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Housecall Pro blog

Everything you need to succeed as a Home Services company in a digital world.

TOPIC: Success

The Secret to Success: Customer Service

June 27, 2017 • What do you think the most important factor is for your business’ success? Some might say it’s having good equipment. Others might say it’s the people you hire that make your business successful. While those are very important contributing factors, we believe that the most influential key to consistent and long-term growth is your customer service.   But what does great customer service look like? Maintaining a healthy relationship with your customers is a lot more than just greeting them with a smile and providing them with quality service. In order to improve your customer retention and boost repeat business, you need to form a relationship with your customers, letting them know you value their business while leaving a lasting impression. We know how stressful it can be to manage your business and keep up with all of your customer relationships, especially as your company expands. With everything being automated and on-demand, it has become more and more difficult to keep up with customer expectations and show them that you appreciate them. Luckily, we have help from field management software to help boost the quality of your customer service and keep your customers coming back for more. We’ve narrowed down the three most impactful ways you can improve your customer service: Communication is Key How many times have you had to fix issues with customers that are upset because of a miscommunication? Sometimes communicating with your customers and employees can be difficult. Wires get crossed, information gets lost in transition, and misunderstandings happen all the time. It can be difficult to maintain communication with customers and employees, especially with multiple appointments scheduled in a day lasting anywhere from 40 minutes to 4 hours. These communication issues are far too common and leave a negative effect on how your customer views you and your business. The best way to solve your communication issues is to create an open line between you and your customer. One way to do this is to send your customer notifications and updates from start to finish. This line of communication begins by confirming that the job has been scheduled. Once you’ve ensured that you’re both on the same page, your next step will be to send them a message to let them know you are on your way. This will show your customer that you value their time just as much as you value your own. If it’s a long job, it’s important to keep them updated on the progress. You should let them know about any updates or setbacks and notify them when the job has been completed. Once the job is finished and you’ve received their payment, you’ll want to make sure they receive their invoices and are notified that the payment has been processed. Being able to do all of this from a field service management software will save you both time and money, while also creating a record of your interactions for reference later. You’ll find that by having a record of your communication with your customer helps to prevent possible miscommunications in the future. Make it Convenient In a world of smartphones, your customers are used to a high-tech lifestyle, where almost everything they want is available right at their fingertips. This makes having access to online and mobile payments, invoicing, and booking a necessary convenience to keep up client retention. As a customer, you can pay for almost anything online or with a phone. Your customers practically expect to be able to pay on the spot with their receipt delivered straight to their email. Now, with field service management software, you’re able to do just that. Having the ability to send your customers their estimate or invoice and processing their payment while you’re on the job adds the value of convenience to your transactions while giving you peace of mind knowing that your payment is being collected on the spot. Similarly, this same convenience can be found through scheduling your appointments. Many of your customers are constantly on the go, making it difficult to find the time to call your office to book an appointment. By giving your customers the option to book online, you’re giving them the freedom to schedule their appointment on their own time exactly the way they want to. The convenience of booking through your website, Yelp page, Facebook or a third-party app, also saves you time and increases business. Customers that find you online can schedule a job with you right away, automatically appearing on your calendar and reducing the risk of being forgotten, double-booked or lost in translation. Keep it personal While technology is great for making sure your customer remains satisfied, a big fear amongst business owners is the risk of losing the personal connection you have with each other. However, with many field service management apps you can not only maintain that personal relationship, but you can also expand it. You’ll notice that as your business grows, so does your customer base. Sometimes keeping track of each of your customers and maintaining a relationship with each one can be a job in itself. It can be easy to lose track of who they are and all of their personal details, but with features like customer notes and tags, you can keep all of those personal details organized and easy to access within your app. Another feature that helps grow the relationship with your customer is direct and digital marketing. By sending them automatic reminders when it’s time for another service, or extending a special offer to your most loyal customers, you can drive more business for your company while also letting them know you care about them. Field service management software doesn’t just help you run your business more efficiently, it also helps you drive repeat business and maintain long-lasting relationships with your customers, ultimately saving you time and money. With enhanced customer communication, booking and billing convenience, plus consistent marketing, you will be able to offer your customers something that your competitors don’t while staying top of mind for existing customers. Additionally, it reduces your chances of having an unhappy customer, eliminates unnecessary work, reduces your hourly costs, and prevents any miscommunications. There are so many resources available, that are built to help manage your business. We recommend that you research your options and choose the solution that works the best for you. In order to make sure that the software you choose is the right one for your business, see if it provides all of the key features that are essential for enhancing your customer service.  

Kindra K., Marketing Coordinator

customer service

2017: The Year of the Customer

March 2, 2017 • The New Year’s Resolution Dogma As our calendars reset to a brand new year, we often find ourselves composing an endless list of goals and resolutions. New Year resolutions normally revolve around family benchmarks, lifestyle changes, fitness regimens, and business goals. Sound familiar? If you said yes, you fall into the vast majority of the population. There is nothing wrong with having goals, aspirations, and benchmarks. The problem is that we find ourselves incredibly discouraged when these shiny new resolutions fizzle out in a fiery blaze of disappointment. We start off the year enthusiastic, and when we fail to meet those goals within the first several months, we throw in the towel. There are two main reasons why New Year’s resolutions fail. The first is that we tend to set insanely overreaching and unrealistic goals. The second (and most notable) reason is that we select the WRONG goals because we jump to the desired end result rather than focus on the root drivers that will make that end result possible.  As an example, let’s use a typical business goal: “I want to make a $1,000,000 in revenue for my business by the end of the year.” The problem with this goal is that it jumps to the end result, the 1 million dollars, instead of focusing on the goals that will make this end result possible. Setting an end result goal will almost always be frustrating because it is the equivalent of you making your way through a maze without a map. The Root of Success You may be asking yourself “how do I map out my goals?” Defining that you want to achieve $1,000,000 in revenue for your business by the end of the year is fine, but without a clear roadmap of achievable benchmark goals, the end result will fade away. By changing our perception, we can redirect our goals to smaller, more transformational increments. It’s no longer about achieving $1,000,000 in revenue, it's about realizing where the root driver of that money. Is it coming from jobs? If so, who’s booking these jobs? Most likely, customers have chosen your business to solve their problem, whatever that problem may be. Doing some more analysis, we start to see consistencies and patterns about our customers. Why have our customers been so happy? Was it the experience that they had? Was it a specific employee that our customers liked? Was it our amazing customer service? Figuring out these answers becomes an incredibly important task. Understanding why your business is making money helps you take advantage of possible opportunities. Word-of-mouth business is key to boosting your organic referral business. If you are losing out on new business opportunities because you are so wrapped up in the day-to-day operations of your business, ask yourself if there is a way to change things up. By doing so, you can avoid a dip in the quality of your work, while still gaining new valuable customers. As you see, getting to know who your customers can really help build a road map to help you replicate success and gain more qualified customers. So how do you really get to know your customer? Knowing Your Customer Getting to know your customers is easy, but it will take some due diligence, and more importantly, a change in perspective. When you start to get to know your customer, you begin to notice trends and similarities. These trends and similarities start forming what is referred to as a ‘customer persona.’ Don’t let this fancy term scare you off, though. Customer personas are simply combinations of  buying behaviors in terms of frequency or consistency, pain points and struggles, universal goals, wishes, dreams, and a general demographics all coming together to form a customer ‘type.’ You may find that customers have intertwined personas. This information is extremely beneficial and crucial to the success of your business. Why? Because knowing your customer persona will significantly help you target potential new customers that match that persona. The better understanding you have of your customers, the better your business can do. When you have a better grasp of your general customer base, you can begin to segment and target exact parts of your customer base. For example, if you see that your customer base has decreased in age consecutively for the past 3 years, you could assume that trend will continue, and therefore establish a plan to target a younger generation of customers. So how does this help you? With information like this, you will gain a better understanding of different mediums to target your customer base, which will also help you target more qualified customers that are more likely to want your services. It gives you a good idea of where to spend your precious marketing dollars in order to maximize new customer acquisition and current customer retention.    The Times Are Changing So where do you target these specific customers? At the grocery store? At the coffee shop? Maybe, but probably not. As you know, technology is becoming increasingly unavoidable. Just as with technological advancements, customer expectations are also rapidly changing. What does that mean exactly? In short, consumers are becoming vastly dependent on the internet to find service professionals to fill their needs. How does this relate to you and your business? Customers, especially younger generations of customers, have certain expectations. These demands are shifting small business’ focus to providing millennials with the experience they expect. Millennials are expecting convenience at the push of a button. Companies that have identified this trend have quickly pivoted to offer more convenient methods of customer interaction. This doesn't necessarily mean that you need to set your business to 24/7 on-demand status. It just means that you have to expand your capabilities to facilitate an easier, more hands-off, seamless experience in the places your customers expect to find you. Without adapting to this persona, you could face significant customer acquisition roadblocks. Not only will this hamper new business, it may also marr the loyalty with your existing customer base. The Technology Curve So how do you adapt your strategy to appeal to these younger millennials? The answer is to leverage technology and let it do the heavy lifting for you. The first thing we need to establish right off the bat is that the entire world is shifting from desktop computer-driven behavior to mobile. Everyone has a smartphone, everyone is on social media, and everyone is almost permanently glued to their devices 24/7. This is GREAT NEWS for businesses because it provides an amazing platform to reach the right customer, in the right place, at the right time. New technology tools are constantly being created and updated to expedite businesses workflow, shifting focus from day-to-day administrative operations, to the actual professional craft. Also, it is important to note that the old adage claiming that technology is for rocket scientists is simply no longer true. What will happen if you and your business doesn’t adapt? Ignoring these new and innovative tools will prevent you from reaching these new and eager customers. These new technology tools aren’t meant to scare you off, they’re meant to be assets to help you and your business. Adapting will lead you ahead of the curve and in line with the masses of customers that want to use you. Online Booking Demand Now to the nitty gritty. So what do your potential customers expect of you? The answer is simple: they expect EVERYTHING. They expect to be able to find you easily, to validate the quality of your service, to book you directly, and to indulge in an amazing, seamless, personalized experience. They also expect everything on-demand, instant, and easy. So how do you deliver on these unrealistic expectations? We could write an entire book to answer this question, but let’s tackle the simple things you CAN do right away to give you a considerable head start advantage. Have you heard of Yelp!? I’m sure you have. Yelp! is the leader for business discovery as well as overall lead generation. 78% of all people who use review sites rely on Yelp! when searching for local service businesses. Even more staggering, 82% of people who go on Yelp! intend to buy. Those aren't small numbers by any mean. Customers aren’t only looking on Yelp! to find local businesses, but they are also looking to book you online as well. An overwhelming and undeniable trend towards purely digital booking is becoming an expectation a business can’t live without. Customers want to be able to book their service online without having to call in. This has been the progression of mobile technology and expectation, especially for millennials. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a740uWjMr30 Be Where Your Customers Are Your first business goal in 2017 should be to make yourself available for booking where your customers expect. Platforms like Yelp!, For instance. Whether your customers can book you directly on your website, directly on your Yelp! business page, or on an application, they’re all means to help you and your business align itself with future customers where they spend their time. The great news is that there are amazing tools out there designed to help you get booked online. With these booking features, you can not only expect to gain new customers, but also provide a seamless, loyalty buffering experience.

Kindra K., Marketing Coordinator

Yelp online booking hero

Approaching Female Customers as a Service Business Professional

November 8, 2016 • Interacting with your customers is one of the most important parts of running a service business. If a person doesn’t like you, or feel comfortable with you in their home, they are far less likely to become a repeat customer. Knowing how to appropriately interact with female customers in their own home is key to helping them feel at ease. Follow the advice below and you’ll be golden! Personal Space is Your Friend Keep an appropriate amount of space between your female customer and yourself. Particularly if she is the only one home, be mindful of the fact that you are in her house by being respectful of her space. You should also be wary of sneaking up on your customer. Let her know what rooms in the house you will need to visit and in what order. If you want to go over anything with her when you are finished with your work, let her know ahead of time and ask where you will be able to find her when you’re finished in order to avoid wandering around her house. Be Respectful The importance of being respectful to your female customer simply cannot be overstated. Showing respect to both the customer and their home will go a long way. Make sure you are not tracking dirt through their living room, or leaving your equipment lying around their house. Being courteous also involves using respectful names for your female customers. Avoid calling them hon, dear, or sweetheart as it can often lead to them feeling uncomfortable. The best way to avoid awkward name situations is simply by sticking with calling them by whatever name they use when they introduce themselves to you. Keep Your Language Neutral You never know a customer’s views on a particular subject, so it’s important to keep your language neutral. Don’t make crude or inappropriate jokes that have the potential to make a homeowner feel uncomfortable. This advice applies to all customers, but is particularly important to be conscious of with female customers. If you’re ever in doubt of how a comment will be received, don’t say it. Build Trust The most important thing you can do to make a female customer feel at ease is to establish trust. The customer is letting you into their home and one of the biggest questions they are asking themselves is “can I trust this person?” If the opportunity arises, let them know a little bit about yourself, like why you started this business and what you love about it. The less they view you as a stranger, the more they will trust you. This will help build a good working relationship between you and your customer, which will ultimately lead to them booking you again!  The bottom line when dealing with female customers: treat them with respect. Respect their homes, their belongings, and their families during your visit and you’ll end up with more repeat business then you’ll know what to do with!

Kindra K., Marketing Coordinator

Woman signing contract with man in blue overalls

Get 5x More For Your Marketing Dollar

August 28, 2016 • Investing in marketing is crucial to growing your business, but how do you ensure you aren’t throwing away your hard-earned cash on failed attempts? There are endless options when it comes to marketing your business, and some are more successful than others. Types of Marketing Direct Marketing: When you think of marketing, you’re likely focused only on methods for finding new customers, or direct marketing. Be sure to check out this article for ideas on how to go about acquiring new business. Re-Marketing: Reaching out to past customers to spark more repeat business, reviews, and referrals. This often-overlooked element of marketing can greatly increase your revenue, at a lower cost to you! Meet your new secret weapon when it comes to increasing revenue: your existing customer base. That’s because re-marketing is actually 5x cheaper than finding new customers. Not only that, but it's also 2x more effective! What gives? Re-marketing is much cheaper and more effective than direct marketing, that’s due to the fact that your past clients have already done business with you, so they are much more likely to book your services again than someone who is totally unfamiliar with you. Ready to start re-marketing? Read on to learn the different types of re-marketing that you can use to see a major spike in business. Thank You Re-Marketing Do you thank your customers after you do business with them? Step it up by sending an email or postcard after each job to make your customers feel appreciated. It’s such a simple gesture yet it is so often forgotten. Top-of-mind effect: Sending a “thank you” note keeps your business fresh in your customers’ memories, plus it ensures that your information is readily accessible for the next time they require your services. Seals the experience: Expressing your gratitude after your job is done leaves your customers with positive feelings about your business. Customer loyalty: Thanking your customers builds their loyalty to your business. Customer lifetime value (CLV): How much you profit from a customer throughout your entire future relationship with them. CLV is increased when you send post-job “thank you” notes. Bonus tip: Include a plea for reviews or referrals mixed in with your message to make your thank you marketing do triple duty! Reminder Re-Marketing Don’t expect your customers to remember when it’s time to schedule their next appointment with you. Just assume they’ll forget, so be sure to remind them! Reminder marketing has the highest and most direct ROI out of all the different types of re-marketing. Timing: Important factor consider when engaging in reminder marketing. Determine your company’s schedule for sending out reminder messages based on how frequently customers need your services. Upsell: Use reminder marketing as an opportunity to encourage your customers to purchase upgrades or add-on services. Cross-sell: Kill a few birds with one stone - let your reminder marketing inform your customers about additional services you may offer. Bonus tip: Offer special discount or promotion to compel your customers to book you right away! Get tips for running successful promotions here. Referral Re-Marketing Despite the world going digital, word-of-mouth marketing definitely isn’t dead. Referrals have the potential to be your cheapest marketing channel. When your customers are pleased with their experience, they are likely to tell their friends and family about your business, sometimes without you even having to ask. High conversion: Referrals are likely to turn into customers than other types of leads. Increase CLV: Referrals that become customers 16% higher lifetime value than customers that came from different channels. Incentivize: Set up a referral program and offer rewards to make your customers even more compelled to participate in growing your business! Bonus tip: Give your customers two options instead of one. If you ask for either a review or referral, your chances of getting at least one improve compared to if you only give one choice. Since both reviews and referrals are invaluable to your business, it’s a win-win scenario for your business! Focusing on building customer loyalty truly pays off in the long run. Make sure you invest your marketing dollars wisely by not forgetting about your past clients! One last piece of advice for your re-marketing efforts is to boost your efficiency by automating the processes. There are many different marketing automation platforms out there, so explore the options and find the one that works best for your needs.

Kindra K., Marketing Coordinator

Cartoon rocket taking off

How to Make Your Business #1

July 22, 2016 • How do you rise above the competition? Whether you do business in small town or big city, there will always be others vying for the customers in the same market. Find out what you can do to show that your business is the best! HouseCall Pro is excited to announce that we’ve been named as the top field service management app by GetAppfor the 3rd quarter in a row! So, we know a thing or two about ranking above the competition. We want to show you how you can do the same with your business. Here is our advice: 1. Step up your customer service. Make your customers happy. Deliver a level of service that goes above and beyond their expectations. Strive to provide the best possible experience for every customer, new and old. Satisfied customers will be happy to sing your praises! Providing high quality service will give a boost to your business’ reputation, referrals, and reviews. 2. Boost your reviews. Ask and you shall receive! Getting more reviews is as simple as making it a priority to ask for them. Make it as easy and convenient as possible for your customers to write you a review. Send an email after each service such as a “Thank You” message (bonus points if you do it through marketing automation and save time). Include hyperlinks to where customers can review you. Send a friendly reminder so your customers have another opportunity to write the review, but be careful to avoid spamming them. Remember that they are doing you a favor, so express that you are appreciative of their time and thank them if they do post a review! 3. Increase your social media following. Establishing a strong social media presence will show that your customers care about your business. When people search for information about your business, they will be sure of its legitimacy when discovering a large audience on your social media profiles. Further, you can also leverage social media to attract new business through campaigns and promotions, which will prove to be more effective when you have more followers and likes already. 4. Improve your communication and organization with mobile technology. Show your customers that you are reliable and trustworthy. When you are on top of your appointments, your customers will be less likely to consider ever doing business with your competitors. Also, by keeping your customers in the loop, such as through automated notifications when you’re on your way to their home, their respect for you will grow. Luckily, increasing your level of communication and staying organized doesn’t have to take up all of your time. You can let technology help you gain the loyalty of your customers! Of course you want customers to choose your business over competitors and to keep coming back forever. By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to showing that your company is heads above the rest. Win the lifetime loyalty of your customers by mastering your trade as well as the art of building a company that customers love.

Kindra K., Marketing Coordinator

GetApp 2016 Category Leader

What Kind of Boss Are You?

July 6, 2016 • How do you motivate employees to achieve your entrepreneurial dream? Leaders come in many shapes and sizes. Learn about the different styles of leadership and how you can use them bring out the best in your team! Authoritative:  Authoritative leaders create a vision for the company and motivate employees to achieve it. This type of leader inspires their team yet provides minimal direction, allowing employees the freedom to innovate. Authoritative leadership is effective at driving employees to contribute to a common goal, but it is not ideal for employees who are inexperienced and need extra direction. Example: Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, was a true visionary. He imagined the future and set out to make an impact on the world. True to the authoritative leadership style, Jobs inspired his team to carry out his vision while also offering them the opportunity to be creative. While Jobs was a     who rejected and criticized many ideas, he stayed true to his vision and maintained Apple’s high standard of quality in its products. Jobs’ leadership allowed Apple to revolutionize technology and change the way that humans interact with each other and their environment. Affiliative: Affiliative leaders focus on caring for the needs of individual employees and establishing unity among the team. Affiliative leaders emphasize employee morale and build it through positive affirmations. Business leaders are cautioned to avoid using the affiliative leadership style exclusively, since too much focus on relationships can lower employee productivity. Example: The Dalai Lama is a leader who teaches people about     and caring for others. He exemplifies the affiliative leadership style by connecting with people all around the world and highlighting the importance of forging strong, loving relationships. Coaching: Coaching leaders guide the individuals on their team toward personal and professional development. Coaching leaders help team members grow in their strengths and overcome weaknesses. For businesses, this leadership style is effective when aiming to help an inexperienced employee develop their skills. Example: Mr. Miyagi in Karate Kid coaches his student, Daniel, toward growth and discovery. My. Miyagi provides Daniel with a     to overcome, teaching him to balance strength with kindness.  Coercive: Coercive leaders give direct orders and expect obedience. At the opposite end of the spectrum of affiliative style, coercive leadership is more likely to include harsh criticism than praise. Coercive leadership is only recommended during a crisis when time is of the essence. If used too frequently, coercive leadership can damage employee morale and decrease motivation. Example: The United States military employs coercive leadership. The goal of this style of leadership is to     in military recruits. Coercive leadership in this context also works to break down individuality and replace that with a sense of duty to one’s country.  Democratic: Democratic leaders place a high value on the input of their team members. Democratic leaders value taking a group consensus before making decision. This style of leadership gives employees a sense of involvement and influence in business processes. Democratic leadership is helpful for tapping into the team’s collective wisdom, but it should be used with caution when team members lack experience and knowledge.  Example: Richard Branson, billionaire   and   founder of the Virgin Group, embodies the democratic leadership style. He believes in truly     and implementing their ideas. Branson advises hiring employees who are strong in your areas of weakness so that you can learn from them and achieve harmony in your team. Pacesetting: Pacesetting leaders place extremely high expectations on their team members. Pacesetting leaders set the bar high for employee performance, leading by example. This leadership style can increase business efficiency, but can also contribute to employee burnout. Pacesetting leadership is most beneficial when team members are already motivated and skilled. Example: Jeff Bezos, founder   and   CEO of Amazon.com is a pacesetting leader. Amazon employees report the     expected of them while working for this technology giant. Although Amazon is often criticized for its near-impossible expectations of employees, yet this productive culture has led it to become the largest Internet-based retailer in the United States.  So, what kind of boss are you? Since the above leadership styles are effective in different circumstances, choose the styles which you believe will work best for your team and incorporate them as needed. As Steve Jobs once said, “The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.” Believe in yourself and your employees. Inspire yourself and your team to accomplish your goals.

Kindra K., Marketing Coordinator

Guy giving thumbs up with a green background and woman with hand on head with white background

Schedule & Price List Updates

June 12, 2016 • Drag & Drop Unscheduled Events into your Calendar Customer needs to reschedule but doesn't have a set date or time yet? We've got you covered. Now you can drag your unscheduled jobs to save them for a later date. Price List Customization You don't have to be in front of a computer to edit your price list anymore. Do it all right from the palm of your hand. All unscheduled job or estimate events can now be dragged and dropped into a time slot on your schedule. You can access your unscheduled events on the job calendar by clicking on the 'Unscheduled' tab on the top navigation bar. Next to the 'Unscheduled' tab you will see a red number indicating how many unscheduled events are available for drag & drop. A drop-down section will appear showing all of these unscheduled events. Simply drag and drop any of these event blocks directly into the schedule and you are ready to go. Price List Customization You can now customize your permanent price list from your iPhone. The 'Price List' section can be found in the 'More' icon at the bottom right hand corner of the app. When you select the tab, you will be taken to a list of your current active industries. From there, you can click into the appropriate industry and create new services or update existing ones (as shown above). Your new services will show up across all devices and on the web portal. Questions about New Features or Need Help? Chat with the Customer Success team in your web portal (through the blue bubble on the bottom right-hand corner of the screen), or email pro@tryhousecall.com.

Kindra K., Marketing Coordinator

Schedule and price list updates

Web Portal Design Updates

May 15, 2016 • Web Portal Design The navigation bar is moving from the left to the top.  Reporting Run all the stats you need to keep track of business, right in your dashboard. Bigger calendar, Roomier job details page, Whiz-bang reporting We will soon be releasing our brand new web portal look and feel! The first thing you'll notice is that we have moved the left side navigation items to the top. This move frees up valuable screen real estate for better feature visibility. The image above gives a sneak peak of what the new portal will look like: 1. + add new  Create new jobs, estimates, events, and add customers.   2. Dashboard Generate custom reports by filtering your job data.   3. Calendar Access your full calendar.   4. Customers Access your customer database.   5. Map View all of your customers on a map.   6. Postcards Create, edit, and launch custom postcard campaigns.    7. Email Compose and initiate rule-based email campaigns.   8. Customer App Control your customer app settings.   9. QuickBooks Online  Connect with Quickbooks Online with one click. Import job history, customers, and price lists.   10. Settings / Help Access knowledge base and tutorial videos. Edit your company settings.  We have made these changes to help streamline your experience with HouseCall Pro and are planning to release the new look and feel mid next week.  Questions about New Features or Need Help? Chat with the Customer Success team in your web portal (through the blue bubble on the bottom right-hand corner of the screen), or email pro@tryhousecall.com.

Kindra K., Marketing Coordinator

hero for new dashboard

What’s the #1 Field Service Tool?

April 29, 2016 • Running a field service business is easier when you can do it from the palm of your hand. That’s where field service management apps come into play! A team of researchers at GetApp ranked all of the FSM (field service management) apps available and the results are in... Housecall Pro leads the charge as the #1 field service management app. GetApp has awarded Housecall Pro with this honor for the 2nd quarter in a row. Housecall Pro is excited to earn the top rank once again! To calculate each app’s score, GetApp evaluates and scores them in 5 different categories: reviews, integrations, mobile, media, and security. Housecall Pro’s high scores in each category led it to surpass all of its competitors in the overall ranking. GetApp field service researcher, Suzie Blaszkiewicz, said “Having a functional and intuitive mobile application is especially important when it comes to FSM in order to be able to connect the field workers with the back office in real-time, and Housecall Pro delivers a mobile application that's garnered positive reviews from users.”  So, a superior mobile experience and plenty of glowing reviews helped boost Housecall Pro to its leading position. “Additionally, having a solution that integrates with other applications is especially important in order to be able to streamline processes and improve workflow, a factor that's also contributed to its top spot in the ranking,” Suzie elaborated. The app’s integrations with Quickbooks accounting software, Google Maps, and Google Calendar also played a role in raising its score. While these additional integrations come with premium membership, Housecall Pro also offers a free version with many of its core features. Try it out in the App Store or Google Play store today! While Housecall Pro is thrilled to maintain its top spot, the team behind the award-winning mobile software is committed to continually improving the system based on feedback from customers.

Matt B., Marketing Coordinator

Housecall pro Winner

3 Tips to Make the Most of Tech

April 21, 2016 • In the HVAC industry, this female trio is making their mark by running a thriving business. How did this dynamic trio contribute to the company’s growth? Michele, Jeanne, and Kelsey of Scotty’s Heating & Air Conditioningunderstand that technology is their friend, not foe. Other service businesses seeking success can learn from this advice: 1. Organization can be your new best friend.   Scotty’s Heating & Air Conditioning has grown significantly since opening for business in 2012. Like all new businesses, they started with the simple pen and paper technique. As business started booming, Michele realized that handwritten invoices were not going to cut it and began searching for a platform that would grow with them, as well as save them time, money, and even space in the long run. For the Scotty’s team, they wanted a solution that would help them “consolidate [everything], be more efficient and appear more professional.” The obvious solution was to go paperless.The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates the average office uses 10,000 sheets of paper per year, which can really add up over the years and overcrowd the office space. Rather than keeping confidential files in the office, storing documents digitally takes no physical space and protects your files with layers upon layers of digital security. For businesses like Scotty’s, this eliminates the risk of misplacing important customer files and only gives certain individuals permission to access these documents. When it comes down to the numbers, going digital means the office can annually save $80 per employee. 2. Communication is key.  As they say, “time is money” and increasing efficiency is one of the best ways to save time. Take it from the leaders at Scotty’s, efficiency is very important in running a business with no hiccups. All three women work in different offices across San Diego. As Kelsey explains, “One of us can input something and then a minute later, I can see exactly what happened and it just makes things so easy for us!” The collaboration that real-time connectivity provides for your team safeguards against miscommunications and improves the overall efficiency and profitability of your business. This allows business owners to see exactly where their technicians are on a live map, as well as which job the technician is working on. Staying connected with real-time updates can not only make a world of a difference, but also help your relationships with customers. People enjoy the feeling of getting special treatment, so the more synced up you are with your employees, the easier it is to stay actively engaged with customers. 3. Customer experience can skyrocket through technology.  In the field service industry, it’s crucial to focus on customers, since service professionals deal with customers face-to-face on a daily basis. For the trio at Scotty’s, they believe it is important to genuinely care about customers, because they are the most important aspect of the business. In fact, the team’s main objective is to make sure they really get to know their customers and what their customers’ needs are. As you could imagine, knowing the needs of countless customers can become an insurmountable task, so Michele, Jeanne, and Kelsey made finding technology to help them a top priority.  In this digital age, customers expect the highest quality of service possible with the digital standard that they are accustomed to in their everyday lives. The businesses that make use of technology to help streamline the process for their customers are most likely to deliver this technology-driven customer experience. Scotty’s alerts their customers with notifications when their technicians are on the way to jobs, along with photos of who will be performing the service. After the service call is complete, Scotty's sends additional messaging to their customers informing them of the job completion. Customers are delighted to be kept well informed through the job process and are more likely to book Scotty's services in the future. Some time after the job is completed, Scotty’s also sends automated thank you emails to their valued customers in order to bring the experience full-circle. Even though all of these customer touch-points are automated, Kelsey ensures that they add a personal touch. Just knowing that customers are always given up-to-date information at the push of a button helps the Scotty’s team feel prideful of the quality of customer care they provide. Do you want to deliver exceptional customer experiences through technology? There are lots of tools out there to help with ensuring that you provide the best service possible. The key to truly understand is that technology can be a great tool to enhance all customer-facing processes. Refining the customer experience is also an endless journey, as businesses can always find new ways to make it just a little bit better. 

Matt B., Marketing Coordinator

ScottysHVACBlog