Lincoln Smith, a director at Custom Heat Ltd, sat down to discuss why Commusoft is essential for running their heating and plumbing business.
Custom Heat is a family run business that started with Lincoln’s parents in 1980 and have been operating for the 40 years since in and around Rugby, UK. For the last four years, Custom Heat have been using Commusoft to manage their 60 office staff and field technicians.
How was your business run before Commusoft?
“We had a paper-based system that we’d had for many years. The system was not internet based, so you couldn’t download a mobile app. We had technicians that would call in on a Friday afternoon to ask if they could pick another job up, or we’d have a customer that would all in at 3 o’clock on a Friday afternoon and say ‘We’ve got no hot water, can you come fix the boiler?’. So we’d call the technician and say we’ve got another job. He’d then jot it down on a sticky label or something in his van – or probably not write it down at all. He’d drive there, do the job – but then we’d never get paid.”
“We were growing as a business, our customer-base was growing, the demand for our services was growing, so we needed a system that could cope with the increase in jobs.”
What was your biggest challenge before using Commusoft?
“Before we used Commusoft, our invoicing was done manually. A lady in the office would produce an invoice and at the end of the week she would send all those invoices out in the post. So you could complete a job on a Tuesday – by the Thursday or Friday you’re posting the invoice – by the Monday they’ve received it – and a few days later, they’re paying it. The whole process could be a week or more.”
How has using Commusoft helped you improve this?
“Now, you click a button – and send an invoice! In fact, the technicians do it from site. Not only do invoices not get missed, but the technician can go to a boiler service, complete the work, and click a button – all within a second. The office staff doesn’t have to do any of it.”
How has Commusoft transformed your operations?
“We now have customers call our office, who are ready to handle the call and can book the appointment into a live calendar. If it’s a call-out for that day, which happens very often, it will appear in real time in the technician’s schedule. The technician can then travel to that job and carry out the work. If they need a part, they communicate easily back with the office – just click to select who to communicate with. Once they hit complete, it lets the office know they need those parts. The technician can then invoice and it will automatically send off the after-care email asking for a review. It’s all made very technician friendly and very easy to use. The communication between the office and technician is instant.”
Would you recommend Commusoft to other people?
“The way that Commusoft tracks every part of every single job – you will not lose anything – it gives you complete confidence in the whole system. Complete confidence to grow. Complete confidence to push on with your business. There is no way that we could run our business efficiently and effectively, presenting ourselves the way we do with our customers, with our reminders the night before, with our text messages that say ‘we’re on our way’… we just simply could not run our business without Commusoft, it would be impossible.“