A history built on service
Kickserv’s story isn’t about selling software—it's about solving the growing demands of a family plumbing business. How do you manage a service business delivering on 120,000 calls a year across 18 locations? Todd Eccles, Kickserv's founder came up with a solution over 20 years ago, and he offered it to field service businesses everywhere. The mission of making service simple hasn't changed in those 20 years.
Today, Todd continues as Kickserv's CEO, where he draws on his first-hand learnings—along with feedback from thousands of Kickserv customers—to deliver on his mission of making service simple. Kickserv has become a G2, Capterra, Software Advice and GetApp category leader with top ratings from customers.
- Early 1900s
The man who started it all
Todd's great-grandpa is a plumber in the early 1900s and his grandpa starts an HVAC company in California's Central Valley—installing the first ever refrigeration systems in grocery stores, and HVAC in tall buildings in the 1950s and 60s.
The Eccles Endeavors
Todd and his sister Christina (Kickserv CFO) dart around the USA with their dad, Chet Eccles III, who founded Rescue Rooter—a sewer and drain cleaning company in San Diego in over 30 locations by the end of the 1970s.
The next chapter
The Eccles family sells their interest in Rescue Rooter and founds Drain Patrol, another family-owned plumbing and sewer company. Now in high school, Todd expands his skill set and becomes a human trencher and go-to hole digger. Here's Todd's dad back in the early 1980's.
- 1988 - 1992
This was only the beginning
Todd and Pete McKesson (Kickserv’s Customer Ambassador) founded Students Restoring Decks, providing a service to homeowners each summer to help pay for college. The business was run entirely on paper. During this time, the idea of Kickserv took shape.
- Early 1990s
Rock, paper, scissors, computer!
After college, Christina, Todd and Pete go to work full time at the family plumbing company and begin digitizing the company. Christina was the CFO, Todd was the National Executive Director, and Pete was head of sales and central booking. The corporate office provided services to the 18 individual Drain Patrols—over 650 employees in total.
- Late 1990s
Drain Patrol's homegrown software system was overdue for an upgrade. Zack Chandler, the “5th Beatle" of Kickserv, joined the company along with Erik Eccles (Todd’s brother and a current board advisor). Zack built Soar24, the first-ever web scheduling and customer relationship management tool for service companies. It was launched in 1999—the same year as Salesforce! It was only used internally, but the train had started rolling.
The Eccles family sells their plumbing companies. Zack, Chet, and Todd retool their Soar24 software and relaunch it to the public in 2006 as ServiceSidekick. Within 2 years, Todd is running the new software business full time. Pete McKesson joins shortly after to head up the support team.
Kickserv’s the word
Zack Chandler departs to start another successful software company with Erik Eccles. In July 2011, Todd partners with a development team managed by Jonathan Vaught (now co-founder and CTO). ServiceSidekick was just too long to type, so the company rebrands as Kickserv, using the last 4 letters and first 4 letters of the old name. Norman is introduced as everyone's favorite service ninja mascot—kickstarting field service.
Funding the future
With a proven business model and thousands of users (over half of whom are still with us today!), Kickserv looked to raise funds to grow the business to the next level. In 2014, ReachLocal (a public marketing corporation) made an investment in Kickserv, and later that year acquired the company to further invest in Kickserv's future.
- 2015 - 2021
4 Times growth
Kickserv released its first mobile apps, along with new tools like live GPS tracking, geolocated time tracking, the Customer Center, and integrations with other business tools like Mailchimp and Xero. Meanwhile, ReachLocal was acquired by Gannett, which meant changes in focus and priority at the corporate level. Kickserv kept running mostly under its own guidance, but the hoped-for investments never really materialized. Nevertheless, Kickserv continued to grow steadily and organically, doubling the customer base and increasing revenue by 400%.
- June 2021
Norman the ninja
With a decade of solid leadership and steady growth under the tool belt, it was time to leave the nest once again. Todd and Jonathan pooled their funds and, in honor of Norman, formed Norman's Dojo, Inc. to purchase Kickserv back from Gannett. The future for Kickserv and its family of field service businesses is just beginning! Come along for the next chapter.