Air Comfort Heating & Cooling General Manager Chris Landgrebe offers one piece of advice to other contractors using ServiceTitan field management software: Don’t fight it!
“Use ServiceTitan the way it's designed. Don't try to make it work the way you want it to,” says Landgrebe, who became the ServiceTitan go-to guy for Air Comfort three years ago when he joined the Fremont, Neb., HVAC company.
» Want to grow your HVAC business? Click here for a demo
“Every aspect of your business will be impacted in a positive way with ServiceTitan, if you use it the way it's designed to be used.”
It’s something Landgrebe and Air Comfort learned the hard way.
Landgrebe says Air Comfort struggled with implementing ServiceTitan at first, and he’s embarrassed to admit it took nearly a year before he figured out why.
“We were trying to make ServiceTitan work the way we had used our previous CRM, because that's what we were used to,” he says. “However, ServiceTitan wasn't written to work the way our old one was.
“After hitting our heads against the wall for more months than I would like to admit, we said, OK, maybe we need to sit down and figure out how to do it the way ServiceTitan wrote the software to work, instead of trying to do it our way,” Landgrebe says.
Air Comfort invited ServiceTitan guru Kathy Nielsen, a business consultant and operations expert, to visit for a couple of days and show them the right way to use ServiceTitan. Landgrebe says everything started to click once they learned the right way to document every process and consistently communicate with their team.
“It was the right decision,” Landgrebe says of switching to ServiceTitan. “It was a wild transition, but at this point we'd never look back.”
Once the staff stopped fighting the software, Landgrebe says, the HVAC business really started to grow. Before switching to ServiceTitan software three years ago, the Air Comfort Heating & Cooling team brought in just over $1 million, he says, and now it’s on track to earn $3 million this year.
“It’s huge growth,” Landgrebe says. “While ServiceTitan has obviously been a big factor in that, we've also developed different marketing, different training, negotiations with our vendors to make sure we're getting the most competitive pricing we can. There are a lot of factors in that growth, but we're able to do a lot more with fewer people because of how all-encompassing the software is.”
The #1 newsletter for the trades.
Air Comfort hires GM, then Makes the Switch to ServiceTitan
Even though Landgrebe worked as an apprentice for an HVAC installation company in high school, he left the after-school/summer job to attend college, where he says he “wasted eight years, and took out a bunch of student loans to get a degree in something I don’t use.” Then, he spent the next 20 years working in corporate telecommunications.
In the meantime, Landgrebe married the daughter of one of Air Comfort’s co-owners, and decided he really wanted to leave the corporate world. That’s when his father-in-law, Steve Simmons, offered him the GM post at Air Comfort.
“It made sense,” Landgrebe explains, adding how he wanted something that offered a better work-life balance and allowed him to move to an area with a lower cost of living. “I was able to challenge myself again, learn the new trade, and gain the entrepreneurial experience I needed.”
After signing on as GM, Landgrebe quickly discovered Air Comfort’s antiquated software just wouldn’t do, so he started digging to find a better software platform that was easier to use and offered more powerful functionality.
Using Air Comfort’s connection with Service Nation Alliance and a recommendation from Chris Hunter, who now serves as ServiceTitan's Director of Customer Relations, Landgrebe says he was able to persuade Air Comfort owners Steve Simmons and Bart Bosco to make the switch to ServiceTitan.
How ServiceTitan Automation Takes Air Comfort to the Next Level
One of the biggest difference-makers with ServiceTitan HVAC software, Landgrebe says, involves the dashboard automation that shows calls coming in, displays who’s calling and their service history, and automatically records each call.
“From an efficiency standpoint, all of the little features we can automate, so I can have my CSR, my bookkeeper, and my dispatcher focus on driving the business, is what's made the biggest difference,” Landgrebe says.
ServiceTitan also allows him to set up customized reporting for every aspect of the business, and set the reports to run automatically.
“Every report I need to know shows up in my inbox on Monday morning. Monthly ones show up on the first of the month, and the bookkeeping ones show up in my bookkeeper's inbox,” Landgrebe says. “Payroll is the other big one. Our bookkeeper spends two and a half, three hours on payroll for the company, where it used to be a day to a day and a half.
“It's automating everything, man.”
The software also allows Landgrebe to see the company’s profitability at any given time, and in relation to where profits stand against the company’s goals.
“Having everything in one spot is awesome. It's just an all-encompassing software program, and if used the way it's designed, the impact on business is infinite for the positives,” Landgrebe says.
“It will truly automate your business, so you can focus on the big-impact things that can help you drive the quality, quantity, and the growth you want to see,” he adds. “You're going to be able to do a lot more with less people.”
ServiceTitan HVAC Software
ServiceTitan is a comprehensive HVAC business software solution built specifically to help service 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.