitioned to a work-from-home environment. This feature can help ensure that all employees and teams are staying on track and following system guidelines and processes and can assist you in troubleshooting any issues that come up while your business functions remotely. You can even narrow down your view to specific date and time ranges, individual users, and particular activities, guaranteeing that all work is accounted for each day.

2) Appoint a WorkWave Service Knowledge Expert

Have you identified WorkWave Service subject matter experts (SMEs) in your business? It may be you as an owner or a tenured manager, or it may be another individual or team within your business. Either way, you want to ensure that your entire staff has easy access to a person or team who can help with WorkWave Service-related processes, workflows, and questions.

If you haven’t already, start by creating documentation that applies to your business-specific needs as they pertain to ongoing maintenance and usage in WorkWave Service. Leverage collaboration tools to conduct virtual training sessions to record, save, and share WorkWave Service activities across all teams; this can be a great way to remain productive during any lulls in your schedule.

To supplement your SMEs, encourage your staff to use the WorkWave Knowledge Base to keep themselves informed and educated on all things WorkWave Service. Having a plan in place to minimize downtime in the application will assist in maintaining employee productivity and customer satisfaction, which are both more important than ever during this outbreak.

3) Take Advantage of the Communication Tools Inside WorkWave Service to Keep Your Customers Informed

With the Communications Hub feature, you can create and send the most up-to-date communications to your customers via email or SMS text messages to keep them up to speed on how your business is operating. This will help your business in sharing updates and visibility on the current state of the business, top initiatives to combat COVID-19 challenges, and how you plan to support your customers during this difficult time. Be creative; plan to add one or more templates to address the specific information you need to share with your entire customer base or with individual customers.

If you want to make the communication a bit more personal, use the highly customizable Account List feature to create a segmented call list with your customers’ phone numbers for all staff members to use while conducting phone calls. Clear, thoughtful, and engaging communication will be a critical part of supporting new and existing customers while we all face the challenges of COVID-19.

4) Use WorkWave Service’s Mobile and GPS Functionality to Equip and Monitor Your Field Crew

If you haven’t already, start thinking about taking advantage of mobile hardware and software to increase mobilization across your business. Each WorkWave Service bundle plan or package includes a web-and-mobile license to allow your team to stay synced between the back office and the field. This is key to lowering the frequency of visits to and from headquarters, which in turn lowers the risk of spreading COVID-19 among your office staff, field employees, or customers. Additionally, the mobile app will drive efficiency in work order activities, documentation, and electronic communications. 

With new developments on COVID-19 coming out each day, it’s important to know where your crew has been and how to further reduce the chances of putting them at risk. Knowing their whereabouts while on the clock can be crucial to your operations even without taking the COVID-19 outbreak in mind, but the importance of having real-time and historical GPS data is even more clear when it comes to the overall health of your business, employees, and customers during the ongoing outbreak.

If an infected area is reported by health professionals, use the GPS module to locate employees and vehicles in real-time or to see where they were on a given day and time. Begin cross-referencing GPS data with COVID-19 map data in your local areas to make better decisions about protecting your employees, customers, and communities.

5) Use WorkWave Payments to Bill and Accept Payments Without Coming Into Contact

Do your best to minimize in-person or mail-in payments by taking advantage of credit card processing in WorkWave Service. This conscious effort cannot be overstated when it comes to keeping your staff and customers safe, healthy, and satisfied. There’s no doubt that consumers are demanding auto-pay and online payment functionality in our increasingly paperless world, and current events give you an opportunity to drive this initiative even further within your business.

Start driving your payment traffic to Epay with emailed invoices. This is a simple, easy-to-use feature that allows your customers to make electronic payments with credit cards and ACH from any device. To streamline this process even further, authorize credit card and ACH payment for services with the Payment Authorization and Bulk Payments features. Not only does this automate the payment process for your staff, but it will also lower business and customer touchpoints by decreasing visits to the office or interactions with technicians. 

As your business continues to focus on services with little to no customer interaction, make sure that your technicians are using WorkWave Mobile to process credit cards already on file from the mobile app. Consider eliminating the need to leave the paperwork behind at a customer’s front door or another designated area on the property; instead, email the service report on the spot from the mobile app or use bulk invoice emailing in the WorkWave Service web application. 

Sending electronic proof of work and invoicing will be absolutely essential to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 in the communities that you service. This allows you to eliminate the need for contact while still fostering a sense of satisfaction when the job is done and enabling communication between your team and your customers for a personal feel.

In the face of an event like COVID-19, businesses that push forward will be the ones to survive and position themselves for success when things return to normal. If you have questions about how to take full advantage of WorkWave Service’s field service software features during the COVID-19 outbreak, if you have innovative ways that your business is adapting that you’d like to share, or if you’re eager to see how other professionals in the field service industry are handling this event, be sure to reach out to us. We’re proud to be partnered with you as we all navigate these waters together.

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Service by WorkWave’s field service software helps you run your business more efficiently with features such as scheduling, dispatching, reporting, and more.

Nick joined the Customer Success team at WorkWave in April 2017. He's currently the Manager of Onboarding, overseeing the customer onboarding and enablement for key products. He’s dedicated to working closely with WorkWave teams and customers to strengthen relationships, meet their goals, and drive overall satisfaction.