Mobile Applications Case Study
Gold Medal Service and its Mobile Workforce Deliver 'Wow' Customer Service (Cont'd)
A service expert now averages 3.5 service calls per day compared to 2.5 calls before the AT&T solution.”
Mike Agugliaro, Partner, Gold Medal Service
About Gold Medal Service
Gold Medal Service Facts
Implement paperless processes for “wow” customer service
ProntoFormsTM from AT&T running on AT&T Pantech ElementTM tablets for real-time work order and invoice processing; Webtech QuadrantTM from AT&T for proactive truck maintenance and labor management
Improved productivity with 29 percent more service calls by existing workforce; increased revenue with customers buying 2.5 times more services
Electrical, plumbing, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) services
Gold Medal Service (Gold Medal) provides homeowners with a comprehensive portfolio of services to make their homes more comfortable and safe – electrical, plumbing, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, renovation, restoration and more. Headquartered in East Brunswick, New Jersey, more than 100 service experts install and service home systems throughout New Jersey and in parts of Pennsylvania.
Gold Medal service experts completed paper work orders and invoices, closing out customer jobs by calling the main office to summarize the work completed, process payments, and, if needed, process financing applications. The company wanted to streamline these processes to further improve its customer service experience.
Gold Medal Service has automated its service processes with ProntoForms from AT&T running on AT&T Pantech Element tablets and the AT&T Wireless Network. Service experts now complete work orders and transmit electronic invoices back to the main office for increased productivity. With Webtech Quadrant from AT&T, the company can proactively maintain its fleet and better manage service experts.
Making Homes Comfortable and Safe
It’s hard to miss a Gold Medal Service truck. It’s bright yellow and big enough to hold everything a service technician might need to make a home more safe and comfortable.
We now have a consistent process with reliable information coming back to our main office for measurement. We’ve put the right tools in our service experts’ hands."
Mike Agugliaro, Partner, Gold Medal Service
Gold Medal Service is a full-service company specializing in “all things mechanical” in the home: electrical, plumbing, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems along with drain, sewer, water filtration, renovations and restorations.
“We provide a ‘one-stop shop’ for homeowners,” said Mike Agugliaro, a founding partner of this thriving small business. “These days, no one has the time to research and hire multiple service providers. Homeowners want skilled, trustworthy experts when it comes to working in their homes, and that’s what we do. We provide professional services by experts that are available around the clock – 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.”
About 20 years ago, Agugliaro and his partner, Rob Zadotti, started Gold Medal after becoming friends when working together as electricians. “We decided to venture out on our own,” explained Agugliaro. “We worked as electricians by day and processed paperwork at night. After ten years of very long days, we decided to take a different approach.”
The partners joined an organization to learn more about how to run and grow a business. They identified the kind of business they wanted Gold Medal to become and put practices in place that would help it get there.
Their efforts paid off. Within one year, revenue had doubled. The partners added more services and more service experts. Today, Gold Medal’s 105 employees install systems and service them for primarily homeowners and some commercial customers throughout New Jersey and in parts of Pennsylvania. Over the life of the business, Gold Medal has served more than 65,000 customers.
Agugliaro described his business strategy for Gold Medal. “We focus on delivering a ‘wow’ service experience for our customers. We hire technicians with great attitudes in addition to great skills. We also cross-train them to become true ‘service experts’ in most lines of our business.”
When visiting a home, the Gold Medal service expert wears a uniform with badge for quick identification. Shoe protectors and tarps are used for an easier cleanup. While others may provide variable job estimates using the “pad and pencil” method, Gold Medal uses a pricing manual with set rates for everyone. Agugliaro explained, “We offer standard-rate pricing and financing, two things that make us unique in this industry. With our standard pricing model, it doesn’t matter if a customer lives on Park Avenue or Elm Street; taking this approach prevents price profiling. It’s the fairer way to do business.”
Other elements of Gold Medal’s success strategy: Creating ongoing customer relationships and gaining efficiencies in its operations. When Zadotti met with the company’s AT&T account team, “going paperless” was a major topic. “We wanted to transition out of all the paper required in our business,” said Zadotti. “We knew it would save costs, time and make doing business with us easier for customers.”
Service experts were using paper work orders and invoices when providing in-home services for customers. “We would assess and describe the situation or problem to the customer, then, recommend the solution options, including any financial arrangements,” said Agugliaro.
With the customer’s approval, the job would be worked and completed with cleanup. The service expert would then call back to Gold Medal’s main office to close out the job and process the customer’s payment. “The service expert verbally described the work performed, provided payment information, and advised about any future opportunities,” explained Agugliaro. “The paper invoices had to get returned to the office for filing and any follow up. And if the customer wanted to finance the job, we had to collect and process this paperwork. All this took time that we wanted to minimize or eliminate.”
Making Forms Mobile
To eliminate Gold Medal’s paper forms and make them mobile, AT&T recommended ProntoForms from AT&T running on AT&T Pantech Element tablets and the AT&T Wireless Network.
“It’s now like the speed of light when we need to review a customer’s work order or invoice,” said Agugliaro. “We’re able to speed up our closing process and evaluate what the service expert has done. And when it comes to financing arrangements, ProntoForms helps us receive the paperwork much faster, which in turn, speeds up the review and approval process, and ultimately our cash flow.”
Using ProntoForms, Gold Medal managers in the main office now review in real-time each invoice’s line items during the closing process. This helps the company accurately bill the customer by providing managers with a written, detailed description of the work done versus the service expert’s verbal overview.
Agugliaro continued, “With ProntoForms, everyone now follows the same format – recording customer information and options, and gaining approval. We now have a consistent process with reliable information coming back to our main office for measurement. We’ve put the right tools in our service experts’ hands to help them with the back-end process, making them more productive. A service expert now averages 3.5 service calls per day compared to 2.5 calls before the AT&T solution.”
Delivering “Wow” Service
Gold Medal’s customer service experience has also improved. Using the Pantech tablets, service experts can now literally show customers any issues in their homes’ hard-to-get-to spaces such as attics. In addition, “before” and “after” photos of customer jobs are captured by the tablets and stored as part of customer records on ProntoForms.
“This provides the customer with a visual record of what’s been done,” added Agugliaro. “It also provides us with an extra layer of risk management. For example, if a customer believes we spilled glue during a job, we can show him or her that the surface was clean, before and after the job. This helps us maintain strong customer relationships.”
With customers’ permission, service experts also take photos of future service opportunities. “During a job visit, we capture photos of other things that we didn’t work on. We can assure the customer that ‘we have your air conditioner on file, so before we come out to work on it, we are prepared,’” explained Agugliaro. With electronic presentations of Gold Medal services on their tablets, service experts now easily explain these services and their benefits to customers. As a result, Zadotti reports that customers are buying 2.5 times more services.
Agugliaro also uses before-and-after photos to train and develop his service experts. “We can evaluate ‘if and how’ a service expert has followed our best practices. The AT&T solution has given us an entirely new way to coach, train and hold our service experts accountable while in the field.”
Removing the Guesswork
Helping service experts work efficiently and effectively is nothing new for Gold Medal. For several years, the company has used Webtech Quadrant from AT&T to manage and support its service experts in the field. Attached to each truck is a Webtech GPS device that delivers all types of valuable information about the truck and its usage over the AT&T Wireless Network.
“We use Webtech to keep up with maintenance on our fleet of trucks by measuring the miles driven,” said Agugliaro. “We can then schedule proactive maintenance to keep our trucks running efficiently and, most importantly, safely.”
Webtech Quadrant also tracks each service expert’s scheduled route during the day as well as the time he gets to each home and when he leaves for the next appointment. “We can better manage our labor costs by matching Webtech Quadrant records with our service experts’ timesheets,” said Agugliaro. “Since using Webtech, we have saved at least 10 percent in labor costs alone. I’m sure we have also avoided costs associated with truck breakdowns and repair.”
The main office also supports service experts by locating the nearest supply house to buy an unexpected, but needed part for a customer job. “It’s a great tool to support risk management,” said Agugliaro. “If someone claims that one our trucks caused any damage, like throwing a stone and hitting a windshield, we can access our Webtech system to determine if one of our trucks was even in that area, on that day and at that time.”
For long-time partners Agugliaro and Zadotti, being successful in this fast-paced and demanding industry means “taking the guesswork out of the business.” Agugliaro concluded, “Everything we do, we intend to automate and measure our processes. We intend to keep developing and supporting our service experts. We do all this to keep customers first.”