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Smartphone Buying Guide for Service Contractors, Part 3: Smartphones, Tablets or Both?

September 23, 2015

Once a service contracting business makes the decision to adopt ServiceTrade, the conversation almost always shifts to making device decisions.

We covered one factor of this decision, Android or iOS in Part 2 of this series. In Part 3, we will take a closer look at the software-related factors for deciding between smartphones, tablets, and the in-between phablets.

Relevant Differences for Service Companies

Let’s start with the biggest differentiator: Phone calls. This is the top of the decision tree. Since we can’t make audio-only cellular phone calls from tablets, the question seems to be one of whether your techs will have just smartphones or smartphones and tablets.

Most tablets offer benefits in terms of processing power and screen size. They also give techs:

Think about the impression it makes on customers when your technician approaches them at the end of the job with a tablet that has photos on a work acknowledgement for their signature. This is the type of customer experience that will wow your customers and strengthen those relationships.

Most smartphones have better cameras and video recording features. Smartphones are also better for:

The differences related to device size, processing power, camera features, application availability, and battery life lead software companies like ServiceTrade to build native applications for both device types to take advantage of their respective strengths.

ServiceTrade on Smartphone and Tablets

The ServiceTrade smartphone application has all the features technicians need to clock in and out of jobs (whether or not they have a signal), get job details, service details, deficiency history, and record rich media to document what they’ve done.

The ServiceTrade tablet application has everything in the smartphone app, plus features that take advantage of the larger screen size. Tablet users like the larger screen to fill in forms, and prepare the job summary work acknowledgement to review with the customer on-site for their signature.

The biggest difference is that ServiceTrade’s tablet app allows you to create and review a work acknowledgement and the smartphone app does not. Users who want to collect customer signatures through the application will need tablets. Smartphone users simply have customers sign printed paperwork, and photograph the paperwork to save the signature in the job history.

But seriously, what devices should I buy?

Yes, I skipped over the complex technical comparison between smartphones and tablets both within and across the iOS and Android ecosystems. There are companies that have built their expertise and spend their days helping service companies answer that question.

One of those companies is ServiceTrade’s integration partner Integrated Communications. Their experts will help you choose the right device for the environment your techs work in, and put it into their hands loaded with ServiceTrade, and ready to go.

The fourth and final installment of this smartphone buying guide for service contractors will delve into where and how to buy, the pros and cons of having techs BOYD (bring your own device).

Part 1: Rugged vs. Consumer Devices
Part 2: iOS or Android?

Coming up:
Part 4: Where to Buy

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