Home service businesses across the country are facing unprecedented challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Classified as essential services even in cities on lockdown, home service business owners must balance serving their communities and keeping their employees safe.
Unfortunately, these challenges are driving many businesses to cease operations, laying off staff and leaving customers without service. But the home service pros who have cloud-based tech solutions in place are surviving and even thriving in these conditions.
Here are two home service companies that are making it work with cloud-based solutions.
Ted Puzio, owner of Southern Trust Home Services in Roanoke, Virginia, hit the ground running in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. A member of CEO Warrior, Puzio acted on advice from Mike Agugliaro to prepare quickly.
“He guided us and taught us how to prepare for it,” said Puzio. “They’re the reason we’re doing so well. We’re not missing a beat.”
For Max Rose of Four Seasons Plumbing in Asheville, North Carolina, balancing the needs of all stakeholders has been the biggest hurdle.
“The biggest challenge personally is finding a balance between taking care of the community and their needs, making sure the people who work here are respected and safe, and taking care of our company economically,” he said. “It’s very tricky.”
Both companies use ServiceTitan, a cloud-based home service software platform that combines customer service, dispatch, scheduling, sales, reporting and more. Since the system is in the cloud, office staff and dispatchers could easily transition to working from home, and technicians saw few changes except for safety measures.
“It’s really been awesome,” Rose said. “We were able to quickly move (office staff and dispatch) to a home office. That was almost seamless because we do that anyway on the weekends.”
“Ten years ago, when I was working with a bag phone, none of this would have been possible,” said Puzio. “Cloud-based software gives us the luxury of being anywhere at any time and logging in. It’s helped us really grow and have a larger footprint. It’s proven with this epidemic to be a good investment.”
Seeing Them Through
The companies behind cloud-based home service platforms are committed to supporting businesses like Four Seasons and Southern Trust through this challenging time. ServiceTitan co-founder Ara Mahdessian said supporting partner businesses in a crisis is simply an extension of ServiceTitan’s founding mission.
“My father was a small business owner in the skilled trades,” he said. “So, my vision when founding ServiceTitan was to help people like him succeed. In these unprecedented times, our mission hasn’t changed. It’s more important than ever to serve our partners, and through them the communities they serve.”
With offices in California and Georgia, ServiceTitan’s team has also transitioned to remote work to keep staff safe, healthy and serving home service businesses.
“We are so proud of our team and the way they are continuing to serve, innovate and grow during this time,” Mahdessian said. “Allowing our partners to work safely truly benefits the entire country, keeping families comfortable and healthy in their homes. Our partners are real heroes, and we are glad to support them.”
Meanwhile, with the help of cloud-based services, Rose and Puzio are looking forward, positioning their businesses for growth.
“We have a virtual daily huddle that has really helped us stay connected with all departments,” said Rose. “And the networking system through Nexstar has been amazing. Seeing updates of what other businesses are doing and how successful businesses are navigating this has just been amazing.”
Rose added that he is seeing more job applicants than before, as other home service companies in his area start layoffs. Puzio even hosted a virtual hiring event during the outbreak.
“We’re hiring the competition,” Puzio said. “We interviewed 37 people via Zoom, and it was pretty amazing. Half a dozen guys made the statement that their boss said everything was fine, and the next thing they’re shutting down because of coronavirus. So, we’re able to pick up more of the workload.”
But for both, serving their customers during this time is most important.
“We’re just trying to navigate all of this and take care of our community,” said Rose.