Field Service Management Software Companies Helping Contractors with Finance, Marketing, Communication

Moving beyond core disciplines, software companies selling field service solutions are giving small contractors the help they need to win in the market.

In Blitzz, a user can select markup from the menu bar at the bottom of the Blitzz Desktop to take a picture from the video stream for markup. Once the image appears, either party can mark up the image.
In Blitzz, a user can select markup from the menu bar at the bottom of the Blitzz Desktop to take a picture from the video stream for markup. Once the image appears, either party can mark up the image.

Field service management software is an essential tool for contractors that visit multiple customer sites every day. This ensures the right technician with the right tools is at the right site at the right time.

It is even more important when work is being performed on an annual service contract where effective and efficient operations can lead to higher margins than per-service billing. 

Some vendors are augmenting their solutions with professional services, business support or delivering communication tools that will give their customers capabilities they often otherwise could not access, including marketing help, financial services, video-enabled remote support and the ability to connect the customer or field service tech to the back office.

Here's a look at what software companies like JobberWorkWave, Blitzz and Streem offer.

Jobber Offers Marketing, Finance

Finding the business and then hiring the people to do the work are two fundamental challenges for lawn care companies.

“We are here to help people run these small home service businesses,” says Jobber Senior Director of Marketing Nick Keyko. “The majority of what we do is operations, but business financing and consumer financing are an important offering for us."

The Edmonton, Alberta, Canada-based software company adds a number of service offerings and partnerships to its product that give even a one-man-band contractor access to a whole orchestra waiting in the wings.

“With Jobber, a contractor can sell and install that new hot water tank, and with our help can also finance it," Keyko says. "They can also get the funding to grow their business.”

Jobber in 2020 announced a partnership with Stripe Capital to secure financing for equipment to plug a gap in cash flow to meet payroll or ramp up and accept more jobs. Jobber added consumer financing service in 2021 by leveraging a partnership with Wisetrack. This gives the customer the ability to pay for a project over time while ensuring the contractor still receives a lump sum payment.

Through Jobber, consumer financing can be automatically offered on residential quotes between $500 and $25,000. To apply for monthly financing, homeowners fill out a short application and receive a decision instantly. Annual percentage rates  range from 0 to 29.9 percent, and there are no prepayment penalties, origination fees, late fees or compound interest applied to the homeowner’s account. This is essential in particular to appeal to younger homeowners. A Jobber-sponsored survey found that among respondents ages 25-34, 80 percent would pick a home service provider over another because they offered monthly financing—18 points above the overall average. Seventy-seven percent of homeowners in this age bracket would also take on more expensive projects if they could pay in monthly installments. More than half (53 percent) have put a home service project on a credit card so they could pay for it over time.

Younger customers also prefer digital communication methods rather than phone calls, and Jobber provides help for this as well.

“The average home buyer is a millennial,” Keyko says. “They don’t like calls. They want to use Facebook messenger and other more disparate messaging options. The changing expectations are something contractors need to account for.”

Jobber provides support for digital and offline means of reaching out to current customers, finding new ones and hiring the workers required to satisfy the demand. The customer relationship management (CRM) elements of Jobber integrate with multiple inbound sources of opportunities including the Thumbtack marketplace and recruiting marketplaces like Indeed. An integration with the MailChimp email marketing application and ready-to-run marketing campaigns helps  small contractors roll out big-company promotional, outreach and drip programs.

WorkWave Brings a Human Touch to Field Service Management Tech

While Jobber relies on integrations and partnerships to help its customers access marketing, finance and other help, WorkWave takes a more consultative approach.

“We are looking at helping them leverage their labor force,” WorkWave COO Tim Robinson says. “We give them CRM and ERP solutions, but also help them recruit talent, retain talent and operate more efficiently. That includes scheduling, routing and helping them leverage our scale and become more efficient at maximizing their cash flow with payment and financial solutions. We regularly ask our customers where they think we should be adding more value.”

The marketing services group does more than help contractor customers build pipeline—WorkWave also harnesses its capabilities to help customers recruit staff in a tight labor market.

“We are trying to help getting talent in the door,” WorkWave Vice President of Product Rick Agaganian said in a recent IronPros Product Deep Dive. “We have a marketing services group that knows how to write content, do  search engine optimization (SEO), execute paid strategies and perform other talent management work. Today, you have to position your business so people want to go work for you. We have an applicant tracking solution  that sits underneath that.”

These areas of added value from WorkWave include a digital marketing services function that helps customers with everything from custom websites, SEO and email templates to offline advertising and media. In April of 2022, the company also launched WorkWave Financial Services, a collection of financial offerings including low-interest credit cards. This service offering augments an integrated payments platform, launched in 2019, that delivers level 1 compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard. Also in 2021, WorkWave launched mobile terminal payments so contractors can increase cash flow by enabling customers to pay at time of service using a mobile point-of-sale device that is fully integrated with the back end software.

“The people who use our software in a lot of the industries we work with are front-line workers themselves,” Agagananian says. “They don’t know the technology pieces out there. About 70 percent prefer to use one solution rather than having to plug solutions into other stuff to market themselves.”

WorkWave is also selling some financial products through in-app purchases, such as a business builder card where customers can buy into, designed for smaller customers to help them establish credit and distinguish business from personal credit, according to Robinson.

Blitzz for Remote Visual Support

While field service management operations applications like WorkWave and Jobber streamline transactional communications with the customer, remote visual support companies like Blitzz digitize and transform customer interactions in ways that can reduce the need to visit a site and extend the productivity of supervisors or experts.

Rather than send a supervisor to inspect each job once it is completed or babysit a junior employee or less experienced crew on-site, a contractor can use Blitzz to gain real-time insight on progress, determine if customer requirements are met, approve warranty claims and more. Blitzz Concierge enables a contractor’s customer, with no need to download an app to their device, to initiate a video interaction to seek resolution to an issue or share insights on project requirements—often eliminating the need for a truck roll. Construction contractors of all sizes and disciplines use Blitzz for quality assurance and inspection work, home inspections and home repair, heavy machinery training and repair, safety training and checks, audits and to avoid mistakes and costly rework.

“By using Blitzz, a more experienced worker or supervisor can advise a more junior, on-site worker remotely,” says Blitzz CEO and Co-Founder Rama Sreenivasan. “Supervisors can then resolve more calls in less time since they don’t have to be at each location. Blitzz is also easy to access. Workers out in the field don’t need to worry about downloading an app or installing any software. They simply click a text link from their phones to be connected over a video call with a supervisor.”

Sreenivasan cites a U.S Chamber of Commerce study finding that 88 percent of construction contractors say it’s difficult to find skilled workers. And as the United States hovers near full employment, the construction industry could face a shortage of at least two million workers over the next four years.

“That’s where Blitzz comes in; our live, remote video support and inspection platform provides significant benefits for contractors,” Sreenivasan says. “We deliver increased capacity because experienced small and medium enerprises can field more calls per day by remotely leveraging their expertise with on-site personnel to verify and validate a construction step. We deliver increased efficiency because more calls are resolved virtually for a reduced need for trucks to be dispatched. A smaller truck fleet translates into lower spending on gas, maintenance and other expenses, which can reduce operating and capital expenditures.”

Blitzz is a fit for contractors with between 10 and 20 people in the field working at overlapping projects on multiple sites.

Streem Embeds Remote Assistance in the Workflow

Owned by FrontDoor, which also owns American HomeShield, Streem  brings more enterprise resources to bear on remote assistance technology than Blitzz, including deep integration to popular CRM software and other features to embed the technology in a broader digital workflow.

“Any time you can help a customer remotely, you reduce truck rolls and can ensure you are prepared with the tools and whatever parts you need before you go to the site,” says Streem Lead Sales Engineer Claudio Vacalebre. “For a smaller project, you can work with an end customer to diagnose a project or understand their requirements.”

The Streem Platform and the StreemCore live video platform are designed to drive efficiencies and deepen customer relationships. Apart from the ability to immediately share visual context and communicate, Streem also includes optical character recognition capabilities that can capture serial numbers and other alpha-numeric data and use it to drive work flows and tracking of work, products and parts.

Streem also offers not only an application programming interface to support integrations, but standard integrations with Salesforce, Zendesk, Genesys, Kustomer and Five for out-of-the-box process automation from Streem to top CRM and service platforms. Blitzz offers a beta Salesforce integration, integrates with Zendesk and has standard integrations with popular analytics, security, case management and authentication and storage services.

More than the work

For contractors to find success using field service management solutions, they must master the operational elements of high-volume site-based work. In the meantime, the software companies supporting small contractors in this discipline are well aware that a mom-and-pop shops or small companies can benefit from advanced tech to create a professional impression, find work and get paid. Visit the Field Service Management section of IronPros to learn more about the options available.