A digital transformation has been happening in the home services industry. What does that mean? What does that look like?
The home services industry encompasses a wide range of trades such as HVAC, plumbing, lawn care, house cleaning, and electrical work that make up the backbone of modern society. Although inflation, rising interest rates, and rising wages/high unemployment have had a significant impact on home service businesses this past year, the home service industry continues to grow in revenue despite headwinds. However, this is mainly driven by price increases rather than by a higher number of jobs.
Even still, the home service market in Canada has become fragmented due to the presence of a large number of small vendors and the market is intensely competitive. To survive and flourish in this competitive environment, home service businesses must adopt innovative tools and strategies to improve efficiency and customer satisfaction and to secure a competitive edge in this rapidly changing landscape. It’s all part of this digital transformation that’s occurring in the industry. Read on to find out what exactly that means for you and your business.
Demand for Online Home Services
We have the COVID-19 pandemic to thank for shifting not just how we work but the way we live, especially when it comes to spending on on-demand services. It really accelerated this digital transformation. For the last three years, consumers have forced the entire economy to prioritize meeting them where they are. The pandemic was a health and safety matter, but it pushed businesses to adopt a digital-first approach and move their operations largely online. Operating predominantly online has expanded businesses’ opportunities to save money and generate revenue simultaneously. And importantly, consumers enjoy – and have come to expect – all of the options that are available now.
With much of the world having returned to pre-pandemic activity, the growth of the home services market will require owners and operators to focus on their omnichannel presence to expand their reach. This involves reaching customers where and how they prefer, including:
- Booking appointments online
- Communicating via chat or text message
- Offering contactless payments
Customers Increasingly Shopping Online for Home Services
As such, consumers are increasingly turning to the internet when looking to buy both products and services, and that includes things that have traditionally been done on the phone or through in-person interactions. The home services market is no different; customers want to be able to purchase products and schedule services online. They also want an easy way to compare prices and ensure the credibility of those they hire.
Since 2019, Google searches for residential HVAC are up 19%. Five years ago, the majority of searches were for HVAC and proximity. For example, “HVAC contractor near Toronto” or “air conditioning contractor near Ottawa.” But that’s changed. Looking at data from the last year, price is on par with proximity. For example, “new AC cost” or “gas furnace cost.”
So, if customers are actively searching for pricing, shouldn’t you have it on your website?
e-Commerce for Home Service Companies
An e-Commerce site is a crucial part of this digital transformation, then, as consumers increasingly shop online and expect a digital-first experience. For example, homeowners should be purchasing filters on a consistent basis. Wouldn’t it be better if they purchased them from your website rather than Amazon or Home Depot? How about your maintenance plans? Is there any reason a customer should not be able to purchase that online? Even if you are not keen on selling products online, having product pricing available on your website is an effective hybrid model. This way the homeowner gets as deep into the buying process as they can go before they engage with you to complete the sale, service or installation.
We work closely with many home service companies that recognize the importance of a strong digital presence to build out their e-Commerce websites. We build these e-Commerce sites with connected product content to improve brand recognition, achieve operational efficiency, and generate more sales. From HVAC to plumbing, lawn care, fireplaces and much more, iDIG has a proven track record of helping home service companies achieve their short-term and long-term growth goals.
Boost Efficiency with Technology
An e-Commerce website is just one piece of the puzzle. There are other digital tools that can complement and support your e-Commerce site, your employees, and your business operations. Between labour shortages and the undeniable power and reliability of technology, many trade businesses are turning to technology to boost efficiency and productivity. This allows them to accomplish more with fewer resources. At the same time, consumers increasingly expect tradespeople to offer their services through digital platforms. Therefore, there’s an urgent need for industry innovation, including user-friendly tools for digital payments, quotes, and planning.
CRMs, Booking Systems & Payment Processing Software
In addition, homeowners increasingly expect to book and pay for services online. One essential element is a professional website featuring an integrated booking system so customers can schedule appointments and access information about the company quickly. Equally important is the implementation of a CRM (Customer Relationship Management software), to manage and nurture customer relationships. With the help of a good CRM, businesses can experience improved customer retention and increased revenue. These businesses also need digital job management tools. These consist of software solutions that help assign tasks, monitor progress, facilitate communication among team members, and ultimately streamline the overall operation. Plus, businesses stand to further streamline their operations and maximize efficiency with invoicing and payment processing technology. Integrating invoicing and payment processing systems not only saves time but also ensures prompt payments from clients.
Digital Transformation for Your Home Services Company: A Complete Business Management Solution
Need help getting started or keeping up with this digital transformation? iDIG has developed a business management platform that automates lead generation, scheduling, employee management, payroll and much more. With several active clients currently using the platform, we can tailor the system to meet your business’s specific needs.
Transform your business and stay ahead of the competition!
idig Marketing is a full-service digital agency that generates meaningful website traffic and drives high-value leads to your organization. By optimizing organic content with paid advertising our custom methodology is adapted to meet your requirements and exceed your objectives.