It doesn’t take an economics genius or a wolf of Wall Street to see that rocky waters are on the horizon for the U.S. economy. Rising inflation, a dismal stock market, skyrocketing costs, and surging interest rates all point to one thing. And it ain’t pretty. Maintaining the status quo—even if it’s working for you right now—can lead to flat profits and stagnant growth, or worse. This Checklist covers a few key areas to help you continue your forward momentum when the going gets rough.
Increase Your Rates
Raising prices when things are already looking bleak for your customers may seem like kicking them while they’re down. But if it’s been a while since your last rate hike, now may be the best time to do it. Services like pest control and lawn care have proven to be resilient over the years, so attrition probably won’t be as bad as you may think. Just be sure to give your customers a clear heads up and an option to possibly lock in lower rates for packaging services together. Also, take a look at what your competition is doing, and make sure you’re still competitive.
Cut Wasted Employee Hours
Is your team spending hours every day sending out appointment and payment reminders? Are they still scheduling each and every service manually, preparing routes the old-fashioned way, or dealing with unnecessary workarounds due to subpar software? There are some awesome automation tools you can use right now—*cough* FieldRoutes—to make life easier. Saving a few hours here and there can free up valuable time for you and your employees to get on with more important tasks. If your current software solution isn’t pitching in as much as it should, it may be time to consider some alternatives.
Get Your Marketing Ducks In A Row
Good marketing can be your best friend when looking to bring in new customers. Online marketing in particular is crucial since most people nowadays turn to the Internet to look for new services. Upping your game now can pay big dividends in the months to come. One thing to pay extra attention to is your customer acquisition costs. This can include online payper-click (PPC) rates, paid social, employee hours, and so on. Finding ways to keep that number low is a must. Need a hand? We have a team of experts ready to help.
Optimize Your Routing
It’s hard to run an efficient business if your technicians are zigzagging all over town while trying to serve your customers. Creating routes that keep the miles to a minimum can not only improve stops per day, it can also help you save on vehicle wear and tear and fuel costs. It’s even better if you can do it with the push of a button, like you can with FieldRoutes. Fuel costs in particular are quickly becoming a serious pain point for field service providers. If you need a hand in this department, we put together a Tip Sheet to help you route around gas prices.
Focus on Customer Retention
You’ve heard it before, it costs more to get a new customer than it does to keep your current ones happy. With customer loyalty quickly becoming a thing of the past, refocusing on your customer retention efforts can give you a leg up on the competition and help keep your expenses to a minimum. Pay special attention to your communications, quality of service, and response time. Automated communications, an online customer payment portal, efficient routing, and quick scheduling can all add up.
Reduce Call Backs
Every time you have to take care of a call back, it bites into your profits. It pulls technicians away from other jobs, uses more fuel, and keeps office staff from other important tasks. There are a couple ways to address this. The first is to increase your service frequency to get ahead of the curve before your products begin to lose their pep. This has the added benefit of generating a bit more business. The other method is to set proper expectations and let customers know you’re not Harry Potter waiving around a magic wand, and so they may spot some trouble areas from time to time.
This list just scratches the surface, but you’ll notice some common themes: find ways to cut costs, improve efficiency, and add more business without skimping on customer service. If you can do all that, you’re golden. FieldRoutes can help with all the above. Give us a call.