To make sure you’re competing well for the attention of your prospective and previous customers, it’s important to stay on top of the most recent and up-and-coming field service trends. In some cases, these impact how you will provide field, home or local services to your customers, but generally, these deal with how your company connects you to those customers, when they first meet your brand and after service is completed.
These field service trends are emerging in Q4 of this year, but you should expect them to be in full swing in the months ahead. Here are some of those field service trends to look for:
1. Google Local Service Ads
One of the most familiar trends for field and home services is Google’s recent (and still evolving) addition to paid advertising: Local Service Ads. Unlike PPC campaigns, in which marketers can research and implement keywords that best align with user search queries, Local Service Ads currently rely on Google Reviews (along with other variables) for each business.
Presumably (we say because, much like Google’s other platforms, the algorithm here isn’t completely apparent), the better your Google Review ranking, the more likely you are to show up before your competitors in the search engine. Get ahead of this field service trend by taking measures to improve your Google Reviews.
2. Voice Search
Voice search is affecting the way we understand SEO and PPC, and the changes are becoming more and more frequent as smart assistants, such as Alexa, Google Home and Siri, become more commonplace in homes.
While Google Home may draw from an algorithm we understand, Alexa and Siri are wildcards at this stage of the game. If you ask Alexa, “what are some plumbers near me?” she’ll provide a list based on what is currently unknown information. To stay in front of your customers, it’s now more important than ever to stay top of mind through brand awareness efforts – making social media that much more important to local pros - so people are searching for your information, not “local plumbers” in general.
3. Amazon Home Services
Amazon could vastly change the way people purchase field services through their Amazon Home Services offering. Let’s say someone wants to buy a Nest thermostat. They go to Amazon, search for what they’re looking for and, right before they add it to their cart, they have the option to add “Expert installation.” Amazon will then provide this installation service with one of their prescreened home service pros. Currently, Amazon’s only additional offerings include a protection plan and an accessory, but this is certainly a field service trend you’ll want to look for in the coming months.
4. Machine Learning
Machine learning (ML) is one step back from Artificial Intelligence (AI), or a field of AI, that utilizes statistical techniques to give computer systems the ability to learn from data, without requiring explicit programming. Basically, it’s a program or algorithm that learns as it runs.
ML is used in many fields, including marketing, especially in Google Ads. For example, the Automated Bidding Feature in the Google Ads platform can optimize (“learn”) from its results. Now, not only is data valuable for determining a campaign’s level of success, but it is now also important for improving those results automatically.
So, where can home service pros get this data on their business? Using data from platforms like ServiceTitan, you can glean insights that help you determine what is a true, profitable conversion on your ads, and then you can utilize that data in Google Ads to improve your conversion rate optimization (CRO). You can leverage your data in ServiceTitan by allowing tools like VitalStorm’s Metrics to connect that data back to Google Ads.
5. Complete Service Automation
Field service companies are digitizing and automating their service journey more than ever, and the process is becoming more seamless as time progresses. In 2020, it’s likely that your customers will come to expect all their interactions with your company to be digital and mobile friendly. And tools such as chat bots can help you deploy these streamlined communication channels. This includes the ability to schedule service, confirm pricing (as well as what’s included in the price), reach a customer service representative, pay a bill and more.
6. Automatic Service Requests Through IoT
For our more tech-forward demographic, appliances that are connected at least in some way to the internet are becoming more popular. Eventually, your customer’s smart refrigerator will do more than let them know when they’re out of milk: It could possibly even let them know when a part needs to be replaced or maintenance is required.
Perhaps, not so much further into the future, it’ll be able to request service to have the part replaced automatically – imagine that! This is convenient for your customer, but it stresses once again the need for your business to stay top of mind. It’s unknown exactly how the Internet of Things (IoT) will impact how we do life and how local pros then do service and repair in that life. But it’s important to keep our eyes on the horizon and determine how to pivot with the coming changes in technology and conveniences.
VitalStorm, a partner of ServiceTitan, provides paid search services and other digital marketing solutions to home service companies. We can help set you up for success with Google Ads and Google Local Services Ads, and then track all the calls that come in through these efforts. We provide reports that show you how lucrative these ads are for your business. We also offer PPC strategies that take advantage of Google’s Automated Bidding feature and use our proprietary platform, Metrics, to interpret the data about your leads and your revenue from ServiceTitan, and then use that data to optimize your Google Ads campaigns.
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.