Janna Pender was perplexed. She had been using the same CRM software for 10 years and it was, well, functional. She resisted change while the rest of the company pushed for a switch to ServiceTitan.
“Yeah, I was the holdout,” says Pender, business manager at Bon Air Service Company in Grand Prairie, Texas. “The entire management team, and sales—who’d seen demos at trade shows—were all saying ‘ServiceTitan, ServiceTitan.’”
Still, Pender held off.
“I thought, you know, there are problems with everything,” she says. “Nothing’s going to be perfect. And we’re already here, we’ve been here with (their previous software) for all these years.”
Though Pender has been with Bon Air for a decade, she’d just become the business manager within the past couple of years, when the company’s previous owners retired. She had new responsibilities, and knew a software change—especially in summer or fall—could be a major challenge.
Then after a change in their previous software's mobile solution, Pender’s eyes were opened and tipped the scale to make a switch, one that everybody else already wanted to make.
“I saw everything (they) were doing with their mobile, and the timing of it, and what that did to the other company,” she says. “I thought it was a little ill-planned. It didn’t feel like something I wanted to be a part of.”
It was time to go, Pender reasoned.
“We needed to go to the best software that was right for all our people,” she says. “Software that was right for our technicians out in the field and for our customer service and for our management.”
Out with the old
Though Pender was ultimately swayed to change to ServiceTitan because of the recent moves, she says there had always been doubts about the old software.
“It’s the training and the customer service from our office side that we need more help with,” she says. “When we needed help, we’d had to call, get on the list, and if my team doesn’t give me their call, I’m back at the bottom of the list again.”
That made her highly reluctant to stay with the old software during its mobile transition.
“I thought, OK, we’ve got these technicians that are coming in, they’re going to be on jobs,” Pender says. “How is that going to work as technical support? We’d have these guys with new software out in the field. I can’t get at the back of a line. If they’re moving a lot of people over at the same time, I'm going to be at the back of a long line.”
Aside from that unknown factor, Pender had issues with the old software itself.
“The accounting, customer support and inventory is very detailed, which is good, but it's not user-friendly,” she says. “We need user-friendly. We need a smoother interface and we need better support.”
She liked the capabilities of the old software, but her managers regularly couldn’t get the reports they needed.
“Over the past two years I’d said, ‘Look, if we leave you guys, one of the main reasons will be because we can’t figure out reports,” Pender says. “And you’re not really helping us. You’re trying to, but you're not helping my guys get the reports they need.”
In with ServiceTitan
Pender says she believes reporting won’t be a problem with ServiceTitan.
“I feel like reporting is a strength—from everything we’ve seen, read and heard about ServiceTitan,” she says. “And that we’ll be supported, and it will be easier to train people.”
Most importantly, when Pender looked at a ServiceTitan demo she felt like she could see into the future.
“This does cost a little bit more,” she says. “But I see the potential for growth in each ticket, just from the user interface as it is. It may be crazy to even think that, but I see it. I can see how the world works right now.”
The old user interface in her office is about 10 or 15 years old.
“The ServiceTitan demo looks like a decade ahead,” Pender says. “Yeah, we need to step into this decade. Not only that, but it looks like it continues to update, continues to improve. It doesn’t seem like they just build something and then it stays in that same, set point for 10 or 15 years.”
Understandably, she’s anxious about moving the accounting functions to a new system, but Pender is highly confident ServiceTitan is the right software for customer service and for the company’s technicians.
Another plus: Touchless customer experiences in the field. Techs don’t even have to share an iPad when they go to customers’ homes. Pender sees the benefit of that as the end of the coronavirus pandemic seemingly remains in the distant future.
“I think that after our six-week transition period I’m going to rave about ServiceTitan,” she says. “Don’t talk to me during the transition. But afterward, I really do believe we’ll be OK and in a much better situation.”
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