Finish this sentence: Married business co-owners praise merits of …
Husband-and-wife business owners Rocky and Trina Lozano are equally happy about converting their HVAC company to ServiceTitan.
The couple have co-owned Colton, Calif.-based Air One Heating & Air Conditioning for 13 years. With a team of 14 technicians, the company does about an 80-20 split between residential and commercial business.
Running a business with your spouse is fun, Rocky says. “You could say we’re like Bonnie and Clyde,” he quips.
And Rocky and Trina tend to ask and answer each other’s questions, and finish each other’s sentences. They have a few business practices that help keep the marriage healthy.
“We have a couple of rules,” he says. “I have my own office and she has her own office. And when we get home, we shut off work. It’s fun, and it’s challenging, but we have each other’s back.”
“It’s great working together,” Rocky says. “But if you’re going to do it …”
“… you have to have your own office to handle things,” Trina says.
Trina agrees. “We have each other’s back,” she says. “He’s an expert in certain things and I’m more of an expert in other things. We complement each other.”
Something else they have? A CRM software solution that complements their business goals.
From paper to ‘clunky’ software
Rocky is a technician-turned-owner who started freelancing at first. Trina kept her job as a manager at PetSmart until they both decided to run their own business full time.
“We had a vision, and we waited, and when the timing was right, we decided to make the big move to start our own company,” Trina says.
“At first, I was wearing all the hats,” Rocky says. “I was answering calls, running service, doing all the paperwork. I needed her help, and thank God she came in and helped me out.”
At first, the paperwork was, literally, done all on paper.
Then they transitioned into a “clunky” CRM software. Trina has trouble recalling how much growth Air One was experiencing while using their old software.
“Sadly, at that time, we weren't tracking our growth the way that we are now,” she says. “We weren’t doing that, or managing sales revenue and everything we can do now. (That software) did help us grow a little, but I don’t really have good things to say about using it.”
Trina remembers the old software being very slow, and notes that cloud-based ServiceTitan has made a big difference.
“With ServiceTitan, you get on, and you click on something, and it goes right to it,” she says. “With (the previous system), it was like the software took a while to get from one part of a page to the next one.”
The old software was also more labor intensive, Trina recalls.
“When you upload an invoice with (the previous software), if QuickBooks reads that customer as a duplicate then you have to put a little asterisk, or change the name, for it to be able to read into QuickBooks,” she says. “I found that very frustrating.”
One other problem for Trina: Reporting.
“If you wanted to run a report on what a guy sold, it was clunky,” she says. “I don't know how else to explain it.
“It wasn't very user friendly.”
Switching to ServiceTitan
Rocky spent a good deal of time conferring with his old software company about deficits with the platform.
“I was getting in their ear and saying, ‘All right, guys, this is what we need,’” he says. “They would say ‘OK, we'll think about it.
“I gave them a year, because ServiceTitan was beating down my door.”
Rocky started to notice the old software was going backward with training on presentations.
“They were training us on how to make presentations on paper,” he says. “We weren’t evolving, we were going backward.”
ServiceTitan’s presentation features impressed him, and that was the primary catalyst for a switch. With ServiceTitan, Rocky and his team can easily put three polished options for clients into a digital format.
That eliminates a problem Rocky, like many business owners in the trades, has with techs who don’t feel like sales is their primary skill, but are at the point of contact with customers and have sales opportunities.
“My guys say, ‘Hey, Rocky, I’m not a salesman, I’m a technician,’” he says. “They can fix anything but they don’t know how to sell. How do you jump over those obstacles? With ServiceTitan there’s technology that helps them to sell. It’s pretty seamless.”
“Yes, seamless,” Trina says. “That’s how I’d describe the ServiceTitan features for dispatching and call-taking.”
Bottom line, Rocky says when Air One switched to ServiceTitan revenue jumped.
“It was a pretty substantial increase,” he says. “It was like, ‘Boom!’ And I was like, ‘Wow!’
“I believe it’s because of the presentation we could do, incorporated with the financing and memberships programs.”
Trina estimates that by the end of 2020 revenue will have ballooned 40 percent since switching over to ServiceTitan.
“Oh, wow,” Rocky responds. “Good. Wow! That’s really good. Wow!”
On the office side of the business, Trina says one thing she’s done to boost productivity is create special forms.
“I made a fillable form for a debriefing after every call that’s linked directly to that job or that dispatch,” she says. “A fillable form to make sure we’re not losing information for that job, or filter sizes, or knowing if we need to go back. Do we need to quote? Even though that’s inside a follow-up, it still keeps the technicians accountable.”
“One of the main reasons we left (the old software) was because of tracking,” he says. “(That platform) didn't have the tracking you need as a business owner to keep a close eye on the pulse of your business.”
He adds: “We have a monthly goal, a yearly goal, and we have to stay on target. When you come over to ServiceTitan you get the data and the input to manage your goals. The dashboard … ”
Trina stepped in to finish his sentence.
“Yeah,” she says, “the dashboard really tracks things better.”
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