Successware continues to add data-driven features to its state-of-the-art business management platform. In September 2023, Successware launched a new Purchasing Wizard. This feature allows for the creation of purchase orders based upon restocking requirements (min/max or usage) or task parts lists. The Purchasing Wizard automatically creates an item list that identifies all of the items to be ordered. If the Read more
Successware continues to add data-driven features to its state-of-the-art business management platform. In September 2023, Successware launched a new Purchasing Wizard. This feature allows for the creation of purchase orders based upon restocking requirements (min/max or usage) or task parts lists. The Purchasing Wizard automatically creates an item list that identifies all of the items to be ordered. If the item’s PriceBook setup identifies a primary vendor, that information will be included in the list as well. The list is then used as the basis for creating purchase orders.
Successware, a field service management software company for the home service industry, has introduced new eBook resources for plumbing, HVAC and electrical business owners. Available now at Successware.com under “Resources,” these eBooks contain valuable insights that educate business owners on getting the most out of their business software. From case studies to questions to ask and features to consider Read more
Successware, a field service management software company for the home service industry, has introduced new eBook resources for plumbing, HVAC and electrical business owners. Available now at Successware.com under “Resources,” these eBooks contain valuable insights that educate business owners on getting the most out of their business software. From case studies to questions to ask and features to consider, they provide actionable steps that will help business owners manage and grow their business.
“Today’s leaders in the home service contractor industry have many helpful tools to assist in making day-to-day operations more streamlined and efficient, but the choices involved in running a business can become overwhelming,” said Paul Carmody, President of Successware. “By sharing these eBook resources, Successware has distilled the most common questions and concerns into roadmaps that guide these business owners in their decision-making process. Our goal is to help them improve productivity, save time and increase revenue.”
Three eBooks currently available from Successware include:
- Benefits of Running Your Business in the Cloud – more and more of today’s business owners are ditching traditional self-hosting in favor of a cloud-based platform software. This eBook shares the benefits cloud-hosted software can provide such as efficiency, productivity and security, that can lead to increased revenue.
- Increase Top-Line Revenue by Digitizing Your Business – the world of technology is constantly evolving, and it’s easy to feel left behind. This eBook helps to explain making the jump from running your business on paper to running your business in a digital environment, so businesses can grow and scale like never before. It also features a case study from one of Successware’s largest customers in California and the steps they took to digitize their business.
- How to Choose the Right Field Service Management Software – many business owners are evaluating the different solutions available to them and trying to make the best decision for their business. This eBook covers the need for field service management software, initial steps to take before reaching out to software providers and what to consider when making that all-important selection.
Successware continues to post helpful articles on these topics and more on the company’s blog and will be publishing additional eBooks in the future geared to assist HVAC, electrical and plumbing business owners with their growth and success.
Author: Michele Windsor, Vice President of Implementation and Training, Successware There is no doubt artificial intelligence (AI) is getting a lot of attention these days, and home service contractors are asking themselves a lot of questions about how, or even if, to use these tools in their business. Fear or uncertainty of the unknown can Read more
Author: Michele Windsor, Vice President of Implementation and Training, Successware
There is no doubt artificial intelligence (AI) is getting a lot of attention these days, and home service contractors are asking themselves a lot of questions about how, or even if, to use these tools in their business.
Fear or uncertainty of the unknown can cause us to feel stressed, but using AI to help your business run more efficiently does not need to create tension. These tools can help your team communicate with customers, schedule and dispatch with ease, and even manage and predict inventory needs. Let’s discuss a few examples.
Chatbots for the CSR Win
Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) are our front line and have a lot of responsibility as the one customers talk to first. When they answer the phones, they also have simultaneous tasks to complete such as looking up the customer’s record, active agreements, inventory that needs to be available related to their job schedule, etc.
One of the best examples of how AI tools can help a business – particularly in making the CSRs job go more smoothly – is also one that has been around the longest. Chatbots are everywhere we go online these days, prompting us to engage right off the bat. As technology is getting smarter, there are more and more analytics going into this exchange.
For instance, once you’re connected with a customer online and have their caller ID, AI gives you the ability to link directly to their service record. The chatbot can immediately offer options based on what it’s accessing in that record. What does this mean for the CSR? Time – and customer frustration – saved. The CSR doesn’t have to ask the customer to repeat their history, and they can make more immediate, positive connections, such as thanking them for their years of patronage.
As these chatbots grow smarter with algorithms and analytics and help us access more information, CSRs will see they have more time to address the main, more complex issues for the customer. For instance, AI can provide insight to predict customer trends based on seasonality. CSRs can then seamlessly ask the right questions and make the right decisions, and all the customer has to say is “Yes, thank you very much!”
Smart dispatching and inventory
Smart dispatching is an area in which AI algorithms can really help by recommending best dates and job times based on the customer’s location, service requests, the technician’s skills and their availability on the days the customer is requesting. AI can analyze historical information and identify patterns so much quicker than a human can. While we have to go back and look at several screens and review spreadsheets to figure out what that pattern looks like, AI can do it in seconds.
Also, don’t forget about inventory. AI breaks down seasonal trends and historical data to tell us we have X parts in our warehouse and we have X customers who are going to need this part. Analyzing the trends, AI can tell you you’re going to have X calls coming up in a certain timeframe. With this knowledge, you can have data-driven predictions about when you are going to need those parts before you need them, and you can safely invest in the inventory because the trend data supports it.
Putting AI to Work on Your Website
Many businesses today already have some form of AI on their website, even if it’s just a simple form collecting basic customer and visitor information. Many have business software that goes beyond that to handle the scheduling. Customers can log in and see their job history, scheduled jobs and equipment, and they can decide how they want to move forward. Online scheduling capability is one step forward to getting technicians out the door that much faster.
AI Offers Support, Not Replacement
There’s a lot of conversation in the media and in workplaces around the potential for AI to replace workers, so it’s important for business owners to squash those fears and reservations about embracing the technology. Communicate with employees, especially CSRs, that incorporating AI capabilities into their workflow will offer them a new level of support. They will be able to schedule more jobs and get off the phone quicker so they can go to the next job. For those on commission, that should be music to their ears. And for the company as a whole, it’s going to make everyone better.
Find The Balance
For all its strengths, technology can still be a bit impersonal if we rely on it too much. Using AI to its fullest is a balance game. Make sure you’re following up online interactions with a personalized email. It can be an automatic step sent through your system; the key is to communicate with the customer in an individualized manner.
Jumping into AI can be daunting. First and foremost, do your research. Really understand what AI is. It’s not going to replace all of your staff. AI is an intelligence behind the scenes that does some manual work to allow your staff to spend more time with your customers. Do your research on how this can help you. For dispatching, it can reduce the administrative burden on dispatchers. It can optimize your customers’ needs in real time by offering them the things they want most. It can get your technicians out the door faster and increase your profitability.
Do what you can to quell the fears with your employees. It’s not about a robot taking their job. It’s about getting resources in place to optimize your business so that your customers win, your employees have enhanced tools to do their jobs and your profitability increases.
Michele Windsor is an experienced leader with over 23 years’ experience within the software vendor space. She has expertise in management and optimization and has conceptualized and executed enterprise solutions for high-profile corporations. Michele is focused on increasing business efficiencies, growing revenue and improving operational processes. As Vice President of Implementation and Training at Successware, she is committed to a seamless customer journey and creating customers for life by helping them understand how to use Successware products to increase their business productivity.
Small business owners recognize the value of a powerful Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool. Storing and tracking customer communication history, job data, maintenance agreements, equipment history, and more, the right CRM can help a business grow its customer base and increase revenue. Many of us are most familiar with CRM software and its benefits as Read more
Small business owners recognize the value of a powerful Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool. Storing and tracking customer communication history, job data, maintenance agreements, equipment history, and more, the right CRM can help a business grow its customer base and increase revenue.
Many of us are most familiar with CRM software and its benefits as it relates to our sales teams. After all, they tend to be the primary users on a daily basis, capturing a wealth of useful customer information. But that same CRM data is a hidden gem for the marketing department as well.
Marketers have their work cut out for them these days. As attentions are scattered across more and more communication platforms, it has become necessary to increase marketing frequency. In fact, a potential customer usually requires about eight touches from a business or brand before a sale happens. Whether a business is looking to develop effective email marketing content, implement automation to assist with hands-free outreach or determine ROI on a campaign, CRM has tools available to help.
Just remember: it’s imperative to obtain the proper permissions from both current and potential customers before adding them to a marketing list. Once that step is taken care of, it’s time to start brainstorming your next marketing campaign and the messages you want to convey to these two different audiences.
For prospective customers, messaging is typically geared towards communicating why you are the best company and why they should want to do business with you. This is the time to separate your business from the competition, making a memorable impression that will stick with them when they go to book their next service appointment.
Since current customers are already familiar with your company and its services, the marketing message usually revolves around offering them special promotions or maintenance service agreements. Businesses may also want to provide them with helpful tips and advice that further position the company as the provider of choice in the industry and market.
CRM Tool #1 – Segment contacts for email marketing
Email newsletters can be a cost-effective marketing campaign solution to convey these different messages to both prospective and current customers. Email can help build relationships with customers and keep them coming back, and they are fairly easy to start. Even better, segmenting contacts into potential customers and current customers is generally accomplished easily within CRM systems.
For prospective customers, a newsletter is a place to feature your company’s products and services, as well as the expertise of your team. You can also include the ever-popular coupons or discounts, which typically attract new customers. They are also a great way to help increase awareness of services your company offers that people may not know about. If there is a type of job you offer but rarely have any customers who book appointments for it, offer a discount and see if it helps with awareness. Discounts are also effective for current customers who may be looking for a deal when it’s time to book an appointment.
Email newsletters also allow marketers to monitor the engagement they are achieving with these important contacts. By tracking open rates and click-through rates, a business can see what content is resonating. Sales can even use that information to follow up with a customer who may have clicked on an offer or link in the email but have not yet booked an appointment or service.
Establishing a routine cadence of email newsletter communication means your list of contacts will be seeing your brand’s name on a regular basis. Your company will be top-of-mind the next time they need a service you offer.
CRM Tool #2 – Automation
CRMs can help with automating outreach such as service reminders for upcoming appointments, maintenance agreement expirations/renewals, or reminders to schedule upcoming maintenance agreement visits. Some CRMs have the ability to create automated email sequences that potential customers will receive at predetermined intervals.
Consider automating a thank you email once a service is complete and including a link to review your business. Remind your customers that the best way to say thanks is by leaving a positive review. If they have easy access to leave a review, customers will be more likely to do so. Establishing a reputation for providing excellent service will go a long way in attracting new customers.
CRM Tool #3 – Track ROI and Lifetime Value
Over time, CRM systems will provide data that helps track the lifetime value of customers and marketing campaigns. Knowing where a customer came from, whether it was a form, website, social media, ad, etc., results in several things.
First, it allows a business to track where it gets the most leads and customer inquiries. Ads may be running on multiple channels, such as social media or local broadcast outlets. Compiling the information on where the leads are coming from helps determine where it’s worth investing more money. If an ad is not performing as well and not resulting in many customer inquiries, you may want to consider stopping the ad and putting that money towards a platform where you see a return.
Businesses can also begin to track the lifetime value of a customer based on jobs they have completed or any maintenance agreements they have. Seeing how much revenue and profit that customer has driven over time and tracking that back to the lead source helps a business determine the lifetime value of its marketing campaigns and lead sources.
These are just some of the ways CRM software can be used to develop effective marketing plans and create new marketing tools that will help recruit and retain customers. Don’t let the sales team have all the fun with CRM; encourage your marketing team to start accessing all of that valuable customer information today.
Chris O’Grady has been in sales for 30 years, focusing on software sales for the last 20. Chris has been leading and growing sales teams for most of his career, with his most recent positions at FinancialForce and CBORD, where he led high-performing sales teams and was able to help drive tremendous growth for each company. In April 2022, Chris joined Successware as the Chief Sales Officer. He brought with him a proven history of business growth and increased sales performance. In his current role, Chris leads sales, sales operations, and customer success and is responsible for driving sales strategy.
Cloud Hosting, Intuitive Interface and Complete End-To-End Business Analytics for HVAC, Electrical and Plumbing Professionals Successware, a business management software company for the home service industry has introduced its new state-of-the-art platform based on next-generation technology. Available now, the upgraded platform boasts a simpler, more intuitive interface, data-driven features and secure cloud-based hosting. Professionals in the HVAC, electrical Read more
Cloud Hosting, Intuitive Interface and Complete End-To-End Business Analytics for HVAC, Electrical and Plumbing Professionals
Successware, a business management software company for the home service industry has introduced its new state-of-the-art platform based on next-generation technology. Available now, the upgraded platform boasts a simpler, more intuitive interface, data-driven features and secure cloud-based hosting. Professionals in the HVAC, electrical and plumbing industries are now able to access a complete end-to-end business management solution with mobile application that makes day-to-day operations streamlined and efficient.
For over two decades, the Successware® Classic software platform has been helping customers in the trade industry manage and grow their businesses. When developing the new platform, Successware was able to build upon the popular functionalities of the Successware® Classic software while adding enhanced features that elevate the user experience and offer the most comprehensive functionality in business management software on the market. Updated features include:
- Analytics-Driven Reporting Dashboard: The analytics-driven reporting dashboard allows clients to see key performance indicators and advanced data analytics at a glance. This tool shows total revenue, gross margin, cost of goods sold and more in one convenient location, giving users access to essential business data to help them drive decision making.
- Call Handling: The call handling screen is now more intuitive and allows users to collect customer information to help schedule jobs more easily. The call handling screen automatically updates scripts and available appointment time slots with the time slot capacity management feature as job information is entered, such as call reason, job class and job type.
- Dispatch Assistant: The brand-new dispatch assistant makes it easy to assign technicians to jobs with a drag and drop feature. Users are able to see who is available for the job, the technician’s skill set and travel distance between job sites.
- Cloud-Hosted: Hosted in the cloud, the new platform gives businesses the benefits of increased uptime and security, scalability, data backup and disaster recovery, freedom to work anywhere and more.
“We have fostered trusted relationships with our customers over the past 20 years and have been carefully listening to their feedback every step of the way,” said Rohit Change, Chief Operating Officer of Authority Brands. “The new platform launch is a culmination of that insight combined with ground-breaking technology to help trade professionals take their businesses to the next level with advanced analytics, a fully integrated communications platform with voice, text, and email and many additional marketing tools. We know our dedicated users will find this feature-rich platform to be an essential tool in their business management and look forward to helping them streamline their operations through our best-in-class customer service for years to come.”
Like the Successware® Classic software, the new platform provides all-in-one business management solutions integrated with its mobile application. In addition, Successware’s back-office software still offers a full suite of features such as sales and marketing, field tools, contactless payments, integrated accounting, online learning, omni-channel communications and more.