It was a time of change for Boettner, and not just because of the software upgrade. After college, he worked for a decade in the banking industry before the North Dakota-based family business lured him back.
Boettner’s grandfather started the company 43 years ago. His father, who’d worked in the business since he was 16, bought it and now runs Bears Home Solutions. The company is now divided into commercial and residential branches.
For the past 18 months, Boettner, representing a third generation of family leadership, has been learning all aspects of the business.
“I’m kind of a general jack of all trades,” he says. “Accounting a little bit, a little bit on the dispatch side. I’m training our new dispatcher, as well as working on efficiencies and using ServiceTitan.”
Boettner says he came back to the family business to help provide value.
“I didn’t want to do it just because it was the easy thing to do,” he says. “I wanted to forge my own path a little bit, and I eventually got to the point where I could come back and provide some different perspective and maybe improve some things.”
Boettner doesn’t work out in the field, but he has been riding along with techs to get a feel for what they experience on the job.
“It’s made me realize how hard they work every day,” he says. “It’s a different atmosphere and culture than banking. It’s manual labor, but a lot of these guys are really smart. They find ways to get things done and make it work for the customer in the end.”
Ditching the old software system
Boettner’s first days at Bears Home Services included working dispatch using an outdated software solution.
“My initial impression was that it felt very old,” Boettner recalls, “especially coming from the banking world. It felt like something that had been the same for quite some time.”
He was put off by “the gray color, and the tiny buttons that you could barely even click on. It felt like somebody had thought it up but nobody had updated it since it’d been created.”
Certain aspects of the old system drove Boettner crazy.
“Even just the font they use is difficult to read,” he says. “For memberships, it was difficult to follow the requisitioning of materials. For purchase orders, just the whole flow—it felt like you had to click a lot of buttons. And it drove me crazy when somebody else had a customer profile open and it locked you out.”
Boettner set about figuring out how to work with the system. Fortuitously, just two and a half months later, the company switched to ServiceTitan.
“I was asked to help with the transition,” he says. “It was lucky for me that I didn’t have a lot of the habits of the other people on the team who’d been using (the previous software).”
Unlearning old habits and adapting to higher functionality takes any company’s office staff a little time. As one of the point men in the transition, Boettner says two training aids were key: ServiceTitan Academy and “knowledge base” articles.
“ServiceTitan Academy was big,” he says. “A lot of people want to be able to see something and go through it rather than just have somebody tell them. So those programs were good. I also referred to the knowledge base articles a lot—to give kind of a step-by-step process on how to complete things.”
Boettner says Bears techs definitely saw the customer-facing benefits of ServiceTitan.
“There are just a lot more options with ServiceTitan,” he says. In the past, Boettner says techs didn’t always want to present customers with three different estimates when they were onsite for repairs—but the new software makes that task easier.
“They’ll go out and replace a capacitor, but this helps get them talking about memberships, and about IAQ products,” he says.
Helping do the job better
One aspect that Boettner focused on is the fact that ServiceTitan is constantly being upgraded.
“We see updates come out every month,” he says. “I see updates and I get excited. The constant improvements are awesome. ServiceTitan is continuously innovating.”
Updates that came out during the coronavirus outbreak were especially impressive, Boettner says.
“I thought ServiceTitan was way ahead of the game and on the ball about COVID—getting ahead of working from home and the contactless experience,” he says. “In general, it seems like ServiceTitan knows what we want before we even do.”
Other advantages and efficiency advantages Boettner sees in ServiceTitan include:
Marketing. Boettner’s membership program is called Bear Care. He says ServiceTitan’s Marketing Pro is helping the company jumpstart membership renewal by promoting the benefits of membership to customers. It’s also a great way to do things like explain financing options or deliver coupons.
Pricebooks. “I enjoy being able to go through the pricebook integrations,” he says. “I can look at all the different products and become familiar with the different models.”
Accountability. “Every day, I can review invoices for payments,” Boettner says. “I can see if techs are offering financing. I can see what they are completing. I can see what people are doing and then I can work with them on best practices. Reviewing is one spot that I think was really missing on (the previous software).”
Reporting. “Reporting is something that we really gained since switching to ServiceTitan,” he says. “Schedule reports. Productivity reports. It’s a huge efficiency we’ve gained.”
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ServiceTitan is a comprehensive software solution built specifically to help service companies streamline their operations, boost revenue, and substantially elevate the trajectory of their business. Our comprehensive, cloud-based platform is used by thousands of electrical, HVAC, plumbing, garage door, and chimney sweep shops across the country—and has increased their revenue by an average of 25% in just their first year with us.