Contractor Corner

Service management software is designed to help you as a busy contractor. It seems like there aren’t enough hours in the day and all those hours you spend in the office doing paperwork, bookkeeping and scheduling could be much better spent. So what can you do? Well, there is software you can use to help make the most of your valuable time.

There is a plethora of software for contractors, from general contractors to subs. For the smaller contractor there are a few good programs out there. Here are two.

Service Fusion

Service Fusion is a great business management software tool that provides control of your business anywhere. It has great customer management tools that allows you to easily access contact information, set contact preferences (such as email, text, phone call), billing terms, notes that either all can see or only certain people, referral tracking, multiple services locations, equipment information, documents, images and historical information whenever and wherever you need it.

It also has mobile apps that allow your employees to get job information and manage the jobs on their smartphones or tablets. It also allows employees to keep you up to date on progress. That helps to increase productivity and helps you become one step closer to a paperless office. It has integrated voice and text, email and also allows you to use social media right from the program.

Successware

Successware is another great program for the contractor. In fact, it was specifically built for the home services company. The SW Remote feature allows your technicians to use their smartphone or tablet to do the job from start to finish while it syncs with your desktop program. It also allows you to manage your customer files, including images and documents, take inbound customer calls, dispatch employees via text message and email with mapping, keep in touch with clients via email right from the program, invoice jobs and track receivables, general ledger, income statements and balance sheets, marketing, lead tracking, track purchasing and accounts payables, manage projects, cost jobs and control inventory, employee time/commission tracking, payroll and it also integrates with QuickBooks and ADP payroll services. Talk about business in a box!

Use service management software to help make your business more streamlined, effective and profitable. We can help you implement and manage these systems in your business! Check out our contractor services today!

What Is Service Management Software For Contractors | Service management software is designed to help you as a busy contractor. It seems like there aren’t enough hours in the day and all those hours you spend in the office doing paperwork, bookkeeping and scheduling could be much better spent. So what can you do? Well, there is software you can use to help make the most of your valuable time.

Have you ever wondered why some contractor answering services charge one rate and another service charges more or less? It’s because some services offer so much more “service” than others.

Low end service

If you hire a low rate service, don’t count on a lot of frills. The most you’ll get is someone answering your phones and giving you messages that you need to return and schedule. Usually you hire an answering service to save you time. Not sure how this type of service does that, but at least you don’t miss calls. Whether those prospective customers wait for you to call back or move onto the next name on the list is a risk you take.

Mid rate service

A mid rate service may schedule appointments for you instead of just taking phone messages. They may or may not use your scheduling software. If not, you’ll need to take what they have on a calendar page and add it to your software. Obviously there is a bit more to be charged if they are taking those few extra steps. So you might not lose those prospective customers, but you may be getting appointments that you don’t really need, or lose them because it was actually an emergency situation and the service didn’t know.

Full service contractor customer service company

The full service contractor customer service company charges the most, but gives you much more bang for your buck. This service has it all. They are knowledgeable about your area of business. If you’re an electrical contractor or plumber, they know enough to know the difference between an emergency and something that can wait to be scheduled later. They use your scheduling software to send immediate emergencies out to the field or non-emergencies onto your schedule.

Your customers will love it and probably have no idea that they are talking to a service and not your own office staff. You look professional and the kind of business that people will want to work with.

Don’t go cheap with your service. Your business and customers will thank you for it!

If you would like to learn more about hiring a full service contractor customer service company, check out Contractor In Charge TODAY!

Why Contractor Answering Service Rates Vary So Much | Have you ever wondered why some contractor answering services charge one rate and another service charges more or less? It’s because some services offer so much more “service” than others.

Plumbing problems are the worst. Whether your customer has well water or city supplied water, being without it is horrible. Having their home flooded because of a broken pipe will cost a bunch and customers are desperate to get it fixed. Do you want any old answering service taking those calls? Probably not. You need a service that provides more than just answering your phones. This post will go over what to look for when hiring a plumbing dispatch and customer service contractor!

First, what scheduling services do they offer and during what hours?

You don’t just want an after- hours emergency service. Why not? Because getting back to customers who have to leave a message with and after hours services or on your voicemail is part of the problem. One because they will move onto the next number they have for another plumber who does answer their phones (customers want to hear a human voice) and two because you need to be working your business.

Hiring a service that not only takes messages but also can use your scheduling software and schedule your customers is a huge advantage. No more lost customers because it takes you a day to get back to them.

Next, you need to know if the service specializes in plumbing businesses!

This is very important. Even if you find a service that can schedule and dispatch for you, how will they know how to ask the right questions to help you prioritize the customer needs? Those answering the phones need to at least have a basic knowledge about what your customers and prospects will be calling about.

Being able to troubleshoot for customers will help in a few ways. First because they need to determine whether the situation is an emergency or if it can wait a day or so. Second, help determine if your company has the skills to help them with their problem.. they need to know your team’s skills.

Once you find that perfect service, be sure to check them out!

Check with the Better Business Bureau, state and local court searches, and with the state or local licensure administration to be sure they have any licenses necessary to do business. Check with other similar businesses that may use them and get recommendations. Don’t hire anyone that will harm your reputation by offering substandard assistance when servicing your customers.

You deserve better and so do your customers. Give us a call today to find out how we can help you grow your business! (813) 438-3666

What To Look For When Hiring A Plumbing Dispatch And Customer Service Contractor? |  Plumbing problems are the worst. Whether your customer has well water or city supplied water, being without it is horrible. Having their home flooded because of a broken pipe will cost a bunch and customers are desperate to get it fixed. Do you want any old answering service taking those calls? Probably not. You need a service that provides more than just answering your phones. This post will go over what to look for when hiring a plumbing dispatch and customer service contractor!

As an HVAC contractor your business relies on how you dispatch your technicians to the field to get your customers serviced. So how are you dispatch scheduling? Do you depend on a calendar page and a telephone?

There are plenty of ways that are so much better than that. In the age of computers, smartphones and tablets, not using the software listed below is downright misguided! So read on then choose your favorite!

Service Fusion:

Service Fusion is a full service software package and it includes a great dispatching and scheduling module. It has great features to help you schedule jobs and dispatch your employees. Things like a drag and drop dispatch grid so you can easily assign work to your employees even while they are on the road. That job information will then dispatch it to employees in the field to their cell phones or tablets. The drag and drop is very visual and easy to use, and lets you map out the best routes to get them there on time.

https://www.servicefusion.com/

Related Post: How Outsourcing Your Dispatch Scheduling Can Help Your Contracting Business

ServiceMonster:

This is a field service management platform that offers desktop and mobile scheduling, customer and order management as well as accounts receivable and payment processing. You will have real time fluid scheduling that is synced automatically between your mobile devices and office computer. No manual updates or changes needed! Great customer data capture and marketing help. You can print and ship thank you cards and track ROI with reports that will show how you are performing.

https://www.servicemonster.net/

There are others, but don’t keep your same old tired system. Your customers, and YOU, deserve better.

If you would like help managing all the aspects of your dispatch scheduling, give us a call today to find out how to get started! 813.438.3666 Nationwide

How Are You Dispatch Scheduling?- Scheduling Your HVAC Jobs  |  As an HVAC contractor your business relies on how you dispatch your technicians to the field to get your customers serviced. So how are you dispatch scheduling? Do you depend on a calendar page and a telephone?

As much as you hate to admit it, being a contractor means being a salesperson. Oh no, not THAT word! But yes, you have to sell the jobs before you can do the jobs. People aren’t always going to come to you. You have to be prospecting and marketing and selling yourself and your contracting skills. So before you pull out and rely on the old ABC’s of selling, don’t.

ABC’s of Selling

The ABC’s of selling… you know, Always Be Closing. The cornerstone of high pressure sales. Don’t you just love it when someone uses that tactic on you? Of course not! So don’t think for a second that it will work with your clients and prospective clients.

Selling isn’t about closing. Selling is about relationships. Selling is about listening to your clients and offering them the solution to their problems. If you can do that you don’t have to “always be closing.”

How you market Yourself

Sales also involve how you market yourself. This is a great way to get away from the ABC’s. Being able to show people who you are and what you do before you contact them or they contact you is a huge plus. You can do this well and easily today using social media.

Using Facebook for not only the social media aspect but also for ads. Use your smartphone to blast text current, past and prospective clients about a new service you may have or a special you may be offering. Go old school and send out postcards or take out ads in your local paper. Better yet, get on the phone! Call people. Engage them in conversation. Ask if they need help or have a project that needs a hand.

Don’t use high pressure tactics with your clients. Sell them, don’t push them.

Want some help with all this contractor sales communication? Check out our Contractor Services page to learn more!

Contractor Sales Tips - That Old ABC Tactic Doesn't Work Anymore

Today we are going to focus on contractor sales tips!

What is the number one mistake that contractors make? Here are some thoughts: You may not want to admit it, but being a contractor also means you’re a salesperson. Yes, you build things, but if you don’t sell the jobs, and yourself, you don’t work. It’s pretty simple. Only so many jobs will come without marketing and selling yourself, and even then you need to sell the client on the items needed to be done.

Follow-up

Well, it’s a mistake that all sales people typically make at one time or another. In a word, it’s follow-up. Sounds like a pretty dumb thing not to do, but not following up with people is very common. The thought process is either “I don’t want to pester them” or “if they need my services they will call.” Sound familiar? Well neither thought is correct.

You aren’t pestering them!

Whether you heard from them directly asking for information or a quote, or they asked because of your prospecting efforts, they were interested enough to ask. Never mind that you took the time to visit their home or meet with them and write out the quote. If you wanted to waste your own time you should have just taken the day off. How do you think it looks to the customer for your to provide a quote and then effectively disappear?

The second thought “if they need my services they will call” is also wrong

People are busy. They want to get things done, take steps to do that and then get distracted onto something else. Think about your own busy life. How often have you forgotten to do something like pick up milk on the way home from work or call a doctor back to reschedule or set an appointment? How great would a follow up call have been to help you remember? Same goes for your customers. Between running kids here and there, working and all the other errands, being busy means things fall through the cracks.

A follow up call can make a customer very happy. They know they haven’t been forgotten and that their business is important to you.

There you have it…our best contractor sales tips for increasing your revenue!

Contractor Sales Tips, The #1 Mistake Contractors Make! | What is the number one mistake that contractors make? Here are some thoughts: You may not want to admit it, but being a contractor also means you’re a salesperson. Yes, you build things, but if you don’t sell the jobs, and yourself, you don’t work.