The explosion of field service management software on the market today directly benefits companies looking for an efficient tool to automate and integrate their office and field workflows. The accelerating competition between software vendors in the FSM space has resulted in more reliable applications with more features that are available at better prices than ever before.
Today’s FSM software can also support a greater variety of businesses, from a small landscaping company that needs to track only a few teams as they move around a localized area, to much larger enterprises that offer a diverse menu of services with specialized teams in the field and at the office. Additionally as adoption among all levels of service providers has skyrocketed, it’s increasingly the case that companies without FSM software find themselves at a significant competitive disadvantage.
The best FSM applications provide value by delivering smooth error free interfaces that connect technicians in the field with every other part of the business while providing them all the information they need to deliver the best possible service experience to customers.
Unfortunately for business owners, it’s also true that the more crowded the market becomes the more confusing it is to know which solution is right for your business. This article will drill into four of the top products in the FSM market. We’ll evaluate their price points, feature sets, strengths, and drawbacks.
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With an installed base of more than 10,000 businesses, mHelpDesk is a widely used, well-known FSM solution with a proven track record. This software has a medium to low price point and a solid set of features that keeps customers coming back to it over competitors.
ServiceBridge is an excellent FSM product with a feature set catered toward multi-location businesses. Pool and carpet cleaning services, landscapers, pest control companies, and other business with teams on the go will find ServiceBridge ready with tools that manage work orders, schedules, invoices, dispatching, and customer relationships. With support for IOS and Android, ServiceBridge’s mobile application provides useful flexibility to teams with varied devices.
Fast, simple, and secure, Jobber was designed with a philosophy combining ease of use with top-notch security features that help businesses with sensitive data or clients with sensitive data feel protected. Though not the most feature heavy in the list of top FSM software products, Jobber gets the job done, quickly and with few issues.
The most full-featured product in this review, Housecall Pro gives the SMB customer everything they could ask for and more. The software was designed with versatility as a primary goal. Consequently, it delivers support for nearly every conceivable vertical in the service industry. Owner-operators will find the product as useful and time-saving as large enterprises with many employees.
MHelpDesk’s expansive feature set includes:
- billing and invoicing
- integrated customer relationship management
- dispatch and routing
- equipment tracking
- SMS text messaging
- service scheduling
- quote management
- work order management features
The simple application design of mHelpDesk makes tablet and mobile usage very straightforward and communication between office and remote employees easy and fast. The mapping features show where jobs are located and which staff are on site, but does not track the distance between jobs or employees. So if re-routing to augment work teams is necessary it can require some extra mental bandwidth.
The strong and intuitive scheduling interface allows sorting based on the day, week, or month. Users can easily get a quick glance of a schedule breakdown for employees with the daily calendar view. With mHelpDesk keeping track of payments and installed customer equipment is simple as is the creation of customer- and job-based reports. mHelpDesk’s elegant integration with Quickbooks makes monthly and quarterly financial reporting a breeze.
ServiceBridge also provides:
- customer record management
- GPS field tracking
- real-time job scheduling and dispatching
- job history tracking
- digital invoices
The ability to scan and create bar codes is particularly useful for businesses with custom or modified inventory items. And the cloud-based database, though standard in the FSM space, comes with unlimited storage and the ability to work offline when field users are too remote for a functional wireless connection.
When a team arrives at a location, ServiceBridge has a clock-in function that starts a job timer. This allows the office to track travel time independently from time on site. While at work the application shows field workers needed parts and provides detailed instructions about the job, as well as notes and file attachments.
Customers can sign paperwork and pay through the app and Servicebridge will then email a list of recipients the job data including payment information and any attached job photos. ServiceBridge, like mHelpDesk, integrates automatically with Quickbooks Online. This eliminates re-entry and the customer portal feature allows customers to view personalized information and request future services.
Jobber has a full set of the most common features in the FSM market including:
- Quickbooks online integration
- client communication tools
- client hub with 24/7 support
- client relationship management (CRM) tools
- GPS tracking with maps and routing
- invoicing and payments
- work requests
Jobber even has a few less common features like hazardous chemical tracking, batch invoicing, and available integration with the Xero cloud-based accounting software. Jobber’s customer relationship management (CRM) functions are also exceptionally strong. They allow users to set important reminders, drill through client history information, and search for clients, jobs, and invoices all in one interface. This makes identifying CRM challenges remarkably simple.
Housecall Pro’s exhaustive list of features include:
- GPS tracking
- batch and single invoicing and payments
- Quickbooks Online integration
- live chatting between office employees and field technicians
- customer SMS and email notifications
- quotes and estimates
- full-featured CRM
Where Housecall Pro really excels is in the marketing arena. It offers automated email and postcard marketing integrated with typical CRM features. This allows businesses to fully leverage their existing customer base and drive continuous business.
With Housecall Pro, the interfaces are intuitive, yet highly customizable, thus striking a balance that many mature software companies struggle with. This customizability makes it easy for business owners to have Housecall Pro working for them the way they want it to, rather than being forced to conform to an expected script of customer interactions.
mHelpDesk has a base cost of $95 per month for the service with a single user. It’s an extra $25 per month for each additional user.
ServiceBridge has a starting price of $50 per month per user, so it’s one of the more expensive options though according to their website they do estimates for clients with 10 or more users, contact ServiceBridge for a quote.
Jobber has three tiers of pricing. Core at $69/month (2 users), Connect at $129/month (up to 10 users), and Unlimited at $259/month (unlimited users).
Each plan builds upon a core set of features that offer the essentials for efficient service business operations. Jobber’s Core plan includes everything from quoting to scheduling to invoicing, to help run your service business operations. Connect has the same benefits as the core plan with more features that better connect you with your team members and your clients. And Unlimited fits larger teams and it works well for businesses with higher payment processing volumes. Quickbooks and Xero syncs don’t cost extra with Jobber and are included in every plan.
Housecall Pro also provides several tiered payment options. A $39 per month single user plan is the lowest level but still provides an impressive array of features. There is also the ability to add users or features for an additional $20 monthly per user or feature. The middle plan for 1-6 users at $109 per month adds additional marketing options, the QuickBooks integration, and employee time tracking.
Finally, there is a $199 monthly plan for unlimited users that adds the employee GPS tracking and additional reporting options. It should be noted that the plan prices above all assume a yearly commitment. The prices are $49, $137, and$ 249 respectively per month if billed on a month to month basis. Also, a $99 one time activation fee applies for all payment tiers.
The Right Solution
Though every one of these FSM software products are excellent choices, it’s clear there are some differences. Where Housecall Pro and ServiceBridge provide the most functionality with a variety of excellent benefits they are the more expensive options. Those with less operating income, a lower sticker shock threshold, or who simply aren’t sure whether an FSM solution will benefit them should consider Jobber and mHelpDesk. Both are easy to adopt and will quickly demonstrate their utility. No modern service business should remain without an FSM solution for too long, however. It’s only a matter of time before competitors will be out there using Jobber, mHelpDesk, ServiceBridge, or Housecall Pro to lower costs, increase customer satisfaction, and grow.
If you’re still having trouble deciding, then you’ve come to the right place. Use our product selection tool to browse solutions and get a custom recommendation, or call one of our experts for a free consultation.
An IT industry professional, Timothy Paulson has spent more than 15 years working in enterprise-level software development, support, and project management for Fortune 500 companies.