What do ServiceTitan, New England Patriots Have In Common? What Tim McGuire Says
Tim McGuire has spent 18 years in the home services industry software game—and a lifetime as a Buffalo Bills fan.
Those two facts might not seem related, but for McGuire, who joined ServiceTitan as a Field Value Engineer in July after stints at two of the cloud-based software giant’s biggest competitors, they are tied together in one very significant way.
“We’ve been losing to the Patriots for however long (former Patriots quarterback Tom) Brady has been around,” McGuire says. “The Bills have beaten them four times, and two of those were at the end of the year when the Patriots weren’t playing their starters.”
Brady’s 19-year run as the Patriots’ starter included six Super Bowl titles as the quarterback and head coach Bill Belichick built the NFL’s model of consistent excellence.
That’s pretty tough to take when you’re a fan of a rival in the AFC East. But McGuire looks at it a little differently.
“The thing is, you can really hate the Patriots,” he says, “ and then you sit back and go, ‘Gosh, I wish we were the Patriots.’”
That, McGuire says, is similar to the situation in home and commercial services software.
“A lot of us that work in the industry and work for different products are angry that, here’s this company taking my clients—and then you sit back and go, ‘Why are they taking our clients?’” McGuire says. “They have a better product, a better organization, better communication, they’re creating better value.
“ServiceTitan was a game-changer across the industry because it made what had become a rather stale and stagnant industry realize that contractors had expectations beyond what we were giving them. ServiceTitan was satisfying those expectations, and we weren’t.”
Like for Patriots opponents, it was either catch up or keep losing. And the Patriots never make it easy to catch up.
“While you are angry at the fact that you are losing customers and losing revenue,” McGuire says, “there is this sense of respect as well. You say, ‘they’ve got this figured out, and they’re not slowing down.’’
And the common reaction in the industry comes down to one word.
“Envy,” McGuire says. “I don’t know if you’d get many people to admit it, but there are times you walk out going, man, I wish I was selling that.”
Now, he is.
Changing Times, Pushed by Technology
McGuire’s 18 years of experience in the software industry include more than 10 years as director of customer experience at SuccessWare, and a year at Pointman in 2019 and 2020.
The job at SuccessWare, which started in 2002, included duties in training, sales, marketing and “a hundred other things on top of that,” he says. And he saw the company succeed—to a point.
“SuccessWare was groundbreaking at the time,” McGuire says. “There were two or three products in the market when I joined SuccessWare that handled the breadth of things that it did.
“It was one of the biggest players in the industry, and the one that did the most for the longest time.”
But when the world became more digital, and more mobile, there were challenges. Smaller products that addressed the mobile and technological changes in the world came into the marketplace and caught the industry’s eye, but SuccessWare endured because, at the time, it did more.
Then came ServiceTitan.
“The biggest thing ServiceTitan was offering right off the bat, in 2013 and 2014, was a recognition of the big things people were asking for,” McGuire says. “And it was very clear that the folks who were putting together ServiceTitan understood that technology as a whole was rounding a corner. The movement toward mobile, the movement toward communication with customers via text messaging, putting digital sales tools in the hands of technicians—just the fact that the world was becoming more technical.”
ServiceTitan’s emergence, McGuire says, changed the entire industry.
“What ServiceTitan ended up doing was light a fire under every other product in the marketplace,” he says. “You were either going to improve yourself and keep up with what ServiceTitan was doing, or you were going to get left in the dust.”
A Passion for Teaching, and Helping Customers
After earning a degree in criminal justice from SUNY Buffalo, McGuire did a stint in law school before deciding that wasn’t his passion.
“What I loved doing,” he says, “was teaching, and helping people understand things. I found I had a special aptitude for taking slightly more complicated technical topics and converting them to whoever my audience was, helping them understand.”
After a stint with a training company, McGuire’s passion led to his first job in the trades, as director of education and training at SuccessWare, in 2002.
“Learning a new piece of software and teaching it to contractors became a really great avenue for me,” he says. “These were salt of the earth people, a lot of them were contractors themselves and then started a business, and I was seeing that I can make a difference.”
Sometimes that difference was profound, McGuire says.
“Over the years I would go to a lot of trade shows, and I would see people I did training for who might have had five or six guys in their shop,” he says. “And 10 years later I’d be at a convention and they’ve got 75 or 100 technicians.
“They’ve just been incredibly successful, and there’s a real thrill that I would get out of feeling like I played some small role in helping them to get there.”
But success doesn’t look the same for every contractor, McGuire says.
“Some of them want to become that 100 or 200-truck operation, and literally make all their financial dreams come true,” he says. “Others, they want to be able to spend time with their family on the weekend, go to their kids’ baseball game in the evening and not be stuck in the office until 9 o’clock at night.”
ServiceTitan, McGuire says, can help both kinds of companies, and every company in between.
“That’s what I found so exciting about coming to ServiceTitan,” he says. “Here’s a product that can allow the small shop to get a lot more done more efficiently, with maybe more technicians but the same number of office people. But it’s also a fantastic tool for those companies who really want to measure their numbers, to really understand what are the performance indicators for them to track and grow their business.
“Everything they need is there.”
New Possibilities, for Teaching and Customer Advocacy
McGuire has seen the possibilities as he learns ServiceTitan’s software so that he can, again, teach others to maximize their business. But he sees his new job as far more.
“I consider myself an advocate for customers,” McGuire says. “I see myself and my role as being a liaison between the customers of ServiceTitan and ServiceTitan, that interpreter.
“That means going in and looking at their system and saying, you’re not using this, or you could use this a little more efficiently. And if there’s something we don’t do that they really need, I can serve as that interpreter to go back to the product teams, sharing it from the point of view of a customer.”
That’s how McGuire plans to contribute to ServiceTitan’s commitment to forward thinking, customer success, and constant improvement.
“It’s great to be in the place I was competing with, a place that was making it clear that you had to get into the 21st century,” he says. “There are so many things about ServiceTitan that I can start showing people again and help them grow their business.”
And that growth can start today, he says.
“That’s what’s really interesting, to have technology that’s current to the world right now,” McGuire says. “The features are available to you, as opposed to looking ahead three years and thinking, ‘oh, maybe we’ll be able to do that then.’ By the time you get to three years from now, whatever that was is already old news. We’ve moved on to the next thing.
“ServiceTitan is a forward look to where the industry is going to be tomorrow.”
Moving to ServiceTitan, he says, is an opportunity to spread success. And to clear up some impressions he might have left in previous jobs.
“For a lot of the folks who dealt with me over the years at SuccessWare and Pointman, we probably didn’t always speak as highly of ServiceTitan because you’re in a competitive business,” McGuire says. “The question would be, why would you decide to go join the evil empire, or whatever you want to call it?”
For McGuire, the answer is simple.
“If you are a contractor in the 21st century, you need a platform that is going to be there tomorrow, and improving constantly,” he says. “When I think about growth and value and the happiness of the contractors I work with, I want them to have a product that’s going to bring them everything they’re hoping for. That’s what coming to ServiceTitan has done for me.”
And while he’s unlikely to ever stop being a Bills fan on Sundays, now he’s with the software-for-the-trades equivalent of the Patriots, making other software companies envious seven days a week.
“I’d rather help contractors get on that train, to be the ones who are leading the industry into the future,” he says, “as opposed to the ones who are chasing.”
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