What the Heck are Facebook Professional Services?

Posted on Thu, Apr 28, 2016

Facebook very quietly released a new feature to their platform a couple months ago. Their new Services Directory is not unlike Yelp! or Angie’s List. Users can search for local service businesses, read reviews and see how the businesses are rated. There are over 50 million active business Pages on Facebook and that number has been growing.


It appears to have launched without notice to the public in December 2015 and still has not been talked about much. In its current state as of writing this, it is only available in a desktop version. And while nothing has been written about when we can expect to see this type of search allowed for mobile, mobile applications typically follow closely after their desktop parent if it isn’t released right away.


This is what users see when they land on the Facebook Professional Services page.

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Tags: field service, marketing tips

The 5 Emails your HVAC Business Needs to Send

Posted on Tue, Apr 26, 2016

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Customers want to be kept in the loop. They want to know about your business before they give you a call, so they research your website and online reviews. When they call in for heating or AC repair, they want to know what their potential issue might be and how you can get their equipment back up and running properly. And even more so, customers want information immediately before, during and after their interactions with your company.


We’ve become accustomed to dropping off a package at the post office and being able to track it throughout its entire journey. We’re used to receiving notifications when we purchase something online - we know if it’s been shipped and we’re able to contact the seller if there are any issues. And HVAC companies are now expected to provide similar information. Here are the 5 emails that all HVAC businesses should be sending to their customers.

 

 

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Tags: HVAC service software

4 Tips for More Efficient Dispatching

Posted on Sat, Apr 23, 2016

Our last post centered on the role of the dispatcher, as discussed by Ruth King and David Crary on HVACChannel.tv.  Today’s post will focus on 4 tips to become a more efficient dispatcher.

 

Tip #1: Never say “No.”

One part of a dispatcher’s job that surprisingly takes some practice is speaking with customers. It takes some time to learn how customers work and what each one expects out of you. Some customers can be pushy when they want a job done, while others are more laid back and are willing to wait. Learning to say no without saying no is a key point King made. “Instead of saying no, say we can’t do it this day, but we can do it this day”. Crary added that “customers, more times than not, are willing to work around your schedule. You’d be surprised”. Give them options, but never tell them you can’t help them. They will immediately move on to your competitor. You can even offer to come out sooner if a cancellation occurs. This way you are giving the customer hope while also being realistic with them.

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Tags: scheduling & routing, field service management solutions, Effective dispatching

Why You Need to Run Your Field Service Business Like You're Selling it Tomorrow

Posted on Thu, Apr 21, 2016

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There is a concept in some circles of business owners that says that you should run your business like you’re going to sell it tomorrow. The idea behind the concept is that if you run it like you want to get as much profit out of it as possible when you sell it, you actually do run your business like you should. You’re smarter with your budgeting, better with spending, you take better control of your accounts and the customer information you’ve been compiling over the years. Essentially, you’re buttoning up the things that need to be buttoned up!


As a field service company, you may have built up the number customers that you have over the course of many years. Maybe you are ready to sell. But even if you aren’t, even if you’re just starting out, or you know that you’ll be a business owner forever, here are 4 reasons why you should run your business like you’re going to sell it tomorrow.

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Tags: field service, business tips

How to Use Every Door Direct Mail from USPS

Posted on Tue, Apr 19, 2016

Field service businesses are their most profitable when they can optimize their daily routes to get as many jobs done in a given day. For instance, it is beneficial for lawn maintenance providers to gain as many customers as they can in a given neighborhood. They want to work within a few neighborhoods instead of having to drive all around town to mow lawns. Anything you can do to reduce windshield time and to keep your crews working will help you net more in the long run. 

 

Because field service businesses benefit from targeting a few, concentrated prospects. Direct mail can be an incredible marketing tactic that can help you reach more prospects.

 

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Tags: field service tips, small business marketing

Small Business Growth Strategies: How to Compensate Your Sales Staff

Posted on Sat, Apr 16, 2016

I went shopping for a car a while back. I ran into the slimiest salesperson on the planet. They lied multiple times about the car, wouldn’t let me leave, didn’t listen to what I was looking for and I basically left thinking the salesman would have done anything possible to sell me a car. If I would have told him I’d only buy the car if he would punch himself in the face as hard as he could 10 times, I probably would have walked away with a car and he would have walked away with a couple black eyes.


He’s the person that gives salespeople a bad name. But for your field service business, your salespeople can be the most important hires you make. A good salesperson can make the difference between having an average year and a great year.

 

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Tags: small business tips, field service business, Small business growth strategies, Landscape management, sales compensation

6 Questions to Help Find a Commercial Mower Mechanic

Posted on Thu, Apr 14, 2016

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Finding a mechanic to work on your commercial mowers can be an important event for a lawn maintenance professional. There are good mechanics all around, however, finding the RIGHT mechanic for you is important. If your lawn maintenance business is in an area that only allows you to operate seasonally, you need to have your mowers and other equipment running as much as possible to make money.


That means that your stand-on and ZTR mowers take a beating during the busy season. Having a great mechanic that can keep them up and running is critical. But how do you know you have the right one? Here are 6 questions you should ask when you’re shopping around for a small engine mechanic for your commercial mowers.

 

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Tags: lawn care business, lawn maintenance business

How Wearable Tech Can Change How Field Service Professionals Work

Posted on Tue, Apr 12, 2016

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Wearable technology is finding its way into many different areas of our daily life. While some devices and their functions seem pretty novel, some have functions that goes as far as “life-saving”. Wearable tech might seem like a brand new concept, however, some say that it goes as far back as the dawn of the wrist watch in the 1800’s (or, my favorite early iteration, the homing pigeon with a camera strapped to it). Either way, wearable technology has exploded in the past few years.


The Apple Watch is just one of many devices out on the market, but like most things the company produces, it seems to be talked about quite a bit. Smartwatches started out with very basic functions of being able to control your smartphone, but the list of functions are growing.


Here are a few ways that wearable technology can change the way field service professionals work.

 

 

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Tags: field service

Efficient Dispatching – The Role of the Dispatcher

Posted on Sat, Apr 09, 2016

Ruth King, founder and CEO of Business Ventures Corporation, and David Crary, President and Founder of HindSite Software, recently sat down on HVACChannel.tv  to discuss efficient dispatching within the field service industry.

 

Dispatching is one of the most important roles within your field service company.  The dispatcher is the first person to talk with customers, the one who schedules jobs, and the one who provides techs with all of the information they will need out in the field.

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Tags: scheduling & routing, field service tips, field service management solutions

How to Take Website Worthy Pictures With a Smartphone on the Job

Posted on Thu, Apr 07, 2016

I say this with love for the green industry and appreciation that the professionals working in the industry are busy, hard working people - most green industry business websites suck! It might be due to a lack of resources, a lack of knowledge or they just don’t think they are in need of a site that has been rebuilt in the past 10 years.

Some very successful businesses have very outdated websites that could be doing them more harm than good. Security and search engine rankings can be hindered by an outdated, poorly designed site. But your website might also suffer from a user experience issue, which harms your overall website performance.

 

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Tags: field service, green industry, business tips