Posts By: Sam Darwish

How to Effectively save Time as a Service Business Owner in 2021

How to Effectively save Time as a Service Business Owner in 2021

Time is a fickle thing. You blink once, and it’s already the end of the day. It’s especially stressful for business owners in the service industry to manage time because there’s so much to juggle. 

When worst comes to worst, they may get tempted to use ineffective techniques to get tasks out of their hair.

We’ve compiled some of the most productive time-saving techniques to help you with project management, and most importantly, keep you sane.

1. Keep Your Documents Organized

It’s easy to waste time looking for that one document that a client signed three months ago. 

You can introduce a smart filing system that organizes documents using color coding or their level of importance. Such a system calls for you to invest in filing cabinets, folders, and archives to store old documents.

A better solution in this tech-oriented age is to digitize all your documents. Not only does it save time, but it also saves your coin. Digital paperwork categorizes information in a much cleaner way making all documents easy to retrieve from most digital devices. 

The options are limitless with going digital. You can store payment receipts, job pictures, service history, and customer information which makes project management easier. These files are also searchable with keywords so you can retrieve documents easier and faster!

2. Schedule Your Day

If you’re extremely ambitious, you know all too well about the temptation to start working immediately when you step foot in the office. You sometimes just sit at your desk and start on the day’s urgent tasks without a proper plan to follow. 

This leaves you figuring out what to do after every task. It even promotes multitasking, where you switch between tasks as you go. 

Research has shown that this can cause a mental block since you aren’t focused on one thing. That block, paired with the time you spend switching, creates a huge time gap.

When you schedule out your daily duties, it becomes easier to transition from task to task. You also easily identify which tasks you can complete much faster, allowing you to adjust your schedule accordingly.

3. Make Space for Unexpected Events

You might be apprehensive about making schedules because new tasks usually seem to pop up every other moment in the service industry. 

There might be a sudden hitch in the field that needs your attention or an impromptu meeting with a major client. You can work around this by avoiding a tight schedule.

For example, you can put intervals of 15 minutes between each task in the schedule to allow for minor shifts. That way, if something comes up, you don’t have to readjust your whole day for it.

4. Use Your Extra Time Wisely

You must be wondering what will happen if there are no interruptions in your schedule. You’ll be left with these little time slots that don’t help seem to be good for anything productive. Well, they are very handy for handling short tasks that don’t make it into your schedule.

Making short phone calls, checking your email, and supervising the workers’ progress are all tasks that could fit in these brief time windows. For instance, you won’t have a backlog of emails just sitting there on Friday evening when you just want to unwind.

5. Automate Your Processes

Automation is something that more and more business owners in the service industry are implementing, and with good reason. It takes repetitive sequences out of the equation and allows people to focus on the more important aspects of their business. 

With service management software like ServiceDemand, you can automate payments, asset management, time tracking, and streamline all logistics. For example, time tracking will allow you to gauge how all employees, even remote workers, spend their time. 

Such nifty software also allows you to assign jobs more efficiently since you’ll know which employees are on location and are qualified for the work at hand.

6. Come up with Hard Deadlines

As the boss, you’re out there setting due dates for tasks you assign to your employees and doing the same for yourself can be a game-changer. 

When a task has no due date, we often find ourselves pushing it to later. When we finally get to it, we do it sluggishly or unenthusiastically because it’s been sitting there for way too long.

Set deadlines for your most important projects. It will give you more incentive to work on them, especially if you promise yourself a reward or tell other people so you can be held accountable. 

More often than not, you’ll complete these tasks earlier than expected. If you already have deadlines for your projects, try pushing them up as a challenge to make things interesting.

7. Find Alternatives to Meetings

Instead of pulling everyone from their work to have a meeting, you can implement new ways of getting information around, especially since workers in the service industry are usually so spread out. 

Group chats on Google Hangouts are a great starting point, but you can communicate with your team on a more intricate level if you have service management software. 

Sharing documents as you chat will be a breeze, together with assigning tasks and discussing important matters. No time will be wasted arranging meetings that usually risk going off-topic. 

8. Set up Power Hours

Keeping a business running smoothly is no small feat. You might excel at it, but what happens when you want to expand or come up with fresh projects to work on? Such elements demand more time, which you’re currently trying to save.

If your at this stage, set aside power hours. It can be a maximum of one hour if you don’t want to overexert yourself. You’ll spend this time working on new and creative ideas aimed at advancing your business.

9. Implement Admin Days

It’s good to take a step back and look at the bigger picture every once in a while. Admin days are one or two days every month that CEOs take to review their business strategy and catch up on planning.

Admin days will help keep your business streamlined as you’ll take your time to go through each detail that might have been previously overlooked. 


All these tips put together shave a lot of time off your schedule. You can start with your favorite and ease the rest in as time goes by. Our team has perfected ServiceDemand, which is an affordable service that has revolutionized project management by allowing businesses to automate all their processes on one platform. 

You might want to consider our service as automation is a major timesaver. We guarantee that you’ll see a huge upgrade in your business. Schedule a free demo today to see how ServiceDemand works!

How the Right Software Can Help You Earn Repeat Customers

How the Right Software Can Help You Earn Repeat Customers

Did you know it costs up to five times more to reach out to new customers than retain your existing customer base? Customers who have made purchases from your brand are more familiar with it and are thus easier to market to. 

With this in mind, you’ll want to make sure that your business runs smoothly for clients to have a perfect experience the first time around. If they get poor service, their first impression of your business will push them away to your competitors. 

Implementing the right management software for your business will streamline both internal and external processes to create the best service experience for your customers without having to overwork your employees.

Here are some of the things software can do for your business.

1. E-Commerce Automation

When a client requests a price quote, you’ve succeeded in getting them through the various stages of the sales funnel. You now enter the quote to cash process(QTC), which clients expect to be fast. They usually opt for vendors who reply fast with accurate quotes.

Outdated versions of the process usually require sales representatives to scour product databases to get a proper quote. Other businesses have complex pricing structures, which include discounts, add-ons, and bundles that only increase the risk of misquoting or slow responses.

Automating this process will allow the system to provide quick, accurate quotes in real-time, thus reducing order errors and improving future data analysis. The system will also handle all other independent actions from that point onwards to expedite the sales process.

For instance, it will craft error-free, dynamic proposals and agreements for the client to review. If they give the green light, the system then kickstarts the financial end of the process. 

When the sales rep follows up by cross-selling other products, the system will also generate updated invoices, giving the client a view of the business as highly efficient. The chances of them opting for your services in the future automatically shoot up because of this.

2. Fleet Tracking 

It’s easy to get overwhelmed when managing a fleet of vehicles for your business, especially a service-related business which heavily relies on mobility. That sector needs maintenance scheduling, tracking, managing drivers, and gauging operational costs, just to name a few. 

With the fleet management tool that comes with field management software(FMS), you can pin which fleet vehicle to assign to the day’s jobs based on the client’s location and their set deadline. 

It assures that all clients receive consistent, fast service. And we all know that the faster you can deliver a product or a service, the more likely it is for a client to put you on a pedestal.

The tool also allows you to set when regularly scheduled services for the vehicles to avoid random breakdowns as your employees deliver services or products.

3. Contactless Payment 

Due to the pandemic, sanitation has become a prime concern for clients and employees alike. Adopting field management software that allows customers to pay without surrendering their sensitive information or making contact with your employees will go a long way in gaining their trust. 

You’ll become their go-to whenever they need a service in your industry, and this relationship will have high chances of lasting post-covid.

Employees will also feel safer and more comfortable as their job requires them to interact with many people per day, leading them to perform their duties more effectively. 

The software will record transactions in real-time and integrate them with the inventory management tool. This will make it easier to track assets and generate reports, thus keeping the business streamlined.

4. Real-Time Communication

Clients like being kept in the loop during every stage of the process. This can be a hassle, especially if you have a large volume of customers, each with unique needs. Adopting management software like ServiceDemand can help you automate messages in terms of emails or texts.

For example, customers can forget about appointments since they also have fast-paced lives. You can configure the system to send reminders a day before the appointment and as your field workers are on their way there. 

It’ll make customers feel like they are a priority since you keep them updated even if you’d agreed on an appointment already.

You can also assign jobs via text for field workers or even get them to check in with you as they progress with their tasks. It’s easier than having to log onto the app. 

Alternatively, you could set automatic push notifications to ensure that no worker gets so carried away with their task that they are late for other appointments.

5. Contractor Management

FMS like ServiceDemand can allow you to look for highly ranked contractors at rates of your choice and keep track of their progress in real-time. On your dashboard, you’ll get to see how many tasks they’ve completed and those that are in progress.

The navigation page will allow you to create teams and assign specific customer projects to each group. The team structure you choose will dictate who can create and manage project details to prevent unnecessary or redundant information from being keyed in.

Such efficiency will shine through on the customer’s end since you’ll provide them with the best people for the task who’ll work on it solely without mixing it up with other projects. 

6. Asset Management

The one thing that can be an instant deal-breaker for a client is downtime. Downtime results in delays in service or product delivery which isn’t so great in this age where clients want instant services. 

Making use of asset management software will let you keep track of all your assets before something causes a bottleneck. You’ll know the exact location of each asset and how it’s being put to use. This will help you pin when they need repairs and routine maintenance.

Your financial statements will also stay updated by the system as it regularly checks assets, and you’ll no longer have ghost inventory. This means that you won’t provide false information to your clients, thus encouraging them to work with your business again.

7. Parts Management

It is essential to keep track of your existing parts so that your team always has the right tools for the job. You need to monitor everything from parts you manufacture to spare parts and parts you service.

ServiceDemand has a parts management system that can let you store pictures, service manuals, and the parts’ model numbers. You can include links to vendors who you source parts from and alternative to the parts. 

Alternates will help workers find appropriate replacements for faulty parts without wasting the client’s time. They’ll have everything they need to get new ones in one collective place, allowing them to order whatever they require to get a certain task out of the way hassle-free.

A system like this boosts productivity, thus encouraging clients to rely on your services more than the competitors. 

9. Optimized Schedules and Checklists

You can upgrade how fast clients are served by simply integrating service software with a schedule tab that indicates all pending work events. The software is perfect for letting employees be more time-conscious without you having to follow up every time.

The software can also provide checklists for any products that are being shipped or flown out. It makes clearance go along much smoother, and your clients will receive exactly what they order.


To always stay ahead of the competition, you have to offer quick and quality service to clients. This will become increasingly harder as your client base grows. 

Getting service software like ServiceDemand to do most of the heavy-lifting will allow you to expand your business without compromising on quality.

Our system will ensure that data flows without a hitch and that everyone has a high-efficiency rate. Your clients will look nowhere else. Get in touch today to get a free demo!

6 KPIs Your Service Business Should Be Tracking

When a small business begins to grow, it becomes necessary for stakeholders to agree on quantifying its success. When a company takes off, it becomes essential to use specific indicators to take charge of its growth trajectory.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are the metrics on which you can quantify a business’s achievements. They are outcome-based, quantifiable elements that you can use to determine whether your business is on track to meet its goals. A good business growth plan should use between five and seven KPIs to track and manage a business’s progress.

The anatomy of a KPI metric is made up of:

  1. Measure – This is an expressive measure of the KPI.
  2. Target – KPI target is a numeric value and must match the measure and duration of the goal.
  3. Data source – This is a clearly defined source of data for the KPI. There must be no gray areas in how the KPI is measured or tracked.
  4. Reporting – KPIs can have different reporting frequencies. As a rule of thumb, structure your KPI reports to monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annually.

Now that you know how a KPI is structured, here are six of the most important KPIs that a small business or enterprise with a field workforce should track and manage.

Monthly Profit / Loss

You can quickly tell whether your business is on its course to meeting its goals based on whether it makes a profit or a loss. The monthly profit or loss is calculated by subtracting business expenses from revenue.

Business expenses typically include fixed costs paid every month and operations costs that may vary. Fixed costs include rent, salaries, utilities, and costs of advertising. Variable costs are unexpected and may often fluctuate from month to month. Examples include fuel, costs of equipment repair, and commissions.

The profit or loss KPI is a crucial tool used to determine what’s using up the business’ financial resources. You can then compile profit and loss reports every month to analyze its performance for that month. Based on these reports, you can make critical business decisions such as:

  • Is the business on track to meet its goals, or do you need to cut costs?
  • If you need to cut costs, which variable costs does the business need to limit?
  • Is the business’ profit margin healthy? If it is not, should you raise prices for services or cut monthly costs?
  • Are the clients the business is targeting the right ones to help the business thrive? If they are not, should you find better-paying clients?

Expenses should not use up a significant portion of the business profits. Your business will reach its objectives sooner if more profit is reinvested into the business. As a rule of thumb, keep the total monthly operations costs, including fixed and variable expenses, at less than 30% of the revenue.

Service Metrics

It is vital for businesses offering professional services to identify and keep track of the right service metrics. The customer service KPI may as well represent the overall trajectory of the company.

For example, a plumbing business may need to document the response times and how many workers it takes to complete a service ticket vis-à-vis its revenue. In this case, the KPI measures the team’s promptness and helps you determine whether the business is running efficiently.

Professional services businesses can benchmark service trends and compare them with revenue trends to analyze the business trajectory. When done right, Service Metrics KPIs can help a company develop an effective strategy to meet measurable goals such as ‘making $1M in revenue in a year.’

Sales Revenue

Sales revenue is the amount of money the business received for the services it offered. This is one of the most fundamental metrics used to determine the success of a business. Many small business owners use this metric early in the company to decide whether to scale their field workforce, expand service areas, or invest in better tools and equipment.

However, unlike profit margins, sales revenue KPI does not tell much about its overall health. Therefore, the sales revenue KPI should not be used as the sole basis of making critical long-term decisions of the business.

The good thing about sales revenue KPI is that the data is easy to analyze – even outside the business’ financial period. A sales manager or team can determine whether the company is doing better or worse with a quick analysis.

The sales revenue KPI would be most useful to sales teams, helping them gauge their marketing or sales tactics’ effectiveness. By collecting sales data and analyzing revenues, they can predict sales trends for regions they target, times of sale, or seasons.

According to a Harvard Business Review study, a business can analyze sales revenue information and use the report to forecast future opportunities and chart a growth path that best compliments its overall goals.

Gross Profit Margin

The gross profit margin is a financial KPI calculated as a percentage value of the business revenue. You can calculate it by subtracting the cost of providing a service from the sales revenue then dividing the result by the sales revenue.

Here is an example of gross profit margin calculation for a roofing company that earns $800,000 but spends $500,000 in direct service costs:

A healthy services business should have a large enough profit margin to cover fixed and recurring expenses and still leave a profit at the end of the period. 

The gross profit margin is one of the most critical KPIs for professional service contractors as it more accurately reflects the health of the business than revenue. An excellent gross profit margin for companies in the professional services field is 20% or higher.

A ‘healthy’ gross profit margin varies between business models, industries, and business sizes. To provide perspective, a healthy gross profit margin for a construction firm would be 10%, while a banking institution needs a 90% gross profit margin.

Customer Retention Rate

The ability to retain customers is one of the most useful metrics for professional service businesses. This KPI is vital for three reasons:

  • Service providers such as plumbers, electricians, appliance repairers, and car towing services depend on returning customers for revenue.
  • The measure of customer retention is directly proportional to the customer satisfaction levels. When customers are satisfied, they will come back. When they are not, they may not return.
  • Local professional service businesses get significant business from word-of-mouth referrals. Businesses that retain customers for longer also get more referrals.

The value of customer retention for small businesses and enterprises cannot be overstated. A study by The Economics of E-Loyalty found that a mere 5% increase in a business’ customer retention rate can increase profit by as much as 95%.

There are easy ways a professional service business can determine its customer retention rates. The most popular is using simple surveys to determine whether a customer intends to return after getting service from the company.

There are also robust new tools such as the Net Promoter Score that a business can use to measure customer loyalty. This KPI can be a powerful metric to check the business’ customer service practices or fine-tune customer satisfaction campaigns.

Advertising ROI

Advertising isn’t cheap. With so many advertising options available to businesses, it can be tricky to find the right platform with the highest returns on investment(ROI). ROI is a must-use performance indicator for any business that pays for any form of advertising.

Many factors determine the return on investment of an advertising campaign. The obvious ones are the advertising platform and media, advertising strategy, budget, and target customers.

A good advertising ROI for a professional service business is between 25% and 50%. The value of return on investment is essentially the percentage of sales or revenue received by the business directly from an advertising campaign over the advertising’s total cost within a period.


A modern professional services business must use sophisticated methods to determine its growth trajectory. Considering the complexity of the KPI metrics calculations, the range of the raw data, and the sophistication of analysis tools, charting and tracking KPIs can be challenging to any entrepreneur.

If you are not tracking these six performance metrics in your business, you may never accurately chart the way forward for its growth. The best course of action is to hire a cloud-based business optimization service such as Service Demand to do all the hard work for you. Contact Service Demand today to get personalized advice on the best KPIs for your business and how to use them to define its growth path.

Must-Have Features in Your Field Service Management (FSM) Software

Running a business in the field service industry is challenging. Especially since you have workers, equipment, and customers in need 24/7. Regardless of your business model’s complexity, you have to meet customer requests efficiently to maximize profitability. Let’s face it; manual methods are tedious and ineffective in allocating tasks and tracking mobile workforces.

Therefore, modern organizations employ field management software. This software allows workers to access essential resources, receive schedules and updates on time, and communicate smoothly. Field service software has benefits for business owners and managers as well. Managers can easily track fleet vehicles and inventory all in one easy-to-use interface. If you’re looking to take your service business to the next level, make sure you prioritize these features:

Scheduling and Dispatch

Running an organization with multiple employees requires multitasking. Managers in the field service industry have to stay on top of schedules to ensure that employees handle service requests quickly. Having software that supports scheduling and dispatch takes a considerable load off your shoulders.

Some FSM software, like ServiceDemand, can track the labor proficiency of employees and their location to help determine which technician should handle which job. 

Parts Inventory Management

Different jobs require different parts. Some more than others. Your employees need to keep track of inventory. The last thing you need is for a technician to realize they are out of parts when they arrive at a job.

Your field service management solution should offer real-time inventory tracking to show the quantities of all parts at all times. If an item is unavailable, managers and employees can access suppliers’ catalogs, place orders, and track delivery on the system. Some software tools issue notifications when inventory for a given part reaches a prescribed level to prevent running out of stock.

Contractor Management

When working with contractors and third-party vendors, a work order management feature eliminates confusion and streamlines processes. Additionally, workers can document their progress on a given project through voice, video, pictures, and notes, keeping all parties accountable. 

After completing a job, technicians can update their work orders, and managers can view project statuses at a glance. Your field service management software should also send electronic invoices and support mobile, contactless payment.

Fleet Vehicle Tracking

Fleet vehicle tracking is an essential feature of any FSM software. Integrating your business with software like ServiceDemand allows you to acquire detailed reports about driver behaviors like speeding. Live GPS tracking will assist in route optimization to save fuel. The vehicle tracking feature also keeps you up to date on any maintenance requirements and will allow you to locate vehicles in the case of theft.

Real-Time Communication

There should be effective communication channels to allow office-based employees to connect seamlessly with field workers. As previously mentioned, field workers should also have seamless access to spare part inventory, back-end systems, trade tools, and knowledge resources.

These items play a central role in facilitating prompt job completion and better customer service. For instance, instructional resources can guide technicians in diagnosing and resolving problems, especially when dealing with sophisticated equipment.

A mobile-first interface can enable real-time communication via mobile devices. Your field employees can access their work schedules and dispatches right on their phones. They can also mark work orders, fill log hours, and process payments without reporting back to the office.

Mobile Asset Management

Field service companies have a variety of mobile assets. These can be expensive tools and equipment, reusable and returnable transportation containers, personnel operating in high-risk sites, etc. If you don’t know who has what, you might keep repairing and replacing neglected, misused, misplaced, and stolen things.

Mobile asset management is an essential field management aspect that increases the visibility of all your assets throughout the supply chain. With barcoding, you can access equipment service records instantly. The aim is to ensure all your critical tools are available and functional when needed.

A system with radio-frequency identification (RFID) monitoring can bolster your mobile asset management if you deal with high-value assets. RFID can give you insights into when to service an apparatus by reporting its health while in use. Coupled with GPS, you can tell the status and location of an asset remotely.

Video & Voice Collaboration

Whether you work in the field or manage field service operations from the office, collaborating with your team is sometimes challenging. Hiccups include ineffective real-time communication, hindering smooth interaction between field workers and office employees. It often causes information gaps about clients and projects, hurting productivity and customer service.

Fortunately, field management software can enhance collaboration through voice and video by leveraging your smartphone features. When field technicians run into problems, they can share them with experts through video calls instead of describing them over the phone.

Real-time video calls improve troubleshooting, enabling quicker problem-solving. It makes life easier for everyone – managers understand the difficulties in the field better, and field service agents don’t feel neglected.

Send Text Message Notifications

Another must-have for field service management software is a built-in messaging system as virtually everyone uses mobile phones. When a noteworthy event occurs, you can update everyone in your team with a text message notification. 

Push notifications take text messaging a notch higher. Your messaging software can quickly notify technicians about new assignments and schedule adjustments or remind employees to update their work orders, etc.

Some messaging systems maintain communication within your corporate system for accountability reasons. Managers can tag a technician in a specific work order and know when they see the alert. Furthermore, field workers can send a question to the entire team to get quick answers and diverse opinions.

Reporting and Analytics

Businesses collect so much data when interacting with customers, vendors, and partners. You can exploit your enterprise data to gain insightful information for informed business decisions. Strive to find a field service management software with built-in reporting and analytics capabilities.

Reporting and analytics help you analyze data to identify trends and patterns that you can use to enhance efficiency and performance. For instance, you can see your job scheduling effectiveness, every technician’s output, and how these factors relate to ROI and customer satisfaction.

Integrating analytics with your inventory software can help in demand forecasting. You will know the most fast-moving parts so you can plan timely replenishments.

Customer Management

Regardless of the industry, your organization should strive to satisfy its clients. Even if you invest in the latest equipment and the most qualified talent, you won’t succeed if your customers aren’t happy. For this reason, you need to manage your customer base efficiently.

Your field service management software should include a database for storing customer data. It should organize clients’ contact information, how you have served them, and save remarks for each project. For instance, did you face any challenges completing the job, and was the customer happy?

Reviewing your job histories can provide insights into your customer service levels. You can identify your inefficiencies and find solutions to enhance service delivery and customer satisfaction.

It’s also in your best interest to find a field management tool with a client portal. Clients can book or adjust appointments, provide their contact information, and participate in surveys. When you offer your clients a portal to access the information they need, they know they’re being cared for.

Revamp Your Field Management with ServiceDemand

Does managing projects in your organization feel like too much work? Are you losing opportunities due to inefficiencies in scheduling and tracking your team and assets? Make the witch to ServiceDemand, the next-generation project management tool.

ServiceDemand has all the tools necessary to improve productivity and maximize profit in your business. Once you adopt this software, you will realize an immediate decline in the expenses related to service delivery. With customizable dashboards, measuring success is a breeze.

Contact us to learn how ServiceDemand can enhance your business performance.

5 Ways A Service Industry Business Owner Can Save Money and Time

Running a successful service business is complex and demanding. At the bare minimum, running a business is a two-pronged objective for business owners: to satisfy customer needs and make a profit. When these two objectives are in sync, a business runs smoothly with minimal input from the owner. Customers are satisfied, the business yields profit, and the workforce gets paid. This equation’s complexity arises in how today’s businesses can leverage the latest technologies to outdo their competition. In a world of fierce competition, you’re either leading the charge of utilizing the latest technology, or you’re falling behind. The good news is that ‘leading the charge’ means you wield many benefits like saving time and money. Let’s dive into some ways your business can lead the charge. 


1. Invest In A Good Field Service Management Software

Plumbing, HVAC, electrical engineering, and construction, among other field service businesses, are the people’s unsung superheroes. Their services are often called upon during moments of distress for their clients.


It’s crucial for a company to provide these services on time and be prepared to solve problems. Smart business owners invest in a field service management system that makes running their business efficient and straightforward. 


FSM software makes it easy to manage orders, vehicle fleets, schedules, collect a payment, and more. A full-featured field service management tool has three core benefits to a service business:


a. Reduces costs by streamlining workflow and accounting

Service business owners require the time and space to address their teams’ concerns in the field. After all, that is where the business is, not the office. An FSM software eliminates the need for an office full of accountants and frees up other employees to focus on tasks within their scope.


Many service businesses get trapped in outdated systems that are expensive to continue using despite the apparent benefits. Modern field service systems automate and manage activities that are often time-consuming or require hired help.


b. Increases efficiency company-wide

A modern FSM system is key to company-wide efficiency. With features like on-site contactless payment and mobile asset tracking paired with convenient integration tools, a boost in efficiency is guaranteed. With its advanced scheduling tools, your FSM platform will help eliminate inefficiencies that affect workflow and communication between your employees and customers.


c. Boosts customer satisfaction

The modern-day consumer expects to have services on demand. While the typical electrician or plumber can’t compete with on-demand service provided by companies like Netflix or Hulu, they can take a step ahead of their competition by utilizing FSM software features. An FSM software’s fleet tracking management tool will help identify which fleet vehicle should be assigned to each job based on various factors such as location and expected job completion time to ensure your customers receive fast and accurate service.


2. Cut Extraneous Expenses, Not Employees

When your business is having difficulty paying the bills and customers are scarce, a business owner must make difficult decisions. However, firing employees should never be the go-to solution when cash isn’t flowing. Here are a few things you can do as a business owner should you find yourself in this situation.


a. Stop paying for equipment not used

You know that rack of supplies that you’ve unintentionally stocked up on? Yeah, stop paying for that every month and take advantage of your current supply. 


b. Be honest with your employees

Before you go on a firing spree, talk to your workforce regarding your financial position. If the staff receives perks and benefits, suggest removing them first before resorting to layoffs. Employee turnover has permanent adverse effects on a service business. If you have a cohesive team, it should not be too difficult for them to compromise to achieve long-term job security.


c. Eliminate Discretionary Spending

So, your company had plans to get a new coffee machine, rebrand the vehicles, or advertise more? If you are cash-strapped, the last thing you want to do is spend money. 


3. Take Your Business To The Cloud

Before you ask the question, the answer is yes. Every business needs to have a cloud presence to utilize today’s technology fully. The cloud has become the hottest marketplace for all kinds of services. It is an open secret that turning to the cloud is a sure way to enjoy affordable professional services built by brilliant minds with advanced tools.


Why are these services necessary? Because they save time, money and provide the flexibility that is essential for a business in 2021. You don’t need to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in expensive equipment to run your service company. All your business and staff data can be processed, stored, and accessed on the cloud in real-time.


Business owners considering service management platforms should also be keen to see how well it integrates with cloud services. When a system integrates with other services online, a business will benefit in two main ways, including:


a. Flexibility of service

Ever since the pandemic, every business, regardless of service size or nature, was forced to consider working from home. Companies that had flexible cloud services found it easier and cheaper to adapt to the new requirements.


b. Scalability

The traditional ways of collecting and managing business data get more complicated with time. Eventually, mistakes happen, papers get lost, Excel files are corrupted, and data is lost. A business that fails to adapt to the times will not grow as it should, stagnating and wasting time. Cloud service providers offer packaged services to accommodate businesses of all sizes and different needs.


4. Go Green, Conserve the Planet

It may sound like a cliché, but a company that goes green will save a lot more than money: it will also be playing its role in conserving the planet. Service companies that interact directly with customers can use the green movement to improve their image and get more business.


How can your business go green? Here are five examples of things you can do.


a. Buy fewer paper products

Service companies who do business the traditional way are notorious for using paper products. A simple way to save the trees is by adopting an FSM system like we previously discussed. Go green and increase efficiency! A double win!


b. Keep utility costs low

Utility costs eat into a business’ profits. The larger the business, the higher the utility expenses. You can cut these expenses in many different ways – from switching to energy-efficient LED bulbs in the office to buying electric vehicles.


c. Telecommuting system

Does your company already have a cloud network for staff? If it does, then setting up a telecommuting system is a sure way to go green. A system that allows staff to meet virtually and enable screen and file-sharing will be just as effective as having staff in the office. However, for a company that provides service, transportation logistics must be in place for field staff.

5. Be Available Everywhere

Your business should not just have an online presence with a static website; an online presence means activity! With a little investment and some plugins, you can make it easy for the customers to get the information they need at any time. 

It would be perilous to ignore the importance of social media too. As an entrepreneur, what your customers say on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media platforms should concern you. These platforms offer powerful tools to follow up with customer issues, answer questions, and spread word of mouth.


Final Thoughts

Your time-saving tactics and money-saving secrets are what define you as a business owner. As you research and experiment with different ways to make your business more successful, consider these five steps. If you truly want to take your business to the next level, get in touch with us here at Service Demand today.




How to Run Your Service Business Efficiently and Remotely

Growing a service business and achieving your goals involves overcoming significant challenges, uncertainties, and fierce competition because of marketplace changes and other unforeseen circumstances.

Today’s customers expect fast, reliable, and top-shelf services, and if you are not meeting their expectations, your competition is going above and beyond to do it. Few companies can remain open and competitive in today’s cutthroat field service environment without properly managing their resources, time, and costs.

Still, many companies manage functions and coordinate tasks manually. Unfortunately, they find it challenging to keep up with companies that use management software. With tech-savvy customers increasingly expecting their jobs to be completed quickly and effectively, field service management software becomes a must-have workforce management tool. It can help you automate your business for greater operational efficiency, superior customer service, and profitability.

ServiceDemand helps service business owners and contractors face their trade challenges and improve their operational efficiency with capabilities that rival other large tech-enabled businesses. Having a flexible strategy and investing in superior field service management software will make things simple for you.

In this post, we look at managing your service business from anywhere in the world and the essence of using field service management software.

Managing Your Service Business

Some of the popular solutions recommended for growing your service business include the following:

  • Data Tracking: Know how money flows through your business, track your productivity and job profitability, manage your workforce, and other essential data metrics.
  • Customer Nurturing: Build relationships, exceed expectations, get more online reviews, solve issues, and foster word-of-mouth referrals.
  • Accountable Marketing: Measure your company’s success by return on investment.
  • Cost Calculation: Stay hyper-aware of your business spending.
  • Proactive Execution: Better your business today for a productive tomorrow.

Every service company wants to deliver the best service, meet and exceed customer expectations, and get referrals and repeat business by offering exceptional services. What do you want whenever your service professionals go into the field to serve customers? Whatever services you offer, your answers align with the following:

  • Confidence that customers feel your company can tackle the job and everything is under control from the first contact to invoicing and payment. The results should also show it.
  • Confidence that your service professionals have the best support, tools, and planning whenever they go out and throughout their service call.
  • Confidence that your company remains on top of each service visit, and you can track everything that happens in the field remotely, without having to call in every hour for updates.
  • Confidence that you deliver the best service and meet the highest standards while reducing your operational costs through efficient management of all aspects of the job such as scheduling, project planning, on-the-job back-up, parts management, and invoicing.

Field service management software can help you manage your business from anywhere in the world and realize all the above goals and more.

Field Service Management Software

Field service management (FSM) software (or workforce management tools) refers to tools that allow service-centric enterprises to increase their productivity and achieve all their project goals efficiently. It delivers exceptional on-site service through request tracking, personnel management, and enabling total visibility of service delivery cycles.

Some of the features of FSM software include:

  • Contactless payment
  • Work order management
  • Inventory control
  • Smart routing
  • Job planning
  • Real-time communication
  • Advanced scheduling and dispatch
  • Fleet tracking
  • Real-time analytics and reporting
  • Customer management
  • Contractor management

FSM software helps you streamline all of the above operations and more on one multifaceted platform. Adopting the software, service SMBs (HVAC, electricians, roofers, appliance repair, locksmiths, etc.) can help you reap the benefits of field management software.

FSM software like ServiceDemand are cloud-based systems that enable business managers and owners to plan, schedule, execute, and review services delivery to clients. The goal is to ensure uniform, repeatable, and professional services while driving cost benefits through improved labor management.

ServiceDemand is a platform technology that performs many useful and complex functions. It mediates an end-to-end process that improves and empowers the experiences of employees, contractors, managers, and customers.

Data intake, analytical engine, and machine learning are a few of the core tools that ServiceDemand has integrated into its service platform to achieve goals like management empowerment, productivity, and user satisfaction across the board. Platform technology is a new and revolutionary operating model for service businesses that catalyzes a changing mindset, operational methodology, and organization as a whole.

How to Run Your Service Business Remotely

1. Data Tracking

ServiceDemand’s field reporting software allows service business owners to analyze essential data that their technicians and contractors collect on each job plus every in-office customer interaction. You can then use data analytics reporting to track key performance indicators (KPIs) and see which aspects of the business perform well and which need improvement.

As a service business owner, you must know how your business performs daily. You need to know how many calls you receive, what percentage of those calls you convert to booked jobs, how many jobs you close in the field, the rate of customer satisfaction, what revenue the jobs generate, and your return on investment (ROI).

You can then use the data to make informed management decisions moving forward. Otherwise, you are just guessing.

ServiceDemand allows you to track your operational activities and tailor your reporting dashboards to display KPIs and metrics that mean the most to your business. For instance, it is essential for business owners to know their gross profit on all the work they complete because if your margins are not good, then growth can cripple your company due to increased operational expenses.

ServiceDemand can go as far as helping you know your break-even price per hour, based on your cost of doing business. Service companies only get paid for tasks they complete and not when they drive to a job, train technicians, or talk to customers. Therefore knowing your billable hour efficiency (BHE) allows you to track your downtime and lost person-hours per call to enable you to price your services appropriately.

2. Manage Your Business with Technology

Today’s customers expect to book services online, digitally sign contracts, and receive information via email for their records. What’s more, with Mobile Asset Service Management, techs can travel with all the information available in the office, access it in the field, and update it on-the-go. They can also review service history, create quotes, and close-out jobs from their smartphone or tablet.

The right technology allows service companies to streamline their processes and run more efficiently. In turn, process optimizations will minimize operational costs and improve your bottom line.

3. Remote System Operations

The FSM software is remotely operable, which means employees, contractors, technicians, partners, and admins can operate the system anywhere and in real-time. Things like repeat trips to the office, numerous update phone calls, canceled appointments, double booking, and unsatisfied customers no longer characterize field trips.

FSM software solutions allow your technicians to access and update information in the field. ServiceDemand has gone a notch higher with its browser capability, giving users access without going through a private network or VPN. All you need to access the platform is an internet connection and a device.

4. Make Happy Customers for Life

Customer referrals and repeat business can make or break your business, especially when your business involves being in customer’s homes. Customer satisfaction is always crucial, and making them happy and satisfied with your services and delivery gives you repeat business and referrals.

5. Prepare for the Future

The service industry changes every day, and failure to adapt risks your company lagging. Always look ahead to ensure that your business grows and remains profitable and be mindful and on the right side of market disruptors, which currently include voice search, 5G network, the Internet of Things (IoT), and Amazon Home Services.

Why Choose ServiceDemand?

ServiceDemand brings your entire field operation and management under enhanced control. Since the FSM software is completely scalable, it works with any company size, from a small local service outfit to a nationwide multi-site operation with a large staff and customers.

ServiceDemand offers efficiency gains, cost control, increased profitability, customer satisfaction, staff motivation, and improved performance. Heroku cloud platform-as-a-service (PaaS) hosts ServiceDemand, and Amazon Web Services (AWS) supports its scalability. Therefore, your service company does not need any additional or special servers and hardware.

As a web-hosted SaaS platform, ServiceDemand does not require any additional integration software such as ERPs, CRMs, or ticketing platforms. Other capabilities of the platform include:

  • Enables job photo upload and archiving in the field using any mobile device
  • Allows fleet tracking with a superior GPS feature that shows you where all your vehicles are 24/7
  • Enables efficient payment processing with it’s a unified system of managing your payments, payroll, finances, and cash flow
  • Supports email automation to enable you to communicate with your customers and other stakeholders effectively
  • Cloud storage support gives your team remote access to files, documents, and information and allows the uploading, sharing, and organizing of paperwork

Want to learn more about ServiceDemand? Get in touch to schedule a free personal demonstration or receive a detailed tutorial of the platform’s features and capabilities.

Keywords: field service management software, field service software, field service scheduling software

An In-Depth Look at Modern Service Software

Field service software has come a long way in the past few years. The right platform can help even small businesses improve and optimize their activities on a daily basis, managing field staff while tracking performance, and even improving customer relations.

Historically, non-enterprise businesses have been hesitant to leverage this type of software for fear of complexity and cost. Modern service software, though, can be just as beneficial for even the smallest operations as it would be for major companies with 100+ employees.

Put differently, field service management software may just be what puts your HVAC, plumbing, roofing, electrical, or appliance repair business over the top. That’s especially true in the current environment, which has caused many businesses to revamp their daily practices to remain safe while providing excellent field service. Join us for an in-depth look at what modern software has to offer, and how you can benefit from it.

What, Exactly, is Field Service Management Software?

The basic definition is simple: field service management (FSM) software describes any platform that helps this type of business optimize their business activities. That might include scheduling, quoting and billing, customer relationship management, and even performance monitoring. 

At its best, this type of software offers significant benefits in the field service industry, ranging from increased efficiency to reduced operating costs and more. There’s even a case to be made that every business needs field service software.

4 Timely Benefits of Modern Service Software

As mentioned above, we’ve discussed the general benefits of modern service software in previous articles in this space. So let’s dive deeper into the four advantages that remain true regardless of the time, but have become especially beneficial during the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting change in business operations.

1) Transition to Paperless Operations

The field service business traditionally relies heavily on the paper trail. Fliers and postcards can promote its offerings and promotions, while quotes, invoices, bills, and other printed materials drive the functional side of customer communications. The right platform, though, moves these communications to a digital alternative.

Through field service software, you can launch email-based communication plans to promote your business and reach your customers. Meanwhile, you can integrate paperless billing and scheduling that further reduces paper-based touchpoints. Through the right apps and programs, you can effectively stay in touch with your customers and send important notes without relying on printing and mailing.

That’s especially relevant in light of current COVID-19 research, which suggests that the virus may survive for a limited time on paper surfaces. Moreover, going paperless can be a significant cost-saver in a time when budgets in the service industry are becoming tighter. With the right FSM software, you can minimize risks while improving your balance sheet.

2) Engage in Contactless Payments

Naturally, service businesses have taken pains in recent months to avoid close-proximity contacts with their customers to reduce the possibility of infection on either side. Contactless payments can play a major role in reducing these close contracts and increasing safety.

Traditionally, most field service operations have accepted payment in one of two ways;

  • In-person, with cash, a check, or a credit card handed from customer to employee. This poses a major potential safety risk.
  • Remotely, with the customer providing credit card numbers that an employee on the other side of the line can add to the computer. This poses a major data security risk.

FSM software offers a third alternative: the ability to pay via email or text, keeping both information and people safe. The payment occurs and is logged in real-time, without engaging in any of the above risks.

3) Leverage Modern Collaboration Tools

The close contact conundrum mentioned above also comes into play when service personnel has to work in a customer’s house or apartment. In that case, it’s almost impossible to avoid close contact with someone else’s property, leading to significant health risks.

Now, imagine a platform in which you can use modern collaboration tools to avoid some of these concerns, without losing on your business’s customer service or efficiency. With the right FSM software, you can use platforms like Zoom or Microsoft Teams to communicate with customers without having to share a room.

These collaboration tools, of course, offer significant benefits beyond the current pandemic as well. Being able to video chat with your customers means potentially reducing the need for an in-person visit, solving simple problems remotely and reserving physical appointments for more dire situations.

4) Integrate Safety Checks

As mentioned above, a necessary part of the modern service business has become ensuring the safety of operations on the still-necessary visits. Even with collaboration tools like video chats, some of these visits will remain essential. Modern service software, though, allows for a more protected operation thanks to safety check opportunities.

The communication in this case is internal. Platform operators can build reminders into individual service events, reminding their technicians to stock and wear PPE gear. Other reminders can mention the need for social distancing, as well as following other best practices that the pandemic has made necessary.

How to Find the Right Field Service Management Software

All four of the above benefits are both timely and lasting. While they undeniably apply in the current conditions, they also have long-term value in a variety of situations. Of course, that’s only the case if you can find field service management software that’s optimized for your business.

Finding that software depends on your situation. You can ease the process, however, by asking a few questions that narrow down the selection:

  • What’s your budget, and can you find software within your budget range?
  • How experienced are you with running software for your service business, and how complex could the software be for an easy implementation?
  • What features are necessary, or at least desired, to improve your operations? Some research on typical features can go a long way towards answering this question.

With these three variables in mind, you can find FSM software specifically designed to improve your business, both now and in the long-term future. You’ll reap the rewards of finding a platform that helps you both modernize and optimize your operations.

How to Grow Your Business as a Service Provider

If there’s one universal truth about entrepreneurship, it’s that no success tip or strategy applies equally for all businesses. Unfortunately, most are geared towards companies that deal with tangible products. As a service-based business owner, you are likely aware that even when such ideas apply to your company, it’s somewhat different.

When it comes to generating steady revenue, the rules are different for product-based and service-based companies. A business that sells a physical product can focus on quality, branding, and aggressive marketing. However, for service businesses, that alone is not sufficient. Whereas a product-based company can easily target a global market and thrive on one-off sales, service companies rely on repeat business.

As such, developing a rapport with customers is essential. Do you run a service-based business such as an HVAC, appliance repair, or plumbing company? Read on for some insightful strategies that will help grow your business.

1. Establish Credibility

One of the key elements of scaling a business is building credibility with your audience. However, with the uniqueness of the service industry, startups often find themselves in a tough position. Compared to products where one can buy to test, it’s not the same with services.

For someone to hire a plumbing company, they want to know that the company is qualified and reliable. Therefore, it is essential to start building credibility from the onset. Here are some of the ways you can establish credibility to grow your business: 

  • Demonstrate integrity. As a service company, experience greatly influences how much people are willing to hire you. However, the easiest way to show you are reliable despite lacking experience is by being transparent. Do not shy away from your experience and be open about how your company is run and what it stands for.
  • Demonstrate your capacity. It’s one thing to say you are good at what you do, and it’s a totally different thing when your customers endorse you. As you start, focus on going above and beyond to satisfy your customers. With each client, request them to do a video testimonial recommending your business. If need be, offer them a discount on your next service. This will not only earn you a good review but also a second chance of making a good impression on them.

2.  Capitalize on Word-of-Mouth Marketing

In order to increase your customer base, you must develop a marketing strategy that reaches and appeals to your target audience. Today, technology-based platforms account for the largest proportion of marketing efforts. As a startup or small business, you may not have enough funds to run a comprehensive online marketing campaign.

This, however, is not to say that you cannot market your company. You can grow your client list with good old-fashioned word-of-mouth marketing, which is especially effective for service-based companies. Prepare both physical and digital business cards and brochures. Armed with these, make it a point to attend events where your ideal customers will be. These could be industry-related networking events or even community events. Interact with people and let them know the services that you offer. This is a long-term yet effective way to grow your business.

Depending on your budget, try supporting a local cause and organizing an event around it. This will be a subtle yet effective way of announcing your brand. The good thing with word-of-mouth marketing is that your happy clients and prospects who like your pitch will automatically become your marketers.

Word-of-mouth marketing may seem a little bit outdated, but the results it offers are unquestionable. According to a Nielsen report, suggestions from family and friends are more believable than adverts. With word-of-mouth marketing, all you need to do is sharpen your PR skills and take the initiative to go where your clients are.

Social media platforms can also serve as an excellent platform to cultivate high-quality referrals. As you use your pages to engage with your customers, be sure to post helpful content. If you are in the HVAC sector, you can post content highlighting some of the causes of HVAC problems. This way, your audience will slowly identify you as an industry leader.

3. Use Employee Tracking Tools

Critical to your company’s success is the productivity of your employees, which goes down to engagement levels and process efficiency. According to a Gallup report, American organizations lose up to $7 trillion annually due to productivity deficiencies. 

As a service business, your personnel will be required to travel to different locations to handle client needs. Dispatchers must assign projects in a way that enhances productivity. A task that is easier said than done when relying on manual processes.

Fortunately, there are employee tracking tools that you can rely on to help grow your business. With such tools, dispatchers will know the location of each of the teams on the ground. This will make it easier to assign tasks more efficiently, enabling on-ground personnel to serve more clients.

Other benefits of employee tracking software include:

  • Helps reduce unethical behavior
  • Easy to track employee attendance
  • Easier to issue assignments based on proficiency

Field service management software vary in capabilities. It is, therefore, essential to choose one that can adequately meet your needs. Some of the factors to consider include:

  • Tracking capabilities that also alert customers which of your staff is coming and at what time
  • Automated reminders via text and email for scheduled checkups
  • Built-in email templates for sending bulk emails
  • Ability to connect directly to technicians via call instead of going through dispatchers

4. Use Mobile Payment Technology

As other industries transition to offering remote solutions, some processes must be carried out manually in the service industry. This, however, is no excuse for not embracing technological innovations in other areas of the business. One of the solutions that your customers will appreciate is the ability to make payments digitally.

The digital payments industry is growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12% till 2023 when it will be worth $6.7 trillion.  As such, offering digital payment options will soon, if not already, be a bare minimum expectation from clients. Along with the convenience you offer customers, you will also benefit from easier accounting.

Other benefits of digital payments include:

  • Saves time
  • It’s more hygienic
  • Easily traceable

5. Create a Unique Brand Personality

As a business grows, it needs to have a distinct persona that clients can relate to and is easily identifiable. It increases familiarity and demonstrates growth and reliability, boosting loyalty among your existing customers while attracting new ones. Unfortunately, this is one of the areas where businesses fail.

By presenting your brand consistently on all platforms, you can see revenue spikes of up to 23%. The key to creating a strong brand is determining what your company stands for and how you want to be perceived. Do you want your brand to be a beacon of strength and reliability or one that’s jovial and casual yet dependable? These are some of the things to consider when creating your brand, and getting them right will give you a boost as you aim to grow your business.

Your persona and the values you represent should be similar to the values your ideal customers hold. Data suggests that 89% of consumers in the US remain loyal to companies with values similar to theirs. Some of the elements that make a brand strong include uniqueness, a solid philosophy, quality, and a clear message. As you choose your brand persona, consider an appropriate color as it will play a significant role in recognition. 

Some of the benefits of a strong brand include:

  • Makes you easily recognizable even in saturated markets
  • Increases your credibility
  • Makes it easy to introduce new services
  • Increases customer loyalty
  • Attracts talent

6. Step Up Your Digital Marketing Efforts

Even with the best services in the industry, customers will not just walk in. It’s important to develop a marketing strategy that will create awareness of your services. Fortunately, with the internet, you can reach just about anyone you want.

There are different ways to promote your service business online. You can use a website, blog, social media posts, and even online ads. Each has its own unique benefits. The good thing with online marketing is that costs can be low to nonexistent, and you can increase your budget as your business grows. Additional benefits include:

  • Easy to track performance
  • Allows you to target ideal customers
  • High conversion rates with the right strategy
  • Cheaper in comparison to traditional forms of marketing

Though blogs take time before bringing tangible results, they’re arguably the most effective and reliable tools in the long run. This is because 70% of internet users prefer learning about services and products via content. As your blog grows, you can try other online marketing strategies that can bring immediate results. Good examples include:

  • Pay per click (PPC) ads
  • Paid adverts on social media

Do Not Compromise on Efficiency. Start Growing Your Business Today!

Managing (and growing) a service-based business requires a lot of work as there are many moving parts. Fortunately, there are many tools you can use to simplify such processes and allow you to focus on growth strategies. Key among them is field service management software.

ServiceDemand is a company that offers field management solutions suitable for service-based businesses. Contact us today to find out how our tools can help grow your business.

Direct Mail Marketing For Contractors

As a contractor, you may have explored a few different channels for growing your business. While email, search engine ads, social media, and other digital marketing methods are popular, it can be hard to make an impact on these already-saturated platforms. If you’re looking for a unique and effective way to reach your audience and get a leg up on your competition, direct mail marketing can help. Here is some information on what direct mail marketing is, why it’s effective, and how it can help your contracting business grow. 

What Is Direct Mail Marketing?

By definition, direct mail marketing is advertising sent by a business through the mail to recipients who didn’t expressly request the mail. Businesses create and send advertising materials like flyers, postcards, catalogs, coupons, or pamphlets so that potential customers can learn more about what that business does and how they help meet their customer’s needs. Mail marketing allows your business to reach out to your audience in a creative, memorable, and effective way, and raise awareness about what you can do for them. 

The process of creating a direct mail campaign includes a few steps. First, businesses start by researching their intended audience and identifying their needs and desires. From there, a business buys, builds, or rents a list of potential customers or prospects and designs and creates a piece of mail that appeals to that particular audience. Once the campaign is sent out, the business may track the results of their campaigns by using a unique URL, phone number, QR code, or promotional code. 

Any type of business in nearly any industry can use this type of marketing to their advantage. If you sell a product or a service that people want to buy, you can use a direct mail campaign. With most businesses focusing on digital marketing, starting a mail marketing campaign is one way to cut through the noise and get your business noticed without spending a lot of money.

Direct mail marketing is particularly great for contractors who want to reach a wider audience or retain current customers. You can easily create a mailing list of prospects by looking at satisfied customers whom you helped in the past and targeting their neighbors or those who meet certain demographic requirements. You can use a special offer in your direct mail piece to get people interested in using your services, or you can ask current customers to spread the word about what you offer to their friends and family. Including a call to action (i.e. “Call us today for a consultation!”) lets people know what steps to take next.   

Direct Mail Campaigns: Key Statistics for Contractors 

Direct mail marketing is effective for contractors. According to research, direct mail and email marketing campaigns get similar response rates, but a 2018 study found that direct mail campaigns can result in purchases five times larger than those of email campaigns. You can combine these two platforms for an even bigger result. And direct mail has a significantly better response rate than paid search ads, social media platforms, and email marketing.  

Direct mail marketing has a high return on investment. Recent studies point to a nearly 30% ROI, which is a similar ROI to social media. This means that for every dollar you spend on mail marketing, you’ll see more responses, more leads, and more sales. By touching base with your audience frequently, you can be sure that your services stick in their mind.

There is less competition in the mail marketing world now that so many other businesses have turned to digital advertising. This means that you have less competition when sending out your campaigns. And while older audiences remember throwing away piles of junk mail, younger audiences don’t have the same experience. Receiving mail is more novel and unexpected to the Millennial and Gen Z generations, which means that mail stands out while email will likely be ignored.  

Direct mail has a higher lifespan than other forms of marketing. For some people, when an email hits their inbox, they may choose to keep or discard it within just a few seconds, or it may get buried in a mountain of other messages. Direct mail, however, has a lifespan of 17 days. This means that people are more likely to hang onto the mail you send them, glancing at it more than once so that your message and branding sticks in their mind. 

How Contractors Can Benefit From Direct Mail Marketing

Now that you understand what direct marketing is and how effective it can be, here are a few of the biggest benefits that contractors may see when using it:

  • Direct mail marketing is highly targeted. With these types of campaigns, you can choose exactly which demographics to target. When you know your audience well, you can focus on a smaller group of prospects that are more likely to respond. 
  • Direct mail marketing can give you more reach. You can use direct mail to both retain current customers and attract new ones. Create eye-catching and attractive mail pieces to grab people’s attention.
  • Direct mail is easy to share. Even if one of the prospects doesn’t need your services right now, there’s a chance they’ll hang onto the postcard or flyer you sent. They may post it on their fridge or bulletin board, especially if you include a promo code or coupon that doesn’t expire for a while. And if one of their friends notes that they need a plumber or a painter (or whatever the service you offer is), they can easily share that piece of mail they saved. 
  • Direct mail marketing is cost-effective. Many direct mail pieces are quite inexpensive to send out to a lot of people at once. And some services that offer direct mail marketing options even offer pricing calculators so you can take the guesswork out of budgeting for your next campaign. 

Integrating Direct Mail With Other Marketing Efforts

In today’s highly digital world, you may be wondering if you should put all of your marketing efforts into digital platforms. But you’re also aware that direct mail marketing for contractors can have some serious benefits. The great news is that you don’t have to choose between one or the other. Mail marketing can seamlessly integrate with your digital marketing strategy, and they can work synergistically, giving each platform a boost.

You can include a QR code on your direct mail piece so that you can send people directly to a unique landing page on your website and count how many people visit that page. A QR code can also link to a video where you can explain your services to potential customers. Or you can send out direct mail and email at the same time so that people are getting messages from multiple channels. The more exposure people have to your brand, the more likely they are to respond!

Make sure to keep your branding and voice consistent across all channels, so your audience sees a unified message. When combined with digital channels, mail marketing can give your brand an authentic, trustworthy feel. Receiving mail feels like more of a personal experience than simply being included on an email blast, and direct mail can give your business legitimacy. 

Get Started With Direct Mail Marketing for Contractors Today!

If you’re ready to get started with mail marketing, there are a few important decisions you need to make. First, think about your audience. Who do you want to reach out to? What are their needs? What kinds of offers may entice them to reach out to you? Once you feel like you know your audience as well as you can, take some time to craft a unique piece of content. Choose colors that stick with your branding, and you may want to consider making your mail piece a unique size or shape. Include visually appealing elements like logos, photos, and big, bold print. As a contractor, you may want to include a special offer like a free quote or a discount to improve your response rate.

And don’t forget to track the results of your campaign. In the past, businesses assumed that their direct mail piece was a success if they saw a significant increase in sales, but today, we have tools that we can use to better track campaigns. Using unique phone numbers or URLs to track who is responding to your campaign can give you valuable data that you can use to hone in on your audience and improve future campaigns. 

Finally, remember to stay in touch with your audience often. It may be smart to send prospects something once a month, as doing it more often may be seen as annoying. However, it can take a few tries for someone to remember your business and become a customer. Test different elements, like frequency of mailings, different types of mailing, and different design elements to see which gets the best response. Once you have a clearer picture of what your audience responds best to, you can create a direct mail marketing formula that works for your contracting business. 

Why Your Business Needs Field Management Software

What do you want when your service professionals—full-time, part-time, preferred contractor, general contractor—go into the field to serve a customer? Here at ServiceDemand, we have devoted a lot of hours to build a top-of-the-line field management software that addresses your answers to that question. We think that your answers might be something like this:

  • To be confident that our customer, from the first contact to invoice payment, will feel the job is completely under control—and that the results show it.
  • To be confident that our service professionals have the best job planning, tools, and support every time they go out, and the entire time they are out.
  • To be confident that we are not only on top of each service visit but aware of our whole team and operation all day.
  • To deliver the best service and meet our highest standards, even while we reduce costs through efficient management of everything from scheduling, to project planning, to on-the-job back-up, to parts management.

These are some cardinal goals and functional targets that have driven our creation of a state-of-the-art field management platform. This cloud-based system enables business owners or managers to plan, schedule, and execute the delivery of services to clients. The goal is the delivery of services that are uniform, repeatable, and professional while driving cost benefits through better labor management.

It can be useful to view ServiceDemand as a platform technology, which has been called the fourth computer revolution. Platform technology is not conceived in terms of performing specific functions, however many, complex, and useful they may be. Platform technology mediates an end-to-end process that empowers and improves the experiences of customers, employees, contractors, and managers. Data intake, machine learning, and an analytical engine are just a few core tools that are integrated to achieve the goals of management empowerment, productivity, and satisfaction of all users. Platform technology is an entirely new operating model for business that catalyzes a changing mindset, organization, and operating methodology. 

Features of ServiceDemand Field Management Software 

Our field management software enables service organizations of every kind and size to integrate these core interconnected tasks in real-time:

Customer Management

From the first contact to sales follow-up, ServiceDemand supports the management of your relationship with every customer through invoicing, a follow-up to monitor satisfaction, and a repeat customer relationship. 

Whether you’re in HVAC, plumbing, or other service business, you are on top of every job as it develops and moves through to completion. You can complete and send job estimates in minutes with products and services already line items on the form. And then, the job estimate becomes the initial outline of the job itself. 

And how about managing your workforce, scheduling service visits, and assigning jobs with estimated compensation, if appropriate? For your customer seeking an estimate to compare several options, or to compare repair with replacement, you can usually generate an estimate with a few clicks, including options within these estimates. Our field management software also allows you to recreate or store options, apply options to one or more jobs, and help to create custom proposals, even multi-document proposals.

Schedule & Dispatch

Customer management is supported by schedule and dispatch on ServiceDemand to make the most efficient use of every service professional’s day and manage your across-the-company logistics. The customer gets the service when promised and workers’ travel time is reduced for the greatest productivity. You can view the schedule of your full-time and part-time workers as well as that of preferred and general contractors over all relevant periods.

Real-Time Communication

The support that you want your workers on the job to enjoy—so that problems are solved on the spot—is facilitated by real-time communication among employees across the organization. Our field management software comes with all necessary apps to link your system with every mobile device out in the field all day long. The expertise of all your employees is potentially available to empower every individual employee so your organization can deliver the best service uniformly, repeatably, and reliably. Our field service management software enables service professionals to receive and manage jobs on their smartphones or tablets wherever they are. This reduces paperwork and also minimizes the need for field works to visit the home office.

Job Planning

Job planning features that call upon ServiceDemand’s analytical capabilities are available to set up major jobs for success by defining required time, steps and stages, personnel, and other assets. Problems are anticipated and the entire team is informed. Then, you stay on top of the job—and every job—in real-time. When it comes to single or consolidated multiple jobs that need to be converted to invoices and translated into check, cash, or credit card payment, a single click handles it with your built-in payment gateway.

Parts Management

Just as you want the required plans and personnel on the job when scheduled, you want no delays caused by missing parts or waiting for parts delivery—needs that workforce management software helps you to anticipate with order control, delivery control, and inventory control. Like every feature of ServiceDemand, parts management brings it all together to reduce waste and boost productivity. Costs and pricing are recorded as part of the across-the-board monitoring of your operation that ServiceDemand enables.

Contractor Management

The contractors you use, including suppliers, have what they need through ServiceDemand to fit seamlessly in your company’s project design plans, scheduling, project timetables, quality control procedures, reporting, and billing—to name just a few. Contractors are used with optimal efficiency where they are needed and when they are needed. You track their time on the job, billing, and performance record.

A platform for the life of every company

The power and potential for increased profitability of these features are available to your company whatever your industry and your field service management challenges. ServiceDemand is ready out-of-box to begin to bring your entire field operation under enhanced control. Because ServiceDemand is completely scalable, it works with any size company from a small local service outfit seeking maximum productivity to a nationwide multi-site operation with hundreds of employees, contractors, and customers that is ready for the next gains in efficiency, cost control and profits, customer satisfaction, and staff motivation and performance. There is no such thing as a service company too small to benefit from ServiceDemand—but as you grow, the platform readily scales up with you.

Because ServiceDemand is hosted by the Heroku cloud platform as a service (PaaS) with scalability supported by Amazon Web Services (AWS), your company needs no special servers or other hardware. If you have internet access, ServiceDemand is ready to get online right now.

For example, you don’t have to integrate our software with CRMs, ERPs, or ticketing platforms because ServiceDemand is a web-hosted SaaS platform. You do have the option of integrating with other systems, but ServiceDemand is fully functional on its own.

Why? Consider a few additional capabilities of ServiceDemand:

  • Job Photo Upload right from your job site using any mobile device connected with ServiceDemand. And then archive these photos from the job site to be available to customers or your own technicians as needed.   
  • Fleet Tracking around the clock on ServiceDemand shows you where your vehicles are at all times. Monitoring can even help to influence better driving by your employees and make a record of trip history. The GPS feature of ServiceDamand makes it all obvious on your screen.  
  • Payment Processing is efficient and easy on ServiceDemand with an all-in-one payment platform designed specifically for service contractors. It enables you to manage your finances and cash flow, for example, in a unified system. The same functionality can handle monitoring of daily office activity, the hours your staff has worked, and, of course, your workforce in the field. Checking in and out and filling out time-based payroll reports is automatic.  
  • Programming your email makes effective communication with customers possible. Send the emails needed at the right time by the right people. You can segment your email list to reach customers who need the same communication at the same time.  
  • Uploading, sharing, and organizing your paperwork (documents) combines the functionality of your files and cloud content to let your team upload, share, and organize documents and folders relevant to their needs.

See Our Field Management Software in Action

Some of the world’s most successful companies use ServiceDemand to manage their thriving, active field services. Our staff would be pleased to demonstrate our field service management software’s features, ease of use, and exciting potential at any time. Just get in touch with us to schedule your free personal demonstration of the proven capabilities of ServiceDemand. We guarantee you an eye-opening experience in the innovative application of our platform to meet the challenging demands of a service company like yours. The first step is to reach out. So let our team give you a detailed tutorial of ServiceDemand’s features and capabilities.

Be sure to check back here on the ServicesDemand blog regularly for information, insights, and updates on the challenges of field management. We’ll also keep you posted on new features of our software to keep supporting our customers and future customers.