Consumer habits are changing, and businesses that adjust their business model to meet the changes will benefit.
Today's customers no longer want to deal with voicemail or wait for a callback from someone in the office. Consumers today want immediate gratification.
When it comes to home services, many customers want to book online without ever talking to someone, others want to call in or chat after hours. But everyone wants to book simply and conveniently on their own terms.
Schedule Engine enables contractors to meet all of these consumer preferences in one streamlined solution. Acquired by ServiceTitan in the summer of 2022, Schedule Engine offers an all-in-one booking solution to drive more booked appointments through our online scheduling, live voice and live chat, 24-7 with industry-trained CSRs. All of it is managed by Schedule Engine, removing that burden from the companies and allowing them to focus on the work, and the revenue.
Schedule Engine is set up to address those changing consumer habits, and those ready to take advantage have much to gain.
“You’re trying to ride the wave as it’s forming,” said Jonathan Torrey, Director of Marketing and Strategic Partnerships at SearchLight, an analytics space for the home services industry that connects online activity to offline sales. “You’re not trying to catch the wave after it’s already gone.”
Those who wait, lose.
“The people who get there first, who already have that experience set up and dialed in and tested,” he said, “are going to absolutely crush.”
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A story in the data
Torrey’s family friend, Brian, was a plumber who put his three sons through college. Torrey eventually joined SearchLight to help people like Brian. Torrey now researches and interprets home service marketing data, and writes a free weekly substack blog called The Data Driven Trades, which shares powerful insights from diving deep into data.
SearchLight’s marketing data and insights help contractors drive revenue and growth.
Searchlight's data uncovered that Schedule Engine's online booking and live services will gain more booked jobs for the business, convert them into jobs at a higher rate, and earn more revenue on those jobs on the back end – the ultimate win-win-win.
SearchLight’s data shows there are tangible benefits to Schedule Engine:
A higher percentage of bookings received through Schedule Engine channels turn into actual jobs in the CRM. The schedule stays full.
The average ticket on jobs booked through those channels is higher than the average for phone calls booked during business hours. Significantly higher.
Torrey compares the evolution of online booking to online ordering for food or coffee. Those who take advantage of phone apps can order ahead, walk in and pick up their order. The evolving situation will put the trades into that instant-order mode.
“Different people want different things,” Torrey said. “If you think about the younger generations that don’t like to get on the phone, I think it's setting up for that perfect storm. The next three to five years you're going to continue to see it explode.”
Schedule Engine helps contractors see what is going on through its attribution tools, so contractors can better understand the ROI on their marketing efforts.
Torrey offered specific numbers to back up his stance, all from extensive study of 2022 home service marketing data in which he tracked leads to revenue across all conversion tools.
“It helped one of our clients grow from a $17-million-a-year business to basically doubling,” he said. “Because I said, ‘Hey, they're actually getting a higher return than what's being shown on the CRM right now.’
“We're able to originate back to the lead source when the customer first came in. Even if they have multiple jobs, we can look at both to see how they got to the websites, how they found the business, and how they converted.”
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A straight line from leads to revenue
He calls SearchLight’s approach “reducing friction,” which means finding the best method to drive business and growth.
“It's convenience,” he said. “Just think about the trends in other industries of people shopping online. It's going to become more normal.”
Specifically, the data showed:
80% of Schedule Engine bookings matched to a new opportunity for revenue in the CRM.
57% of Schedule Engine bookings ended up as a paying customer, compared with 20% of phone leads.
For every two Schedule Engine bookings, businesses get one paying customer. It takes five phone call leads to get one customer.
Form-fill leads had a higher average ticket at $5,184, but only a 20% booked job rate.
Schedule Engine had an average ticket of $3,325, but because match rates and booked job rates are higher, businesses gained more revenue. Ten Schedule Engine bookings generated five paying customers at $3,325, a total of $16,225; the two in 10 form leads totaled $10,368.
Managing chat yourself is costing you money
Torrey specifically studied match rate and booked job rate of a chat tool managed by contractors themselves as opposed to the one managed by Schedule Engine. The data showed contractor-run chat generated 54% less revenue.
“(Companies managing chat in-house) are not responding in a timely manner,” he said. “They're missing chats completely. They're telling customers we don't service this area. Or there's just, again, human error … 54%. That was pretty significant when comparing those two data sets. Same month, same timeframe, same weather.”
Why is that instant response so important? Because it captures the customer in the moment. Pete Bradham, the owner of Bradham Brothers Inc. in Charlotte and a Schedule Engine customer, said the service allows his business to “act like Amazon.”
“We’re not a huge company; we don’t have a staff that works day and night,” Bradham said. “People understand if they’re calling at 11 at night that we’re not going to come right out. But they can have the satisfaction of knowing that (the problem will be) taken care of, that somebody knows they need the help.”
The company responds to all non-booking inquiries the following morning, which shows attentiveness to the customer’s needs and the ability to be proactive in solving problems.
To Bradham, the pairing of Schedule Engine and ServiceTItan has been nothing but positive.
“The integration between the two,” he said, “is almost perfect.”
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.