Getting The Most Out Of Scoperite

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Despite common misconceptions, adding a claims management system does not help your business grow and improve simply because you have it, you have to do a little work to make it work for you. Scoperite is no exception to this. In order to get the most out of Scoperite there are steps you need to take.

Have Everyone Use It

This might sound really obvious, but, if only half your company is using Scoperite, you aren’t using its full potential. Scoperite is designed to streamline claims operations from start to finish, so your salesmen entering claims is only going to be effective if your estimator sees the photos and notes and your trades manager schedules through the system. Moral of the story, Scoperite goes beyond sales and leads; it is for everyone so get everyone using it, even if it means pulling teeth in the beginning.

Most Valuable Features

We get that not every company needs every feature Scoperite offers, but there are a few features that you really do need to use to get the full benefits Scoperite can give you. The first of these is the mobile app. Even if you have a pen and paper inspection routine that you have been perfecting for years, the Scoperite mobile app will revolutionize your inspection procedure and cut down mistakes and misses by a lot! The app lets you create prospects, take photos, upload information, and send a report to the homeowner on your first site visit. Not only does this make inspections easier, it makes organizing the documents easier (no more searching to see which photos belong to which project) and helps you sell yourself to homeowners. Plus, the app can accessed anywhere, anytime; so there are no more “I’ll check when I get to the office this afternoon” scenarios when you can pull up any document for any claim whenever you need it. The app is part of what saves you time when you use Scoperite, so use it, use it, use it!

Another feature that needs to be utilized is the discussion board. We know you have email and text and messenger and whatever else, but you need to be using this. Messages are connected to email so you get an email when a message has been posted and you are never out of the loop. The discussion board is unique to each claim, eliminating the need to double check who or what project the message is about, and preventing miscommunication on claims. Plus, it adds another level of documentation in case you need it; when everything is written and saved on one page, it can answer a lot of questions and prevent problems from getting bigger. Scoperite aims to make your job easier, the discussion board is an essential tool to that by eliminating confusion and making mistakes and miscommunication significantly less frequent.

The feature that makes a big difference is the production tab. This tab shows all the work that has been scheduled and is waiting to be scheduled for every single claim; it also has the production calendar for a holistic look at all work scheduled out for each month. The production tab lets everyone know what is scheduled when, eliminating the arguments over who needs what done first and why they should get it; if it’s already scheduled, they know they are out of luck. It also helps eliminate scheduling conflicts and miscommunications as well. Putting it down in the system means it shows up in the production tab, the production calendar, and the individual claims, making it almost impossible to double schedule or make a mistake. The production capabilities let you streamline your production and building scheduling, which can save a ton of time compared to other, less organized ways of scheduling.

4 Tips To Help You Get Ready For Storm Season

By | Contractors | No Comments

Do you hear that, rumbling in the distance? It’s storm season and it is almost here! In most places the weather has started warming up, snow has turned to rain, and thunderstorms have started rolling through some afternoons, which means that you are about to get BUSY. Are you and your team ready for storm season or are you still working your way out of the winter haze? Today we want to help you out of that haze and give you our top 4 tips to be ready for storm season!

1. Get Everyone Together

When was the last time you had an all-company meeting? November? December? You have all been doing the winter work calling insurance companies, getting claims ready to move forward come spring, and wrapping up paperwork for claims that you completed in the fall, and none of that takes a lot of coordination. So call a meeting and get everyone in the same room to get ready to move into over-drive before a storm actually hits.

2. Have A Plan

Use the meeting mentioned above to come up with a plan of action for when the storm inevitably hits. Does everyone have the access to the storm maps? Who will make the call to head into the area? Give a general idea of who will need to go where, and what they need to do. Use the time before the storm hits to game plan what will happen when it does; this lets you be more prepared to jump on work as soon as it happens, rather than scramble to get out there in the days and weeks following a storm.

3. Have Marketing Items Ready To Go

Even if you plan on being on the ground in the storm area, that can be a big area. Come up with a marketing plan of attack as well. Will you email blast previous customers in the affected area? Send a general postcard to all homes that got hit with your info? Does everyone have enough business cards ready? Whatever your marketing scheme is have it ready beforehand. Make sure that materials are printed and ready to go in the office. Have your marketing manager prepared to blast emails, run to the post-office, or find events in the area that you can present at. Don’t wait until you know what the storm is and where it is; use your knowledge and expertise of storm situations to have all of the marketing materials ready to go in advance.

4. Have Stress Relief Ready

Storm season gets stressful fast, so have everyone identify ways that they can relieve stress. Whether it is going over a few breathing exercises, making sure to carve out time to workout or go for a walk, or even just taking an actual lunch break, make sure everyone is aware of ways to deal with stress. Having these tools available before things get stressful gives a sense of being more prepared and allows everyone to find what works for them before it gets too crazy.

Sales Tips: How To Deal With Who

By | Contractors | No Comments

Construction sales get tricky, much trickier than sales in many other industries, and it isn’t because construction itself is more complicated than other industries. Most industries have a fairly specific target market, specified by age, income, location, or interests, the market can be narrowed and the sales people trained to deal with people specifically in that market. Construction on the other hand, is a lot broader. While there are some traits you can use to try and target specifically, like income, it really comes down to who gets hit with damage and needs your help. So how do you sell to all sorts of different people? You train of course! It might take a little more work to do, but it really just comes to learning how to deal with who.

So what exactly does that mean? It means knowing tactics for how to sell to older versus younger homeowners, how to handle a gated neighborhood versus a more normal one, and being prepared for all different types of attitudes that you can be received with, to name a few of the biggest problem areas to address. These are the most common disparities that can make sales hard because you have to be able to recognize and alter your tactics to be most effective for each group of people.

Young vs. Old Homeowners

This is one of the hardest gaps to figure out for many salesmen because younger versus older homeowners have very different mindsets and expectations. Younger homeowners are likely less familiar with the storm restoration process as this may be first time their home has been damaged by hail or wind, so they may need a little more “hand-holding” so to speak, and this is when your expertise can make a big difference. They will want to understand what is happening and why, so explain to them what your company does, how you can help them, and how the process will likely go step-by-step in detail. Younger homeowners are also going to be more receptive to the technology that is used in construction sales. They will have no objection to e-signing the contract, communicating mostly by email, and (if you use a Scoperite!) being able to get the scope report and pictures sent to them immediately. This makes your job easier as it will require less trips to the property itself, and more efficient communication.

Now, older homeowners on the other hand, are a completely different ballgame. It is more likely that they have been through a storm before so they know the drill, or at least they think they do. What that means for sales is that you do a lot less hand-holding than you would with younger homeowners; you will still tell them what your company does, what you will do, and how it will help, but they likely won’t want or need as many of the intricate details; it will be more effective here to differentiate yourself from the competition with your expertise, rather than rely solely on it to sway them. Older homeowners are a little different in terms of technology as well; many will still be fine with e-signing and emails, but some may be less comfortable with it, which means that you will need to do a little extra work and do everything on paper. While that isn’t a huge deal, being able to pick-up on that and do it right from the start will make them more pleasant for you to work with. The moral of the story is take note of the age of the homeowners you are trying to sell to, and keep in mind the differences from the start. Doing so will make it easier for you to close sales, but also to make the process go as smoothly as possible for both the homeowner and yourself.

Neighborhood Type

Different types of neighborhoods can require different selling techniques as well. For very high-end gated neighborhoods, you are usually there because someone called you to come in (seeing as it is hard to get into those neighborhoods otherwise). This means that they are looking for an expert, who will get the job done efficiently, effectively, and leaving the home looking as it was before. This also means that it may not be the best neighborhood to try knocking on the neighbors doors to see if they need work as well. Gated neighborhoods are typically very anti-soliciting which means door knocking will make the neighbors and the client who called you unhappy. Instead stick a sign in the yard (if they sign with you) and give them some extra cards in case any of their neighbors ask who is doing the work on their house. If neighbors are out and about, say hi and be polite, mention you are doing work for your client, but don’t be pushy about trying to sell to them as well; they will more likely call you when they see what a good, professional job you do.

For regular neighborhoods, things are a little simpler. Obviously, you still want to be as professional and efficient as possible, but there is less possibility of losing business by going around to the neighbors. In these neighborhoods, doing some knocking at houses around your client can often lead to more jobs as they will recognize you, your truck, and see the good work that you have been doing for their neighbors. It is also typical that you are in these neighborhoods more because it easier to come and do your job when you don’t have to worry about getting in the gate. This means that people will get used to seeing you around, and will be more approachable if you try to sell to them as well.

Attitudes

When you are selling you are going to meet people with all kinds of different attitudes towards you and your business. Some will be nice, some will be nice but standoffish, some will be disgruntled, and some will be downright mean, and that is just the tip of the iceberg. To prepare your salesmen to deal with all the different types of attitudes out there, make a list of the most common attitudes you encounter and practice the best ways to deal with customers for each one. Being aware of the customers attitude and knowing how to deal with it will make your salesmen more effective, and more confident as they bring in business.

As a whole, successful construction sales comes down to being aware of who you are dealing with, and having the right tools in your belt to sell to all of them in the most effective way.

Nurturing Customer Relationships

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Construction, especially storm restoration, can feel like a one and done kind of transaction. You help home and property owners repair their property after it has been damaged by wind, hail, rain, or a combination of all three, but then you ask for a review and part ways. It can be easy to assume that that is end of that particular customer transaction, but why should it be?

Storms might not hit the same place every year, but they will hit the same area again at some point. So why not keep in touch with your customers, so that when they get hit again, the first thing they do is call you. It might sound tedious, like you’re adding to your already full plate, but it doesn’t have to be and it can pay off big time in the long run.

Nurturing these relationships can be as simple or complicated as you want to make it; it can range from an occasional post-card to a yearly phone call, whatever you want to do. Below we list a few of our favorite ideas for nurturing you customer relationships:

Send a post-card: Get a bunch printed and mail them out once or twice year. This keeps your name and logo in front of previous customers so they won’t forget who helped them out last time.

Create an email blast: Send out monthly, quarterly, or yearly emails to previous customers. Remind them of your services, let them know if you are rolling new ones out, or give them tips on how to handle X, Y, or Z problem. Similarly to the post-cards, this keeps you top of mind, and let’s them know all the ways you can help them.

Give them a call or swing by: If you have the time and really want to keep previous customers happy, give them a call once or twice a year to make sure everything is still in working order or to let them know of new products and services you have added since they worked with you. In most cases, the people will be flattered that you actually remember them and will be pleased to hear from you! The same can be said for stopping by; if you are doing work in their area again, knock on the door, say hello, and see if everything is still in working order. Customers will feel valued that you were willing to take the time to check-up on what you did for them.

Doing any of these things (or anything you think of yourself!) will continue to keep you in the customer’s frame of reference, and make them feel highly valued by your company, both of which will encourage repeat business at the very least. Likely, when a storm does hit their area again, they will call you, but they will let friends and neighbors know about your company as well. Nurturing the relationships obviously doesn’t mean that everyone will call you again, but if you can get some of them that do and get a jump start right after a storm, doesn’t that make the extra effort worth it?

How To Deal When Everything Feels A Little Crazy

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Sometimes everything gets a little crazy, you know the times I’m talking about. When you show up to work on a Monday, and even though everything was perfectly fine on Friday, it has all gone up in flames. You yourself have 30 unread emails and 8 missed calls, every single one of your account reps has problems that require your immediate attention, and your office manager is gone this week. So what can you do to not lose your mind? We have a few tips to help get you through.

Take A Deep Breath

While this may seem obvious, it can make a big difference. Taking a minute to take a few deep breaths allows you to slow down and reduces stress immediately. Taking the time to dial back your stress levels lets you move forward with a clearer head to deal with the problems at hand.

Do A Quick Evaluation

Next do a quick evaluation of what needs to be done, making a list usually helps the most. It shows you exactly what all needs to be done and gives you a quick reference as you move forward. Making a list also makes everything feel a little more manageable; when you can see what your priorities are it is easy to get more things done, without feeling as overwhelmed.

See Who Really Needs Help

You know your people best, so take a moment to see who actually needs your help right away. If your most efficient, highest ranking guys are asking for you, it’s probably pretty important, especially if they don’t usually need you. If it is lower level, the problem might be able to be addressed by someone besides you. Ask your higher-ranking employees to deal with some of those questions while you work on the more pressing issues.

Take It One Thing At A Time

This is where your list will really come in handy, take each task one thing at a time. When there are a million things that need to get done, it can be easy to try and work on as many of them at once at possible, but all that accomplishes is a bunch of tasks that are half done or not done well. Taking each thing on its own means that you can get it done, and get it done right the first time.

Accept That Not Everything Is Going To Get Done

This might be the hardest part of dealing with work when it is crazy, but it is important! Not everything is going to get done, and it doesn’t need to. When things go crazy quick, it feels like it all has to be dealt with immediately, but it doesn’t. Use your list here again, see what can wait a day or two, or a week or two. If it isn’t going to matter tomorrow, don’t let it make today harder.

4 Tips To Get Your Salesmen To Use Roofing Software

By | Contractors, Tech | No Comments

Roofing software is fantastic. It minimizes paperwork, saves time, and makes your company run more efficiently. Well at least it does all those things if everyone uses it. Often times, getting salesmen to start using or switch roofing software programs can be a struggle; they are set in their ways, and think they have it all figured out already. So what can you do to get them on board with the new software? Keep reading to see our top tips for getting your salesmen to make the switch.

Take The Time To Train Them

While it can be time consuming, and feel a little like time wasted, taking the time to actually train your salesmen on the software can make a big difference. Giving them each a log-in and saying use this now, is easier, but less effective. Seeing as you, the owner or manager, is probably the one who picked it out the software makes sense to you because you have been researching and learning about it. For your salesmen, it is something totally new that they need to put effort in to learn to use, and many of them don’t want to take that time out of their already busy schedule to learn it. The easiest way around this is for you to schedule that time and do it with them! Have everyone block out an afternoon, bring in an expert if you need, and go through it together. Do a mock project from start to finish so that everyone sees all the basic functions and features. Make sure everyone can access the software on the devices they need and go through any changes in usage for each device. It may seem like a long way to spend an afternoon, but it can help make a big difference in getting everyone on board.

Explain The Benefits

Sometimes being in a company doesn’t mean you see everything. No matter how involved your salesmen are in aspects of the business beyond sales and projects, you know more about it than they do. You know where the biggest glitches are, where the most problems arise from, and where things need to be changed; more likely than not, implementing the software is a way to deal with a lot of those problems. So explain that to them. Detail out what is going wrong or could use some improvement, and show them how the software will help solve some of those problems. If they can see the direct effect that using the software will have, it will encourage them to view the switch as a good thing, rather than a tedious one.

Address Concerns

A lot of salesmen get set in their ways. They have their routines that get that job done and they like it that way. So when you try and change that routine, even a little bit, they are going to have questions. Take the time answer the questions and address their concerns. From will it change my whole system to will it work on my phone, all the questions are important to them. Taking the time to see what they are specifically concerned about, and to address their concerns will, ideally, make them more open to trying the software. It is also important to be patient when addressing their concerns; seeming irritated by the questions and comments will make them even less inclined to give the software a try, so stay positive and understand that this might be a bigger change than you realized for them.

Have A Trial Period

More often than not, forcing use of something is the quickest way to make sure it is detested. So try and forgo telling your salesmen that they HAVE to use the new software and that’s that. Instead try doing a trial period with it. Say they have to use it for two weeks or a month or however long you feel is appropriate, and that you will all come together to discuss benefits and problems with it after at that time. This gives everyone the opportunity to try out the software, find what they like and don’t like, and discuss everyone’s thoughts surrounding it. Doing a trial gives you the opportunity to make them use the software without it being a completely forced idea. It also gives your salesmen the chance to actually see if they like the software, or for you to realize that the software might not be the right one for your company.

Often Overlooked: The Features You Don’t Think About

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When picking a CRM system, most companies look at the features: which ones do they have, what do they do, and how will it apply to your business. The most popular features are typically the sales tracking, the cloud storage, message boards, and reminders. But what about some of the features that you might not think about, that can determine how well the software works for you? People tend to overlook some of those other features like document creation and layout, accessibility, and the layout of the system itself, which is what we are going to dive into below.

When you are looking at all the different systems, it is easy to get overwhelmed and busy looking at what it will do for you, but what happens when you make the choice and then you can’t figure out how to even get to the features you wanted. Many of the systems out there have gotten complicated; it isn’t easy to understand what you are looking at and it isn’t easy to get to where you want to go within the system. Being able to use the system you choose is important, which is why Scoperite takes great pride in the easy navigation and simple layout of our system. We don’t think you need a ton of bells and whistles, but we do think that you need to be able to find the features you have.

Scoperite is broken down into a series of simple tabs and tables. There are three different tables on the main page for the three major stages of a claim; each table contains the claims within that stage and the claims can be searched and sorted by claim number, address, or client name. The tables make it easy to access the claims you need, as well as the features that you wanted for those claims. The tabs allow users to find the production section, the reports section, and the settings section. Each of these tabs as a few different pages within it based (i.e. the production calendar or the employee list) that are clearly labeled and can be visited by simply clicking on the icon/word. Beyond that, there isn’t much to explain when navigating Scoperite, it is simple.

Obviously, every system and every company are different, so you may need one with more features that takes more time to learn and navigate, but remember when you also want the system to make your company more productive, not more complicated. When you are doing your research about CRM systems, take the time to check out some of the lesser thought about features to make sure you truly are picking the right system for your company.

What Makes Scoperite Different: Our Unique Purpose

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Most CRMs are pretty similar. There really is no way around that; they all have similar features that serve similar purposes, regardless of the industry or intended function. So what makes them different? And how do you know really which one is right for you? We have talked before about picking the right CRM for your company here and here, but today we want to talk to about how Scoperite is different than many of the other systems.

At Scoperite we stand by our goal of success through simplicity, which means making your life easier. It means not have a bunch of useless features, it means having an easy to use layout, and it means not being the end-all, be-all software system for your company. Many of the CRM systems out there are made to be the last piece of software that you will ever need; it is all-encompassing, has all the features from an email server to sales management to budget reports, and is meant to be used for anything (and everything) your company could possibly need. But who really needs that besides gigantic corporations? Not small businesses that’s for sure. Even medium and some larger companies don’t need something that can do it all.

In our ongoing goal of simplicity and reducing stress, we understand that most small businesses, especially within the construction sphere, don’t need an all-encompassing system, which is why we aren’t one. We know that sounds weird; flaunting something that we aren’t, especially in comparison to our competition. We also know that you need a system that is going to work for your needs, so why pretend?

Scoperite is unique in that we are a claims management software, and nothing more. We know that most companies already have a system in place for emails and budgets and whatever else, but that what most companies need, especially in the construction sector, is a system to manage claims and projects. Between Google, Microsoft, and Amazon there are enough free and affordable services for all your other business needs, so why uproot that just to use the parts of a software system that you need. Scoperite allows users to input email addresses into the system so that messages can be sent and seen both on the platform and from within your email system, eliminating the need to get a whole new email system set-up within the CRM. It also let’s you store documents and track payments within each claim, so it is easy to get a quick picture of where each project is at. Do you need more than that? Probably not if you are already operating successfully. Adding Scoperite will simply continue to make your life easier, and your business more effective at what you do. If you are interested in learning more about Scoperite’s features and functions, please sign-up for a demo at www.scoperite.com!

CRM Strategy: Finding The Right CRM For Your Company

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As is the case with any type of advertisement, CRM companies typically spend their time telling you what you need and why you need it. Rather than trying to address the problems you have and find what works for you, they tell you your problems (and then explain how their system can fix it). At Scoperite, we don’t believe to know what is best for you, which is why we invite you to sign-up for a demo and see what we are all about, but we understand that it isn’t for everyone and we won’t push our typical customers needs onto you. In doing our best to continue that trend, we want to talk about finding the right CRM for your company, because there are a lot of them out there that can address almost any problems or needs that you may have. Below we will dive into strategies on finding the best CRM for you company.

Look At What Your Business Needs

Every business is different, even within industries. They all have different cultures, different paces, and different ways of doing things. So CRM systems that say they specialize in X industry are just trying to hoodwink you into thinking they understand what your business needs. The only people who can properly identify what your business needs are you and your employees. Identifying what your business needs doesn’t mean looking for areas where a CRM might help, it means looking at your business as a whole and seeing what needs fixed. It could be the way the phones get answered, the time between follow-up calls, different people working on the same client, or anything! Take a hard look at what you think you need, and then ask your employees, or even ask clients for feedback; take all of that information and use it to see it to see what you need, because in the end it might not be a CRM.

Identify How You Will Use A CRM

Once you know your needs and/or problems, take a look at a few different CRM systems that you think might be good, and identify exactly what features will be helpful to you in regards to the specific needs you have already identified. If most of the features aren’t directly applicable to what you need, move on to another system. Do this for the systems you think might be good; if there are at least 3 or 4 features that you think will directly apply to your needs, make a note of it. Once you have a few different systems narrowed down, sign-up for demos. Take that time to really dig into what the software can do, and if it is worth adding to your company.

Evaluate Other Options

In addition to demo a few different CRMs and seeing if they are what you are looking for, also take the time to look at other available options as well. The Google Business system and Microsoft Office 365 are other great avenues to solving certain problems, and can cheaper and easier to implement as well.

When it really comes down to deciding to add a CRM or not, make sure you are taking the time and effort to research what you need and how it will help you be better, not just jumping in because other companies in your industry have it and you think it might help you too. Your needs are what need to be answered to, and it may not be a CRM that is going to do that.

KPIs: Identifying and Knowing Their Value

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Raise your hand if you know what a KPI is! I’m going to take a wild guess and say that if you never took a business class, you don’t know what I’m talking about, at least not the specific terminology.  A KPI is a key performance indicator, or said more simply, it is a measure of success. KPIs can be used in every facet of a business to determine how well it is doing. From marketing to finances to employee satisfaction, KPIs are in place so that you know how well everything is going. As simple as that sounds, KPIs can get confusing in a hurry, especially if other people are telling you what they are (or should be). The only people who can truly know what the KPIs are for your company are you and your employees because you know the business better than anyone else.

Identifying Your KPIs

No matter the type of business you run, there will always be business to business connections and outside people giving you advice. They can be financial advisers who help you keep the money flowing, accountants who can tell where you to look for explanations of losses, or marketing agencies swaying you in the direction of trends. All of these people mean well, but they can make determining success more difficult for you. They are experts in the broad spectrum; they know finance, or they know marketing, or they know employee management, but they don’t know your company. While they can lead you in the right direction, the accountant’s numbers might not be the most accurate way to measure success because of the time-frame your projects take. The marketing agency might know the best way to get your name out on Google, but does it line up with your goals?

You and your employees know the everyday ins-and-outs of your company, and you know best what marks your success. So take the time to take note of those things. Employee satisfaction may be determined by benefits or fun activities rather than base pay. Sales might not be measured by quarterly numbers. Marketing success may still be in the paper realm, not online. Look at how you currently measure your successes, those are your KPIs. Find ways to measure them more consistently (if need be) and share them with everyone you work with, both inside the company and out.

The Value of Knowing Your KPIs

Why is it important to know what you KPIs are? If you have measures of success that work for you, why re-name them and clarify them? So that you can share them, and do what is best for your company. Earlier we talked about working with businesses outside your company, and how they will have their own KPIs for your business, those companies are why you need to identify your own KPIs. You know what works and what doesn’t for your specific company, so share that with the other businesses you work with so that what they do for you can be more effective. If they are working to meet your standards of success, then you will likely see more of it. It makes everyone more productive when they know what the goals are, what aspects of the business are being looked at most closely, and where improvements can be made. Knowing and identifying your own KPIs gives you full control even when you are working with other businesses; allowing you to create and maintain higher levels of understanding, control, and, of course, success.