Darius Lyvers says his recent experience at a car dealership explains exactly why financing is so important for consumers.
He knew exactly what kind of car his wife wanted, he says, but he didn’t know exactly what he was going to spend.
“They said, if you want to put the spoilers on it’s another $18 a month. I said yes,” Lyvers, Chief Operating Officer at F.H. Furr Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning and Electrical in Northern Virginia, says.
“They said, if you want to put the roof rack on and make it look more sporty, that’s only another $14 a month. I said yes. They said undercarriage coating, I don't know what that does, but I said that’s fine, too.
“In the end, I bought all these extras—navigation, rear-facing TV screens ... everything the car could possibly get, I got it. And the only reason I got all that stuff was because of payments, because of affordability.
“I wanted it all, I wanted the best, but I could afford it because of payments. That’s the only reason I got all of it.”
Offering financing in the trades, he says, is no different. It’s about making the extras the customer might want available to them, along with the financing they need to afford the best.
And ServiceTitan, Lyvers says, makes it easy. Even if it wasn’t always so.
The #1 newsletter for the trades.
Busting through financing roadblocks
Lyvers says he struggled for years to get service technicians to incorporate selling on payments and incorporating financing and promotional plans into good-better-best options, meeting all the normal roadblocks.
“Challenges with educating, challenges with paperwork, challenges with remembering logins and merchant numbers and costs of plans, and being able to effectively communicate these things and understand them,” Lyvers says. “Challenges with front-of-mind awareness, just not remembering what we have and when to use it.”
ServiceTitan’s integrated financing eliminated all those problems, Lyvers says. And that’s not all that has changed.
Today, Lyvers sees his technicians offering financing routinely in sales presentations, within ServiceTitan’s cloud-based software for the trades. He also sees high teens and low 20s on percentage of financed jobs from his service department.
“But the tickets are astronomical, almost three to four times now,” Lyvers says. “We’re getting $4,000, $5,000, $6,000 jobs through our service departments.”
That’s because financing opens the possibility of affordable upgrades to a larger group of customers. Tankless water heaters. IAQ products. Electrical panel change-outs. Full rewires. Recessed lighting.
“That is all possible due to payments and no-interest plans,” Lyvers says. “I firmly believe those would never happen if we didn’t have the integrated financing (within ServiceTitan).”
Lyvers sets custom rules for financing within ServiceTitan, so that technicians in different verticals can only offer certain plans, based on the financed amount. That streamlines the offerings and makes Furr more efficient on margins.
Lyvers uses what works best for each specific department.
“Where for one department, this may work, I’m finding average tickets of this nature require a new set with additional plans, or maybe different plans altogether,” he says.
“Setting up the rules and offering plans based on the financed amount is critical. On certain jobs you build in different overhead in those jobs and can absorb a little bit more cost in financing.”
No department has more than three plans to learn and offer. That keeps things simple.
ServiceTitan streamlines the financing process
Lyvers says there are lots of benefits to having financing built into ServiceTitan, but that the biggest ones are for technicians.
“The front end is where it’s key,” he says, “because the front-end users can use it to drive sales.
”You love being able to put it out there and making it easy for the technicians. Making it easy is No. 1.”
Among the key benefits of ServiceTitan’s integrated financing, according to Lyvers:
There’s no paperwork. The entire financing workflow is built into the ST mobile app, so customer's application is filled out, submitted, and tied to the customer's profile.
Financing can be presented automatically. “There’s no need to remember to do it,” Lyvers says. “It’s front-of-mind awareness.”
Technicians don’t have to do manual calculations. “ServiceTitan calculates the minimum payment, allowing technicians to sell off that payment without disrupting the presentation process,” Lyvers says.
Full reporting is built in. That allows companies to compare Technician A vs. Technician B, instantly know what percentage of jobs that are financed and what plans are being used, and more.
The application process is seamless. “Being able to click on a button through the CRM is critical,” Lyvers says. “You’re dealing with people who may not be comfortable with financing to begin with, all those layers just add to the fact that they will not use it or will not engage with it because they are scared of change.”
There are benefits for customers, too, Lyvers says.
“Having financing available or having a promotional plan, in itself, is going to be a benefit to the sales process and our customers’ needs, by making things affordable,” Lyvers says. “The fact that it’s integrated in the CRM makes it easier for them to fill out the application, see the data in one platform, and be able to sign off and acknowledge what they’re getting and how they’re getting it, the terms and conditions. So that all plays into that customer experience.”
Technicians must understand what they’re offering, Lyvers says, to make the program work.
F.H. Furr narrows financing options to three plans per vertical, then gives the technicians the training and materials they need to be successful.
Handouts clearly defining how each plan works are given to each tech, and they are taught who is a suitable candidate for each plan.
“A confused mind says no,” Lyvers says, “and we don’t want to misrepresent anything we’re doing.”
Lyvers trains his technicians to approach three types of buyers—low interest, no interest, or low payment. Every finance buyer falls into one of those categories, and Lyvers uses custom rules to provide an option for each type into ServiceTitan.
But the options alone aren’t the point.
“When you talk about integrated financing, it’s not just whether they finance or not,” Lyvers says. “It opens the door for the customer to afford all your products, and they may buy something that they otherwise wouldn’t have if you hadn’t presented financing options. That’s the part that a lot of people miss.
“To me it doesn’t matter if someone uses the finance options, as much as it is keeping them able to purchase what we’re selling. And that’s the beauty.”
ServiceTitan is a comprehensive home and commercial services business software solution built specifically to help companies streamline their operations, boost revenue, and achieve growth. Our award-winning, cloud-based platform is trusted by more than 100,000 contractors across the country.
Ready to learn more about what ServiceTitan can do for your business? Contact our team to schedule a demo today.