To Dan Lizette, simplicity in allowing customers to schedule work is about reducing friction.
Which, when you think about it, is a worthy goal in any aspect of life. Silk feels a lot better than sandpaper.
For Lizette and Mattioni Plumbing, Heating & Cooling in Downingtown, Pennsylvania, (outside Philadelphia), reducing friction comes via combining the power of Google with the efficiencies of ServiceTitan’s Scheduling Pro to ease bookings and generate business.
“It’s about saying, ‘From the time somebody has found us, how easy can we make it to get to who they need to talk to or to find out what it is they want to learn?’” Lizette said. “Or in the case of Google Reserve, allow them to check out our availability and get in our schedule with as few clicks and as few invasive questions or hurdles in order to have that opportunity to offer that service."
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Scheduling Pro is a ServiceTitan feature that allows customers to book jobs online 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Customizing the booking experience by combining Scheduling Pro with Reserve with Google (or Google Reserve in Lizette’s words) enhances the process. Reserve with Google allows customers to book work directly from a business’s profile on Google Search and Maps.
This helps businesses get in front of customers searching for something as basic as “plumber near me” or “HVAC in my area.”
“Those people who don't have the prior relationships with an HVAC or a plumbing company, all of those people a large percentage of the time are going to do the same thing to find their first interaction with a plumber or HVAC service technician, and that's ‘Google it’,” Lizette said. “And we want to make sure we're in the best position to at least get a call, text, a website submission or a Google Reserve booking to make sure that we get a shot at earning that business.”
Lizette called Google the “modern-day Yellow Pages,” which may date him but does take a certain section of the population back to the days of a yellow-papered printed phone book (gasp) with listings by businesses.
“Except I think more people use Google than ever used the Yellow Pages,” Lizette said. “Everyone knows that most often, especially with new customers, you find something using Google first.”
Lizette came to the trades from a data collection background, having worked in advertising research and for the 2020 U.S. Census. He joined Mattioni in 2021 and found a healthy mix of professionals from within and outside the trades.
That has helped keep the 75-year-old business current. Mattioni, which serves southeastern Pennsylvania, has 52 trucks (for service and install), 106 employees and was pushing close to $23 million in 2023.
The business has been using ServiceTitan for six years, and Lizette led the effort to add Scheduling Pro and maximize its potential. Scheduling Pro, he said, offered “modernization and convenience for our customers.”
“The world we live in, an overwhelming majority of things you can do online,” Lizette said. “And we felt like we needed to be a part of that conversation.”
He now finds that 10-12% of jobs are going through Scheduling Pro, additional business generated without the extra cost of adding an employee.
“And that's great,” he said. “We would've needed another CSR to handle that volume, and we are not looking to add that now because we have (Scheduling Pro) in place.”
Lizette said Scheduling Pro and Reserve with Google are significant pieces of a bigger puzzle, with ties to marketing, dispatch and all of Mattioni’s efforts to generate business from customers new and old.
“I would say that (Scheduling Pro is) an investment,” Lizette said.
And like any good investment, it takes patience and time to realize the benefits.
“It's going to take some upfront time, effort and energy,” he said. “It's going to take testing, a lot of making sure that your own desires or wishes in terms of how you would like your organization to be run or how jobs are booked are set up and configured as you desire.
“But once that is all set up, it is sort of something that just works 24/7. It's not on the payroll, so to speak. It's working when you're not, when your staff's not. People can book in the evenings or overnight or on the weekends or whenever.”
What follows is what matters most: return on investment. Lizette sees positives, with minimal or no friction.
“In terms of Scheduling Pro or Reserve by Google, I don't think there's even a question anymore,” Lizette said. “I think it's been proven that ultimately this will have a significant ROI and one that, barring maybe a few exceptional situations or setups, I would think would be beneficial to just about every shop to look at.”