This is a guest post by Vanessa Perplies of Workiz. Workiz is an easy-to-use field service management system that improves related workflows. The platform provides contractors and their extended teams complete control and visibility over all their communications and scheduling.
Tell us the truth… Has this ever happened to you?
You’re on the phone with a client while you’re trying to do 10 other things. You’re jotting down your notes and after you’re done, you step away. Then, you come back to your notes. What color was the wall the client said that they needed painted? Green? Blue? When did you say your appointment was? Wednesday at 10am? Or was it at 10:30am?
If you’re still stuck in the paper and pen ages of business, you’re setting yourself up for way more stress and hassle than you realize.
According to a 2018 study on Freelancing put out by Upwork, 63% of full-time freelancers feel anxious about everything they have to manage. This isn’t a shock when you really think about it.
From sending out estimates, completing the job, receiving payment, staying organized, managing a team, collecting positive reviews and trying to build a pipeline with future work, freelancers (including contractors and home service pros) are spread mighty thin.
So how do you lower your stress levels and set yourself up for success in your contracting business?
Here’s the good news…
If you’re using a system like Lance to make more intelligent financial decisions, see where you can get tax kickbacks and save money, you’re already one-step ahead of the game.
Now, you’ll need a way to manage the rest of your entire home service business, which includes every aspect of communicating with your extended team (if you have one) and your customers, including your phone calls. All of your phone calls. We know there are too many to count with each project you take.
Something we see a lot of at Workiz – working with contractors and home service pros – is most of your customers still start the relationship with a phone call. When contractors and your broader teams rely on pen and paper, it’s almost impossible to collect all those notes in a way that helps you really track how the relationship developed and understand what happened along the way, especially when you’re trying to understand that client’s history six months or one year down the line. And tracking that bigger picture is so important to understanding your best ways of marketing your business and how to get more return customers. You want return customers, because they’re cheaper to continue working with over the long term and can be great referrals for your work.
So, that client who booked an oriental rug carpet cleaning service. But they never called back to schedule a regular cleaning.
Hmmmm…do you know why?
If you’re using a system like Workiz that tracks all of your client and employee communications – phone calls, email, text messages and in-app messages with your team – you can go back and see an entire, digital history with your customers in a super clear visual timeline.
Not only are your calls with everyone around projects captured, but you can go back in time and listen to all the project calls to figure out what happened and if you want to work with certain clients.
In the case of the client who wanted to book your rug cleaning, you might go back to your calls with them and realize they were at fault. They were rude to your dispatcher, arrived late to the appointment – despite confirming the appointment via text the day before – complained about the first run through of the cleaning – pulling your best cleaner from across town – and then still left a negative review on your Yelp page.
What a headache. And likely one you’re happy not to repeat with an ongoing cleaning relationship.
With the pen and paper you’re using today, along with an extended team, you very likely wouldn’t know every part of this experience. You wouldn’t have the recorded calls, tech notes, timed text message notifications, and a dedicated, digital job history that verified everyone’s story of what they experienced and the fact that you do want to focus your energy on keeping other repeat customers.
We’re all trying to find new and better ways to stop running around in circles, as freelancers and contractors. We need to save our time and energy for our everyday work and marketing to the right kinds of clients for each of us.
If you’re a contractor with a home service business, we know you’re always trying to level up your game and keep better track of exactly what’s going on with your team and customers. At Workiz, we’re here for you and happy to offer a free 14-day trial so you can start seeing the benefits of simple and automatic tracking of all the communications around your home service business right away.