• December 1, 2012
  • By Leonard Klie, Editor, CRM magazine and SmartCustomerService.com

ServiceTask Helps Business Clean Up

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ServiceTask from New Service has radically changed how Dustin McDonald runs his window cleaning, power washing, and detailing business. Servicing his residential and commercial clients in the Atlanta area is now an almost effortless process, allowing him to spend more time in the field with customers and less in the office with clunky spreadsheets.

He founded his company, Peachy Services, in 2008, but has only been using ServiceTask for appointment scheduling since February. Now McDonald wonders how he ever managed without it.

"It has everything I need, and a few other things I didn't even know I needed until I started using them," he says.

ServiceTask is a Web-based scheduling application that also automatically confirms addresses, plots routes to locations, sends appointment reminders to customers, and even prints out invoices that work crews can give to customers when they complete a job. Entering data is a breeze with the application's drag-and-drop calendaring.

Prior to implementing the ServiceTask solution, McDonald built his own appointment scheduling spreadsheets using Microsoft Excel, a process he calls time-consuming and confusing. "I would go in and change one appointment, and then I would have to change every other date for that job or client manually," he says.

With the spreadsheets, it was easy for appointments to be missed, data to be entered incorrectly, or information to be deleted accidentally, resulting in lost business. "And there was no way to keep from making these little mistakes," McDonald recalls.

"With ServiceTask, I put in the change once and every other appointment is changed dynamically," he says. "I just fire up the app, put the data in, and forget about it."

Since he installed the application, McDonald has maintained a client retention rate of 98 percent. Most lost business has been the result of businesses closing rather than scheduling errors.

"The slightest error in the old spreadsheet program could cost me business, all because of one wrong click. ServiceTask has definitely helped me maintain my clientele," he states.

The application also lets McDonald and work crews see pending jobs for the day, week, or month, and, because everything is Web-based, the information can be entered and accessed from anywhere. That availability is "one of the best features about ServiceTask," McDonald says, noting that his work crews spend most of their time on the road. Each two-man team can have 10 to 15 jobs per day.

"I've definitely noticed a decrease in our workloads," he adds. "I spend minutes a day on scheduling instead of hours."

McDonald estimates that ServiceTask has decreased time spent on scheduling and appointment reminders by about 10 hours a month. "Everything is easy to read, easy to do. I can just get my clipboard and go. Right in front of me I can see all the work I have booked for the day in one view."

Another boon for the business is the address verification, mapping, and routing functionality, which McDonald says has saved his small business $150 to $200 a month in gas alone. "It saves time driving around looking for a location. With ServiceTask, we can pull all the addresses we need for the day and it can tell the fastest route for each location."

Prior to selecting ServiceTask, McDonald looked at several similar applications, but found that most lacked functionality and customization.

"ServiceTask is really working well for us," McDonald adds.

The program's vendor, New Service, is constantly adding functionality. The latest addition is a marketing tool that helps field service operations create Web pages. Though McDonald hasn't tried the app yet, he hasn't ruled it out. "As [New Service] comes out with new tools, we will definitely give the company a chance," he says. "Everything they do is an added value to the service and product we're using already."

The Payoff

Since implementing the ServiceTask appointment scheduling application, Peachy Services has:

  • saved $150 to $200 per month on gas getting to appointments;
  • eliminated about 10 hours of work a month previously spent manually entering account appointment information into spreadsheets; and
  • maintained a 98 percent client retention rate.

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