Feature Focus: “Refer a Friend” Button

We love referrals, so we made it way easier for you to refer us to a friend! Introducing the “Refer a Friend” button in ServiceMonster 6! Just released in update 6.3.1, this feature allows for a quick and easy referral process. Oh yeah, and there’s an incentive for you to use it!

It’s simple. You’ll now see a green button that says “Refer a Friend” in the upper right hand corner of ServiceMonster 6. Here’s what it looks like:

When you click the button, it will take you to a contact information pop up, pictured below:

All that you have to do now is fill out the form with your friend’s information and click “OK”. Now, the fun part. If your friend signs up for ServiceMonster and becomes a subscribed, paying customer, after 45 days we will reward you with one month free of your ServiceMonster subscription! 

We love rewarding our customers, and we love referrals, so make sure to use this new feature as much as you can!

We love referrals, so we made it way easier for you to refer us to a friend! Introducing the “Refer a Friend” button in ServiceMonster 6! Just released in update 6.3.1, this feature allows for a quick and easy referral process. Oh yeah, and there’s an incentive for you to use it! It’s simple. You’ll […]

The ServiceMonster Show (October 20th, 2018): New Video Editing Tools, UAMCC Convention, and Goodbye to Nina and Stephanie

THIS WEEK IN SOCIAL MEDIA

THIS WEEK IN SERVICEMONSTER

  • Come see us at the UAMCC event in Houston!
  • Saying goodbye to two of our favorite employees and costars.

SERVICEMONSTER PRODUCT UPDATES

  • 6.3.0.23 release notes!

THIS WEEK IN SOCIAL MEDIA A new simplified version of Adobe Premiere: https://www.theverge.com/2018/10/15/1… Amazon and Snapchat team up? https://www.falcon.io/insights-hub/in… THIS WEEK IN SERVICEMONSTER Come see us at the UAMCC event in Houston! Saying goodbye to two of our favorite employees and costars. SERVICEMONSTER PRODUCT UPDATES 6.3.0.23 release notes!

“Tips N Chat” Throwback: A Look Into the Past of Carpet Cleaning

Here at ServiceMonster, we value the rich history of the carpet cleaning industry and we want to share some of that history with all of you! This is the first of a series of weekly posts that will be focused on re-purposing content from the 1970’s and 1980’s originally found in Tips N Chat, the “magazine published for the benefit and enjoyment of on-location carpet cleaners”. This magazine was created and published by Ed York, the man who revolutionized carpet cleaning, and we are very fortunate to have access to all of the old issues!

(Some of you may know that Ed York and his wife, Wanda, are the grandparents-in-law of our CEO, Joe Kowalski. Just a few months back, Joe interviewed Wanda on an episode of #AskServiceMonster and discussed with her the origins of the carpet cleaning industry, as well as her and Ed’s role in growing it. You can watch that video here.)

Below is a short collection of some snippets from various Tips N Chat magazines. Enjoy!

Pictured to the left here is the cover of a 1976 issue of Tips N Chat. This specific magazine covered the details of the Society of Cleaning Technicians (SCT) annual convention, an event that is similar to the upcoming ServiceMonster Business Symposium (details here).

The following pages of this issue gave the schedule of the convention and more details on who was speaking. Fortunately, now we have the internet to post things like that!

One of the coolest finds in these old magazines are the advertisements. Yeah, carpet cleaning equipment has come a long way, and fortunately the equipment is much less bulky these days. Still, in the early 70’s this $1,500 Vapor-Vac “Senior” was a top of the line workhorse!

Tips N Chat also featured shout-outs to different carpet cleaners around the nation, usually highlighting them for something that they were doing well. In this example, Al Sadler was commended for his well-thought-out advertising on his van. 

Ed used Tips N Chat to promote events and classes, all focused on helping carpet cleaners grow their businesses and improve their skill set. We’ve actually heard from some of the people who took these classes and knew Ed personally. According to them, the experience and certification they gained was invaluable to their success. 

This ad promoted Ed’s 4/M workshop on management, merchandising, marketing and money.

Be on the lookout for next week’s “Tips N Chat” Throwback post for more highlights from Tips N Chat. Let us know if you like this kind of content, and if you do, what you would like to see more of!

Here at ServiceMonster, we value the rich history of the carpet cleaning industry and we want to share some of that history with all of you! This is the first of a series of weekly posts that will be focused on re-purposing content from the 1970’s and 1980’s originally found in Tips N Chat, the […]

The ServiceMonster Show (June 29, 2018): Trade Tariffs, Instagram Lite, and Training Videos!

THIS WEEK IN SOCIAL MEDIA

THIS WEEK IN SERVICEMONSTER

  • Our new customer John stops by, all the way from Houston!
  • New Training Videos!
  • More Symposium tickets are getting sold! Click here for more info.

SERVICEMONSTER PRODUCT UPDATES

  • 6.2.7 is here!
  • We keep adding hotfixes!

THIS WEEK IN SOCIAL MEDIA Trade Tariffs raising the cost of cleaning supplies?!: https://cleanfax.com/news/new-tariffs/ Sales stats that will change the way you sell: https://www.business2community.com/sa… Instagram gets a Lite version?: https://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/… THIS WEEK IN SERVICEMONSTER Our new customer John stops by, all the way from Houston! New Training Videos! More Symposium tickets are getting sold! Click here for […]

Why Social Media Engagement Matters

As you’ve heard us say many times before, social media is your best friend when it comes to marketing your service business. Facebook gives you affordable and highly effective advertising options, with Instagram advertising included automatically. The goal of this kind of social media advertising is to show potential customers your business/product in a space where they have the ability to take further action (called a call-to-action), such as click a link or watch a video. All of this we have covered extensively before, most notably in our Social Media Mastery guide. Check that out if you haven’t already, it’s an amazing collection of content all for free!

The next piece for growing the social media presence of your business is ENGAGEMENT. Engagement simply means being active on your accounts, aware of what’s going on with your followers, and committed to customer service. The key here is to respond to questions quickly and professionally, as well as monitor any concerns that are raised by followers on either your posts or page itself. Depending on the size of your business, and how popular your social media accounts are, this can be a daunting task. However, it is an essential tool for getting leads and keeping current customers happy.

Let’s run through a few example scenarios of what social media engagement can look like for a service business:

Ex. 1: A past customer comments on your most recent post asking what your availability is to come clean their carpets (or whatever it is you do). The post they commented on is unrelated, such as a post welcoming a new technician to your company. In this instance, it may be pretty easy to miss their comment, as it didn’t come in the form of a direct message. Since this situation would most likely result in a job, making sure to monitor comments and responding when appropriate/needed is crucial. Treating all comments as direct personal messages, most being worthy of some type of response, is a good mindset to have when approaching your social media engagement.

Ex. 2: A new potential customer finds your page on Facebook and reads your reviews. They see that you have mostly positive reviews (read more about the importance of positive reviews here), and send you a direct message on Facebook inquiring about your services. If you don’t have notifications on, you may not see the message right away, but it is important to be checking your notifications frequently so you can respond in a timely manner. Here at ServiceMonster, we have found that Facebook is a great tool for getting leads!

Ex. 3: A current customer comments on your post that shows a before-and-after image of their carpet that you just cleaned, thanking you for doing a great job. This type of comment doesn’t need a big response usually. Something along the lines of “You’re very welcome, we look forward to working with you again!” is all that is necessary. This is a very quick and simple example of engagement that not only makes you look good to anyone who sees it, but also helps increase the likelihood that that customer will call you the next time they need something.

Remember, how you engage with customers on social media is how people will see your company. Strong, timely, and positive engagement shows that you are a professional and can be trusted to do a great job. If your business’s online persona is that solid, you won’t have any trouble staying busy and growing your business!

Here at ServiceMonster, our passion is enabling you to grow your service business. We hope you take the next step with your social media engagement and see positive results. Let us know if we can help you with anything! We’re only a phone call or email away.

Until next time!

As you’ve heard us say many times before, social media is your best friend when it comes to marketing your service business. Facebook gives you affordable and highly effective advertising options, with Instagram advertising included automatically. The goal of this kind of social media advertising is to show potential customers your business/product in a space […]

LEADERS LEADING LEADERS — #AskServiceMonster 067

IN THIS EPISODE:

  • This week’s question comes from Jim: “I have 7 employees and it’s starting to drive me crazy. I have to go out on jobs, answer questions from the office, go on estimates, train my guys, manage all the activity, and try to double check everything that’s getting done. How do I find and train a good manager to help me? How much should I pay them when they’re not actually bringing in revenue?”

 

  • In addition, ServiceMonster is hosting it’s first ever Business Symposium! Come hangout with Joe and learn how to grow your business! Click the link for more information: http://bit.ly/2sXvKvb

 



#AskServiceMonster is a weekly series where we answer your service business-related questions. Have a question you’d like us to answer? Email us at ask@servicemonster.net, use the hashtag #AskServiceMonster on Twitter, or leave it in a comment on YouTube or Facebook.

IN THIS EPISODE: This week’s question comes from Jim: “I have 7 employees and it’s starting to drive me crazy. I have to go out on jobs, answer questions from the office, go on estimates, train my guys, manage all the activity, and try to double check everything that’s getting done. How do I find […]

Seeking Feedback on the ServiceMonster Mobile App!

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Thank you for downloading the ServiceMonster mobile app!

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Please provide your feedback using the form below. We’re working hard to make the app work flawlessly for you, and every comment we get helps us get closer to achieving that goal.

Your Name:

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Which of the issues below was the biggest problem during your experience with the mobile app?

Please elaborate on your response above:

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Thank you for downloading the ServiceMonster mobile app! (Haven’t downloaded it yet?) ⬇️️ ServiceMonster Mobile (Android) ServiceMonter Mobile (iOS) Please provide your feedback using the form below. We’re working hard to make the app work flawlessly for you, and every comment we get helps us get closer to achieving that goal.

Effective Social Strategies for Service Businesses: (6) Case Studies

This is part 6 in a series on social media for service businesses. The full series is:
1. Introduction
2. Concepts
3. Social Platforms Overview
4. 7 Social Strategies
5. Using Facebook
6. Case Studies

Here are a few good examples of how we and others, have used social media to accomplish a goal or capture attention to deliver value to the business.

Case Study – Getting Attention

In late 2012, ServiceMonster moved from a bare metal solution to a true virtual service. We adopted Microsoft Azure. That decision would haunt me for eight months. Four months in, I was in a state of panic. The technology was solid. It had to be the platform. But how to get Microsoft’s attention? They had no real support, and the level of support that I needed went way beyond a flow chart, so I created a marketing plan.

It was simple. Use Twitter and talk about my issues tagging Microsoft and Azure team members in every post, but first I had to get someone to listen. I needed to find some of their evangelists. Evangelists are people who are forward-facing about a product or service, but can stand up to technical scrutiny. From there I would find and follow the engineers that were working on Azure. My goal was to obtain email relations with someone that would listen. I figured it would take about 30 days.

I was totally wrong. In 14 days I was talking with an evangelist regularly. I was invited to Microsoft and had a personal eight-hour tour through the Microsoft campus. I talked to their top brass representing the Azure platform. It was pretty cool. I even blogged about it.

It really didn’t help. Four months later I switch to Amazon. The day we switched, ServiceMonster was at peace again, and I got the first night’s sleep I had in a very long time.

The whole experience really opened my eyes to how effective social media could be in so many more ways than as a very effective lead generator.

http://www.servicemonster.net/2013/01/12/mr-smith-goes-to-microsoft

Case Study – Gary Hite

In July of 2016, Gary Hite, a carpet cleaner in Temecula, California, published a video of a tile job. A few weeks later, he had over 12 million views. A month later, a separate company rented the rights to the video and created another 12 million views. We scooped the story as it was happening.

The main points are:
1. Have good stock video.
2. Learn how to produce original compelling content.
3. Do step one and two a lot.
4. Hope that a video gets picked up on an OCD subreddit.

I’m actually not joking. Be a student. Read the blog post. Watch the video. Gary didn’t know it would go viral, but he knows enough to put together some elements in his video that created interest and captured attention. That video has generated work for cleaners all over the United States, and Gary has taken that opportunity to expand several areas of his business.

http://www.servicemonster.net/2016/08/04/spotlight-first-ever-viral-cleaning-industry-video

Case Study – #entrejoe

On August 8th the marketing team and I decided to turn the Joe brand up to 11. We had not yet fully embraced the business persona of ServiceMonster. One mechanism we implemented was a daily entrepreneurial Facebook post, containing relevant content based on issues and hurdles I run into on a daily basis. I call it the Facebook long form. They are usually no more than a few paragraphs long but will often be longer than the fold. After a few weeks of posting, I started receiving encouragement to continue (love that). I even had requests to begin compiling these posts into a mini Art of War style publication. But this isn’t 3000 BC. What did I do? I went back and tagged all of my relevant posts. I needed a hashtag that no one was using. Something that would create a brand. We often trade on ‘Joe’ and my focus is entrepreneurs, so #entrejoe was born. How can you provide the same type of value to your prospects and clients? #entrejoe

https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=%23entrejoe

case-studies

This is part 6 in a series on social media for service businesses. The full series is: 1. Introduction 2. Concepts 3. Social Platforms Overview 4. 7 Social Strategies 5. Using Facebook 6. Case Studies Here are a few good examples of how we and others, have used social media to accomplish a goal or […]

Effective Social Strategies for Service Businesses: (5) Using Facebook

This is part 5 in a series on social media for service businesses. The full series is:
1. Introduction
2. Concepts
3. Social Platforms Overview
4. 7 Social Strategies
5. Using Facebook
6. Case Studies

Business Pages

STOP INVITING ANYONE AND EVERYONE TO LIKE YOUR PAGE! Seriously. It messes with the insights Facebook can give you. It also makes Facebook think you are a national company instead of a local service. Yes, you can target campaigns using geolocation, but it messes up some of the cooler features. Build your wall. Keep your likes relevant to your clients and prospects. Stop inviting cleaning friends and vendors. This can really wreak havoc if you hire a third-party to manage your Facebook advertising. They will make assumptions which will be incorrect, like that your page supports 35 to 55-year-old males, nationwide, who own a service business. Oh wait, that’s my demographic.

Make your Facebook Page beautiful. If your logo is still out of 90s clipart from MS Office, it might be time for an update. Learn the difference between 72 DPI, 150 DPI, and 300 DPI (dots per inch) and why that’s important to a Facebook Page and mobile technology.

Take some time to build your cover image. That’s your billboard. Make it compelling. Ideally your profile picture will be your logo. Only change it for the most extreme circumstances. Don’t make your alias’ Page profile picture your company’s logo. Maybe try a different, more amplified version of yourself.

Make sure your Page is filled out and complete. Make sure there’s a link to your website. Make sure your phone number is right. Share relevant content, post original content, run ads.

Facebook Pages give you some really cool tools in the Insights section to study the effectiveness of your content (not to mention you run all of your ads from your business Page).

Business Persona

If you’re looking to build a Warrior strategy, it is essential to have a personal alias page for your business. Use your real name and image. Don’t try to give your persona the business name or clever variation. Facebook will eventually close your account until you identify yourself and correct it (don’t ask me how I know).

Join local Facebook groups. Local business groups can be a good source as well. Look for community influencers with a strong Facebook presence and discover where they hang out, online. Send friend requests to people who have liked your Page, and especially ones that are already your clients. Be friends with them! Invest in their lives. Make witty comments on their posts you find entertaining. Share. It’s amazing how fast customers change from clients to individuals when you see their kid hit that home run.

Create a group (or twelve). Assuming you’re the constant student and after you have some attention on both your business and personal pages, you will start to identify additional ways to capture attention. Groups are a great way to communicate to a handful of people. Currently you can add a friend to a group, even without them accepting an invite. By default, they will get a notification whenever there is a post in that group. It’s a powerful feature and one I think we will lose long-term. Be careful with it. Some don’t appreciate being added to a group willy-nilly (sorry guys). The most obvious group for a service provider to create is a private group dedicated to your clients. You have to keep the content relevant to maintain attention and engagement though, so make sure your kung fu is strong.

Facebook Ads

Creating ads for Facebook can have some challenges if you’re just getting started. Start with a goal in mind. Do you want more likes or to drive traffic to your site? When using a picture, smiling faces are always the best performers. Facebook will reject your ad for a handful of things. You can’t run an ad with an image that has too much text. The numbers are changing all the time. Use Facebook’s image text check tool to be sure:
https://www.facebook.com/ads/tools/text_overlay

When running ads, be sure to narrow your focus as much as possible. You can target groups of users based on their location, interests, and age. You can even target users who have liked a Page of your competitors. The narrower your focus, the better your results.

Facebook ads are so inexpensive that you can run a few ads at the same time to see which one is more effective. Just like organic engagement, the more users interact with your content, the better it will perform and the lower it will cost.

Facebook has an entire online course for learning how to use Facebook ads:
https://facebook.exceedlms.com/student/catalog/list

Facebook Pixel

Use Facebook pixel to track traffic on your site. A pixel is a tiny bit of code you add to your web pages which will tell Facebook which Facebook users visited your site, and which page(s) they visited. You can use this for retargeting, or to figure out cost per conversion. Retargeting allows you to create a Facebook ad targeting people who have already visited your site. That can be very powerful when used correctly: You send a special offer targeting people who went to your webform and didn’t complete it the first time. You could even chain them together by giving them a better offer each time they visit.

Engagement

Facebook Page likes matter, but only for establishing a baseline of creditability. For services providers, a few hundred likes and a handful of good reviews is all you really need to accomplish that. What is more important than likes is engagement. When users like, share, and comment on your posts, ads, and boosts, they flag Facebook that the content is relevant. Facebook will then display your content to more feeds. Engagement is the real metric to attention, not likes. Facebook will display the engagement of each post on your business Page insights.

Conversions

OK. You have your business Page and business persona all ready to go. How do you get from there to a never-ending fountain of flowing leads? The process of capturing attention and turning that into a sale is called conversion. First, you capture attention. Then you offer value. Then you throw out an ‘ask.’ Perhaps the ‘ask’ invites them to fill out a webform. They complete the form and you now have a solid lead. Just be sure the transfer from your ad to the web page is cohesive or the user may get lost. As this series is about social marketing, my responsibility is to help you get people to the webform. From there you will need a sales pipeline and lead capture system, like oh, I don’t know, perhaps ServiceMonster…

Remember the PULL? The more engagement you get, the more Facebook will feed your content to our audience. Deliver content that has value and they will follow you. If all of your content is about you, your effectiveness will be minimal and [insert eye roll].

If you’re using Facebook Pixel with your webform and success page, then you will know what your conversion rates from Facebook actually are.

Continue on to part 6 in our series on social media for service businesses to read about a few good examples of how we and others have used social media to accomplish a goal or capture attention to deliver value to the business.

facebook_service

This is part 5 in a series on social media for service businesses. The full series is: 1. Introduction 2. Concepts 3. Social Platforms Overview 4. 7 Social Strategies 5. Using Facebook 6. Case Studies Business Pages STOP INVITING ANYONE AND EVERYONE TO LIKE YOUR PAGE! Seriously. It messes with the insights Facebook can give […]

Effective Social Strategies for Service Businesses: (4) 7 Social Strategies

This is part 4 in a series on social media for service businesses. The full series is:
1. Introduction
2. Concepts
3. Social Platforms Overview
4. 7 Social Strategies
5. Using Facebook
6. Case Studies

STRATEGY: Bad

Having a bad social strategy is worse than having no strategy. I have seen business pages with missing or incorrect information. I have seen pages created for a business by the system where it becomes very difficult to claim ownership of them. I also see links to the owners’ personal, public profile, which they DO NOT use for business. They will, more often than I can believe, commit one or more of the five deadly sins.

1. Political content
2. Religious content
3. Sexually charged content
4. Drug related content
5. Personal attacks

Now these are general guidelines and can be bent if you understand you’re alienating a portion of your prospects. I always advise businesses and associations to steer clear of this type of content.

STRATEGY: None

You have nothing. Nada. Zero. This is kind of spooky for someone looking for your profile (and they will).

STRATEGY: Some

You have a Facebook Page and there is some information. Perhaps there is a link to your webpage and the three before and after pics you posted the day you started the business Page. Perhaps you tried a postcard-like campaign with little to no results or got discouraged when it became hard to entertain your Page likes without buying a boost from Facebook.

STRATEGY: Business Level 1

Your page is complete and accurate. It’s easy to call you or jump to your webpage. You make relevant posts at least a few times a month but how many before and after’s can you really do? You might have a handful of reviews and a few hundred likes on your page. You might have even tried a few boosts and got a handful of calls. Most business owners who think they do Facebook well live here.

STRATEGY: Business Level 2

Business Level 1 plus super consistent posts and boosts. Most of the content is shared from other sources with the occasional ad, picture, or video. When done well, the business can become a new authority in the local community. They either pay a third party or use a program like Hootsuite to manage posts. They have lots of reviews and plenty of likes on their page. They have some engagement on their boosted posts and are consistently getting jobs. These results will be similar to EDDM postcard campaigns in terms of response. The better your targeting, your content, and native attention, the lower your cost per client.

STRATEGY: Business Level 3

Business Level 2 plus amazing compelling original content crated by a personality in the business. Looking through the timeline of a Level 3 business Page tells a story and draws the user in. The story introduces them to the people, goes behind the scenes with friends and/or family, and shares their importance to the community. The strategy will also couple the website’s blog and newsletter content.

STRATEGY: Warrior

In order to build a warrior level social strategy, you need to triple down on your own personality. You know you’re headed true north when you’re your own biggest fan.

People will buy from people over businesses every time. To get the most out of your social strategy, your brand must have a face. You cannot participate in groups with a business Page. You cannot create a group with a business Page. You cannot like and comment on personal posts from your business Page. Your business Page can’t make a text-only post and expect to gain any attention. You can accomplish all of that, and more, with a business persona.

You end up with a Business Level 3 Facebook Page AND a personal profile you use ‘only’ for business. That’s not to say you don’t post personal stuff. You need to be personal if you want your audience to get to know you. Just stay away from the five deadly sins, share lots of your business content, and engage with your clients and prospects regularly, as a person.

Continue on to part 5 in our series on social media for service businesses.

This is part 4 in a series on social media for service businesses. The full series is: 1. Introduction 2. Concepts 3. Social Platforms Overview 4. 7 Social Strategies 5. Using Facebook 6. Case Studies STRATEGY: Bad Having a bad social strategy is worse than having no strategy. I have seen business pages with missing […]