Summer brings its own set of challenges for home services companies, with after-hours calls, emergency escalations, and weekend inquiries on the rise. And while your CSR team may seem like superheroes most days, mastering the art of delivering excellent customer service 24/7, 365 days a year, can be a difficult goal.
If your CSRs are struggling to meet customers’ demands and missing calls, especially during the busy summer season, it may be time to consider adding a backup team to your company’s lineup. With Scheduling Pro Live Services from ServiceTitan, your customers’ calls get answered at the right time so you can turn their job-booking experience into a home run.
Calling is the No. 1 method consumers use when they have a home services need, according to Invoca, an AI-powered call-tracking and analytics platform. However, recent data also shows 18% of home services calls go unanswered on weekdays and 41% go unanswered on weekends, says Jeff Martin, ServiceTitan’s Solutions Engineer for Scheduling Pro.
Instead of missed calls resulting in lost revenue, Martin says, “We want to help companies turn that into business.”
In a recent ServiceTitan webinar, Martin and Graham Jones, Senior Manager of Scheduling Pro Live Services, explain the three pillars upon which Scheduling Pro operates and how it continues to evolve to more effectively meet contractors’ needs. In addition, two current customers of Scheduling Pro share tips on how they’re using the call-answering platform to master the art of 24/7 customer service.
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What is Scheduling Pro Live Services?
Scheduling Pro Live Services is the former Schedule Engine platform, which ServiceTitan acquired last summer. Scheduling Pro offers customers Online Booking, Live Chat, and Live Voice.
“We have industry-trained agents who engage customers, answer questions, or book actual appointments into ServiceTitan,” Martin says. “We also have Live Voice after hours and also daytime overflow. Then, the online scheduler is a real-time online booking engine integrated into your website that our agents use as a guide for gathering the correct information.”
What are the 3 Pillars for Scheduling Pro Live Services?
“One thing at Scheduling Pro we talk a lot about is our 3 Pillars of Operations, which are the cornerstone of our mission and vision,” Jones says. Those 3 Pillars are:
Answer the call quickly
Book the call
Build brand reputation for clients
“We know customers are facing a significant issue at home when they call in, and they're not going to want to wait too long on the phone before they give up and try calling someone else,” Jones says. “In-house call centers can struggle to meet the demand, and with 18% average abandonment during the week and over 40% on weekends, this can be a lot of lost revenue.
“As an overflow and after-hours-focused operation, our goal is to help you significantly reduce those lost opportunities by offering a flexible and scalable coverage model available to you any time of day, any day of the year, holidays included,” he adds.
Customers find success with Scheduling Pro
As Scheduling Pro gains traction with contractors in the home services industry, the team at ServiceTitan continues to update and improve the product. Using the 3 Pillars above as a strong foundation, Scheduling Pro is helping clients find success with the following three tips:
Tip #1: Answer the call. Capture demand from anywhere
Take pressure off your team
24/7 365 coverage (no days off)
Flex and scale as needed
Tip #2: Book the job. Convert leads 24/7
Book high-quality jobs
Emergency escalation flows
No more lost opps via lead capture
Tip #3: Represent. Exceed customer expectations
Personalized Live Services experience
Empathic, industry-trained agents
Provide peace of mind
We also asked current Scheduling Pro customers Stan Pakarin, CEO of Fuse Services, and Justin Morris, Customer Care Relationship Manager of Any Hour Electrical, Plumbing, Heating & Air, to share their feedback on how Scheduling Pro is helping their businesses. Here’s what they had to say:
Pillar #1: Answering the call — What impact have you seen on your business in terms of the ability to capture that inbound demand as well as reducing the overall load on your team?
Pakarin: “I can't really say it reduced the load for my CSR team, but it definitely increased the load on my technician team, and that's what I'm happy about. Since we started using Scheduling Pro, our job bookings through the website have doubled.
“Another nice feature, we can capture late phone calls with no hassle. Before, we just missed them all the time. And another side effect, we have internal competition between Scheduling Pro and our CSR team, so it definitely increased the performance of our CSR team.”
Morris: “Yes, it's good to be busy. We're glad the phone is ringing, whether that's mornings or afternoons. The upside is there is a real person backing us up, ready to answer the phone call in our absence. The real reason the person calls in is they actually want to talk to someone. They want to be able to express their concerns, their needs, their urgency. And when they can speak with a real person, they can share that emotion, it tends to calm them down because they know they're on the path to getting things resolved. And when the customer consents there's a connection there, they're more likely to schedule an appointment.
“The cool part about Scheduling Pro is these are calls that are being answered in real time, the customer's being heard in real time, and they're able to generate solutions and book an appointment.”
Pillar #2: Booking the job — When it comes to our integration and our ability to book directly in your system, not only with Live Services but also our web scheduler, what's your feedback on how this has affected conversion rates overall?
“One of our most powerful tools is our ability to make fully verified bookings in your system for your customers,” Jones says of Scheduling Pro. “Unlike most operations, which are lead-gen operations, they're sending it out into the ether as far as the customer's concerned, leaving that customer waiting for a callback. The instant gratification customers get from us when they get that booking confirmation means they don't need to keep shopping around.”
Morris: “Online booking is really cool. It's made my life better. It does work. The customer is in control and they’re able to book an appointment the way they want to schedule with their own calendar.”
Like others in the trades, Morris initially thought online booking would have a negative impact on the number of incoming calls to his company, but Scheduling Pro proved him wrong.
“We saw an increase of 20% in our customer bookings. And what we were able to understand is, the customer who prefers to click is just as valuable as the customer who prefers to call,” Morris says.
Any Hour Electrical, Plumbing, Heating & Air also worked with Scheduling Pro to adapt the platform to its specific needs, making the experience seamless and requiring fewer clicks.
“Now, having evolved our in-house call center, when they see an appointment that's booked through Scheduling Pro, and that appointment is set up online, we know it's quality, we know we trust it, and we’re able to drop it on the dispatch board for the dispatch team saying, ‘Hey, we have another customer appointment,’” Morris says.
Jones says Scheduling Pro doesn’t operate as a one-size-fits-all approach.
“We'll take the time to work with you, especially during the onboarding phase, just to make sure you achieve that level of specificity and customization that's important to you and your brand,” Jones says.
What’s the return on investment (ROI) you've seen versus the cost you've incurred since you've been using Scheduling Pro?
Pakarin: “I love numbers, and that's how I measure our company's success, basically, to get all the numbers and know what works and what doesn't. Scheduling Pro really works. I know our average ticket, our closing ratio, and our conversion ratio. And combining everything together, we got back a 2,400% ROI. That's a huge number. I think that's one of the best returns on investment we have. It's unbeatable.”
Pillar #3: Building brand reputation — How did your trust in our operations evolve early on? What's your feedback on how our agents represent your brand today?
Morris: “When we first started, we asked ‘How is the Scheduling Pro person going to respond, behave, or interact with the customer?’ We didn't want to leave that to chance because in reality, they’re representing Any Hour Services. They're a voice for us. And how can we help that person win while speaking with our customer? We want the Scheduling Pro person to feel confident, to feel comfortable with the processes when they're answering those questions while the customer is a little bit wound up. So we said to ourselves, ‘Let's just keep it simple.’
“What it boiled down to is we shared the way we think here at Any Hour Services. We shared that with Scheduling Pro. Jeff and his team were able to get that into motion. We spent time just tweaking and adjusting. The scheduling agent did a fantastic job and continues to do a fantastic job booking calls for us. It's been an ongoing relationship since inception. We're pleased with all of their efforts.”
Pakarin: “We started considering Scheduling Pro only as a plugin for our website, just to make it easier to book an appointment for our customers. With new customers, they behave a little bit differently. They don't want to call, they don't want to chat, they just want to choose whatever they want on your website and book it online.
“We decided Scheduling Pro was a good fit, because it's customizable. We can customize it, we can put our logos on it, and decide how we want calls to be booked. We turned on all the features you offered, voice support, chats, everything. And to be honest, I have no regrets about it because my numbers don't lie, and I like these numbers.”
And like Morris, Pakarin also questioned Scheduling Pro’s ability to answer the phones in the same way his CSR team did, so Fuse Services closely monitored the process during its first month in operation. “It’s never been a problem,” Pakarin adds. “I was like, ‘Wow. Sometimes they even answer the calls better, honestly.’”
Scheduling Pro’s industry-leading service performance in Q2
Jones says customer feedback serves as the best tool for Scheduling Pro to make the most meaningful changes to the platform. Recent Q2 KPIs show Scheduling Pro stats having a measurable impact, including:
36 seconds speed of answer
64% booking rate on bookable calls
226K total calls handled
82% lead-gen ratio
47% booking rate on bookable chats
82K chats answered
20-30% total bookings
30-40% net new customers
40-50% after-hours bookings
“We want to answer that call quickly and consistently. We want to book that job as often as possible, and we want to exceed customer expectations,” Jones says. “We're that filter that helps capture some of those calls that you wouldn't be able to capture and convert as many of them into bookings as possible. And those we can't convert, we're still capturing valuable lead information and sending that to your office as well as handling non-bookable inquiries.”
One recent change at Scheduling Pro involves developing a client success program focused specifically on Live Services, Jones says. Every new client must meet with the Live Services success team before going live, then the same team tracks your progress for the first three months.
“We've seen some great results with clients who do our Live Services onboarding, achieving close to 10% higher booking rates on average than clients who opt not to meet with us,” Jones says.
Other Scheduling Pro feature enhancements
Martin also highlighted a few other feature product enhancements, including:
Advanced analytics: Available in the Scheduling Pro dashboard, this feature gives you more insight into metrics such as call-booking ratios, speed to answer, call-booking appointments, etc.
Artificial intelligence: Machine learning to enhance the call-answering experience for not only customers, but also the industry-trained reps.
Round-robin escalations for emergencies: Adding more options for routing emergency calls to the right technician.
Q&A on Scheduling Pro
How much does Scheduling Pro differ from Schedule Engine?
“Everything as far as the features haven't changed,” Martin says. “Obviously, for the future, we’re looking to add more integration into ServiceTitan, but really now it's just a branding change.”
2. If I use Scheduling Pro, are all of the calls recorded within ServiceTitan?
“We can port the calls in through ServiceTitan, so they're recorded there. Customer location and customer profile are the two areas where these recordings will be in ServiceTitan,” Martin says.
3. How much historical data can agents see when a customer calls in?
“We can't pull everything directly from your FMS, but we’re able to see any record of past interactions they've had with our team,” Jones says. “We’re able to pull up confirmed customer records that exist in your system or create new customer records that would go into your system.”
4. Is there a possibility to use this only during non-business hours?
“Yes, absolutely. A lot of clients do use this only for after-hours purposes,” Jones says. “We pride ourselves on being flexible. We're there to help you. You want to shut down early for a holiday weekend, have a power outage at your office, or something like that, we’re typically able to assist you on very short notice. We're built to be flexible enough to accommodate 15% to 30% increases in traffic on very, very short notice.”
5. Will the interactions with our customers be offered with the same personal service that we offer? Will they be able to see customer notes that we have set up?
“That's something we talk with you through the onboarding process and, of course, our goal is to get as close to what your in-house team would do,” Jones says. “Ultimately, we try to set up your account with as much information as possible to be able to act as if we were one of your team members.
“If there is a list of questions you want our Live Services team to ask, you can include those questions in the scheduler flow so regardless of where the customer's booking a job, you're capturing the right information from them,” he adds.
6. Are the Scheduling Pro phone reps able to dispatch and close jobs like our CSRs?
“No, we're not in your FMS closing jobs for you,” Jones explains. “Our escalation tool, which is a quasi-like dispatch service, where if the customer’s issue meets your requirements for an emergency escalation after hours, we can send that directly to your on-call team.”
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