Mr. Rooter adds to the customer service experience by using iPads

Dec. 18, 2013
There are many reasons utilizing iPads adds to the customer service experience:   Customers become more engaged in the service call process when a technician is using an iPad.  The iPad also adds to the efficiency of a business. The benefit of using a tablet for the tech is that the tablet is 100% accurate.  

WACO, TEXAS — When a Mr. Rooter technician shows up on a service call, chances are he will have an iPad in tow to make his job more efficient and customer experience more interactive — a win-win for Mr. Rooter franchises and customers.

At this time, Mr. Rooter is in the process of rolling out iPads to all of the company’s franchises.

Glenn Gallas, Mr. Rooter franchise consultant, and Mary Kennedy Thompson, president of Mr. Rooter Corp.

One of the main reasons for Mr. Rooter to integrate tablets into the franchises is to keep up with both technological trends and customer expectations, according to Glenn Gallas, Mr. Rooter Franchise Consultant.

“The market place is always evolving, so the things we have done in the past become outdated or no longer the norm, so goes the case with integrating tablets or iPads into the service system,” said Gallas. “That has helped us keep up with the times. We see in our customers’ demographics, which for us is usually the 45- to 65-year-old range, that this is one of the fastest growing tech savvy groups out there. We have found that to keep up with our customers, this [integrating the iPad into the service call] is the best way to do just that.”

Customers also become more engaged in the service call process when a technician is using an iPad, and the customer service experience is improved in many ways.  

Mr. Rooter background on the iPads techs use.

“We have a pricing book with a menu of services and to carry this book around is inefficient and difficult,” explained Gallas. “With the advent of the tablet techs can carry it in and show it to the customer, so the customer becomes engaged in the buying process, to explain it properly, etc. The tech can show the customer on the tablet the options, the cost, etc. The tech can also take pictures and videos and tie it into the invoice, so the customer can see what was done and see the completed product. It becomes an all-encompassing tool for the customer.”

The iPad also adds to the efficiency of a business.

“Gone are the days where the tech lugs in a bag of tools,” said Gallas. “Now the customers demand a more professional efficient service, so this improves the professionalism of the business, plus it improves the customer service experience and it lessens the need for paperwork. Done are the days of writing an estimate on the back of a business card or sending an invoice. There are times in our lives when we forget to send out bills, follow up on invoices, etc., so this technology allows franchises to run more efficiently." 

A menu of services is pictured here on the iPad.

The benefit of using a tablet for the tech is that the tablet is 100% accurate — they speak into the tablet, describing what they have done, and then that information is transcribed to the electronic invoice. And the overall benefit of electronic invoices is that it cuts down on paperwork, so there is no paperwork to create, file, etc.

“The great thing about Mr. Rooter is we try to stay ahead of the curve,” said Gallas. “By rolling out the iPad and tablet devices we believe our plumbers will become more successful as they continue to grow in a very rapid technologically advanced business environment.” 

According to Don Glovan, owner of Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Hendersonville, N.C., an iPad gives off a professional image.  

“The Mr. Rooter app we use has the price book, so once the plumber knows what he’s doing he looks up the service and lets the customer go over each task, and there are three options for the customer to pick from — good, better or best — and then the customer decides what option they want,” said Glovan.

“Once the plumber has done a task he is able to write out the description of the work on the iPad and there is no character limitation on this, like there would be on a paper invoice,” added Glovan. “He can also do a plumbing check-up and check pass or fail on different items and bring it to the customers’ attention.”

Once the plumber is finished with the service work, the customer signs off on the work with an electric signature, the payment is then accepted and processed — all on the iPad. The customer receives an e-mail copy of the invoice and the information goes into the backend of the system where the payment and tasks that the tech did are posted.

“The great thing is that we don’t have to duplicate a handwritten invoice,” explained Glovan. “Overall we have increased productivity, and there is also savings from the backend and the overhead standpoint. At the end of the day all the information is there. Each manager gets a copy of the invoice and they review it. We have been very happy with this. If this technology existed 10 years ago I would have been all over it then. Technology is where it is today.”

According to Adam Glovan, a Mr. Rooter plumbing technician and sales manager at the Ashville, N. C., franchise, the tablet has made his job much more efficient. It used to take a while to create invoices, maybe 10 to 20 minutes, and now it only takes a few minutes.

“My sales have been up since I started using the tablet,’ said Glovan. “About 80% of the time customers remark on how amazing technology is these days. The customers like that we are using tablets, even our older customers like it — I can process their payment in seconds and they have their invoice via e-mail in seconds too.”

About the Author

Candace Roulo

Candace Roulo, senior editor of CONTRACTOR and graduate of Michigan State University’s College of Communication Arts & Sciences, has 15 years of industry experience in the media and construction industries. She covers a variety of mechanical contracting topics, from sustainable construction practices and policy issues affecting contractors to continuing education for industry professionals and the best business practices that contractors can implement to run successful businesses.      

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