It takes a wise man to admit what he doesn’t know.
So Nick Chacos freely admits that he didn’t know much about the trades when he took the job as Operations Manager of All Comfort Services in Madison, Wis.
“I mean,” he said, “I was that homeowner who never changed their filter.”
Chacos did understand operations and efficiencies, though, and he had shown that he had learned them in his previous jobs as an account executive with the Madison Capitals minor league hockey team and as a manager and sales consultant with Enterprise Rent-A-Car. The ability to listen and grow allowed Chacos to make positive impacts in unfamiliar fields.
The same happened when Chacos joined All Comfort, where one of his key roles was helping the business grow in its use and understanding of ServiceTitan. The company had signed on with the cloud-based software for the trades in May of 2021, shortly before Chacos joined.
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“During my interview, it was one of the things they identified as an opportunity,” Chacos said. “They said, ‘Hey, we've got this new software, and we're still trying to get our arms around it. We're committed to it, but it's been tough.’
“It sounded like their onboarding process was a little bit bumpy.”
His response during the interview?
“’Well, I'm new to the field. I don't really know a ton about the company. Let me just sit with everybody across all the divisions, find out about their job, find out about what's a painstaking process and ask, what do they think that would make their life easier?’" Chacos said.
In addition to strengthening internal communication and relationships, Chacos also fostered a stronger relationship with ServiceTitan and its coach. After hearing from his people, Chacos started regular dialogue to explain the issues the company was facing, and sought ideas and suggestions to do things better – which led to better understanding of the software.
“We would email and say these are the things we were working on, and these are the things we need more information on,” Chacos said. “They would have a couple days to go to the data teams or other managers, try to get some answers. Then we would come together and we’d be like, ‘Have we tried this?’ or ‘Have we tried that?" That changed the relationship, and helped us out a whole lot.”
The process helped the software grow from a perceived challenge – “It probably was more so our fault here,” Chacos said – to a benefit that strengthened the bottom line.
“I think, everyone is saying, ‘Yeah, it’s a lifesaver,’” Chacos said. “We’ve really leaned into it, and we’re really using it to optimize our business. It was bumpy at first, but we love it right now. Absolutely love it.”
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All Comfort is primarily a residential HVAC business, but it also does plumbing and electrical work – with a service emphasis on taking care of the whole house.
“We're kind of a one-stop shop in that regard, which is really nice because who wants to have three or four relationships with three or four different companies and different technicians coming into your house?” he said. “We want to build that relationship long term with folks.”
In the last year, most of which coincides with adding ServiceTitan, Chacos said the electrical team has doubled. Revenue in 2022 increased to $11.5 million, a 15% jump from 2021 numbers. The company projects 7-10% growth in 2023, but has set a goal of 12-13%.
“I think it's realistic because of some of the tracking ServiceTitan allows us to do--some of the KPIs, the reports that I can pull and schedule for managers--feeds into management meetings to one-on-ones with department heads to coaching for our teams, and identifying opportunities where we can be better,” Chacos said. “We feel like we have a much more structured approach and plan for growth in the future.”
Chacos said the fact that ServiceTitan adjusts and adapts its software means the software and company grow together. He added that by listening to its customers/partners, ServiceTitan is “constantly refining.”
“Which is really nice,” he said. “If we run into a roadblock, and we have to figure out a workaround, we've kind of seen that, whether it's weeks later or months later between the updates that are happening, our workflows just keep getting easier.
“And sometimes we see, too, that we have a way we are comfortable doing something, but this is the way ServiceTitan wants us to do it. So we say, ‘Let's figure out the way that ServiceTitan wants us to do it because we know that down the road there's going to be more updates and refinements.’
“If we're already leaned into it, it's going to be just that much easier down the road when those updates happen."
One benefit from the software that stands out to All Comfort is Smart Dispatch, the ServiceTitan feature that uses algorithms to optimize the dispatch board for profitability by prioritizing high-opportunity jobs and pairing them with top performers. All Comfort uses Smart Dispatch to avoid issues like sending techs who lack proper experience to work on boilers for example. By tagging jobs and techs, Smart Dispatch ensures All Comfort matches the right person to the right job.
“That’s a huge efficiency thing,” Chacos said. ““If Smart Dispatch was a religion, our dispatcher would subscribe to it.”
Using ServiceTitan alerts has also been impactful.
“If a customer is interested in having a Comfort Consultant come out, a salesman come out, a technician fills out a form (on ServiceTitan),” Chacos said. “It sends an alert to our lead coordinator inside salesperson. They call up, schedule a Comfort Consultant. We're out there the same day.
“Obviously, especially in emergency situations, getting in front of those customers dramatically increases your close rates, which has a huge impact on your business as well. So being able to refine that process, I think, has made a pretty large impact for our bottom line too.
He does not see any of the issues as overly complex, but sees solutions as positive to revenue, profitability and growth. He eagerly anticipates what is to come. Chacos watched some of the videos from Pantheon, ServiceTitan’s annual conference for the trades, and saw the future with upgrades like Titan Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.
“That’s all super, super exciting,” he said. “Knowing what's down the road and how great an impact it's going to have on our business … if that doesn't convince you to lean into the program and to the software and then spend that time there so that when those big changes happen you're right there to take advantage of it … you're doing yourself a disservice.
“It’s a really cool thing that it's not a finished product. It’s constantly getting better. I really appreciate that.”
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.