Are You Treating Your Support Technicians Like Accountants?

Centralize product and service warranty data using Ihiji ServiceManager, instead.

QuickBooks is a valuable tool for small-to-mid-size business accounting, and many integrators use this best-in-class software for purchase orders, invoicing, accounts payable/accounts receivable, payroll and more.

That “more,” however, is where many integration firms run into problems. QuickBooks is great accounting software – but it is not customized for the AV industry and it is not designed for tracking warranties, service contracts, or equipment lists.

The Right Tool for the Job

Just as you wouldn’t use Cat5 cable (without any extenders) for most 4K installations because it’s not robust enough to do the job well over long distances, if you’re relying on QuickBooks to track service plans and warranty information, you aren’t getting the most out of your service plans. And you’re making life more difficult for your support technicians.

First, not all AV techs are trained in QuickBooks. While the program is fairly intuitive to use, accessing its advanced features can be complicated. Storing warranty expiration dates and coverage as part of a customer invoice requires your service tech to find the customer, view the latest invoice, and see if the warranty is still in effect, as well as what’s covered under that warranty. This leaves a lot of room for error, as QuickBooks doesn’t provide specific places to store this information. That’s just one of the problems with using QuickBooks to manage service calls.

Ihiji ServiceManager: Cloud-based Solution Puts the Information at Your Fingertips

When your service manager, office manager, or receptionist answers the phone to take a service call, that person isn’t likely to be logged into QuickBooks. In order to view warranty information, they have to log into the software, record the information to relay to the support tech on duty, and then transfer the call. The information they can view may be limited to warranty status and purchase orders.

ServiceManager, on the other hand, allows the support tech or service manager to track trouble ticket history with in-depth, robust detail. When a customer calls, the person answering the phone can view any problems and resolutions that occurred in the past, enabling faster, more knowledgeable service.

If the support tech needs to verify equipment that was installed or check specific product warranties (or even see what’s covered under the customer’s service plan) then he needs to log into QuickBooks, too. This can be exceptionally problematic if you’re still using locally-hosted software and not the cloud-based version of QuickBooks. If the support tech is on the road, at another job site, or just away from his desk, he can’t view the customer’s warranty status at all, and might make promises that the customer’s warranty doesn’t support. This is where your free warranties and extended service contracts start costing you extra money, because you don’t have an easy way to track the status of support contracts.

Protect Your Company Data

Additionally, giving your entire support team access to your company’s accounting software introduces security issues. Providing logins to your support technicians gives them access to all your company’s accounting data. In all likelihood, this won’t be a problem, but it’s definitely not an accounting best practice. It’s simple: Not everyone in your organization uses QuickBooks – or should.

On the other hand, Ihiji ServiceManager offers tiered security levels, so your employees can access the information they need. Because ServiceManager is a cloud-based solution, no special software is necessary. Service technicians can access customer data, including checking the status of warranties, from any computer or mobile device with an Internet connection. If they’re on a job site and need to access design drawings or see what equipment was installed in a home, they can do so in seconds.

Generate RMR with Ihiji ServiceManager

Knowledge is power, and knowing when a customer’s warranty is about to expire allows your service techs to sell an extended service plan immediately. If the customer just placed a service call, the value of that extended warranty is fresh in the customer’s mind. The customer is happy because you’ve just fixed their problem; it’s the perfect time to get them to sign a one-year service contract.

With all of this in mind, why not consider Ihiji ServiceManager for storing warranty and service plan information, and leave QuickBooks for your accounting team?

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