Water apprentice moves to a bigger pond using innovation
How growing your business doesn't have to be a constant struggle
The Back story:
Ryan Johnson was that young, eager, and curious engineering student back in the late ’90s. He dove headfirst into learning the science and trade of water treatment from his mentors. As he progressed and grew within the ranks, he noticed how he could improve upon the service aspect of the business. Ryan was confident he could do better by the customer. It was in the early aughts that Ryan decided it was time for him to go it alone. In 2004 Ryan started ACE in Phoenix Arizona.
In the beginning, it was himself and one tech. Ryan and his tech ran fast and smart and innovated along the way. They did this for a couple of years together. Ryan being the pragmatic student taught himself the business of water treatment. From 2004 to 2006 online services were just emerging. He was heavy on paper initially, but gradually developed a sophisticated spreadsheet program for him to track calls and maintenance schedules (aka the master schedule). This spreadsheet program was so successful another software company implemented his design for the web. Again, another innovation from Ryan to make service in his industry better.
Word spread quickly that there was a new kid in the pool and he was innovating and servicing his customers like no one before him.
With success comes growing pains. The customer base grew to such a size in just 5 years that he had to find innovative ways to continue to service his customers at a high level. So, now speeding forward to 9 technicians working full time, the need for better field communication was apparent. With an ever sense of Innovation and expansion, Ryan purchased a second company. The team at ACE by this time in 2010 had grown by 450% and they were spread out between two states (Arizona and Nevada). The number of calls exploded by 1,000%. Ryan is feeling the struggle to keep everyone organized, working, and communicating. Again, Ryan seeks innovation to deliver top quality service to his customer base.
How does Ryan add new techs, keep the same delivery rate, and keep everyone providing the same standard of service to every customer?
Ryan knew he needed a way to streamline his communication from his customers to his technicians and back to the office. The volume of traffic could no longer be taken for granted and processed through his originally designed spreadsheet put on the web. Ryan went in search of a technology that was proven to handle this amount of call traffic and the size of the team. Plus keep everyone in good communication between the customer, technician, and office.
He found Kickserv in 2016.
ACE is utilizing the ability to share notes, pictures, and documents with the customer with the ACE team in the field.
Not only is Ryan using the document attachments for sharing estimates, quotes, and invoices, but he attaches pictures to assist a few of the new team members of how to solve particular technical problems.
And now he can have his field crew input their expenses while still in the field.
Ryan states, “It is so easy now that they [techs] just have to mark the job complete from the site before they leave”. Dispatch can see this almost immediately and get them to the next job”.
Up-sells or added service volume has increased now that his field crew is able to get estimates approved online with Kickserv.
Ryan found that he could keep his staff size to a minimum and labor costs slowed but allow his customer base and call count to double in size (X2). This was doable knowing where your guys are at using Kickserv GPS and routing techs that are closest to the next call.
Ryan is maintaining an organized field service team spread out as far as 400 miles but doing more business and collecting payments faster than ever. He is enjoying the speed of collections with Kickserv’s mobile app. To simply take a picture of the customer’s credit card and earn the card-present transaction rates with their processor.
He found that more than ever new technicians could quickly adapt to Kickserv’s intuitive design and flow.
Ryan’s service has gotten him recognized by some major national brands and they want him to service all of the U.S.A.