Florida HVAC Company Uses ServiceTitan Technology to Stay Ahead of Sales Curve
Tyler Nara believes technology—especially a comprehensive business software package such as ServiceTitan—helps lead the pivot for a company to exceed goals during critical times. Even in the middle of a global pandemic.
General manager of Gulf Shore Cooling in Fort Myers, Fla., Nara has a 35-person team of field technicians. While Covid-19 complications have caused some home services businesses around the country to struggle with sales goals, Gulf Shore’s bottom line is actually up.
Gulf Shore recently reported that:
The most recent month’s service cancellation rate has dropped by 3 percent.
March saw a 6 percent year-over-year increase in revenue, a bump of $77,000.
Year over year, the Replacement Average Ticket is up $26 (to $7,431).
Year over year, the Repair & Maintenance Average Ticket is up $27 (to $552).
Comparing the first quarter of 2019 to the first quarter of 2020, net profit is up 38 percent.
A key to success, Nara says, has been savvy integration of ServiceTitan communications features that inform customers about the specific jobs being done. Those features also provide updates on what Gulf Shore is doing to maintain high health and safety standards.
Nara started his Gulf Shore tenure sweeping the floor while still in high school. Then he became an installer, took a break and joined the military, then went to college using the G.I. Bill.
He came back to Gulf Shore fluent in software that helped do load calculations. After managing the install department and becoming operations manager, he rose to general manager.
Here are some of his insights into how a solid software background and its use in the home services industry is tied to business success during an economic downturn.
Message and consistency
What’s the secret behind a 3 percent drop in cancellations and a 6 percent increase in revenue during the coronavirus crisis?
“Message and consistency,” Nara says. “Consistency is key. We did a major push with Facebook—ads and organic posts. We included a video of one of the owners and my service managers telling the local community how we’re taking all necessary precautions when entering the home, performing the work, giving an estimate, whatever the case may be.”
Nara says he took that same message to a Gulf Shore account manager, who included it with booking confirmations and reminder notifications.
“It’s in a bullet-point format so it’s very strong to the customer,” he says. “We replicate that same content in the reminder notifications, which go out 24 hours before the appointment.”
Nara believes the company will continue with this practice post-Covid.
“This is just a great way to increase efficiency with your staff, with reducing your outbound calls, for booking confirmations and reminders,” he says. “And you have more insight and more consistency in your message that goes out to customers before you arrive at their home.”
Owner Lorraine Wright with Tyler Nava
Utilizing quality leads
Nara believes a software-driven focus has been an opportunity to get higher-quality leads.
“No doubt, it has brought quality leads to the surface,” he says. “No one’s going to have you in their home in these unpredictable times unless they really have a need. So, with the consistent message we put out … it has increased our closing ratio because they see that consistency and the customers are just, frankly, worried about having anyone else in their home.”
Gulf Shore is also utilizing the company’s follow-up tab. “We’re drilling down in our previous estimates that are still open with any filter, UV products or open replacement estimates,” Nara says. “Now is the best time to buy. We’re discounting heavily, and it’s keeping the team busy.”
Nara says that comfort advisors are also upselling. “The bulk of our replacements come from our comfort advisors,” he says.
A big trend, he says, is phone estimates. “A lot of people don't want you in their home right now,” he says. “But we can have a conversation over the phone, take pictures, take videos.”
Not all applications will allow Gulf Shore to give a complete estimate over the phone, Nara adds. “But we can get a good ballpark estimate, and customers can put that in the drawer for when they need it,” he says.
A firm foundation
Hand in hand with making good use of ServiceTitan technology, Nara says Gulf Shore is staying ahead of the sales curve by connecting to the community.
“We created a Facebook post called Healthcare Heroes,” he says. “It’s basically doing employee pricing on any IAQ products for any first responders.” Nara says it has been great for public relations.
“Those ads are getting shared,” he says. “It’s unbelievable how well these ads are working. And that has increased our IAQ sales. Margins are down a little bit but sales are up.”
That success led to more advertised discounts for healthcare heroes—including $500 off a new system, and $500 off a UV light with the purchase of the system.
Nara believes a company’s ability to be agile in turbulent times may be the primary factor in maintaining profitability. He credits his employees, as well as the Service Titan infrastructure that backs up his team.
“I’d really like to give ServiceTitan and that software a pat on the back,” he says. “It has completely changed our operations, how we do business, and it infused us with excitement. And the constant updates—it’s like ServiceTitan is reading our minds, man.”
Nara concludes that not having to worry about software issues allows this company to focus on creating a strong culture and a great environment—one built to weather the coronavirus storm.
“Culture is key,” he says. “Myself, my managers and the owners all push for that daily. We’re all here, we’re all going to get through this together. This is how we’re going to roll out. This is how we're going to do business.”
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