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Rachel Stepowoy, enterprise administrator for a family business that includes seven Roto-Rooter franchises in Ohio, Michigan and Illinois, was recently a guest on a ServiceTitan webinar on implementing Estimate Templates, and the benefits of doing so.
Six key takeaways from her presentation:
1. Study reviews, especially those that are less than five stars, to find opportunities to improve your business.
Four-star reviews that praised the service but questioned the price alerted Stepowoy and others in management at her company to the need to better educate customers and offer more options. That reminded her of the importance of reading those less-than-perfect reviews in a different way.
“We can get a feel for what we’re doing right, what we need to improve on, and what we can do to help with customer requests,” she said. “If we had given the customer all of their options for their problem and explained the value behind the options, the customer would have been more comfortable with the cost of our services.”
That realization led Stepowoy to change the way her techs presented options to customers—and the way her seven Roto-Rooter franchises utilized ServiceTitan.
2. Estimate Templates should be a priority. They set technicians up for success.
Stepowoy and her father, the owner of the seven franchises she helps manage, had enough to do just to transition from outdated software to ServiceTitan. But once they grasped the day-to-day, Estimate Templates became a priority.
“In the back of our heads we remembered these templates existed but didn’t realize just how important and helpful they would be,” Stepowoy said.
Implementing Estimate Templates gave her technicians, who have commissions as part of their pay, a way to sell better or best options to customers by explaining the benefits and offering those options on every dispatch. And they made customers happier, too.
3. Beef up your task descriptions to help technicians educate customers, close jobs.
Roto-Rooter’s most frequently completed task, found through ServiceTitan data, was cabling a residential branch drain, so that’s where Stepowoy started. By updating the task descriptions, building specific codes for specific jobs and adding relevant photos and video links, she created descriptions that would sell themselves while educating customers and offering options for cable, hydrojet, combo clean and drain product.
“With the old description, we had a picture of a cable machine,” Stepowoy said. “People don’t care what our equipment looks like, they want to understand the process. Looking back, it seems so silly now.”
The new estimate descriptions are more specific, offering good-better-best options for the specific job they’re performing.
Rather than one general description, the Estimate Templates are divided by much more specific job types—kitchen drain, shower drain, etc.—and include expectations for the homeowner, explanations of the processes with photos and video, and warranty information.
The new descriptions allow the technician to explain the value of the service relative to the cost, and to easily point out the meaningful differences between the options.
In ServiceTitan, technicians find the templates by clicking estimates, then add estimate, and all the saved templates appear. The technician only needs to select the appropriate one.
4. It’s best to teach managers and technicians to use the improved task descriptions in person, not in a phone call or video.
Connect an iPad to a TV to show the techs and managers in real time how the construction and presentation of options using Estimate Templates should work. “This was so much more effective and meaningful than a phone call or video call could have possibly been,” Stepowoy says.
Some specific tips for training technicians:
Teach them how to hide the prices while presenting so the customer can focus on the education, not the sticker shock.
Encourage techs to show the photos and videos to deepen the customer’s understanding.
Consider training one technician in advance and use them as a test case to find errors and spot weaknesses before you roll the templates out to everyone.
Remind them never to assume the customer doesn’t want options, or can’t afford them. Offer options to everyone.
5. Explain the WHY behind using Estimate Templates.
.Educate the technicians on the reasons behind providing options and education for customers, including better reviews, bigger average tickets and improved customer satisfaction.
“Without the why, I feel like we would have had much less success with this,” Stepowoy said.
Why do options and education matter? Without options, Stepowoy said, companies limit their company’s potential and lose the trust of customers.
“Today’s customer lives in a world where expansive choice is the norm,” Stepowoy said. “They expect to have multiple choices available to them whenever they are making a decision. Presenting options gives the customer control.”
ServiceTitan Estimate Templates make offering those options easy. The result?
“Offering targeted solutions leads to more success,” she said. “The decision-making process is made simpler.”
6. To monitor success, dig into the data—and the reviews.
Stepowoy said she uses custom reports, tracking close rates and average ticket, to analyze progress. She saw increases in close rate, average money ticket per dispatch, average ticket sold—plus the acceptance of higher-priced options—in November 2019 compared with November 2018. Total sales were up 47 percent, she said.
“It can’t 100 percent be correlated with the new Estimate Templates,” Stepowoy said, “but I feel that’s a big part of it.”
The results, she says, are satisfying.
“Every time I’m closing the day out and I get to see an invoice that shows the work my team did, it puts a smile on my face,” Stepowoy said. “It’s such a great feeling to see that something you put hours into was worth it. And it’s working. The guys are happy. The customers are happy. It feels so good.”
Since implementing the Estimate Templates, the enterprise has received 14 five-star reviews that mention “options,” 47 that mention “explained” and 16 that mention “reasonable.”
“It’s just exciting to see evidence,” Stepowoy said, “that what we’re doing matters.”
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ServiceTitan is a comprehensive software solution built specifically to help service companies streamline their operations, boost revenue, and substantially elevate the trajectory of their business. Our comprehensive, cloud-based platform is used by thousands of electrical, HVAC, plumbing, garage door, and chimney sweep shops across the country—and has increased their revenue by an average of 25% in just their first year with us.