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Online booking for your company? ‘You’re going to see return on it,’ Mike Bears says

Pat McManamon
May 4th, 2023
6 Min Read

ServiceTitan’s integration with Schedule Engine is not just a convenience for Paul the Plumber.

The online booking tool brings added efficiencies and revenue to the business in Derry, N.H.

“I think you’re crazy not to offer (online booking) at this point,” said Mike Bears, Sales and Marketing Manager for the business that serves Southern New Hampshire. “You’re going to see a return on it.”

Bears specifically said the business started by his father, more than 20 years ago, saw $65,000 in revenue from Schedule Engine in January of 2023. They spent $1,000 to implement, which provided a return of more than 6,000%.

“It’s crucial to your business,” Bears said. “People want to book online, and the more you can make that convenient for the customer, the more the process becomes nice and easy.”

Paul Bears founded Paul the Plumber as a plumbing-only business in 2002. Derry is a New England town of 34,000 some 41 miles from Portsmouth on the coast and 12 miles from Nashua to the Southwest. Paul the Plumber’s business area includes all of Southern New Hampshire, from the Vermont line to the coast.

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An unexpected twist

Mike did not expect to join his father when he graduated from Southern New Hampshire University with a degree in Business Administration in 2018.

“I had some opportunities out of college and then talked with him and it just was kind of enticing to come in and try to help him grow it and get involved with the family business,” Mike said.

Paul the Plumber had added ServiceTitan a few months before he started—“We’ve loved it. It’s what we run our business through”—and Mike saw ways he could update the company website and take advantage of ServiceTitan to spur growth.

When Mike joined, Paul the Plumber had six plumbing trucks. It now has plumbing, HVAC and electrical, runs 31 trucks, and did just more than $10 million in business in 2022.

While adding HVAC was a big part of growth, it wasn't the only thing that drove growth. Bears said the business made a point to grow plumbing along with HVAC, and now has doubled the number of plumbing trucks. In addition, Bears said the recent addition of electrical flowed from the number of HVAC installs and replacements the company was doing—$4 million in 2022.

Faster growth than expected

So as not to disrupt profit, growth came steadily and carefully. Growth came steadily and carefully so as not to disrupt profit, But, it also came faster than expected. As a result, Paul the Plumber’s newest goal is $20 million a year.

To drive business and growth, Bears turned the website from one he called “generic” to one more focused on SEO.

“I know how loved Paul the Plumber was in the community, but it wasn't reflected in our reviews,” Mike said. “We were probably a 3.5-star, and what I was seeing was only upset customers reviewing us. It was rare that we were getting the happy customers that we saw every day.

“So we implemented some different systems there and that took off a lot. Now we're at 4.8 across Facebook, Better Business Bureau, Google—and we have thousands of reviews.

“That made a huge difference. That was part of what grew it in the SEO; the reviews helped with that in the new website. I think we made it look a lot more professional and a lot more personalized.”

Emphasizing reviews became a culture point. They were a focus in meetings with techs, and we have internal contests to spur more reviews. Paul the Plumber tried a few types of software to drive reviews, but now uses ServiceTitan Marketing Pro, which keeps all activity in one platform.

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‘Customers can do their thing right there’

Paul the Plumber added Schedule Engine in 2020—auspicious timing given it was right before pandemic shutdowns. Schedule Engine, he said, is now the “main driver” of online appointments.

“If you go on our website, right on the homepage, you'll see a schedule service button—and that’s Schedule Engine. It'll pop right up and customers can schedule right there and they seem to love it,” he said. “And frankly it works pretty seamlessly with ServiceTitan in our scheduling board and our capacity planning that we set up.”

The main challenge occurred because it was new. But, with work and study of ServiceTitan, Bears said the setup turned out to be easy.

“Once you get that capacity planning set up and you're monitoring it and paying attention to it, scheduling kind of just falls into place,” he said. “We get notified when a call comes in so people are on it right away assigning it to the open scheduling slot.

“Really, it's a pretty easy software to use. As far as day-to-day pay pain points, we really don't see any with Schedule Engine.”

A driver of efficiency

The combination of ServiceTitan and Schedule Engine went beyond simply solving a challenge—it became a driver of efficiency to the point that Paul the Plumber essentially uses dynamic scheduling, thanks to the integration of Schedule Engine and ServiceTitan.

“Our dispatcher, Erin, looks at it every day and she'll add hours, subtract hours based on workflow,” he said. “She knows if things are moving pretty quickly and if we can add a couple more plumbing calls. It’s something that we look at every day now.”

The business is even able to track customers from Schedule Engine and adjust marketing through the integration with ServiceTitan. 

“It's its own marketing scorecard on ServiceTitan,” Bears said.

Bears knows he and the business can grow with other facets of ServiceTitan in the same way it’s grown with Schedule Engine, and he’s excited about what can be. For now, though, he’s firmly in the corner that says Schedule Engine and ServiceTitan together make a difference.

“It’s a huge deal,” Bears said. “We got ahead of it as soon as it became an available option for us.”

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