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When Chris Mather joined his father’s water treatment business in 2003, he did so on the condition that he received free rein to make changes and grow the company.
Serving water treatment customers since 1994, Atlantic Blue Water Treatment operated in an area of Westminster, Maryland where, Mather says, there are more cows than people.
“I said, ‘If I'm going to hang around here, Pop, we need to make some money so I'm not doing this for my health,’” Mather says. “Being in business for yourself is a stressful job, so I need to make some money and make it worth it."
With his father’s blessing, Mather set about modernizing the business, looking for the latest and greatest technology in water treatment services and appropriate software for running a water treatment company.
For a while, Mather ran the business by fitting the technology to the company rather than using software built to run a water treatment business. The water treatment industry is smaller than the HVAC, plumbing and electrical trades, which made finding that specialized software difficult. He even looked into building his own software solution, but found the cost prohibitive.
Now, he has the answer.
ServiceTitan acquires water treatment business software
ServiceTitan, founded in 2012, started out as an all-in-one solution to help businesses in the HVAC, plumbing and electrical trades operate more efficiently. The pair developed the software platform to help their own fathers, immigrants from Armenia, improve operations in their own building and plumbing companies.
After a ServiceTitan HVAC customer approached the company in 2018 seeking similar services for the water treatment side of its business, ServiceTitan discovered more customers with a similiar need. In 2019, ServiceTitan acquired WaterSoftWare, a business management solution for the water treatment industry — to support the industry overall and speed our product development for water treatment businesses.
More than 60 water treatment companies transitioned to the new software in the first year.
The new all-in-one water treatment software solution, Mather says, gives Atlantic Blue a tool to provide an excellent customer experience from start to finish and streamlines analytics, marketing, billing, inventory and other functions.
It didn’t take Mather long to figure out it was the right move, a calculation he did the old-fashioned way.
“I'm a big ServiceTitan technology person, but I'm a pen and paper (guy) when it comes down to this,” Mather says. “I knew the ServiceTitan water treatment software was going to make my business better, customer experience better, better efficiency, closing more jobs, increasing average ticket.
“Those types of things were going to be a no-brainer (compared to) what I was going to spend with ServiceTitan,” he explains.
For two straight years, Inc. 5000 listed Atlantic Blue among the fastest-growing businesses in America, and Mather says the company has grown 155% in the past three years as he builds on the foundation his father established.
Others in the industry are benefitting, too. The average company using ServiceTitan’s water treatment software sees a 24 percent increase in revenue in nine months, with a product designed specifically for the water industry’s workflow.
ServiceTitan saves Mather time, so he can work on his business
Mather says he was not looking for a software switch when ServiceTitan came along. “We were doing well with WaterSoftWare,” he says. “That was a good program for us.”
But a conversation with a local electrician and confidante who switched to ServiceTitan helped change his mind. “I always ask him, ‘What am I not doing that you're doing?’” Mather says. “And he said, ‘Well, I got this new program, ServiceTitan. Check it out.’ And I was pretty much hooked.”
What he saw was a program that would allow him to get things done faster by automating or cutting out processes that took a lot of time before, and a superior engine for data to drive his decisions on everything from marketing and dispatch to sales and inventory.
With 30 employees, including 17 technicians, Mather says just running reports was time-consuming. ServiceTitan solved that problem with a dashboard for each employee.
“I can get that data in three seconds,” Mather says. “It's not some fancy report I have to pull, it's just in front of my face. All the data to make those decisions is right in front of you, ultimately resulting in a lot of that revenue growth.”
Another benefit of all that data at Mather’s fingertips? Time to think.
“I just work on the business now instead of in the business,” he says. “ServiceTitan has given me that freedom to be able to worry about growth.”
Transition to ServiceTitan step-by-step
Converting a business to new software is always challenging. In addition to learning a new program, employees need to see the move as a substantial improvement for full buy-in.
Atlantic Blue made such a transition more than once, moving from paper files to a cobbled-together computer program, then to WaterSoftWare, and finally to ServiceTitan’s water company management software.
The last move, Mather says, was relatively easy.
“When I did the demo for ServiceTitan, being a guy that loves all the features and knows that I'll take advantage of that stuff, my jaw hit the floor,” Mather says. “There were certain features, maybe five, six, 10 ‘wow’ features. I'm like, ‘Wow, we're not doing that.’”
ServiceTitan guides the entire transition and assigns an implementation specialist to each business throughout the 30-day process. Weekly milestones assure the software is set up correctly for each client, and a success manager answers questions and helps with requests.
“There are so many different ways to customize it and make your own,” Mather says. “I talked to another guy at the ServiceTitan conference, and he said, ‘It's a Ferrari, but you're just in second gear.’ But they make it step-by-step.”
The step-by-step instruction takes clients from the basics, such as building the pricebook and setting up service zones, to customizing for your business before the launch date. “Sure enough, we hit that date right on the head,” Mather says. “It was a hand-holding, really nice experience.”
Once the software is configured, each employee gets a mobile, tablet-based, push-button interface, Mather says. If they want to build a proposal, they simply enter the product, add the service plan, and it automatically starts to build an estimate.
“All they have to do is crosscheck things and verify that everything's working the way it's supposed to,” Mather says. “They don't appreciate that month of hard work that I put into it to set it up, but it was a phenomenal onboarding experience.”
Benefits of ServiceTitan water treatment software for business
Mather says the mobile app, tablet-based program used by the technicians is “unbelievable,” from how the pricebook is laid out to the spell-check feature.
“Everything’s just pushbutton,” he says. “There was a lot of front-end work with setting all that stuff up, but now everything's pushbutton.”
Among the other features:
- Allows technicians to see their personal dashboard, and gives Mather the ability to offer incentive bonuses based on a tech’s average ticket or rating, or some other metric. The techs can easily see what they are doing well, what they need to do to earn that bonus, and where they need to improve.
- Automatically generates statistics for salespeople, too, including close rate, average sale, how many options the salesperson offered each customer and more. “I'm constantly looking at those numbers to make sure we're closing the right percentage,” Mather says. “And then if we're not, [I’m asking] why not?”
- Tracks customer service representatives’ booking rates, and records calls. Potential jobs that are not booked can be reviewed to see what went wrong, improve the CSR’s skills and increase the close rate.
- Requires CSRs to collect certain information, such as how a potential customer heard about the company, keeping the reps accountable and providing data for marketing decisions.
- Automates payment of recurring services and membership renewals by storing customers’ payment information securely, making collection simple and easy.
- Simplifies inventory management with a module tied to the pricebook that raises a flag whenever the supply of anything, from bags of salt to entire water filtration systems, falls below a specified level.
- Saves time for owners and managers with data at their fingertips.
In the past, Mather would have hired more staff to solve his problems, because he couldn’t find a good software solution. “It was taking us an eight-hour day to do something, now it's taking us 30 minutes to an hour then, boom, it's there,” Mather says.
“Sometimes, I just need to hire my problems away. That's kind of what ServiceTitan has done for us. It's someone we've hired, and they're doing the job that I don't do now.”
Service Titan software benefits customers, too
The ServiceTitan experience for water treatment customers is also excellent from start to finish, Mather says.
Among the features:
- Prepopulates customer history and information for CSRs on each incoming call, reducing wait time and repetitive questions.
- Sends an email confirmation the night before a service call, reminding customers of their appointment.
- Alerts the customer with a picture of the service tech and a short bio each time a tech dispatches for a job. The customer can even track the truck, much like you would track your Uber driver while waiting for a ride.
- Offers customers, with each estimate, other items or services to consider on the tablet screen, mimicking the online shopping experience.
- Allows customers to pay immediately by check, credit card or debit card, captured by the mobile program, eliminating lost checks and delayed payments and making it easy for the client.
- Makes financing available on the spot, with approval in minutes and multiple options for terms offered in the program.
- Automatically sends the customer a survey when the job is finished, asking them to rate the service from 1-5.
- Automates customer reminders for recurring services, prompting them to schedule an appointment.
- Automatically follows up on any open proposals with an email, reminding the customer of the details of the estimate and a call to action for responding.
Those features provide a highly professional experience for Atlantic Blue’s clients. “The response from the customers has been phenomenal,” Mather says. “Year to date, I think we have had about 3,000 five-star reviews come in. I don't need the world to know that, but I know my guys are doing a good job.”
ServiceTitan makes more revenue possible for water treatment
The data-at-your-fingertips aspect of ServiceTitan software provides many benefits, but this one might be the biggest: It gives Mather time to consider other water treatment business opportunities.
For instance, he can dig into the customer service call recordings to understand why a CSR failed to book a particular job, and work on ways to increase the number of jobs booked. It also gives him time to explore the possibility of expanding into a new territory.
“I'm opening a location in Washington, D.C. — that's what I'm working on right now,” Mather says. “I've just signed the lease, so we're going down there Q1 to extend our reach geographically.
“(Without ServiceTitan), I probably wouldn't have that time, and still be able to do all my other jobs.”
Want to request a demo of ServiceTitan’s water treatment software? Visit us online at https://www.servicetitan.com/water-treatment-software today.