If you expect customers to find you online, they must be able to find you online.  Sounds like circular logic, but it is true.  Google is always shifting their rules to make their search engine more valuable to users and advertisers.  You have to keep shifting your website to avoid being pushed down the rankings.  The new rules say that mobile readability is important (your website should not be an eye test if viewed on a mobile device).  Check here to see if your site is already in the clear, and read on to review the new rules (from Google’s update on the matter):

When it comes to search on mobile devices, users should get the most relevant and timely results, no matter if the information lives on mobile-friendly web pages or apps. As more people use mobile devices to access the internet, our algorithms have to adapt to these usage patterns. In the past, we’ve made updates to ensure a site is configured properly and viewable on modern devices. We’ve made it easier for users to find mobile-friendly web pages and we’ve introduced App Indexing to surface useful content from apps. Today, we’re announcing two important changes to help users discover more mobile-friendly content:

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1.   More mobile-friendly websites in search results

Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use  of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.  Do a search on  “mobile – friendly test”  to locate our website that you can use to test your website(s).

2. More relevant app content in search results

Starting today, we will begin to use information from indexed apps as a factor in ranking for signed-in users who have the app installed. As a result, we may now surface content from indexed apps more prominently in search. To find out how to implement App Indexing, which allows us to surface this information in search results.

What this means for service contractors (and for all others on the web) is that you MUST ensure your web presence is optimized for mobile.  Make sure that websites, blogs, and any other content you put out there is created with mobile in mind.  You cannot create a premium service contracting brand if it is difficult for your customers to find your company and your value online.

 

I recently went to Vegas, but I was not there to gamble away my kids college funds.  Instead, I was participating in the annual western region meeting of the National Association of Fire Equipment Dealers (NAFED).  During the meeting, an interesting narrative regarding the value of an inspection job versus the value of repair work for the customers’ fire protection systems emerged during several of the conversations I witnessed.  Opinions were varied due to lack of relevant experiences, but I am in the fortunate position to have the facts and the rationale to support the findings.

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When I arrived at DunnWell (the company where ServiceTrade began) in 2010, I discovered that the company was reporting system deficiencies to customers based upon the findings of the inspection reports, but less than 23% of those impaired systems turned into repair orders for the company.  As a sales professional, I was blown away by this poor performance.  There is no better sales lead than the following:

“I was at your facility yesterday, and I discovered a malfunction with your equipment.  It is not operating correctly, but rest assured we are the experts and we can fix it.  In fact, I have already put together a quote and a suggested time for us to return and put everything in good working order for you.”

How in the world can you NOT make a sale with that type of pitch?  Here’s how – be unorganized or sloppy in the follow up and speak in “codespeak” instead of customer terms.  Customers do not care about “code”  Nor are they concerned  about a deficiency you discovered BUT waited 2-4 weeks to report to them.  DunnWell was taking 2 – 3 weeks to turn around quotes for the work, if it was quoted at all.  Plus, the quote was attached to an email with multiple references to code violations with some accounting codes referencing what the customer must pay.

We fixed all of that at DunnWell, and now those lessons benefit the ServiceTrade application.  If you deliver your deficiency quote within 2 days of discovering the problem, and it includes photos that “tell the story,” and it can be reviewed and approved online, the approval rate will 75% or higher.  We have the data.  How would you like to improve your repair revenue by 3X?  Here is another number for you – your ratio of repair work to inspection work should be about $1 of repair to $1 of inspection.  If it is not, you are being sloppy in the stewardship of your customers’ equipment.  And both you and your customer are incurring liability that should not be there.  Higher liability and less profit, simply because you cannot be bothered to do a good job following up on deficiency opportunities, is a recipe for failure.

Why do people respond so positively to online quotes with photos attached? The reason is obvious – it’s easy!  Easier than downloading and printing some PDF attachment to an email, signing it, faxing it back – what a drag.  Also, if it is delivered within a day or two of the inspection, it must be important.  Better review it and make a decision.  Finally, people respond more readily to images and stories.  Our brains are wired that way.  The best sales pitch is a story that people can relate to – not some cryptic code references and accounting bric-a-brac with a price they have to pay.  Lead with the images and the story, then watch your conversion rates go through the roof.  Here is the science behind story-telling as a sales tool if you are interested.

Well, I have some good news.  For ServiceTrade customers, all of the work to be great at service revenue from deficiencies is streamlined for the benefit of our customers and their customers.  Our deficiency quoting process is totally integrated with the photo and audio deficiency reporting of our mobile app.  It allows you to use templates for frequently quoted repairs, and lets the customer review the quote online.  We even tell you when the customer has looked at it online.  Higher revenue, higher profit, lower costs, and lower liability.  What are your inspections worth?

As the Internet shrinks the world and arms consumers with information on how much things should cost, the service contractor’s service area will shrink as well. Customers will have information on which contractors are nearby, and they will make judgments on who can likely deliver the service for less due to lower expenses for travel time. Customers will also be armed with information regarding what service calls for common repairs and replacements should cost. They will simply Google:

“How much should it cost to repair [insert service item here]” ?

Google sends back advertisements, forums, customer reviews, articles, and a whole host of information to arm them in negotiating for better pricing on common “bread and butter” service calls. With a shrinking service area and pricing pressure on “bread and butter,” how can the service contractor maintain margins and growth?  One strategy is to offer the customer “Artisanal Cheese” to complement the “bread and butter.”

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Add some “Artisanal Cheese” to Your Services

Why do grocers always place the bread, butter, eggs, milk, and other daily consumption items at the back corners of the store? So the customer has to walk past craft beer, tasty snacks, soda, candy, fine wine, and artisanal cheese to get to the commodity items. Everyone knows what bread and butter should cost, so grocers do not make any money on it. Artisanal cheese does not face the same pricing pressure because it is a niche item that does not suffer the same comparative price scrutiny. It is a “treat” that customers will “splurge” to enjoy. If you are a service contractor, offering the service equivalent of artisanal cheese is a great way to maintain growth and profit as the Internet inevitably shrinks the service area for bread and butter.  Artisanal cheese, however, needs to be packaged differently than bread and butter. It is typically merchandised in a fancy wrapping inside an attractive display that also contains complementary items which likewise command a premium margin. It is offered in the context of the consumption habits of the customer, often with expert reviews (wine spectator for example) that help the customer feel good about the purchase even at a high price.

So, the service item analog should be thoughtfully packaged for consideration by the customer as part of a standard call for delivering bread and butter. During the bread and butter call, the opportunities to sell artisanal cheese should be documented and presented back to the customer in a way that relates the thoughtfulness of the recommendation. These are upgrades, improvements, retrofits that all bring incremental value to the customer. How might they be received if they are laid out in bad handwriting on a coffee and tobacco stained accounting ticket? How much more receptive might the customer be if they are laid out online with photos and other rich supporting documentation that purports the superior quality of this premium service item (artisanal cheese)?

Fancy wrapper?           Check.

Attractive showcase?         Check.

Complementary items offered?      Check.

Premium margin?            Check.

A better customer service experience and better profits?   You Bet.

Operating a business in a vacuum is a handicap.  There’s a limit on information you can gather about smart business practices when you are swamped with managing the details of your enterprise.  How helpful would it be to have “partners” in your business that are constantly on the lookout for solutions to your most challenging issues?

challenges

Here at ServiceTrade, we constantly solve problems that our customers face.  Because we provide such a high level of support, our clients regularly bring us new challenges  and ask our team for solutions.

An intrinsic part of good software is that it improves over time.  Software deployed via the cloud, gets those improvements immediately into the hands of customers.  Imagine if your car had a feature that allowed it to immediately implement new improvements as soon as the manufacturer created them  –  brighter headlights, lighter bumpers, improved braking systems.  Well the physical world can’t do that.  You have to buy a new car.

Software is different.  Every improvement made for one customer is available to ALL customers (when applicable, proprietary customer data is NEVER shared).  If a client asks us to make an adjustment or add a feature that we feel will benefit others, then it is a win-win for all of our clients.   After review and testing, an improvement is added to the product and available to everyone.   The software has “learned” how to solve a new set of problems.

Let ServiceTrade show you the  path to better management of your service contracting business.

 

– Apologies to Ben Franklin –  .   The actual quote is  “In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”   If Mr. Franklin were alive today,  there’s little doubt that he would add a third item to this list –  Software as a Service (SaaS) …aka Cloud Computing.

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Why is SaaS as inevitable as Death and Taxes?  Why am I using Mr. Franklin’s quote to seque into a discussion about the cloud?  To make a simple point — Change is inevitable and a dramatic shift is underway in the world of software.

Smart consumers of software know the advantages of the cloud and thus are demanding solutions based online.  (Rather than on desktop machines.)

Here’s a great example:   QuickBooks.  This product is the king of accounting software for millions of individuals and small businesses (SMB’s).  Because QuickBooks is such a popular accounting system for customers of ServiceTrade (all SMB’s) , it also serves as a great example for this discussion.

Here’s a quote from Oct. 2014 –   “QuickBooks Online hasn’t received much attention over the years. Launched in 2000, it only had 100,000 paid subscribers in 2009, compared to QuickBooks’ four million desktop subscribers. However, Intuit says at the end of last year they acquired a higher number of users online than on desktop — marking a shift in consumers.  Now the company is rolling out all sorts of features to their online product.”

Do you think that QuickBooks is rolling out a ton of new features for their “desktop” subscribers?   Doubtful.  Will QuickBooks have a desktop version of it’s products in a few years?  Very Doubtful.

The reason?  The cloud delivers a better product, period –  1)  No hardware to purchase/upgrade.   2) Connect from any PC or mobile device anywhere in the world.  3) New features added weekly instead of every few years.

SaaS Solutions are better.  Contact ServiceTrade and let us guide you towards the best software solution for your Trade Contracting SMB.

 

 

 

What does it mean when two of the biggest names in Internet technology jump into the service contracting business?  It means that service contracting is a huge and lucrative market that is due for a shake up (or a shake down, depending on your perspective).  Amazon and Google are both taking on initiatives that will plug them into the world of home services (light commercial as well, and I am certain that some level of industrial capability will ultimately follow), and I believe there are lessons to be learned by observing how these new entrants operate.  Learning and reacting thoughtfully could yield some nice opportunities for growth and profit.  Poor planning and stubbornly insisting that nothing needs to change will yield abundant misery and sorrow.

Compass

So what exactly are Amazon and Google up to that will have an impact on the service contracting space?  Amazon has quietly announced a local marketplace for service contractors.  A Forbes magazine article describes their plans, and here is the money quote:

     “Amazon Local Services is a new and simple way to buy professional services from pros such as plumbers, auto mechanics and yoga instructors,” said a promotional video on the site. “We’ve handpicked some of the best pros in your neighborhood and require them all to be licensed, insured and background-checked.”

Now, my focus in this post is not auto mechanics or yoga instructors, but instead the folks ServiceTrade calls customers.  Some of these are plumbing, HVAC/R, kitchen equipment, and other specialty tradesmen that offer repair, upfit, and maintenance services for property and equipment at the customer’s home or business site.  Amazon plans to step in between the customer and the contractor to moderate the transaction – and take their fair share of 10 – 15% for their trouble.  Amazon is an expert at driving efficiency in logistics and offering customers very low prices for everything they sell.  Now they are bringing this efficiency and low price strategy to local services.  Low prices, minus 10 – 15% sounds like a painful bargain for the service contractor that does not have a plan to respond to this strategy.

How about Google?  Well, they bought a company called Nest that makes smart thermostats and smoke/CO detectors.  Here is the money quote from a Forbes article on this acquisition:

“Google will help us fully realize our vision of the conscious home and allow us to change the world faster than we ever could if we continued to go it alone. We’ve had great momentum, but this is a rocket ship,” said CEO and cofounder Tony Fadell in a blog post.

The key term here is the “conscious home.”  A home that is “conscious” is one that is aware of what is happening and can help Google respond to help meet the owner or occupant’s needs.  With the thermostat and other devices in every room collecting information about the home environment, Google will be well positioned to help the homeowner get more value from their home ownership experience.

Google and Amazon are both in the business of using massive amounts of computing power to organize information to help their customers make thoughtful buying decisions.  Isn’t the goal of any service business to organize information and provide expertise so the customer gets good value for the money that they spend upgrading, maintaining, or repairing the important things in their life?  If you are a service contractor, how are you going to get better at knowing your customers and organizing that knowledge to help them make good decisions on equipment and services that improve their lives?  How are you going to monitor their equipment usage and behaviors to make thoughtful recommendations in the manner of Google and Amazon?  Or is your plan to simply let Amazon and Google own the customer relationship and instead settle for a 10 – 15% discount on the lowest price in the market?

Here are some broad recommendations I believe will help you have a thoughtful response to these new entrants:

Upgrade your approach for managing and using customer information
If your information about your customers is still trapped inside an accounting application running on a PC server in your office (or worse, filing cabinets), you are not well positioned to respond to Amazon and Google.  I assure you that the systems and structure that Amazon and Google use to understand customer needs looks nothing like an accounting application.  Great customer service will be defined by a rich mobile and cloud experience that allows your employees and your suppliers and your customers to collaborate online to deliver memorable outcomes that build your brand value with the customer.  A PC server based accounting application will not distinguish you in this online fight for customer attention.

Invest in “smart” technology expertise
You need to have your own story regarding how you are going to monitor the needs of the customer and be responsive.  Remember Tony Fadell from Google talking about the “conscious home” above?  Think about smart electric meters, smart water meters, smart thermostats, and other connected sensors that allow you to be informed, thoughtful, and responsive on behalf of the customer.  Be creative in offering maintenance contracts enabled by smart devices that make your services sticky, responsive, and invaluable for the customer.  These types of “monitoring” services have existed for many, many years in the realm of security and fire systems.  Bringing them to other areas outside security and fire in order to be proactive in customer service makes perfect sense.

Embrace Google and Amazon and others as a source of leads
You should be connected to these new entrants (and perhaps some of the older Internet players in the service contracting space like Angie’s List, Home Advisor, etc), but you should use them ONLY to establish a connection with a customer that you subsequently OWN.  Avoid any contract with these entities that prohibits you from serving the customer independently after first touch.  Deliver a memorable service during first touch, and then stick to the customer like glue using your upgraded customer service capabilities from recommendation #1 above.  If you are memorable and attentive with a perpetual service approach, you will not have to ultimately settle for a 10 – 15% discount off the lowest price in the market after the first call.

You do not have to own massive amounts of computing capacity to enable a thoughtful customer service approach that makes you memorable for your customers.  However, you do need to embrace cloud, mobile, and smart technology as a means to remain competitive in a customer service world that is increasingly defined by information, knowledge, expertise and online connections instead of simply local presence. Customer service does not begin and end in the parking lot or the driveway of the customer any longer. It extends to the boundaries of the Internet.  Create a memorable online AND local experience for your customers and you will stick to them like glue.  Miss this opportunity and you will be managing labor and truck maintenance in order to serve someone else’s (Amazon, Google?) customer for a 10 – 15% discount off the lowest price in the market.

 

Want More Service Call Leads?  Deliver More Service Calls!

There is an old saying in sales “Activity yields Activity”.  The more outbound calls you make, the more inbound calls you receive.  The more conversations you have, the more clients you will gain through the insights those conversations yield. The same holds true for service calls.  If you can get the service call flywheel spinning, then it will continue to spin under its own momentum, and speeding it up gets easier the faster it is moving.  This trick only works, however, if you really understand the concept of perpetual service and embrace technology that automates your ”service call” marketing engine.

 

Why do you “wrap” your trucks in your logo, brand promise, and phone number?  So when it is parked at the jobsite,  others can see that their neighbor (residential or commercial) trusts your company.  The “wrap” doesn’t do much good when your truck remains idle in your parking lot. The same can be true for your service activities.  These activities can become your “digital wrap” when you capture them electronically and forward them to your customer via the Internet.  If your customer service management application knows where you are and what you are doing, then both your customers and others in the “digital neighborhood” should be able to easily see and share that information.  An email in their inbox is easily searchable, and your client can forward this to their friends and family as evidence of your good work.  This doesn’t happen when your customer service approach is limited to accounting information on a multi-part paper ticket that likely gets trashed by the customer.

Another way that service generates leads is the opportunity for discovery that occurs at the customer site.  If it is easy to share that discovery with others in your company and also back with the customer in the form of photos, audio memos, online quotes, and service reviews, then you have created potential service call leads for the future.   Now the online customer can see and reflect on what you’ve found when it is convenient for them.  During the initial service call, when you are trying to get them back to work by fixing their equipment, the timing is typically not right to review and discuss other service opportunities.  However, if you create a digital catalog of those opportunities for sharing, your initial service will almost certainly yield future services.  Future service calls will not happen if you expect the tech to remember it and write it down for the office to type it into some note field in an antiquated PC application and “maybe” have that delivered to the client.  That new revenue opportunity is lost forever.

Marketing for service contractors is increasingly moving from the physical space to the digital space.  Your truck “wrap”, your local radio commercials, and your billboards need to be augmented by digital calling cards that gain impressions because they are so easy to move around in the online “neighborhood”.  If these digital impressions require “extra activity” above and apart from your typical customer service routine, it will never get done.  If it is built in to the way you execute customer service, it will add speed to the service call flywheel.  If you want more service call leads, then deliver more service calls after you embrace perpetual service and get aboard the ServiceTrade bandwagon.

The history of software applications for service contractors is dominated by accounting applications.  Controlling the business was the first priority for computer deployment. I believe the next wave will be about collaborating with the customer via the Internet to deliver amazing customer service. The accounting application – the control point for your business – is the wrong starting point for customer collaboration. Someone on the Internet wants your customers.   Your ability to do better inventory management, job costing, or payroll calculations will not matter one bit when that Internet enabled competitor steals your customer away with a better customer service experience.

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Is your customer service department up-to-date??

Customer collaboration is about a free flowing exchange of stories and ideas between your business and your customer. The Internet is going to be the conduit, and the content will be pictures, videos, audio and free form notes inside an attractive user interface that conveys the value of the services you provide.

          Examples of KEY communications between your clients and your business –

1.   When it was broken, it looked  like this.  Now it is fixed!   Here’s a picture!

2.   Can I show you an improvement that will lower your power bill?  

3.   Our technician will be arriving at your location in 25 minutes!!

4.   Please review your quote online and click  -Approve- if it looks good to you.  

5.   Your “after service” report is online – contact us again if you need anything.

This is not accounting data. It does not fit nicely into a ledger. It is not revenue, nor COGS, nor inventory, nor AP, nor AR. Why would you expect your accounting application to be the core application by which you collaborate with customers via the Internet?

Let me ask these questions in a different way. Do you host your website on the server that runs your accounting application? Is your accounting firm the professional group that dictates the design and content of your website? If you expect your accounting application to lead the charge in customer service, shouldn’t this same function be driving your website presence? Of course not. Use this same logic when you are figuring out how you are going to expand your customer service capability from the customer’s driveway or parking lot, to the boundaries of the Internet. In your search for a software service partner to maximize your customer service experience, look for partners that think about what your customers want, NOT how to control the financial operation of your company.

Accounting is about control:  limit the interfaces and the access so the data can be pristine, structured, and managed without any possibility of error or fraud. It is a VITAL aspect of your business  Customer service is an equally vital part of your business but customer service is about collaboration,  not control.  It is a free flowing exchange of unstructured data between a group of loosely coupled participants. Think about these differences when you begin to build your software foundation for delivering amazing customer service via the Internet.

And be sure that you pick a software partner that understands EXACTLY how to help you deliver this experience.

Remember the good old days? Before Google and the Internet destroyed your parts business? Remember when advertising was local? When your listing in the yellow pages and the phone number on the side of your trucks would yield calls for replacement parts?

Guy (1)The great margins on most of the parts disappeared when everyone could Google a part number and get back 10 sites with pricing and detailed video documentation on how to diagnose and replace the failing part.

Guess what? Your services business might be the next to fall to the Internet Titans. Angie’s List, Home Advisor, FM Facility Maintenance and all of the manufacturers you have historically represented want your customers’ service business. They are investing millions and millions in capability to deliver customer service via the Internet and relegate you to being the labor bureau and the truck depot that they harness to make premium service margins. They are going to connect the equipment to the Internet so they can see exactly how service should be delivered to maximize the customer’s return on those assets. They are going to use data and statistics to deliver predictive customer service via amazingly rich websites. They are going to enable the customer to do a level of self-service and basic maintenance through gentle email reminders and cool “how to” videos that demonstrate simple consumable part replacements. Every search the customer does on the Internet or in their email inbox is going to yield a hundred hits in favor of Internet customer service. And, you will be maintaining trucks and managing labor issues awaiting their dispatch call to service their customer.

If you do not like the sound of the new business model that you are facing, maybe it is time to actually do something different. Get ahead of the trend. Invest in Internet customer service instead of continuing to insist that a clunky accounting application plus a static website is all you need to run your business. Your customer service capability needs to extend to the boundaries of the Internet. Your customer impressions cannot be limited to the period when your truck is parked in the customer’s driveway or parking lot. You need to figure out how to deliver valuable information on the web and in their email inbox to help them make good decisions on equipment stewardship based on YOUR expertise. The only way you will make premium margins in the future is to get paid for what you know instead of simply getting paid for where you go. Figure out how to be the brand instead of simply being resigned to being the labor bureau and the truck depot for someone else. If you want a roadmap, call us. Providing a bright future for your service business is our commitment to you.

IWCloudService Contracting value no longer begins and ends in the driveway or parking lot of the customer. Showing up on time in clean uniforms and doing the job correctly are simply table stakes in a world where everyone is seeking the attention of the customer from every corner of the globe. Billboards in your service area with catchy slogans and stickers on equipment in the crawl space or on the roof are also no longer the standard for making an impression. The opportunity to serve your customer and be relevant to them extends to the boundaries of the Internet. Perpetual service is both a mindset and a technology approach to creating enduring value for your service contracting business. It is about a capability that affixes your brand first and foremost in the mind of the customer so that you extract the maximum value from every service call and from every service opportunity.

The Brand Premium
Branding is all about the experience a customer has with your company. Historically, that experience occurred exclusively in physical space – their home or business location, on the highway next to one of your trucks, in a local newspaper, on a billboard. Increasingly, that experience is defined by the Internet – their email inbox, the browser on their tablet, smartphone, or laptop, LinkedIn, their text application, Twitter, Facebook, Google. Companies that are absolutely not in the service contracting business are nonetheless becoming relevant and extracting a brand premium based upon their Internet expertise – Angie’s List, Home Advisor, Porch, FM Facility Maintenance. Being local is no longer a requirement for brand relevance in service contracting. If your brand is not first and foremost with your customer, you will simply become the labor bureau for some other brand. Your business will be managing trucks and technicians for a small markup on your fully loaded labor expense – if you are lucky. With perpetual service, you establish a brand connection with the customer that allows your company to extract the full value from each service opportunity without some intermediate party skimming the brand premium off the top. If your brand is not where it can be easily found (inbox, browser, etc.), you will become increasingly irrelevant in a connected world.

The Technology Mandate
Connecting with your customer using technology cannot be an afterthought – it must be built into the way you deliver service. It is not an appendage, it is the core of the business. Every service activity that you take should yield a corresponding brand impression with the customer. A technician indicating he is enroute to the job yields a text message or email to the customer indicating who is coming, their estimated arrival time and how to contact them in case the plan has changed. A photo of impaired equipment yields a web impression educating the customer about the perils of poor equipment maintenance and asking them to approve a quote to execute the repair. A request to sign off on the job yields a full color service review on the tablet with before and after photos and acknowledgement of other items that should get attention from your company. A service delivered yields a request for an online review that generates localized search content to place your web search results above others in your market. A freeze warning email the night before a hard freeze cements your value with your customers, and you spend the next day picking up the customers of others that did not forewarn – and you stick to them like glue because of your technology enabled perpetual service capability. Smart meter monitoring on the electrical circuits and the water meters lets you react before the failed freezer spoils thousands in inventory and before the failed toilet connector floods the home with 4 inches of water at 3am. Embracing technology is critical in the quest for perpetual service value.

The Cloud and Mobile Gateway
These technology enabled service capabilities, along with ever important productivity enhancements stemming from perpetual connections not only to your customers but also to your technicians and to your suppliers and business partners, will not be centered on a PC server running in the office closet. You have likely already moved your website into the stewardship of a digital marketing firm that hosts it at some reliable cloud provider. Why did you do that? Because the online connection to your customer is too important to entrust to a fragile, ill maintained, difficult to use and stagnant operating environment on a PC server in your office. The only effective connection to a PC server in your office is via the local area network, and very little of what matters in your business happens in the office. Perpetual service is not possible until you move your operations to the cloud. If you insist on leaving your accounting in a closet, that is fine because your accounting capability WILL NOT distinguish you with your customers. Running your service operations on a PC server and expecting that server to be at the center of the connected world of service contracting is lunacy.

The ServiceTrade Promise
ServiceTrade is not the answer to all perpetual service opportunities. We are simply a leading voice in the connected world of perpetual service. If you want your service capability to drive perpetual service connections to your customers, we are a good choice as one of your service technology partners. If you want to be the foremost brand in your market and extract the corresponding premium instead of being relegated to being the labor bureau for another brand, tune into what we and others are saying about perpetual service.