Rolling out over the next few days (beginning May 8), you will see a single Contact Phone number for your contacts. This is the number that you (or your technician) will use to get in touch with the customer. Kickserv can also send automatic messages and reminders to this number, if it belongs to a mobile device.
Why the change?
The very first version of Kickserv's field service software was built in 2006. That's almost fourteen years ago! Cordless phones were all the rage in the home. The fax machine was the center of the office. Your technicians probably carried pagers. And your customer screen looked like this:
Look at that list of phone numbers. Alt? Fax? And what about the main number? Is that a mobile phone or a home phone? Who knows?
Things have changed since then. Most of your customers probably don't even use a landline anymore, and we bet that you haven't sent many faxes lately.
Worse, there were no formatting guidelines when entering those old phone numbers. When we started looking around our database, we found lots of number fields that were not phone numbers at all. Many had multiple phone numbers in them. Many more contained letters or words. And while "8675309 Jenny" might make a great song title, Kickserv cannot automatically send a text message to an unformatted number.
So we've cleaned up all those old phone numbers. That allows us to do some pretty useful things. Like send invoices by text, and let them pay right on their mobile phone. Or send your customers automatic notifications with an ETA once the technician is on the way.
Where did that Contact Phone number come from?
We made a highly educated guess at which of your customers' phone numbers were likely to be primary, and tried to tidy them up for you. We used a mobile number if one was present. If not, we used the old primary phone field. In some cases, your customers may have entered a number themselves in the Customer Center. If so, we prioritized those numbers.
Where are the other numbers I entered?
They're still safe and sound. Nothing has been deleted--repeat: no phone numbers were harmed as a result of this change. If you have more than one number for an existing customer, you'll see a control labeled Additional Phone Numbers. Click it and those other numbers appear. In fact, if for some reason we incorrectly set the primary number for you, you can easily override our choice by clicking Make Primary next to one of the other numbers. Done and done. You'll want to make Additional Contacts for any of those old numbers that you want to keep, though (see below).
Added bonus: if you look closely at the screenshot above, you'll see a little crossed-out-mobile-phone badge next to the primary number. This indicates that the number cannot receive text messages--either because the mobile box isn't checked, or because the customer opted out of receiving them. Hover over the badge and you'll see the reason.
What if I need to add more numbers?
More numbers (and email addresses) can be stored in Additional Contacts. In fact, to make this easier, we put some new options (Add another phone and Add another email) to create more while you're adding a new contact.
Additional Contacts are more flexible than an arbitrary group of phone number fields and give you the ability to structure your contact information for your unique business needs.
My customer's primary number has an extension. How do I enter it?
It seems like everyone is using text messages these days, so entering a mobile number is probably the better course of action here if at all possible. However, you may have commercial customers with an office phone system that don't want to use personal mobile numbers. That's fine too. See that new checkbox under the phone number?
Know what kind of phone number can't receive texts? The kind with an extension. So just uncheck the box, and watch an extension field magically appear.
Will my QuickBooks™ sync be affected?
For the time being, we left QuickBooks™ and Xero™ sync alone. Whichever numbers were syncing to your accounting system before will continue to be synced. If that number ever changes in QuickBooks™, you'll want to copy the change into the new contact number. We plan on updating sync behavior to include the new contact phone number once we've finished our phone number cleanup.
What about the mobile app? Will my contact numbers appear correctly there?
We're glad you asked. To read about corresponding changes to the mobile app, follow this link.
All in all, we hope this gives you a simpler, faster way to stay in touch with your customers, and we think you'll really enjoy the added possibilities like texting invoices and on-the-way messages.