Tommy Mello, owner and CEO of A1 Garage Door Service, operating in multiple locations across the U.S., knows a little something about how to build a successful home services business. In fact, A1 has been named one of Inc. 5000's Fastest-Growing Private Companies in the U.S. for four years running.
And if you're a contractor working in the trades, you've undoubtedly listened to The Home Service Expert, a popular podcast hosted by Mello, or read his book, "Home Service Millionaire," or even followed his tips to grow your business in the smartest way.
So, why would the owner of a $151-million national garage door company—and someone who appears to be hitting every business growth target along the way—seek out assistance from Schedule Engine's live services and online booking solutions?
For Mello, it's simple. "Automation and attribution," he says. "I am such a big fan of automation."
Schedule Engine's comprehensive software solution automates the booking process for A1 Garage Door's customers, so they can schedule a repair or replacement job at their convenience, much like today's consumers book everything else. And Schedule Engine's reporting capabilities give Mello the marketing attribution he needs to scale faster and operate more efficiently.
He explains further during a recent conversation with Eddie McFarlane, co-host of Schedule Engine's Toolshed video training series for home service leaders and technicians.
Convenience is King
Customers love, and even demand, convenience. Schedule Engine makes it easy for them to book an appointment online and get their garage door fixed when it's most convenient. From automated online scheduling to 24/7 live chat and voice support with industry-trained professionals, Schedule Engine keeps home services companies like A1 from ever missing out on a job.
A1 also loves it when customers go directly to the booking tool because they can more quickly meet customer demands, which ultimately saves time and money. And, with Schedule Engine's Customer Insights, A1 can easily connect all booking conversions to revenue sources across every marketing channel.
"The first thing I asked Schedule Engine for was (marketing) attribution," Mello says. "I need to be able to know what's going on with Valpak versus Money Mailer, versus Pay-Per-Click, versus Google Local Service Ads, versus Google My Business, and you guys built that for us."
Numbers Speak Volumes
Mello says A1 Garage Door currently acquires 10% of jobs each month through its integration with ServiceTitan field management software and Schedule Engine's online booking tool. His goal is to push that to 40%.
"My goal is to drive calls to Schedule Engine, which means I may need to cut my call center in half…but at our growth rate, we'll just keep it the same," Mello says. "I pay $50 per booked call overall as a call center. I pay very little to use Schedule Engine.
"What that means to us in a year is $3.1 million extra dollars based on the conversion rates. Those are amazing stats."
Since online booking costs A1 less for sales conversions, Mello also uses the power of affiliate marketing to drive referral customers to book online. For example, his company sponsors a Little League team. As part of the sponsorship, he asks for the team to share a link to his website online. In return, A1 donates 10% of the revenue from jobs booked online back to the team.
A1 also drives customers to book online by using QR codes on all of its marketing and offering simple incentives such as a free surge protector. Mello uses those same types of marketing tactics in recruiting by offering employees a $1,500 incentive for each referral they make for new hires.
Keeping it Simple with Schedule Engine
If you really know your business numbers and can clearly see what's working to grease the wheels and keep things rolling along, you'll quickly see how Schedule Engine just makes sense for capturing online customers when your call center can't.
"If you guys really pay attention and conduct A/B tests, you'll have a competitive advantage," Mello says. "You need to have the ultimate experience for your clients at all times. It's not set it and forget it, it's always A/B testing."
An A/B test is a comparison between two versions of the same marketing campaign that you expose to different target audiences, then decide which one performs best based on conversion rates or other metrics.
And by investing in software companies such as ServiceTitan and Schedule Engine, Mello says he gains a competitive advantage.
"Simple is key," Mello advises. "I pay less than a half percent (of my total revenue) for ServiceTitan, and they book the calls through my Local Service Ads with Schedule Engine. Schedule Engine is a fraction of a percent of your revenue, so if you're not using these tools, I'm really worried for your business."