When it comes to home services, there are countless videos online with step-by-step instructions on how to build or repair things around the home without the need for a professional. These do-it-yourself (DIY) videos have given many people the confidence to handle home care themselves, which caused concern for home services professionals. If potential customers were doing the work themselves, then why would they need to hire outside contractors?
Table of Contents
- Home Services Industry Trends
- Your Home Services Business
- What is Housecall Pro?
- Housecall Pro Industries
- Customer Pain Points
- Setting Up Housecall Pro
- Housecall Pro Features
- Marketing Automation Capabilities
- Platform Integrations
- Customer Support
- Pros and Cons
- Overall Rating
Home Services Industry Trends
Regardless of the rise of DIY videos, the home services industry is thriving. According to the Verified Market Research report on home services market size and forecast, published in April 2019, the global home services market is expected to grow almost 19% between 2019 and 2026 to reach $1,133.40 billion by 2026.
Given these stats, it is safe to say that whether someone needs a busted pipe fixed or help to resolve a rodent infestation, qualified professionals are still being called on often to get the job done. The problem is that the market is overrun with small businesses competing for customers and the only way to win them over is with a competitive edge.
In an effort to gain an advantage over their competitors, companies across all industries are putting sizable portions of their budget into technology, hoping to get a leg up on the competition with innovative solutions involving artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). This is the way of the future in terms of customer satisfaction and overall efficiency, and big businesses know it.
Your Home Services Business
If you are like many home services companies (either one-man outfits or comprised of small teams of pros), you simply do not have the financial backing to drop hundreds of thousands of dollars on AI or ML. As an alternative, you need to be looking at the most cost-effective technological solutions in order to streamline your workflow, create a user-friendly experience for customers, and increase productivity and efficiency.
Additionally, choosing the wrong software to help you operate your business could put you in a bad spot financially. Implementing new technology is an expensive overhead cost and making the wrong choice could, not only cost you money right off the bat but also cost you other setbacks, such as time lost and delays, which could result in angry customers or loss of business altogether.
In an industry where you, as the owner, are wearing multiple hats (i.e., in charge of hiring, purchasing, business development, marketing, administrative duties, etc.), you need to find a way to streamline all of your time-consuming tasks. This is where the right software comes into play and Housecall Pro could be your solution.
What is Housecall Pro?
We did a full trial of this software. Below are our findings and a series of screenshots to give you an idea of what how the software operates and looks.
Housecall Pro is a perfect example of an all-in-one business software to help you run your home services business. It is a cloud-based app that includes a web portal and mobile app to allow maximum convenience for service professionals. With this solution, you will not need to waste time filling out hours of paperwork, as you would have in the past. As many companies are going paperless these days, this software will allow for an easy transition to this type of management system.
The comprehensive software boasts that it can help you grow your business’s revenue by 30% in just one year of implementation. The company also says that the software can save you up to 500 hours of unnecessary work per year. While these claims will take some time to test, it is certainly a program that allows you to manage many aspects of your business in one place.
Housecall Pro also has an associated mobile app. You can stay on top of your business at all times from anywhere in the world, which means that there is no time lost on travel or if personal situations keep you from going into the office. It creates flexibility and convenience for all users, which also reduces professionals’ overall stress levels.
Housecall Pro Industries
Housecall Pro is geared toward small businesses in the home services market. Industries in this market include
- Garage door
- Carpet cleaning
- Home cleaning
- Pest control
- Window cleaning
Of course, there are businesses that specialize in various niches within each of these industries. For example, home cleaning is a very broad industry that can include services, such as housekeeping, junk removal, power washing, appliance deep cleaning, and more. Pest control also breaks out into many different service businesses, including bug prevention, bee extraction, rodent removal, and termite fumigation (or termite tenting).
Since all of these services involve dispatching technicians and scheduling appointments to be conducted at a customer’s home, Housecall Pro software will be beneficial to your business. It tracks all of the administrative detailing that comes with setting up work timeframes and distributing technicians within specific regions or locations.
Customer Pain Points
In the home services industry, time is a major pain point for customers in need of booking home services jobs. Customers often complain of technicians not being respectful of their time. The company either offers too large of a time window, shows up later than the specific appointment, or both. In certain situations, clients would clear their entire day and take off from work without pay, only to have a technician not show up or cancel at the last minute.
When something like this happens, the potential repercussions could be the end of your business. Word-of-mouth is still the most powerful form of marketing and a bad review could be detrimental to your business’s future. This is where a keen software system would make all the difference. With a clear view of bookings on the portal, Housecall Pro will be able to ensure timely service for your customers.
Setting Up Housecall Pro
Once you decide on Housecall Pro as the software system for your small business, the next step is to set it up. If you have already been running your business for a while, this might take a little longer because you have a number of contacts, technicians, pricing, sales, and more information to input. If you are just starting out, there is not much to add to the system until you begin reaching out to prospective clients and turning them into paying customers.
Regardless of how deep into the market you are when you choose Housecall Pro, the set-up process itself is a breeze. Registration is completely online. All you have to do is enter your contact information and your business information. The interface is entirely user-friendly and it takes less than five minutes to get started.
When you are logged in and faced with your dashboard, you can choose to take it upon yourself for a tour of the software, or you can reach out to one of Housecall Pro’s customer service specialists for a demo. The customer support team may even contact you proactively via text message, email, or pop-up chat, about a demo before you even get to it.
You can access your account across multiple devices depending on where you do most of your work. If you are mainly on a desktop computer or laptop, you can log in on your default browser. If you are always on the go, then consider downloading the Housecall Pro app to your smartphone or tablet in order to check your dashboard. The app is available on iOS and Android devices.
Housecall Pro Features
Housecall Pro has a comprehensive set of features that allows you to best serve your customers at all stages of the job cycle. It gives you the ability to prioritize the client before the job, on the job, and after the job is done. From scheduling to dispatching technicians and from sending invoices to receiving payments, the software can be customized to fit your specific needs. It captures all of the aspects of running a small business and even provides solutions for big companies that make millions each year.
Here are the primary features of Housecall Pro:
Having a portal that keeps all of this information neatly organized and accessible all of the time is essential for operating as smoothly as possible in these industries.
You can easily schedule jobs and dispatch technicians from your computer, smartphone, or tablet. You can also edit the schedule at any time, keeping your employees updated with notifications that can be sent directly to their phones. With certain Housecall Pro plans, both the owner and technicians can keep an eye on these schedules to avoid double-booking or any other potential mistakes.
Housecall Pro automates all of your files, so there is no need for piles upon piles of paperwork. By digitizing your estimates and invoices, the number of hours usually spent on filing paperwork can be allocated toward business development or other such priorities. You will also be able to send quotes and invoices to customers with just one click of a button.
The online booking feature could give you an advantage over your competitors. Customers love to book appointments online since it is generally quicker and easier than making phone calls and they can do it on their time (24/7), not just when the service shop is open.
The dispatch feature gives users the ability to set recurring jobs, assign teams, and schedule arrival windows. The great thing about this feature is that any changes made to jobs will be updated across all devices in real-time.
Businesses can use the text messages feature to let their customers know when the technician is on their way to the job. This type of personal touch is really appreciated by people whose time is important to them. Giving them a heads up is especially helpful if they need to secure any pets before a job begins or if they are running errands and need to head back home.
Live Map GPS
The live map GPS feature allows owners to see where employees are currently located, giving them the ability to schedule jobs based on which technician is closest to the customer’s home.
Aside from using text messages to communicate with your customers, you can also use the email feature. Many people prefer to receive communications via email, so this would be a good way to keep clients updated throughout each stage of their home services job.
You can utilize the marketing automation feature for invoices and thank you messages following a job’s completion. This is always a nice touch that customers appreciate. It will give them a good feeling to know that your company cares enough to follow up and let them know that you are thankful for their patronage.
In your jobs tab, you can add “tags” to jobs or customers in order to categorize certain terms for marking return on investment (ROI) tracking purposes. This can be helpful when strategizes your marketing plan for the future to see what has worked in the past or what has not worked.
Employee Sales Tracking
If you do have a number of employees working for you, the Housecall Pro dashboard gives you a quick and easy way to follow your employees’ sales dollars. The leaderboard allows you to see who has been upping their game or falling behind, which you can use to offer incentives to those who want to keep stretching their goals or those who are struggling to meet them.
Marketing Automation Capabilities
In addition to Housecall Pro assisting with the overall management of your small business, it also facilitates the marketing of your business. Through its marketing automation capabilities, you will be able to utilize the software’s email marketing feature, as well as its postcard marketing feature. Your customers will be kept informed on all that is new with the business and if you ever offer discounts or specials on services.
With email marketing, you can also send customers reminder emails before their scheduled job. This will give them some time to prepare for the appointment if they had forgotten the last minute, which is sometimes the case. It will also give them the opportunity to cancel the job, if it is no longer necessary or if something else has come up.
Email marketing can also be used to send customers to note to say thank you for choosing your business for home services work. The best part is that you can set up the email, so you do not even have to think about it. It will just automatically be sent out after the job is finished.
With postcard marketing automation, physical postcards are delivered straight to your customers’ doorsteps. This is another great way to keep them abreast of the goings-on of your business, promote discounts or specials, and express your thanks for their business.
Thank you notes are so important in this market, where customers have a long list of companies to choose from. A small expression of gratitude will leave the customer with a good impression, which could lead to repeat business and referrals.
Something that is really nice about Housecall Pro is that it integrates with other platforms for various features, which makes it even more user-friendly. For instance, it integrates well with Google Calendar, so that you can open up your personal calendar and see the jobs pulled straight from the Housecall Pro app.
The software also integrates with QuickBooks Online for keeping track of your numbers. QuickBooks is the go-to software for accounting purposes, so the partnership with Housecall Pro, not only adds sophistication to the feature but implies confidence with the software in general.
Housecall Pro has also partnered with Stripe as its integrated processor for the processing of credit card payments. You are not required to use this integration, however, it is an option offered for your convenience.
The quality of customer support is high. The dedicated professionals behind Housecall Pro are very responsive and proactive about tending to your needs as a small business. There are a number of ways to reach out for customer service:
- Live Chat
- Phone Call
- Text Message
Pros and Cons
The pros of Housecall Pro as a home services software for small businesses are the comprehensive features, ease-of-use, and customer service. There are so many features that would benefit a small business, so it shows that they really did their research in terms of what a home services company is looking for in a software system. The interface is very easy to use, which eliminates any downtime in learning how to use it. Customer support is great, as well. Housecall Pro has considered the many ways people like to communicate and has implemented those contact features within its system.
The cons of the software include the limiting customization and development of features. While there are a lot of important features offered within the software, they are fairly elementary. It would be great if you could get greater customization within the software at the lower package rates, as well.
After touring the dashboard, researching the features, and playing with the software, here are our ratings from 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest: