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5 SEO Tools for Painting Contractors

Posted By AltaVista Strategic Partners, Monday, September 18, 2017

This blog is providing follow up tools for painting contractors that are interested in
researching their current SEO after listening to the recent PaintED Podcast, "Busting SEO Myths with Aaron Hockel." 

Google Mobile Friendly Test: Use this test to determine if your current website is mobile
friendly and has a responsive design. This is important for all aspects of online
marketing, not just SEO, because more than 50% of searches and website visits take
place on mobile devices.

Moz Open Explorer Test: This is one of the best SEO software’s in existence and their
website offers tons of great educational content as well. The Open Explorer will let you
run a free test to see your current domain authority, how many backlinks you currently
have to your site and where they come from. Just put in your website to run this free test.

Digital Location Scan: Use AltaVista Strategic Partner’s free testing tool, powered by
YEXT, to scan your painting business’s name, address, and phone number information
across 60+ popular online directories. This scan will show you which sites currently have
errors and your overall percentage of errors. Building consistent listings across these sites
is a proven way to boost your SEO profile.

Google Page Index Request: It is estimated that Google crawls the entire web every 30 to
45 days to refresh its index of pages. This means you could post a blog and or build a
backlink that won’t get picked up for over a month. Use this tool to submit your new
content directly to Google. This is especially important if you have just created a new
website.

200+ Local Citation Directories: This list, while a little bit older, is a great starting point
for any painter that wants to begin building online citations for their business. The list can
be sorted by Domain Authority and it is good idea to start with higher domain authority
sites and work your way down the list. There are a couple directories on here that are no
longer around.

Have a question about these tools? The online marketing experts at AltaVista Strategic
Partners
will be happy to answer them for free!

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7 Great Questions Painters Can Ask Potential SEO Companies

Posted By AltaVista Strategic Partners, Thursday, September 7, 2017

 

This blog is providing follow up information for painting contractors that are interested in hiring an SEO company after listening to the upcoming PaintED Podcast.

 

Question 1: What is my current domain authority? 

Use the Moz tool above to know your domain authority before the conversation. Their answer should be the same or very close.

Question 2: How many blogs will you post to my website every month?

Any number between 1 and 4 is appropriate. An outrageous number of 20 or no concrete number should be considered a major red flag.

Question 3: How many do follow anchored backlinks will you build to my website every month?

There is no right number, but they should give you a realistic number which could be 1, 5, 10, or even 20. If they say something outrageous like 100, skirt giving any number consider that a major red flag.

Question 4: What is your strategy for building business citations in major and local directories?

There should absolutely be a strategy for, and it should include building accurate listing in at least 50+ directories. Follow up by asking them to provide 5 hyperlocal directories.

Question 5: What is your strategy for social media posts?

For this question, you are just looking to make sure it is part of the strategy and that it sounds reasonable – twice a week, we just share your blog posts, daily, etc. Every provider will be a little bit different in this area, but it should be part of the plan.

Question 6: How do we develop our keyword strategy?

Have them explain who will be responsible for developing the keyword strategy. Is it collaborative, is it on you, on them? Make sure they understand commercial or residential painting terms and ask them to provide a list of 5 to 10 keywords they think make sense for your business.

Question 7: What is your prediction for our success in 3 months?

This is a trap question. Their answer should be that it will take at least 6 months to start seeing results. If they promise “we will have you ranked number 1” – RUN! This is a promise no legitimate SEO company would ever make.

 

Want a free SEO consultation and proposal from an online marketing company that will already include the answers to all these questions? Contact the online marketing experts, and PDCA Members, at AltaVista Strategic Partners.

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Building a Business: DBK Painting

Posted By Estimate Rocket, Monday, August 28, 2017

I recently had the opportunity to speak with some Estimate Rocket users about their businesses. It was a wonderful chance to get to know our customers and learn about how they got to where they are today. In this series, we’ll share stories about what they did before, how they got started, and their experiences along the way.

This time, I had the privilege of speaking with Mike Kremsreiter, owner of DBK Painting.

What were you doing before you started your business?

I was actually working for a computer company doing inside sales. I was sitting at a desk making cold calls trying to sell technology, and painting on the weekends.

What made you decide to start a business?

I’ve always been good with my hands. My dad is a very hands-on kind of guy and I was always helping do little things around the house growing up. When I got to college, I was looking for a summer job, and painted with a few exterior painting companies for a couple of summers. It was something I realized I was really good at and enjoyed, so I picked up a lot of side work.

After college, I wanted to try to use my degree. I ended up in corporate America and didn’t like it. I was doing okay but I got tired of going to the office every day, being in the same place, and sitting at a desk. It just wasn’t fulfilling for me.

I was starting to make just as much money, if not more, painting on the weekends. I had a few big job opportunities come up and that drove me to decide to pursue painting as a full-time thing in 2003. The moment the word got out that I was available full-time and not just for side work or on the weekends, it snowballed.

What are the most difficult parts of running your own business?

The most difficult part for me is being able to turn it off. As a sole proprietor, wearing all of those different hats, it can be tough to turn off the business because you’re always thinking about it. The phone is always ringing, you’re always thinking about the next job and who’s going to be doing it. It’s really hard to say “I’m not going to answer my phone. I’m not going to pay attention to work right now. I need a break. I’m in family mode or I’m in personal mode.” It’s hard because when you have a free moment, you want to take care of something. You always have something on the list to get done.

A very difficult part right now in the trades is finding qualified individuals that want to come to work every day and want to learn and do an honest day's work. I can sell the work and provide a lot of work to my guys, but it’s trying to find the guys to do all those jobs that makes running this business difficult. This time of year gets extremely busy, no matter how well you prepare. The guys I have are pretty good. They’re self-reliant once you put them out there and do pretty well. I’m lucky to have them, but could use more guys like them.

What are the most rewarding parts?

The two things that I found very rewarding are building a brand and a name for ourselves, and providing a good service to our customers.

We do 95 to 98 percent residential work, so the jobs that we do are changing where our customers live and making it better. It’s always awesome to see their faces at the end of a project and how we have transformed their home. It makes people feel good when you do that work, so it’s very rewarding.

Being my own boss is also nice and I can create my own hours. I have two young children, and I’m able to be involved in their lives in the morning or be able to pick them up after school. The extra time I get with them makes the hard parts of owning a business very worth it.

What advice would you give to someone starting a similar business today?

Set it up as a business from the start. I took the long road to getting where I’m at in my business structure. I started off as a sole proprietor working for myself and when it came to the tax structure, I didn’t have separation. I was just basically a contractor working under my name.

It was less expensive and less paperwork, but I found the transition to having employees and separating of myself from the company hard to do. If I would have started my business right off the bat as either an LLC or incorporated, it would have allowed me to grow a lot faster and would have made taking on employees a lot easier. When I started hiring guys, I always treated them as subcontractors and 1099’d them. Technically they were probably employees by definition, but I didn’t realize it at the time and had to change my whole structure because it’s what was best for my clients and employees.

It’s hard to change in anything, because you’ve done it a certain way for so long you get very comfortable. Even though you learn there is a better way, you have to allow yourself to do it. Just pull the band aid off. Just change. You will be glad you did.

Also, try new technology and see how it can help you utilize the hours in your day. One of those examples of new technology for me would be Estimate Rocket. Transitioning was super, super difficult for me, because I had been using the same system for twelve or thirteen years. But I forced myself to jump straight in and cut the ties with my old system and now I’m so much more productive.

Where do you see yourself and DBK Painting in the next 10 years?

The first step for me was getting out of the field on a daily basis. When I made the transition to do mostly estimating and the management of the company, that allowed me to grow. Right now, the challenge of finding employees is holding me back a bit, but I need to force myself to not go work on a daily basis. Some business owners don’t necessarily have the knowledge to go and do the work, but I do, and I’m still enjoying it, so it’s hard to force myself not to go do that work, even though I can.

Since I want to be less involved in the field and the production, my next steps would be to hire a production manager and project manager or a combination thereof. They would take over those aspects so I can concentrate on the estimating, sales, and possibly work more with training our guys. In five to ten years I want to have all of those things in place, where I can step out of some of the day-to-day aspects and into the larger vision of networking and getting future work. Thanks so much, Mike for taking the time to talk with me about DBK Painting!

If you’d like to be featured in an interview, let us know by sending an email to support@estimaterocket.com. You can also reach out to us on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn!

Kayla Suhm, Logical Engine, Estimate Rocket

 

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Back to School Training

Posted By Federated Insurance, Monday, August 21, 2017

It’s Back to School Time

When you were a kid, going to school and getting passing grades was not optional—it was expected. And if you did not score well on assignments and quizzes, it would most certainly show up on your report card. Reflecting on all the classes and assignments, it’s evident now that your teachers were training you for something you would probably need later.

Never Stop Learning

Near misses and accidents indicate that something needs fixing

The sage advice that “it’s never too late to learn something new” can apply to work-related learning (a.k.a. training) just as well as daily life. Learning something new may help us not only do our jobs better, but often, more safely. The consequences, though, of not taking advantage when educational opportunities present themselves could result in a bad report card of another kind: costly mistakes, lost profits, fines, accidents, injuries, or even fatalities.

School is starting soon for the kids—how about for the grown-ups as well? This may be a good time to plan and carry out employee training, whether for new information or for a refresher

Deciding Training Needs

Begin by checking required training. Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace. No person should ever have to risk injury, illness, or even death for a paycheck. The unfortunate truth is that most OSHA standards were created as a result of harmful incidents. Training expectations for your type of business can be found at www.osha.gov. Search for “Training Requirements” in OSHA Standards.

Next, look at your company’s experience. Usually, near misses, accidents, and/or injury trends indicate that something needs adjusting. Both completed accident investigations and claims experience should be reviewed periodically. Your insurance company can help you. 

Deciding How to Train

The two more common forms of training are instructor-led and computer-based. Both methods have their place. Instructor-led jobsite meetings get everyone together at the same time to teach safety awareness and to provide training on current topics. Computer-based training works well for employee orientation, to train employees who were absent from prior sessions, or if an employee’s performance demonstrates a need for retraining.

Many technologies are available to help meet training objectives. Two offered by Federated are the Seven Minute Safety Trainer mobile app, designed to help manage and coordinate instructor-led employee training, and TrainingToday computer-based training with the built-in flexibility of a learning management system (LMS) to manage online training experiences. Both technologies have quality content coupled with the ability to schedule, track, and document employee training. Your local Federated marketing representative has more information.

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What to Know About SEO

Posted By Housecall Pro, Tuesday, August 8, 2017

How many times have you heard someone refer to SEO and wondered, “What on earth is that?” Everyone always emphasizes the importance of SEO, but what is it exactly and why should businesses be using it? 

We spoke with Organik SEO, a digital marketing agency located in San Diego, to learn all about SEO and how small businesses should be using it. When Organik SEO first started out, they focused exclusively on local SEO for service based businesses. Since then, they’ve expanded into other aspects of digital marketing and offer SEO, Google Advertising, social media marketing and more. 

Here’s what the team had to say on all things SEO:

What exactly is SEO?

SEO is the process of getting search engines to better understand and rank your website above your competition. SEO is really the foundation for any successful marketing campaign, since these days most of your customers are looking online to find a business. 

Why is it important?

It's important because in this digital day and age, your website is the best way to get in front of your potential customers when they are actively seeking out your service. As technology continues to advance, today’s customer adopts new behaviors faster than ever and you need to arm your business with tools to keep up. 

For your customer, making a purchase is no longer about picking up the yellow pages; it's about grabbing their phone, doing a quick search online and seeing which business comes up. Your customers are already looking for the services you offer, you just need to be able to show up at the right time.

Who should be using it?

If you own a business and have a website, you should be doing some level of SEO. You need online exposure to drive your business. Your website is your best sales tool and SEO is how you leverage it to its full potential.

What are some must do basic SEO tactics?

For a locally focused service based business, you need to start with a great website that is:

·         Mobile friendly 

·         Easy to navigate

·         Has strong “calls to action” 

·         Has easy methods to contact you via phone, intake form, email etc.

Additionally, the site should be built on a content management system (CMS) that makes it easy for you to update and add pages to your website so it can continue to evolve with your business. 

These elements will help ensure that qualified visitors will have a good user experience when they arrive at your website. Once that’s done, it's time to look at what we call “on-page” SEO elements. These are items that the search engines are looking at to try and decipher:

1.    Who you are 

2.    What you do 

3.    Your unique differentiators

4.    Your primary service offerings

5.    The geographic locations where you offer your services

Elements such as meta descriptions, title tags, image names, and headings are important indications to a search engine to determine your relevancy, yet are often overlooked. 

Once you’ve established proper on-page SEO you want to begin developing a stronger local SEO presence. The first step is to claim, verify and optimize your Google My Business page with the proper name, address phone number, URL, service offerings, images, etc. The next step is to work to establish listings and citations of your business on other directory websites such as Citysearch, Yelp, Kudzu, Yellow Pages, etc. Taking the time to properly build these out with robust information will help the search engines recognize that you are an established business within a local market. 

Do you have any overarching do's and dont's for small businesses that are just getting started?

DO: Earmark an annual budget and plan for digital marketing and SEO between $25-$100K - Think long-term, thrive long-term!

DON’T: Build a website on a content management system that you don’t own (i.e. Wix, GoDaddy, or Website Tonight)  and avoid budget hosting providers (that can result in website downtime, hacking vulnerabilities, backup issues, site speed issues etc).

DON'T: Work with a marketing company who seems to overpromise with lofty goals and KPI’s, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is (there is definitely no such thing as guaranteed organic rankings and they can not get you ranked #1 on Google tomorrow!). Be sure to hire someone that is transparent and wanting to educate you as to their process so you’re not just throwing money at something without understanding what you’re paying for. 

DO: Find a marketing company that will act as an extension of your business or bring someone in-house.

DO: Perform an SEO audit of your current site. Maintaining a website and your authority with search engines like Google is similar to maintaining a car, you have to perform routine diagnostics.

If you can share anything specific to plumbing or service professionals who you've seen or helped benefit from SEO, we would love to hear examples of it helping grow their business.

Our plumbing and service based clients have benefited most from online review strategies within their SEO campaigns. This helps in two ways:

1.    When you have a lot of online review you give your local rankings a boost within the Google search engine. 

2.    Consistent online reviews lead to more business for you with trusting customers

When it comes to local service industries, we’ve found that many users will research the credibility of the company their looking to work with. Online reviews help you go beyond online web pages and offer a stamp of approval from many other individuals in a given market. 

Our clients that have seen the most success from online reviews have made a point to use the review strategy across the business. We’ll consistently work with those clients on email templates, responses, and exploring all of the platforms available to get online reviews. 

Having an SEO strategy is a key factor to boosting your exposure and driving more business. Now that you know what SEO is and why you should use it, you can begin doing some of the new tactics we learned from OrganikSEO to grow your business. 

If you're interested in learning more, visit Housecall Pro at housecallpro.com.

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Cybersecurity and Small Business

Posted By Federated Insurance, Wednesday, July 19, 2017

It’s nearly impossible these days for businesses to operate without the help of Internet-connected devices, which exposes them to cybercrime. It’s the small- to medium-sized businesses, however, that are especially vulnerable: half are victims of cybercrime and nearly two-thirds of those victims go out of business.1 Hackers increasingly target small businesses because there is a low risk they will be caught and a high probability they will be successful. 

Maintaining personally identifying information (PII) on a computer connected to the Internet creates a nearly unavoidable risk. More than likely, names, addresses, and employees’ employment information are stored. If PII is acquired by someone without the authority to do so, in most states that is a security breach (data breach).

Banking, credit, and vendor account information is also vulnerable. Even if that valuable information is not stored on an Internet-connected computer, employees who have access to it can be duped into handing it over to criminal actors.

Best Practices and Security Tips

Tip 1: Train Employees in Information Technology Security. Training should be offered especially to those who are responsible for accounts payable, human resources records, and wire transfers. Training for all employees should be reinforced periodically.

Employees should be instructed to refrain from clicking links or attachments in e-mails, and not to pay an invoice until it’s confirmed that the sender actually sent it. Even if the e-mail appears to be from a trusted source, employees should learn to always copy and paste links or type URLs into a browser to see if the address is valid.

Tip 2: Funds Transfers. Put a policy in place to have an in-person or telephone conversation to confirm e-mail requests for funds or personal information. It can greatly reduce the likelihood of fraudulent transfers or information sharing.

Tip 3: E-mail Authentication. Phishing can be substantially reduced by verifying that the e-mail originated from the domain it is associated with. If your domain is hosted, it’s worth taking some time to look at how your e-mail is set up to ensure proper authentication schemes are used.

Tip 4: Change default passwords on your router and other Internet-connected devices.

Tip 5: Use a trusted VPN service when using WiFi.

Tip 6: Back up your data regularly both to the Cloud and to a removable device.

Tip 7: Update firmware and software regularly.

Security professionals used to strive for perfect security, but today they accept that goal is unachievable. Instead, they strive for optimal security by combining best practices with a risk management program that considers purchasing data compromise and cyber coverage through a knowledgeable insurance provider.

Cyber ShieldSM from Federated Insurance is a two-part coverage program designed to help provide essential protection against many of the critical cyber and privacy exposures businesses face. Data Compromise Coverage and Cyber Coverage can help your company recover from intentional or accidental breaches. Visit federatedinsurance.com for more information or to find your local Federated representative.

 

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Family Succession Planning with Trusts

Posted By Federated Insurance, Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The goal of most parents is to see that their children and grandchildren succeed. As long as the parents are alive, they can help their children as needed. But, what if the parents die? Family succession planning involves helping the next generation succeed by properly protecting their assets and incenting the type of behavior parents find appropriate. This can effectively be done using one or more forms of trusts.

Minor children – It is generally not advised to give an inheritance to an 18-year-old, but this could happen without proper planning. If a child is under 18 when the parent dies, the court will impose a guardianship. Generally, the inherited assets must be turned over to the child when he or she reaches legal age. Having a trust can prevent this. Think of the trust as doing what you would have done if you were still alive. It is unlikely you would have made a large gift to the child on his/her 18th birthday. Rather, you would make sure the child’s needs are met, college and perhaps a wedding is paid for, or you may want to help pay for a first house or to start a business, etc. The trust can be designed to do just that. Additionally, it can be designed to make lump sum distributions at certain ages. All things you would likely have done if you were still alive.

Special needs children –People who have children with special needs (physical, mental, emotional) can make sure the child’s needs are met after both parents are gone. Many of these individuals are eligible for public assistance of some type; however, if they inherit outright from their parents, they may become ineligible for the assistance until the inheritance is spent. Parents of special needs children should consider setting up a trust that will supplement the child’s needs without disqualifying him/her from assistance.

Children with chemical, gambling, creditor, motivation problems – For children with issues that a sudden influx of money could exacerbate, parents should consider putting the child’s inheritance into a trust for protection from themselves and from creditors and predators. The trustee could have the discretion to make partial distributions when certain milestones are met (e.g., chemical-free for a certain time period, credit under control) or for accomplishing certain goals (e.g., college graduation, dollar for dollar match of legally earned income, etc.).

Children’s spouses – Sometimes, parents are more concerned about their children’s spouses than they are the children themselves. If marriage stability, debt issues, etc. is a concern, the parent should consider putting that child’s inheritance into a trust that provides lifetime income to the child, but with an ultimate distribution to the grandchildren (bloodline trust).

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Pay new hires for onboarding prior to start date?

Posted By Federated Insurance, Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Question:

We will soon be implementing pre-employment online onboarding. As such, individuals who have accepted an offer for employment but are not yet employed will complete pre-employment paperwork including I-9, W-4, etc. on a one-time basis. They will also familiarize themselves with a few select policies. The paperwork is not burdensome. They can complete the paperwork on their own time at home and at any time prior to their first day. The paperwork is not part of the worker's assigned job duties.  Do the soon-to-be employees need to be compensated for the time it takes for them to complete the paperwork?

Response:

Yes. Generally, any time an individual spends under the direction and control of the employer is compensable, and this also would include time spent completing new-hire paperwork, training, testing and/or being oriented to a new job, even if this occurs prior to commencing duties. The best practice is to have employees report for work on the first day and go through the regular orientation and paperwork process, training, etc., thus making the "hire" and "start" or "onboarding" date the same day. In sum, the employer must ensure that new hires are properly paid for all time spent "working," even if this is only to fill out new hire paperwork and undergo training or orientation before commencing actual work and even if such tasks are completed from home.

Want to learn more about how to handle issues like this?  Click Here to listen to our podcast about pre-start onboarding.
 

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Paper or Plastic? Accepting credit cards in your contracting business

Posted By Estimate Rocket, Monday, July 17, 2017

Paying with credit cards is the norm for many people nowadays, but contracting business owners tend to steer clear of accepting them. This may seem like a safe choice, since there are fees associated with accepting card payments, but not accepting credit and debit cards may actually be costing you business.

Accommodating your customer’s payment options removes objections.

In the past, we've talked about selling, and giving your customer everything they need to make a decision. Method of payment is another decision they have to make, and by accepting credit and debit cards, you’re making it as easy as possible for your customer to take the action you want them to take - in this case, paying you!

Paying with a card is “friction-less” spending.

It’s often easier for people to spend more money when paying with a card because they don’t feel the same effects of paying a large amount with a card as with cash or check. Someone may spend more with their credit card because of the benefits offered, like cash back, points, or rewards for certain types of transactions. If there are additional benefits to using their card, it’s likely they’ll think less about bigger purchases.

So, how do you account for the fees?

Even though accepting credit cards has clear benefits for both you and your customers, you may be hesitant to start. The cost of fees may seem too high and, in some states, it’s illegal to charge a credit card transaction fee, but that doesn’t mean you have to avoid accepting cards altogether. By building fees into your original pricing and overhead costs, you can easily cover those fees. Let’s say you currently charge $40 per hour for your labor. If you increased that labor charge by just $1.50 to $41.50, the cost of a 3% credit card acceptance fee would be completely covered. Not all of your customers will want to pay with a card, though, so what happens then? An easy solution is offering a 3% (or the percentage of fees you’re paying) discount for customers paying by check or cash.

Getting Started is Easy!

There are a variety of options out there for accepting credit and debit card payments. The key is figuring out which one works best for you. Recently, we rolled out credit card processing in Estimate Rocket using Stripe, so you can easily accept payments online and have all of your invoice and payment info in one place! If you’re already using Estimate Rocket, check out this guide and this video about getting set up. If you’re not using Estimate Rocket yet, start your free 30-day trial here! Do you already accept credit and debit cards for your business? Let us know about it in the comments, on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn!

Kayla Suhm Logical Engine
Estimate Rocket

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The Secret to Success: Customer Service

Posted By Housecall Pro, Thursday, July 6, 2017

What do you think the most important factor is for your business’ success? Some might say it’s having good supplies. 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. 

If you’re looking to boost your customer service and want to learn more about how you could benefit from a field service management software, visit Housecall Pro at housecallpro.com.

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