In recent years, the home services industry underwent a major renovation. Consumers still want their homes' bits and pieces repaired and replaced, but now they want them done online.
The modern, refreshed industry look and feel shouldn't be a surprise, considering the many other industries that have gone digital in the past decade (i.e., retail, entertainment, ride-sharing, hospitality). Yet, something about home services and its unique level of person-to-person interaction made it feel invincible to the digital race. But if the healthcare industry is doing it (which it is—check out Teledoc), the home services industry sure isn't far behind.
Unveil the newly renovated masterpiece: the home services industry is now digitized!
The BOOM!: Online Home Services Market Growth
Our industry is finally joining in on the digital transformation that many of our sibling industries have before us. And it's only expected to continue. A report by Technavio recently announced that the Online On-Demand Home Services Market expects to grow by $4,730 Billion (at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 70%) in the next four years- that's a lot of growth.
Now, I'm sure you probably have a lot of questions: Who? Why? How? Don't worry. I've got your back.
Why The Online Services Explosion?
There are several factors at play contributing to this shift in industry behavior.
First, we have external macro factors occurring that affect the operations of all businesses, not just home services:
Consumer preferences lean towards convenience and online ability now more than ever before.
The penetration rate of the internet and other technology-enabled resources is at an all-time high.
Impact of COVID-19
The impact of COVID-19 in 2020 has many consumers feeling safer from a distance than up close and personal.
Second, there are a few things that are changing inside our industry, too:
There is an increasing number of startups and other technology companies that are shaking up the industry.
Availability of Softwares, FSMs, and more
Many companies (like mine, shameless plug for Schedule Engine) are creating resources that are spurning the change. Features like online booking, live agent chat, live voice support, and more are readily available by companies working to close the digital gap. Because of this, digital resources are a more regular offering by home services providers.
Digital Media & Marketing Trend
The report by Technavio also identified the increase in investment into digital marketing strategies by many home services providers. Contractor businesses utilize social media (i.e., YouTube, Facebook), SEM, and SEO to enhance brand awareness and increase lead generation.
In all, these factors are simply a reflection of a universal trend: consumers want what is convenient and accessible, and they want it now. There is a new way of doing things—online—and the natural progression is for the home services industry to adapt.
The Aftermath: What the Boom Means for Your Business
Right now, home services are one of those areas that customers develop anxiety around. The more painless it can be, the more enjoyable it becomes. So, you need to take steps to give that experience to consumers so that they keep coming back.
Locating the Diamonds in the Rubble
You don't just have to do it for consumers—do it for your employees and your business! Transitioning to a more online-centric business model is an opportunity for all.
For Your People
By transitioning some of your business operational tasks (i.e., scheduling calls, booking appointments, etc.) to online, you will significantly reduce the pressure that presently sits on the shoulders of your internal team.
Many may ask: what about my employees? I don't want technology to replace them.
My answer: technology isn't replacing your employees; it's empowering them! Taking these more menial tasks off their plate can shift your employees to higher-value tasks and more rewarding roles. That higher-value work will ultimately drive a better customer experience and employee satisfaction retention, also increasing revenue for your business.
For Your Business
Automating transactional communications will free up time for your staff to focus on higher-value jobs. Simultaneously, giving customers the ability to book appointments online increases the conversion rate of booked appointments. Together, this automation leads to less time wasted following up on leads, lower overhead costs, and provides you with a big opportunity to grow your business.
Digging Up the Gold of This Online Home Services Demand Explosion
We know that online services are here, and they're not going anywhere. But don't just embrace the shifting trend; invest in it! There is so much to gain for you, your customers, your employees, and your bottom line.
And there's no one better to help you reap those benefits than Schedule Engine. Schedule Engine was designed for contractors, by contractors, built not just to accommodate, but also to propel your business forward.
Interested in finding out more about how you can propel your business forward with refreshed marketing tactics to stay competitive? Download our latest Resource Guide on Exceeding Customer Expectations & Winning the Customer Experience: A Blueprint for Today's Home Service Provider.