Blog Archives

New year, new possibilities with QuickBooks

Presentation1Happy New Year! The new year brings a world of possibilities but after the hustle and bustle of the holidays, unfortunately, it’s time to get back to work!
Are you sitting in your office wondering how you are going to prepare your company’s taxes this year? Always a daunting task even if you are fortunate enough to have an accountant! There are still records to pull, invoices, receipts and all other sorts of paperwork to prepare.

In 2013, why not make it a point to be more organized and take control of your company’s information and documents with a workforce management system along with QuickBooks?

The new year offers a starting point to create organization within your company which will give you more time to talk to customers, or even find new ones! When you integrate a workforce management system with QuickBooks the dividends are immeasurable, here are some of the benefits:

  • Gain control over your service technicians
  • Increase customer satisfaction by communicating directly
  • Give you service technicians increased visibility of their workload and expectations
  • Reduce billing times by invoicing instantaneously

Next week, Service Proz, will release an informative video on how your workforce management system integrates your customers and scheduling easily with QuickBooks. With your company’s scheduling and customer information 100% mobile and all stored in the cloud, the possibilities for your home service company are endless!


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3 Marketing Essentials for Home Service Businesses

You can have the best appliance repair company around; you can be a cleaning company with excellent customer service and reviews; or you can excel in other ways as a top home service business, but without marketing your company properly, it will not grow, no matter the quality of your products or services.  There are three marketing essentials that are necessary to the success of your home service business.

1.     Know What You Are Selling

This may seem obvious but it is an essential starting point – know the intimate details of the products and services you are selling.  Be able to answer every question that’s related to, well, anything!  Price; how it works; what the customer will receive; how long it takes; why you and not a competitor of yours; guarantees; support; discounts; the list is almost endless.  The point is, if you don’t know what you are selling in minute detail, then how would you expect the customer to understand and commit themselves to making a purchase?

 2.      Website

Your website is this century’s business card, store visit, and first impression.  When people are looking for a service, the first thing they do is search for it online.  If you don’t have a website, or you have a poorly designed website, you are losing customers, straight off the bat, to your competitors.  A good website instils a sense of trust in a potential customer.  It is their window (literally…customers really do window-shop online!) into your business and how you operate.  Hire a quality website designer to build your site.  It may cost more originally, but it will pay off in the long run.

 3.     Call to Action

A call to action is a direction or request that you give a potential customer.  On your website this might be a “Contact Us” button, or “Get a Free Quote” button.  With print marketing, this could be a coupon sent to customers urging “Hand this to your technician on their next visit for 30% off.”  The idea behind a call to action is to get potential customers and current customers to take action in engaging with your company.  You are essentially giving guidance which will lead to a sale.  Calls to action imply urgency and often coerce consumers into believing they need your company’s services right now.

Take a look at your home service business.  Do you apply these marketing concepts to running your business?  If you do, give yourself a pat on the back, but don’t take your eye off the ball; this requires continual focus on your part.  If you don’t, then start implementing them now to help you on a path to success.

What Do Your Home Service Customers REALLY Want?

Customer service is an integral part of business at any company, and good customer service can be the difference between a successful and failing company.  Why is that?  Because customers are the bread and butter of any business, and the way your company attends to your customers’ needs and demands determines their loyalty to your brand.  Sometimes though, in any company, it is hard to cater to exactly what your customers want.  When you start a home service company, or help to manage one, there is generally a specific vision in mind for how the company is going to be run, what services you are going to offer, and how you are going to appeal to your target market.  However, you want to make sure that you are also considering what it is that customers want from YOU, other than the services you provide.  Doing so will help you provide effective customer service so here are five things that customers want from their home service company.

  1. Knowledgeable staff: Home service customers want the people providing them with services to be experts in their field.  After all, they are entrusting you and your staff with one of their most prized possessions; their home.  If you are a cleaning company, ensure that your staff can communicate effectively with your clients, including a thorough knowledge of the products you use and what steps you take when cleaning to maximize health benefits.  Provide a background of your company emphasizing your expertise.
  2. Friendly staff: Customers are also looking to have a good relationship with the people at your company, as well as trusting that your staff is well-informed and skilled.  Customers want to interact with courteous, friendly, staff members.  This shows that your company values the customer’s business and that your staff enjoys their jobs.
  3. Good value: This is where the price matters. Customers are looking to get what they paid for.  They are looking for quality service for a low price.  They look to have their expectations exceeded.  However, price is only one component of the “value package.”  Customers consider good value to be a combination of price, service, and experience.  You may be a plumbing company that charges a little more an hour then your neighborhood competitor.  However, if part of your service includes explaining everything you are going to do and providing an estimate before starting a home project, wiping the floors and cleaning the area when you are done, and then following up with the customer the next day to see how the repairs are, a customer will probably consider your services to be of good value.
  4. An online presence: In this day and age, customers want to be able to go online and find your company.  They look for a clear, well thought-out website that visibly displays what services your company offers, contact information and third party validations (customer testimonials).  They also look on sites such as Angie’s List or Yelp to verify the legitimacy and popular opinion of your company.  An on-line presence gives a sense of authenticity, breadth, and business understanding.
  5. Timeliness: Being on time and reliable is one of the most important things to customers.  Customers want to be able to count on their service providers to arrive when they scheduled to, or provide proper notification if that is not possible.  Having scheduling, billing, and contact management software will help keep you and your staff to stay on top of appointments, helping you present yourself as an accountable company to your customers.

How can you keep up with what your customers really want? Listening to your customers is important, as is keeping up with the latest news, trends, and developments in your specific industry, and in the overall customer service industry as well.  Giving your customers what they really want will, in turn, give you what YOU really want; a successful home service business.