It’s All About The Data

by | Jan 22, 2024 | Growing the Business, Management Skills

As seen in Issue 176 (Nov/Dec 2023) of Registered Gas Engineer

A digital database of your customer information can help you to get work and get organised, says Gas Engineer Software.

The gas industry as a whole is still fairly papercentric. For years now, keeping physical books or binders of customer information has been the norm. But they’re big and bulky and there’s only one copy, so losing them would be a nightmare. A digital database of customer information is the alternative. But how will it overhaul how you work and get you organised?

The foundations of your business

In many ways, your customer database is the foundation of your gas engineering business. Moving to a digital record of customer information means spending less time searching for data and more time on your actual job. Customers will notice your professionalism, and you’ll start to see positive changes to the way you work.

The benefits

 Having a digital customer database is about saving you time. Managing customer data on paper is mundane, time-consuming, and prone to mistakes.

When a customer calls, you’ll instantly be able to see their details by searching for a single field, like their postcode or surname. And you can add the details of new customers in seconds. Finding old records for customers that might have lost their copies is just as easy.

From our survey, 70 per cent of gas engineer users said their workflow has changed positively this way.

But perhaps one of the most important features is accessibility. A digital database can be accessed from the computer in the office or from your phone/tablet in the field at any time. If it’s online, your team can do the same.

Not all gas engineers we’ve spoken to realise how a database can unlock a new way of running your business. You’re sitting on a goldmine of information but using it to find and manage details is really only scratching the tip of the iceberg:

  • Nearly half (44 per cent) of our users said automated reminders are the most profitable feature for them.
  • Filling out quotes and invoices is quick and easy if you have a database from which to copy or pull information automatically.
  • A digital database can easily incorporate a full job history. If you’re struggling to remember or find the quote you sent out, or the notes you left regarding boiler health, agreements with landlords, and so on, then this one’s for you.

Not all databases are equal

You may choose to create a database in Microsoft Excel or another spreadsheet editor. Doing this will mean that you can keep customer information consolidated in one place and sort/search for information easily. Taking it one step further with an online tool like Google Sheets solves the problem of there being only one master copy.

But if you want to take advantage of tools like automated reminders, paperless records and so on, you’ll need to use specially made job management software. These solutions structure your entire workflow around your customer database and tap into its true value.

Next steps:

If you’ve been thinking about implementing software into your workflow to save time, here’s what you can do next:

 

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