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Whether your business is based on clients or customers – when you sign a contract, a project begins. With this, your team has to ‘divide and conquer’ to get things moving and completed in a timely manner. Some businesses don’t prioritize their projects enough, but rather take on new projects at once, and each team member handles the project completely themselves. While this works, it can cause stress, and decrease the likelihood of completing the project in a timely manner, or make it harder to achieve success quickly.

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When it comes to customer service, it’s extremely important to remember that each person who is reaching out either has come across an issue with the service, or has a question about how to use the service you are providing. This is not to say customer service is based on the actual call, but rather the experience of the caller to get to a representative.

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Whether you are new to the cleaning industry, or an established cleaning company, it’s always best to stay ahead of the curve. The cleaning industry has become extremely competitive over the years, as more homeowners and business owners turn to outside companies to maintain their spaces. We’ve compiled a list of 6 ways to lead your cleaning business to success:

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When it comes to business, you have to take the good with the bad, and sometimes the bad means dealing with difficult customers. Now, difficult customers is not to say they aren't good customers - they just take a little extra attention to ensure happiness. Many customers appear difficult due to some things not working properly, their products haven't arrived on time, or they were unhappy with your response to a problem they were having. There are many ways to diffuse the situation, and with that - we've compiled five tips to help you:

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If you’re looking for ways to generate more revenue these upcoming months, think about expanding your offerings to include some “spring cleaning” essentials. In addition to your regular offerings, you can include the following items for an extra cost:

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If you’re looking to cut down on the time spent processing payments, ServiceCEO has the answer. With the ability to run a batch process for all jobs completed each day, you are able to spend more time doing what matters most—growing your business.

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If you’re already a ServiceCEO customer and you’re looking to better understand what makes your business thrive as well as where you can make improvements, you should take a look at the reporting options available within ServiceCEO.

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Posted by on in Service Industry Tips

Whether you’re in the beginning stages of the hiring process or you’re looking to improve your current team, there are certain things that have to be done as the owner or manager. You have to keep in mind that the culture of your company starts from the top. If you have a negative attitude and do not treat your employees with respect, you will notice the same negativity throughout your company.

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If your ideal customer is a business owner, home owner, multi-unit owner, or all three—setting the tone of your brand is key in gaining your ideal customer. Most often, business owners overlook the branding aspect of their company when they first start out. Whether your company is brand new or your current branding is no longer working—this article will help you take the next steps in the right direction.

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When is the best time to raise prices?

When it comes down to it, increasing your prices will ultimately improve your bottom line. However, you can’t just raise them without putting a strategy behind it. In order to effectively raise prices, you have to take a look at these three things…

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Looking to generate more business? Turn to your existing customers for the answer!

Whether you’re new to the industry, or want to grow your client base—referrals are the best way to generate more business. Many of you are probably thinking ‘how do I even get referrals?’ Most of the time, it’s as simple as asking! If a customer is pleased with the work you’ve done, they’ll most likely tell their friends and family. After all, it’s in our nature to want to help out one another!

Before you start asking for referrals—streamlining your process is a must.

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While you know the ins and outs of your business, listening effectively to your front-line employees can help you grow leaps and bounds. As a business owner, you may find yourself talking more than you listen—causing a communication barrier. In order to be successful, don’t…

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Detecting a disengaged employee can be difficult if you don’t have your finger on the pulse of the level of satisfaction within your company. Creating a positive company culture from the beginning can help improve employee retention, as well as keep your customers happy.  

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Regardless of the industry you serve, ensuring your staff is safe on the job should be one of your top priorities. Proper training should be conducted on the following items...

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3 Ways to Turn Customer Complaints into an Opportunity

Between social platforms and online review sites, complaining about a company is easier than ever. Not only is the message heard by thousands, if not millions of people—the review can remain online for many years, hurting your business in the long-run. One of the best ways to address customer complaints before they hit the web is to simply ask them “What can we do better?” This seems simple, but you would not believe the feedback you will receive! From here, you can see where your business excels and where it needs improvement.

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While it was predicted that the cleaning industry would see growth over the past few years, it may take your company longer than expected to get back on your feet due to the economy. There are many factors that affect the way your business is performing. Anything from your marketing strategy to the location of your business can factor into your success. Below are a few key items for each cleaning industry to focus on:

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  • Help break through service barriers by asking for referrals from current clients.
  • Drive business by offering incentives for repeat customers and referrals. According to JackiHuba.com, 54% of people make purchasing decisions based on word of mouth.
  • Being that workforce demographics vary greatly, staying up-to-date on regulations can be essential to retaining workers.

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  • Focus on tight time windows for each job. When your employees arrive on-time and complete the job in a timely manner, you can improve customer satisfaction AND schedule more appointments in a given day.
  • Encourage customers to continuously use your services by offering an incentive for repeat business.
  • Show customers you value their opinion by sending a post service follow-up.

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  • Obtaining referrals is one of the best ways to increase business. Offering a referral incentive to current customers shows you appreciate their help in growing your efforts.
  • Encourage repeat business by scheduling cleanings in advance.
  • One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to maid service. Offer a variety of services that fit your clients’ lifestyle.

Another area to focus on is moving towards green cleaning products. Being that environmentalism is becoming more popular, additional regulations may be enforced. While the transition to turning green may seem expensive at first, it will most likely pay off in the long-run.

For more information on cleaning industry improvements, click here.

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As the job market improves in 2014, retaining employees may be more difficult than you think. Ensuring your employees are well taken care of will help reduce the turnover rate for your company.

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Paying attention to the stress level amongst your employees can also be a key indicator on whether your employees will begin looking elsewhere. However, this may be difficult for many companies if your employees are often on the road or out of the office. Touching base with your employees on a regular basis can help ensure both you and the staff are on the same page—reducing stress levels and increasing productivity.

Below are a few key items that can help improve your employee retention:

Offer a Competitive Salary & Benefits Package

If you meet or exceed what other companies in your industry are offering, you’ll have a better chance of keeping your best employees. Some of the essentials your company should offer are health & life insurance, as well as retirement savings plans.

Open the Lines of Communication

One of the best ways to ensure that employees are happy and understand their role within the company is to get upper management involved. When management takes the time to coach employees, a sense of trust is created—allowing communication throughout all levels of the company. Encourage your employees to ask questions and bring ideas to the table, creating an open-door policy.

Ask Employees ‘Why They Stay?’

Consider asking your long-time employees why they stay. This will help keep your finger on the pulse of what keeps your company thriving. Many employees are likely to be honest if you create that open-door policy from the start. Your employees need to know that they will not be reprimanded for speaking their minds. Odds are, if they are feeling a certain way—other members of the team are as well. Keeping the door closed can create a negative environment, causing your employees to look elsewhere for employment.

Provide Perks for Employees

Providing small perks for employees is also a great way to keep your employees happy. While the occasional free lunch or incentive may seem insignificant, your employees will appreciate it and may be more likely to stick around.

Retaining employees over the long-run is beneficial to your company, both financially and from a productivity standpoint. Following the few key items above can make a difference in not only the turnover rate, but the work environment as well.

For more information on employee retention, click here.

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I Decided to Go Green.. Now What?

A How-to Guide for Cleaning Companies

 

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Why Now?  The Going Green-Shift in the 21st Century

 

“Going Green” is a societal movement that is continuously evolving to make its presence in a wide variety of industries; the cleaning industry is among the prevalent ones. A big leader in this industry shift is the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, which now requires the use of cleaning products that are environmentally friendly. In a recent report, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency declared that there are more than 17,000 petrochemicals, a hazardous ingredient derived from crude oil and natural gas, used in home and commercial cleaning products. What is more dangerous, that only about 30 of the 17,000 have gone through serious EPA testing. The result-it is impossible to know for sure the long term negative effects these chemicals will have on its users and the environment. If you are ready to get on board with the green movement, here are some easy steps to help get you started.

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_Which-way.jpgWhere do I Start?

 

 

First Steps: New Technologies + Creating a Paperless Office

Green cleaning technologies are commonly thought of in the raw forms of hybrid cars and organic household cleaning products. However, there are other ways one can improve their energy and workplace efficiency, simply by getting their businesses on board. From large corporate companies, to small mobile start-ups, a paperless work environment offers many benefits to both its employees and the environment. Picture an office desk without the overwhelming Post-it notes and bulletin papers, pulling b2ap3_thumbnail_Internet-concept-NoBackground.jpgyour mind in different directions as you decide where to even begin. Thanks to a few innovative technological leaders (like us!), you now can have all of these notes stored, prioritized and backed up on one central location before you can even say “office meltdown”. Scheduling, dispatching, invoicing, payment processing, and route optimization are just a few of the many daily business practices that can all be executed from one simple application with easy accessibility. By using electronic hard drives and clouds to store important documentations, and emailing instead of faxing or printing, companies can reduce the amount of paper waste they are producing. With educated consumers, there is no limit to the possibilities and benefits of the ever changing technologies that will help companies run and sustain their business with optimum productivity and efficiency.

 According to a case study by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, each office employee goes through close to 10,000 sheets of paper per year. One Minnesota-based non-profit organization decided to take things a step farther and increase the productivity of their marketing department’s efforts without also increasing cost. By simply putting more effort into enhancing their website, the office found they reduced paper waste by 22%, saving them  hundreds of dollars in paper communications, forms, marketing materials and copying costs. Not to mention the improved customer perception, as the organization can now consider themselves environmentally friendly.

 

Step 2:  Analyze your products more carefully b2ap3_thumbnail_Green-Check-Mark.jpg

 

Become familiar with some of the toxic, hazardous chemicals found in many cleaning products. By educating yourself, these ingredients will soon be easy to avoid when its time to re-stock the supply closet. Look for products that list all of its ingredients-products made with probiotic bacteria and enzymes are typically a good sign, as opposed to those from crude oil derived chemicals.  

 

Many commercial cleaning services are joining the environmental movement, and advertise that the products they use are “all-natural” or “organic”. However, do not let those claims next to the botanical picture on their business card fool you- those recognizable terms do not always mean their materials do not still contain harmful petrochemicals. Look for the cleaning services that will give you a list of their products’ ingredients to ensure that they use plant-based surface reactants instead.

 

Step 3: Expand your recycling habits beyond paper and plastic

Upgrading some of your office technology? Instead of hauling the old printers, fax machines and computer monitors down to the office building’s dumpster, consider donating the ones that can still function and recycling the ones that can not.

 

Step 4: Shut down what is not in use

 

Even while computers, laptops, tablets and printers are in “sleep mode”, they are still contributing to about 5% of energy use while idle. Instead of worrying yourself whether or not you have turned these devices off to save energy, leave your mind at peace with a “smart” surge protector that turns off specified outlets when a machine becomes idle.

 

Do not leave the “Go Green” movement just to the activists b2ap3_thumbnail_Green-Globe.jpg

 

Use your company’s influence to change the way businesses practice green cleaning and energy efficiency. Now is the time to start, with the constantly developing government regulations on chemical products. A healthier environment makes for healthier employees, which is the best way to maintain a productive workplace. With the emphasis the media places on environmentally friendly practices, consumers will be drawn to the companies that share the same values. By educating yourself on the endless “green” possibilities for your specific needs, your business will undoubtedly flourish.

 

 

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serviceceo webinar

Are you curious about GPS and Driver Behavior, but not sure what it's all about? Join our mobile workforce expert, Andrew de la Chapelle, for a free webinar that will answer all your questions.

How is Andrew an Expert?

As a former business owner with fleet management experience, Andrew turned GPS pro after successfully selling his business in 2006. He has been involved in multiple roles within the GPS industry
ADLCincluding: Sales Management for global GPS concern, Reseller of multiple GPS platforms, and VP of Sales for a major U.S. based GPS company. Andrew joined Marathon in 2011 to spearhead GPS & RouteOp solutions to current and future customers to promote and drive fleet efficiency & safety within organizations. He currently serves over 200 customers ranging in size from small local fleets to large, enterprise-wide fleets. Andrew attends, and has presented at, multiple forums including Fleet Safety Conference, Telematics Update, American Towman, Florida Pest Management Association and more.

What Will I Learn in One Hour?

Andrew has packed this webinar with insight into routing, GPS, and driver behavior. You will learn how you can:

  • Reduce accidents and promote safety
  • Dispatch jobs directly from ServiceCEO to technicians
  • Stop aggressive driving, speeding and idling
  • Reduce fuel expenses 
  • Eliminate side jobs and unauthorized usage of vehicles

How Do I Sign Up?

This webinar is free for ServiceCEO customers. Space is limited, so register today to reserve your spot.

February 25th 10 AM (EST) - Click Here To Register
February 27th 2 PM (EST) - Click Here To Register

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Get More Involved in Your Community

The main reason people volunteer for community activities is because they care about the community and want to be an active participant. There are many other reasons you should involve your company in community events that will not only benefit the organization you are assisting, but will also help grow your business. Below are just some of the reasons you should consider being more involved in local events.


Branding: A community event is a great opportunity for branding. Normally, sponsoring events will land your logo on t-shirts, flyers, websites, and social media pages. For events you are attending, you may have an opportunity to set up a booth and hand out some promotional information. Attending events in your area is an effective way of putting your company name and logo in front a large number of potential customers in your area.


Networking: Anytime you attend an event, you are going to meet new people and form connections. These connections are potential customers and may also refer their friends to you in the future.


Employee Morale: Working together for a charity or event can boost the morale of your employees and help with team building. Employees will also appreciate that you are giving back to the community they live and work in.


“Charitable Giving” Tax Deductions: Charitable contributions can qualify as tax deductions against your business’ annual tax liability. It’s important to note that not all contributions are considered legitimate deductions, so make sure to do your research if you are planning on submitting your charitable donation as a deduction.


What Can You DO?


Not all contributions to the community have to come with a large price tag. While you may get the most out of sponsoring a large event or even hosting your own, there are many smaller ways that you can contribute without spending a lot of money. Below are both large and small ideas that can help get your business more involved.

The Walk for Wishes- Marathon Data SystemsHost or Sponsor a Charitable Event: Throughout the year, charitable organizations host events to help raise money or promote a cause. Keep your eye out for these local events and contact charities in need of sponsors. Examples would include sponsoring a 5K Race, a local concert, or town festival. An easy way to stay in the loop is to follow community pages and local newspapers on social media sites to receive updates on what is going on in your area. Most townships also have a website with a community calendar that you can find information on. If you have the ability, you can create your own event that would benefit the community based on causes that are important to you.

Support Educational and Athletic Associations: Public schools have fundraising events throughout the year to raise money for educational programs. You can contact local schools in your area to see if there are opportunities for your company to help. The opportunities in schools will vary depending on their needs. You may be able to donate a free service for a Gift Auction fundraiser, provide goods for a bake sale, or volunteer to work at an event. Athletic organizations take advantage of sponsors as well. Some organizations will allow you to sponsor a team and have your logo and contact information on the back of the team uniform. Other organizations will hang your logo up the walls of their auditorium, or fences.

Have Employee Volunteer Day: One day a year, give employees the day off as long as they are participating as a volunteer in a community event. Have the entire company take the same day for a group activity such as working in a soup kitchen or volunteering with Habitat for Humanity. If it’s not practical for your business to shut down for an entire day, have an optional program where employees can choose the community service project they are interested in and take a day of to volunteer.

Some Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Involvement

  • Send out press releases to let local newspapers and trade magazines know what you are doing for the community. They might pick up your story and feature it on their website or publication, giving your company more exposure!
  • Use social media to promote the event you are participating in.
  • Wear company branded shirts when attending events.
  • Be prepared with promotional material and free giveaways with your logo to further branding efforts.
  • Keep good records of charitable donations. You will need itemized lists for tax purposes.
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