May 19, 2020
Recently, To The Point was named one of the most influential podcasts in the HVAC/R space. We started this project just as a way to serve and give back to the trades, so we’re extremely humbled and thankful for all of the support from our listeners. It’s been more work than we ever thought it would be, but we’re having a blast doing it and hope you’re enjoying it as much as we are.
At RYNO, our motto is “We Exist to Grow Your Business…PERIOD”. Part of that is finding strategic partnerings that help us achieve that goal for our clients, so we’re super excited to announce our new partnership with Schedule Engine. We had an insightful discussion with Ray, Head of Sales, and Austin, CEO of Schedule Engine about how and why their company started and why it’s such an incredible tool for service companies of all sizes.
Schedule Engine launched in 2017, so it’s a relatively new endeavor. It started out simply as an online scheduling solution, but has evolved into a professional service company. Service Engine understands what the consumers need, what it takes to enhance engagement with a local contractor, and how to represent contractors in an effective way. It’s about converting inbound leads and booking appointments in a way that sets up contractors for success. It all starts with observing what consumers are increasingly expecting as far as on-demand service and easy engagement with a service provider. The tools didn’t exist to deliver that quality of experience themselves, so they built Schedule Engine to bridge the gap between what consumers expect and what contractors are equipped with to meet those expectations.
The process of booking an appointment needs to be fast and easy, or you’re at risk of losing a lead. Consumers want to speak with someone immediately, and not endure a hassle when hiring a contractor. Still, you have to provide a great experience while balancing speed and ease. Before SE, it was a horrible mess of ineffective solutions to fill the gap between digital marketing (website) and the actual service/field management software(FMS).
Booking the trades isn’t like booking a table at a restaurant, ordering delivery on your phone, or calling an uber. There are way more variables in the equation, and so much more that has to be considered in determining the correct service, scheduling the service, and so on. There’s an art to diagnosing the inbound issue, determining availability for the appointment, and doing all of this fast and simple enough to satisfy the customer. Until Service Engine, there wasn’t an effective solution to this problem. Most of the online booking solutions out there right now are just generic forms with the promise of a return phone call, and that’s nothing short of inadequate. Service Engine takes it to the next level as more than just a front-end website integration, but as a digital CSR tailorable to meet the demands of each unique contractor.
Over the last several quarantine weeks, the increase in digital activity has been quite apparent. It has opened the minds of contractors to get more creative, and be open to new ways of engagement with their customers. Those that have are delivering a better customer experience, showing more empathy to their customers, and weathering the storm better than they might have otherwise. While the last few months have been rough, the upside is that it’s forced a lot of people to rethink how they do business. Creativity and innovation come out of these difficult circumstances.
We’re all consumers, fundamentally. Streamlining scheduling processes makes it easier to book an appointment, and increases efficiency. Service Engine solves traditional service booking problems, and is designed to engage with the customer as quickly as possible to meet consumer expectations of speed and ease of use. Most people are in a state of distress when they need HVAC service, and aren’t excited to need to fix a heater or air conditioner. You have to win the first interaction with the consumer, and be there immediately when they need you. If you can’t meet a need immediately, modern consumers will likely move on and you’ll lose that lead.
Service Engine hasn’t just changed the way we think about the consumer’s experience in booking a service, but they’re continuing to enhance their software for both parties involved. Extending on the ability for the client to upload photos and videos to make it easier for remote diagnosis of an issue, they are fine-tuning their expert technician virtual service. This allows for a contractor to have expert technicians answer an incoming call, easing the anxiety of the homeowner and diagnosing the problem on behalf of the service company. Ray and Austin are finding that, of qualified issues, 48% are able to be resolved remotely. That’s an amazing customer experience, and it allows for a contractor to save their technicians for services that generate more revenue. Even if it can’t be resolved remotely, the data that’s gathering in virtual diagnosis can and does turn many services from a 2 visit resolution to a 1 visit resolution. Technicians can come prepared with parts and products that are likely to resolve the issue instead of going in more or less blind.
Do we have an “Uber-moment” headed to the service industry? There always could be. Pressure is on larger contractors to continue to innovate as technology becomes more readily available and newer generations of contractors embrace technology. You can choose to innovate, your competitor will innovate, or the market will do it without you. The game is always changing, so staying ahead of the competition is key. Tools like Service Engine exist to help you increase your efficiency, and so that you don’t have to tackle these complicated issues on your own.
Most contractors pride themselves on taking care of the customers, and the relationships they develop. The service industry is incredibly demanding, and being an expert in the trades doesn’t mean you have to be an expert in every other aspect of your business as well. Service Engine can help fill the much-needed gaps, and develop and enhance the customer experience. For more details, you can email Ray directly or find Service Engine on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIN.