Master Mechanic is an A.I. system for the HVAC industry designed to help service technicians diagnose and solve most problems in the field by having the technician describe the problem in normal language and Master Mechanic returning an easy-to-follow response.
The system was trained on 50,000 problem-solution interactions between a technician in the field with a problem and an experienced tech with a practical solution, with both sets of input drawn from Bluon’s database of historical tech support calls. According to Master Mechanic, the system understands a wide range of specific HVAC issues in virtually every system type and provides practical, step by step, easy to apply diagnostic and problem-solving suggestions for technicians.
The solution, also fluent in Spanish, has access to Bluon's brand-agnostic database of HVAC equipment, parts, and manuals to help find information needed for finishing jobs quickly.
Master Mechanic (in late-stage beta through 2023 and available on Bluon’s Mobile App and at www.bluon.ai) will be available in 2024, in an unlimited capacity, only to Bluon for Business subscribers.
Pricing: Bluon for Business fee per tech/month (see www.bluon.com/contractors)
ServiceNow Field Service Management (www.servicenow.com/products/field-service-management.html), built on the ServiceNow platform, utilizes automation, AI and generative AI capabilities and features a natural language interface. It offers a range of capabilities to expedite field service for customers, including for the field service contractor: Contractor Management, Crew Operations, automated Scheduling and Dispatch, Self-Service, Parts and Inventory, and Work Order Debrief.
The “smart” automated scheduling and dispatch capabilities use AI to help ensure the right technicians, in terms of skills, location, and availability, are sent to a project armed with the appropriate tools and resources, potentially decreasing travel time and costs and increasing first-time fix rates.
Technicians, using the ServiceNow Mobile App, have access to job details, customer information, collaboration tools, and contextual knowledge from a central platform, increasing asset uptime and improving compliance and reducing risk of contract breech.
How it works for HVAC customers, according to ServiceNow: A commercial or residential customer calls its HVAC service provider with the problem—e.g. rooms are not cooling. The provider agent sees the resident has a “priority plan” requiring a two-hour response and submits a Work Order Task in ServiceNow. That triggers an automatic scheduling to deploy an HVAC technician who, via mobile, receives notification of the job problem and potential parts needed to complete the task.
The technician is automatically given the best route to the jobsite and the dispatcher can see the technician is in transit. The customer is notified by SMS that the technician is on the way and can track the journey on a map.
Upon arrival at the jobsite, the technician determines the problem, checks the truck for any needed part, determines the cost of the work (factoring in any discounts), and if the customer agrees to proceed, performs the work. Upon completion of the job, the technician captures the customer’s signature on a mobile device and uses ServiceNow’s GenAI capabilities to quickly summarize the project.
Pricing: customers (HVAC service providers or manufacturers) pay for contractor licenses as per one of three user-based or transaction-based models.
Setmore (www.setmore.com) enables your business to add a “Book Now” button to your website, empowering you to accept online bookings from site-visiting customers. Additionally, it provides your team with 24/7 access to a mobile, real-time view of your schedule from any Android or iOS device.
You can customize your online Booking Page with logo and branding and display your services and service appointment availability.
Customers can book a service at their convenience and repeat customers can set up recurring appointments at their preferred frequency. You can implement the ability for customers to book from Facebook and Instagram.
The app enables automatic email or text reminders to customers before each appointment and sends instant notifications on new, rescheduled, or cancelled bookings.
You can connect your Booking Page to Square, Stripe, and Paypal payment solutions for accepting secure customer payments online.
Companies with multiple team members can create staff profiles to let those employees manage their own calendars and book their own clients. You can grant individual team members varied access levels, with managers able to see a full view of schedules 24/7.
Pricing: Free; up to 4 users per month. Pro 1-2 users, fee per user monthly; Team: unlimited users, fee/user/month.
Rize Reviews Repuation Management Software (www.rizereviews.com, 866/908-4948), suitable for small to mid-sized companies, enables monitoring and reacting to your online business reputation across digital platforms, third party publishers, and social media conversations.
How it works: You create and manage your customer database through a flexible (updatable) data management platform. Rize Reviews can place a website review widget on all your web pages to enable easy collection, storage, and display of customer feedback.
Rize Reviews also offers Online Reputation Repair Services that tackle negative reviews professionally with quick reputation repair online by dealing with them in a professional and strategic manner and, optionally, by reaching out personally to a customer with the aim of righting a situation and then encouraging that customer to write a new positive review. Rize Review, at additional cost, also offers personalized email and SMS campaigns to generate new reviews.
Pricing: monthly fee, free demo also available.
Patti Feldman writes articles and web content for trade magazines and manufacturers of building products. She can be reached at [email protected].