As the former director of marketing at Energy Swing Windows in Pittsburgh, I constantly searched for new tech solutions to help generate more leads, increase sales revenue, and run the business more efficiently.
But it’s not just about finding an amazing solution. Figuring out what does or doesn’t work is a process of trial and error.
Every contractor’s business is different in size, product offerings, and market. The latest software program or app that may work for a third-generation roofing company in Richmond, Va., may not for a newly established window company in Waco, Texas.
Another caveat to successful software implementation is user commitment to make it productive. If employees aren’t properly trained on how to use the most important features of a new program, it won’t yield the desired results for your business.
I’ve explored dozens of programs designed to help optimize business operations. I’ve had some flops and I’ve had some favorites. Here are six of the best contractor apps worth your time.
PC, Mac, iOS, and Android
CompanyCam touts its ability to help contractors finish jobs faster by providing a cloud-based database to better organize job photos. It’s all about efficiency.
But CompanyCam is equally effective as a communication tool. It’s hands-down my favorite piece of technology in the home improvement space. Using the CompanyCam app, any employee with an account can take photos and videos and place them into customer-specific project folders.
The sales team can snap photos of a prospect’s home and point out problem areas that need attention, which helps set their proposal apart from competitors. They can even type or draw on the photos, which comes in handy for leaving notes for project managers taking over after a sale.
Having an installation manager record video instructions for his or her team improves the final product and increases customer satisfaction. Communication like this is key. And CompanyCam helps tremendously in this area.
From a marketing perspective, your in-house installation teams or project managers can take before-and-after photos. Contrasting before-and-after photo galleries on websites and social media pages leads to better conversion rates. Prospects who view these galleries are more likely to take action and request quotes. CompanyCam can help your entire business.
PC, Mac, iOS, and Android
There are several industry-specific customer texting platforms available to home improvement contractors. I’ve used three of them, but I continue to come back to the one that isn’t just for remodeling professionals: the Avochato app is a good choice for small businesses due to its ease of use, affordability, and customer service.
Confirming appointments for sales teams is much more effective by text than by email. Text messages will be read by almost every customer. Avochato allows leads to be assigned to individual sales consultants, and messages can then be monitored by the salesperson or by other staff.
When supply chain issues resulted in longer lead times between the date of sale and installation, my team at Energy Swing set up a series of texts at intervals to remind customers we hadn’t forgotten about them. This resulted in higher levels of customer satisfaction and positive customer feedback in our Google reviews.
1Into5 Referral Program
Program: The 1Into5 Program
If there’s a more effective and (mostly) automated referral program available to contractors than gFour Marketing Group’s 1Into5 Program, I haven’t seen it.
After 12 months of using this program to reward its customers, Energy Swing’s repeat and referral business more than doubled.
The 1into5 Program is robust, but I want to highlight two components most crucial to increasing sales revenue: the Appreciation Package and the Referral Appreciation Program.
While technically not software, the 1Into5 Program integrates with many industry CRM systems, including MarketSharp and improveit360, automatically pulling customer data after a job is marked as completed.
gFour then sends out Appreciation Packages to customers containing optional gifts (cookies) and customized thank you cards, as well as inserts requesting online reviews and gift cards toward future work.
With the Referral Appreciation Program, a gFour representative emails monthly reminders requesting the names and addresses of any customers who referred your company that month. Those customers then receive a referral check in the amount of your choice.
This is a great way to thank customers and keep referrals flowing.
PC, Mac, iOS, and Android
While many home improvement companies with dedicated marketing teams are familiar with Canva, I encourage anyone who creates their own social media content to download this app today. With it, your company can look professional without the cost of hiring a graphic designer.
Canva provides templates for any kind of content on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, TikTok, and more. When you upload your company logo, Canva customizes templates to match your brand colors.
But Canva isn’t just for social media posts; use it to design new business cards, marketing brochures, sales collateral, and yard signs—to name a few things all contractors use daily.
Canva is free to download and use basic features, but a premium account is worth the investment to unlock all of the app’s design options and tools.
Teleprompter for Video
App: Teleprompter for Video
iOS and Android
Years ago, I got my professional start as a writer for a video production company in St. Louis. We were at the forefront of delivering video content to promote products online. Today, video is a must for every business, including home improvement companies, and so it should look and sound high quality.
That’s where the Teleprompter for Video app comes in. A teleprompter is a device that displays text for speeches or scripts for presenters to follow. The Teleprompter for Video app lets users type scripts or insert Word documents into their cell phones for use when shooting videos.
We’ve all seen poorly produced videos of nervous company owners speaking off-the-cuff without a script. Sometimes no video is better than a low-quality video. Using Teleprompter for Video gives the presenter confidence in what they’re saying and helps contractors appear more professional to prospects.
It’s a free download, and you can get unlimited script length, royalty-free music, and add logos to your videos for a nominal upgrade fee. Teleprompter for Video can help you take your content to the next level.
Mac, iOS, and Android
For sales managers, one of the most effective ways to help your team succeed is to provide actionable feedback after conducting a ride-along. But when time is a hot commodity, ride-alongs can eat up precious hours. I do not have personal experience with Rilla, though its features have long fascinated me, and I hope to dive deeper into its benefits.
Using the Rilla app, the company records salespeople as they meet with homeowners and then transcribes and analyzes the conversations. It claims to increase conversation rates by 50% while providing 24 times more visibility and saving you eight times as much time.
The app first hit my radar when reading colleagues’ experiences and first impressions on LinkedIn. Coming from a background of ensuring customer satisfaction and having salespeople be a key part of that, that increased visibility is invaluable. It allows you to be a better leader, assisting your team to reach their full potential.
With the analysis that Rilla creates, you can refer to data from your entire team to see what really works from your top performers. This also provides sales trainers with proven data to work off of.