The lawn care software you choose to run your business can have a significant impact how quickly you close leads and how easy it is to log and track your lawn care advertising programs.
Watch the video to find our why your website and lawn maintenance software should integrate with each other.
Hi everyone, Andrew here. I just want to talk really quickly about two critical features that I think that you should look for when you’re choosing your lawn care software. That’s billing and the ability to integrate your software with your website.
Let’s talk really quick about billing. I strongly recommend that you automatically bill your lawn care clients on a recurring basis. You only accept credit cards and you automatically charge their card before service each week when you’re about to perform it. I see too many companies wasting time and energy chasing down customers to get paid for work that they completed months ago. Personally, that’s ridiculous to me. I wouldn’t take on any client who’s not going to pay me before we perform the work. I have to pay employees just like you do.
Consumers that refuse to give you a credit card or consumers that don’t want to pay you on time, they’re just bad customers. We need to either set them straight, meaning we accept recurring payments, or we need to make a decision whether or not we want to keep them as clients. However, there’s different cases for different businesses. Certain other business and certain other services that you provide, those won’t be billable on a recurring basis. I understand that.
Your lawn care software should also have the ability to accept payments online. Consumers do like to go online, pay their bills and it’s much easier for them than to send you a check in the mail. Lawn care software, you should be able to pay your bills online and that billing should show up in the software. It should show up in their account, in the software, and you should know that they’ve gotten a payment and their account should update in the software automatically.
The next feature is all of your leads. All of your contacts from your customers. Whether it’s a phone call. Whether it’s an email through your website. Whether it’s an estimate request. That needs to be logged. I talk about this quite a bit. Information is power. The more you know about your business, the more you know about what’s going on in your business, the smarter decisions you can make. The more powerful a business owner you can be. Information is your friend. So that means we need to log and we need to log religiously.
We need to log when we are getting service requests. When we are getting phone calls from clients. We need to log when we are getting emails from clients. We need to log when we are getting estimate requests. That can be much more simplified when your lawn care software can be integrated with your website.
For instance Service Autopilot, which we recommend, we’re obviously one of their partners. Their software integrates directly with your website. The reason that’s important is because it’s going to really help you make sure you don’t drop the ball. How quickly you respond to estimates is going to have a great impact on whether or not you close that sale. If your waiting 24-hours to respond to an estimate request, versus somebody waiting 10 minutes and immediately calling the prospect who requested an estimate, you’re going to have a much greater chance to close that client if it took you 10 minutes. So we want a system that makes it easier. With Service Autopilot, one of the reasons we like that is because we can integrate your website directly with that software. That means as soon as you get an estimate request through your website, it goes immediately into Service Autopilot system and then Service Autopilot can notify you via your mobile device or via email, whatever you want, to respond to this estimate request.
Generally what we see are our larger clients who have full-time office staff, is the office manager will be in the office and they’ll have Service Autopilot up on a couple of different screens sometimes. One of our clients uses four different computer monitors with different Service Autopilot screens setup and Google Maps and all the tools that they use to estimate projects. We recommend that you treat your estimates as a priority. With Service Autopilot it makes it a lot easier.
As soon as you get an estimate request, you’ll have office staff that is just sitting in your office that can respond to those estimate requests immediately. I recommend you pick up the phone and you call that person as soon as that estimate request comes in and you try and close that sale over the phone. You don’t just send them an estimate via email and leave it be, you sell. You pick up the phone, you call the person who requested the estimate, build a relationship with them, build rapport with them, and sell them on your service. That’s going to be much more effective than sending them an estimate that’s going to be higher than all the other companies that they have requested estimates from. If you’re the higher priced vendor in your market, you absolutely got to get on that phone and sell. You got to tell them why they need to pay more to choose you. So lawn care software can make this a little bit easier.
The other reason this is important is because when the estimate request comes into Service Autopilot it’s an actionable item. You have to either cancel it or you have to take action on it and note in there that you’ve taken action on it. So it’s logged. It makes your logging much, much easier. Whereas the alternative would be putting just the generic form on your website and that form generates an email and that email goes to your ‘In Box’ which can then get buried under all the other email you have to respond to. So that is not as conducive to being super quick to reply to those estimates. That’s really important. You have to be responsive. You have to reply quickly.
Alternatively, if you don’t have software that integrates with your website, you are going to be relying on a pen and pad or an Excel spreadsheet. I’ve got to tell you, dealing with all the lawn care companies I’ve been dealing with for so many years, is that if you don’t have system in place, if you’re leaving it up to your phone staff who’s busy. If you’re leaving it up to yourself whose trying to field calls in the field. You’re not going to be religiously logging estimate requests with a pen and pad in the field and you’re not going to be documenting them in an Excel spreadsheet. The more systems that you can put in place that automate this stuff and make things easier, the better information you’re going to have and ultimately the better decisions you are going to be able to make.
The next part is contact request. We also integrate our client’s contact forms with this Service Autopilot software. This is important for a similar reason. We don’t want to ignore any client emails. We want our clients to feel important because they are important. That means that we’re responsive, that we’re doing our absolute best to satisfy their needs, to respond to them and give them exactly what they want in a high level of service. What typically happens if you don’t have software that integrates with your website, is that the contact request form on your website is generally just going to go to your email ‘In Box’. Again, what usually happens is it gets buried underneath a bunch of other emails. So that makes it easy for you to accidentally overlook it or not respond to that client quickly.
When you integrate your software with your website, that contact form can go immediately into the Service Autopilot. That shows up as an item on the control panel, on the main screen, and then you have to take action on it, otherwise it’s just going to stay there on the list. So it makes it much easier to be much more responsive to your client’s needs, which is very important. We don’t want to overlook our client requests, we want to give them great service. Clients are much happier when we reply to them, when we answer our phones, when we are available to serve their needs.
I really recommend that you make sure that these features are part of whatever lawn care software you use. Obviously we are biased. We are partnered with Service Autopilot so we recommend them.
That’s my two cents. If you have any questions, please reply to this video and I would be happy to answer any other questions that you have. In the meantime, if you would like us to integrate your website with this Service Autopilot software, please visit lawncaremarketingexpert.com and request a one-on-one strategy session with me personally. We will go over all of your marketing and come up with a game plan that’s right for your business. Make it happen.