Jobber or Service Autopilot — which one is better for managing your lawn care business? That depends on the size of your business, with Jobber the clear choice for small lawn care businesses and Service Autopilot pulling ahead for bigger companies.
Choosing either Jobber or Service Autopilot — or any of the other 10 Best Software for Lawn Care options we highlighted — for your lawn care business can make a huge difference in your efficiency, operational costs, and profitability. Different programs provide different features, which affect companies differently based on their size, location, and the types of services they provide.
According to LawnStarter’s independent research, Jobber and Service Autopilot ranked second and third in popularity, capability, and value. In this article, we’ll compare them side-by-side to help your business make the right choice.
Specifically, we’ll take a look at:
- Jobber vs. Service Autopilot: Side-by-Side
- Jobber’s Key Features
- Service Autopilot’s Key Features
- A Buyers Guide to Lawn Care Software
- Lawn Care Software FAQs
Jobber vs. Service Autopilot: Side-by-Side
|Pricing Model||By features||By features/users|
|Best for||1-50 users||1-1000 employees|
|Made for||Small field service businesses||Medium to large service businesses|
|Mac/PC Desktop App||✓||✓|
|Billing & Invoicing||✓||✓|
|Work Order Management||✓||✓|
More small businesses choose Jobber over Service Autopilot, and on paper, it’s easy to see why. Jobber is less expensive and presents as a more user-friendly option. For new pros or smaller operations, Jobber is the economical option.
However, for lawn care companies with four or more vehicles, Service Autopilot’s automation programs make it the champion of this smackdown. For large-scale lawn care businesses, Service Autopilot is the clear choice.
Jobber’s Key Features
Jobber provides a complete business suite that helps you manage your lawn care business. Its user-friendly interface lets you schedule appointments, optimize routes, generate quotes, and process payments. With the mobile app, you can stay up-to-date on your business from the field.
Jobber has a 14-day free trial and multiple pricing plans, so you can get the services you need without paying for the ones you don’t. From the very beginning, Jobber is customized to your field.
This helpful video introduction gives a good overview of Jobber’s features:
Jobber: Browser Version
I took a dive into Jobber’s free trial to find out how easy it is to use. The free trial allows access to the browser version and mobile app. The downloadable desktop version is for paying users only.
The browser interface is clean and clearly labeled. When you first sign into Jobber, you’re greeted by this home page:
As you can see, the most vital information is laid out in three columns. It displays your active quotes, active jobs, and unpaid invoices.
Jobs and Payment
The first step to scheduling a job is to create a client profile and generate a quote for their service. The client builder tool is simple — just add their name, email, address, and phone number, and you’re done.
This is also the step where you can choose to communicate with this client via text message.
Once your client profile is online, you can start working on a quote. After selecting your client, you can choose to quote jobs from the following list of line items:
- General Maintenance
- Leaf Removal
- Mowing (weekly and biweekly)
- Pest Control
- Spring Cleanup
- Weed Control
- Yard Cleanup
I’ve scheduled our client John here for a weekly mowing service. The next step is to set the price per line item (your rates will vary based on location, yard size, etc.), and send the quote along via email to your customer. You can also give quotes a 1-5 star rating based on how likely you think they’ll hire the job. This is a smart way to stay organized and focused on the most likely customers.
After your customer approves the quote, via email or text message, you can convert your quote directly into a job. The job screen allows you to schedule the time and track the progress of a given task.
You can easily schedule jobs as one-offs or recurring events. Once a job is on your calendar, you can assign a crew member or team leader to that job.
When a job is marked complete, Jobber will prompt you to generate an invoice, which can be saved as a .pdf or sent to the client as a text message or email.
Jobber Payments is the easiest way to collect payments from customers. Because it integrates with the invoicing system, customers can pay in seconds online or in-person with the Jobber card reader mobile accessory.
This next part will discuss the back-of-house portion of Jobber’s software. Jobber allows you to track and approve employee timesheets, create expense reports, and view a variety of analytics such as projected profits and taxes.
Expense reporting is simple. You record the item, cost, and details of the purchase. You can also scan and attach the receipt.
If an employee made the purchase, you can select their name from the drop-down menu and they will automatically be reimbursed on the payroll.
Note that the payroll software is only available with the “Connect” and “Grow” payment plans. Users of the less expensive “Core” plan will have to import Jobber’s timesheets and reimbursements into separate payroll software.
Tracking time is easy. This list automatically populates with information when employees clock in and out on the mobile app. You can approve their hours and reimbursement requests from this screen.
Jobber: Mobile App
The Jobber mobile app is pretty straightforward. The home screen features a daily progress gauge that shows how many of your assigned jobs have been completed. This is the primary tool your employees will use to track time and work.
As you can see, the mobile home screen displays the same general information as the Jobber browser home screen. In fact, from this mobile screen you can perform the same essential tasks as the computer version right from your mobile device. For an industry like lawn care that takes place almost entirely in the field, this is invaluable.
The mobile app also features your personal schedule and a time clock.
Routing and GPS tracking are available starting with the “Connect” plan. It was not available for me to use in the free trial.
The mobile app handles client interactions not handled by the business administration tasks listed above. For analytics, payroll, and expense reports, you’ll need to access Jobber on a Mac or PC.
Customer reviews praise Jobber’s 24-hour support which is always on-call to help deal with complications as they arise. Within five minutes of activating my free trial, a Jobber representative called me to offer help walking through the program.
For a more detailed look at Jobber’s features, check out this review:
All in all, I was very impressed with Jobber’s ease of use. The interface is clearly labeled and the site is easy to navigate. The mobile app is self-explanatory and provides the tools needed for employees to get jobs done fast.
- iOS and Android mobile app
- Route optimization and GPS tracking
- Dispatch and job scheduling
- Quote generation
- 24-hour support
- QuickBooks integration
Packages at $29, $99, and $199 per month with an annual contract.
✓ 14-day free trial
✓ Multiple pricing plans
✓ iOS and Android apps
✓ User-friendly, even for beginners
✓ Well-reviewed customer support
✗ Messy QuickBooks integration
✗ No integrated field communications
✗ Tough to assign backups
✗ Requires internet connection to use
- “Is a great product and does what they say it does. It’s a great tool for helping you run your business.”
- “I first started using Jobber almost 5 years ago when I decided to test out the free trial. Since that day, I have continued using the software and have grown my business over 400%”
- “I love how easy it is to use for us. Easy to explain and show someone how to use it when that person isn’t tech savvy.”
Service Autopilot’s Key Features
Service Autopilot is an efficient tool that keeps your lawn care business running smoothly. It automates customer interactions, billing, and crew management, saving you hours of paperwork. With features like Smart Maps for route optimization and GPS tracking, Service Autopilot makes team management easy, too.
Service Autopilot is not the cheapest option on the market, but it gives you access to a vast range of tools and features. With advanced dispatch options, this is a great choice for companies managing four or more vehicles.
Unlike Jobber, (or LawnPro — we compared LawnPro to Service Autopilot previously), Service Autopilot does not have a free trial version. Instead, they offer guided demonstrations to potential customers.
Here’s what I found out by taking their free demo.
Service Autopilot: a Guided Tour
From the beginning, the representatives at Service Autopilot were helpful and informative. They guided me through their software and answered my questions clearly. They made it easy to understand what Service Autopilot does, and how it exceeds other software on the market.
When you log onto Service Autopilot, you’re greeted with a home screen outlining your daily to-do list.
Service Autopilot also puts your time clock on the first screen for convenience.
The CRM screen lets you sort your clients in any way you want, by name, date of last service, etc. It also allows you to send mass messages to all clients, or selected groups.
A client’s page contains their service history and can be linked with your email to file all correspondence with them in one place.
From this screen, you can schedule recurring appointments and one-time jobs. You can choose to invoice after each service or on a monthly basis. Your schedule populates automatically and assigns crews to each set of jobs based on the optimal route. You can edit settings to assign a specific team to a client.
Service Autopilot also has a separate snow removal scheduler. Your clients sign up for snow removal ahead of time and SA will automatically generate your schedule when snow falls in your area. All you have to do is click one button to dispatch your snow removal crews.
The Client Portal gives customers the ability to make service requests, view invoices, and pay directly online. The client-side is fully customizable and puts you in control of the actions your clients can take.
In addition to processing credit cards, customers can pay with ACH, aka a direct bank account transfer. This allows both you and your customers to skip credit card transaction fees.
Service Autopilot is set apart from other lawn care software suites due to its automation capabilities. The program can generate automatic client correspondence, event-triggered jobs, and marketing materials. You can set triggers to contact customers based on time (i.e. “every six months”) or specific events (i.e. “rain delay notification”).
Here’s an example of the kind of email Service Autopilot will automatically send after service:
Another key technological advantage of Service Autopilot is its Smart Maps feature. Smart Maps lets you take a property’s dimensions and estimate services. You can adjust leaf removal prices based on the number of trees, mowing costs based on square footage, and more.
Smart Maps can also generate leads from houses along your routes and create marketing materials to solicit their business. They partner with SendJim to generate professional mailers for potential customers.
Service Autopilot Mobile App
Because this guided demonstration of Service Autopilot was via a Zoom call, I could see the specific workings of only the desktop version. We discussed the mobile app briefly.
Service Autopilot uses two separate mobile apps. The first is for use by the business owner or anyone designated by the owner to have access to the full software. It allows the top-level management to access CRM, job scheduling, dispatch, and estimation software in the field. The main account holder or owner can select the exact privileges each user has and the features they can access.
The second mobile application is for team leaders. Unlike other software, in which each team member is required to clock in and out on the app, this keeps your crews accountable by designating a single leader to manage their subordinates’ time cards. This also means that you need fewer people to have mobile access. This is important because additional mobile users cost extra.
Service Autopilot Cost
That, of course, brings us to Service Autopilot’s one major flaw. This software is expensive. It’s the most advanced field service software on the market, but the most useful features are hidden behind paywalls. Each mobile user is an extra fee. Each office (desktop) user is an extra fee.
The majority of Service Autopilot automations are available only on the “Pro Plus” plan, a whopping $247 per month. Even with the most advanced plan, Smart Maps and two-way QuickBooks syncing are an additional monthly fee.
Service Autopilot Summary
Service Autopilot is the most advanced field service software on the market. It has the most robust customer support system of any lawn care software, offering round-the-clock chat and phone support. SA’s staff is knowledgeable, friendly, and exceedingly helpful.
Service Autopilot’s prices pushed it to No. 3 on our ranked list of the Best Business Software for Lawn Care Pros. If you’re starting out as a lawn care pro, the price point may put this software out of your financial reach.
We recommend Service Autopilot for companies that have already turned a profit and can afford to use the more expensive features. If you can afford them, the marketing tools can help your business grow rapidly and turn your company into a lawn care empire.
- iOS/Android compatible
- QuickBooks sync
- Payments and invoice
- Marketing tools
- Multiple payment plans
Service Autopilot offers packages billed at $47, $97, and $247 per month with a one-time $97 sign-up fee.
✓ Free trial and 30-day return policy
✓ Includes marketing tools
✓ Wide range of tools and features
✓ Well-reviewed customer service
✗ Premium features cost extra
✗ Less user-friendly for beginners
✗ Additional users cost extra
- “Great company to work with, amazing customer service, and they are always working on developing new features with new technology. Highly recommended.”
- “This software has an entire arsenal of capabilities compared to the cost. It’s a small investment for a product that saves time and money in a ton of ways.”
- “It can become expensive as mobile users are added. It can be difficult to learn because it is complex. Once you understand the system, it is not difficult to use.”
A Buyers Guide to Lawn Care Software
What is lawn care software?
Lawn care software is any computer or mobile program that helps a lawn care business run efficiently and maximize cash flow. Most business software marketed toward lawn care companies provides a similar range of features detailed below:
Manages employee timesheets and schedules lawn care customers for one-time or recurring services. Most business software automatically arranges a schedule for maximum workflow.
Job Tracking and Management
Assigns employees to specific lawn care jobs and tracks hours worked to provide accurate pricing to customers.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
These tools help you keep track of your lawn care company’s relationships with new customers and reach new ones. These tools include: service history tracking, complaint management, and communication.
Tracks all services performed for a lawn care customer’s account and sends bills upon completion of service.
Displays the most efficient route to perform all jobs on a daily schedule. Reduces wasted time and fuel costs. Some software includes real-time route updates reflecting delays and cancellations.
Equipment and Inventory Management
Keeps track of your lawn care machinery and inventory of supplies (herbicide, fertilizer, etc.) Some software will alert you when equipment is due for maintenance or you need to resupply your inventory.
FAQ About Lawn Care Business Software
Jobber is the top-rated software for small- to medium-sized lawn care businesses, based on our research compiled from several independent tech review sites. Service Autopilot is the industry leader in business software for medium-sized businesses and beyond.
Depending on the features you need and the size of your company, lawn care software costs can range from $20 to over $250 per month. Some services offer multiple pricing plans with different sets of features, and some lawn care business software costs are based on the number of users.
Yes. LawnPro (profiled in our 10 Best Software Options for Lawn Care Prosre comparison piece) has a free version available, and Yardbook, also landing in our top 10, is an entirely free platform supported by advertisements. Additionally, almost every option on the above list has a free trial or demo available.
Which Lawn Care Software is Best for You?
Both Jobber and Service Autopilot are good choices for your lawn care business, but which one is better for you? That depends on your company’s size and your business needs.
There are other options as well. LawnStarter’s platform offers route optimization and handles all of your billing. It works well with free services like LawnPro and Yardbook.
If you have questions about LawnStarter’s platform and ways you can better use the services, call or text LawnStarter Pro Support at 855-800-4872 Monday through Saturday.