ServiceMonster’s FillMySchedule program makes marketing a breeze! And now we’ve come out with updated card designs, so that you can market to your carpet cleaning customers even more effectively.
The ‘Thank You’ card goes with the Thank You campaign; ‘Here to Help’ is for the 3 and 6-month reminders; ‘Friendly Reminder’ is for the 9, 12, and 15-month reminders; and ‘We Miss You’ is for the 18 and 24-month reminders. We’ve also created ‘Thank You’ and ‘Here to Help’ cards for you to send to your commercial customers.
In addition to this new set of residential and commercial designs, we’re excited to introduce our new “Spring Cleaning” card, a limited-edition seasonal card intended to inspire your customers to call you for a home-refreshing deep clean. Spring cleaning cards will be available from April 1 through mid-May.
All of these cards will be delivered in the same way that wedding invitations or birth announcements would be–no bulk mailing. We’ll send them in envelopes addressed directly to your customers, with your return address listed and a first-class stamp.
Our cards are delivered directly through the U.S. Mail. If any of your cards are returned for some reason, they will be sent back to you so that you can update your records.
FMS Average ROI Rates
1 Week – Thank You Card
Average ROI: 350%
3 Month – Here to Help
Average ROI: 1000%
6 Month – Here to Help
Average ROI: 650%
9 Month – Just a Friendly Reminder
Average ROI: 1200%
12 Month – Reminder: Um, really need to do something here
Average ROI: 1400%
15 Month – Service List Revisited
Average ROI: 900%
18 Month – Gross!
Average ROI: 500%
24 Month – Last Pitch: We Miss You
Average ROI: 400%
To order your FMS cards today, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (888) 901 – 3300. Thanks!
From the desk of ServiceMonster CEO, Joseph Kowalski
Dear ServiceMonster Clients,
Over the course of the last few months, ServiceMonster has experienced interruptions in service on a fairly regular basis. While we are within our service level agreement, frequent short time-outs combined with occasional unavailability has been a disruptive experience to your companies, and has damaged the ServiceMonster brand.
I’m writing today to let you know that we do not find this level of service acceptable.
In August, we moved ServiceMonster from our previous hosting service to a Microsoft cloud service called Azure. While Azure provides many benefits, we have been less than satisfied with Azure’s overall performance and Microsoft’s need to perform service maintenance during peak hours.
When we first moved to Azure, we assumed the issues were with ServiceMonster itself. Our development team quickly replaced ServiceMonster 4.10 with ServiceMonster 4.11 and the vast majority of our problems (mostly related to speed) vanished. But the issues related to communications remained and still persist to this day.
To help identify and address these issues, I took a trip to Microsoft in January and spent an entire day with their top technology brass. You can read about that trip here. While I’m confident in Microsoft’s ability to correct their issues, I’m equally confident that it will not be in the near future.
As a result, we are forced to move our services once again.
Typically, a move of this nature requires the entire network to be moved at the same time. ServiceMonster 4.12 (release in March) gives us the ability to move to the new platform in groups. Over the next few months, we will be moving groups of clients off of Azure to a much more mature service hosted by Amazon, called Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS has all of the benefits of Azure and a more stable infrastructure.
Our early testing has shown a dramatic improvement in response times and overall stability. We are confident that ServiceMonster will be his old self shortly, once the move has been completed. Until then, please accept my sincerest apologies for the interruptions and know that we will not rest (seriously I lose sleep over this) until ServiceMonster has fully recovered.
Joseph Kowalski, CEO
Principal Focus, LLC
Rob Anspach, owner of Premiere Carpet Cleaners in Lancaster, PA, was recently honored by the Business & Entrepreneurs Network for a direct mail marketing campaign that he personally created. ServiceMonster caught up with Rob to find out how he achieved his marketing success, and to see if he had any marketing advice for other carpet cleaners.
1. What are the “Marketer of the Year Awards”? Are they regional, local, national? Who is eligible?
The “Marketer of the Year Awards” are held to honor those individuals who excelled in business as a direct result of the marketing they’ve designed and implemented. These particular awards were held in West Chester PA (a suburb of Philadelphia) through The Business and Entrepreneurs Network. The awards were broken down into 3 categories: “Rookie of the Year,” “That #1 Thing,” and “Marketer of the Year.” I was selected as the “That #1 Thing” winner.
2. Why did you win this award? The Cleanfax and Business & Entrepreneurs Network articles about your win say it was for a direct mail letter written in a ‘conversational’ style, but could you give us more details?
The letter I created was in effect a “reactivation” letter, designed to bring back clients who hadn’t used our service in over 4 years. It was written to build trust and not to be a typical sales letter. It was more of a conversation between me and the reader, which made it personal and believable.
3. What was the response to your sales letter like?
Unbelievable! You see, I only mailed the letter to around 200 people that hadn’t used our services in over 4 years. These were clients who had spent some money with us in the past, but for some reason or another hadn’t called in a while.
The letters cost less than $200 to print & mail. Within 48 hours of mailing the letter, we booked 3 jobs totaling over $1700, and throughout the month the calls kept coming in. Within 30 days, that letter produced a 32 to 1 ROI (Return on Investment.)
4. What percentage of your marketing is direct (snail mail, BNI meetings, phone calls) vs. indirect (phone book ads, radio ads, or online (social media, websites, etc.))? Which types of marketing have worked best for your business?
I eliminated all phone book ads about seven years ago and haven’t done radio in over a decade. 80% of new and repeat business is generated through direct mail (newsletters, postcards, reminders, reactivation letters & thank you’s) and the other 20% is generated online through our website and social media.
6. If you had one piece of advice for other carpet cleaners, what would it be?
Raise your prices. If the majority of people who call you say the reason they call is that your prices are great…it’s a good indicator your prices are too low.
7. Premiere Carpet Cleaners has been in business for 18 years. How has your marketing strategy evolved over time?
When I first started in business, I had no clue how to market and relied on others to design ads and marketing materials. And for three years all I did was give money away to ad reps who designed ads that never compelled anyone (well, except those without money) to call me. So, I took matters into my own hands and started creating my own ads.
Back then I did a lot of Clipper Magazine and newspapers coupons, which generated good responses, but as I got more focused on the types of clientele I wanted to serve, my marketing took a shift. You see, I realized my service wasn’t designed for everybody, and as much I wanted to help, there were certain customers that didn’t make a good fit. Instead of blasting my ads out to everyone, I focused on getting my message directly to a precise customer that valued my services and was willing to pay my prices.
8. You also do marketing consulting and write marketing articles. Where can people access your marketing advice? Do you write for any industry publications?
I’ve written many articles for Cleanfax Magazine and have been working with Bruce DeLoatch on co-editing The Monitor, a publication of the Society for Cleaning & Restoration Technicians (SCRT). On occasion I have been known to pop in and teach social media marketing at Jeff Cross’ Totally Booked University. My next class will take place on March 7 at Jon-Don in Langhorne, PA.
If you’d like to know more about me or how to kick your marketing into high gear you can visit me at www.robanspach.com.
9. Could you tell us more about your carpet cleaning business?
I started Premiere Carpet Cleaners in 1995 thinking I could win the world (at least my little part of it) over with cheaper prices and fast service. After 6 months, I realized very quickly that offering cheap service was making me broke. The moment I started raising prices was the day I actually felt I was in business to make money.
I added a janitorial service to our services in 1996 and a flooring store in 1997. The flooring store was a complete flop and cost me more money than I liked to admit, but it taught me a valuable lesson. If you try to be everything to everyone, you won’t be good at anything. So by focusing on our core services (carpet, area rug, upholstery & mattress cleaning) we are able to make money and keep our clients happy.
10. Anything you’d like to add?
Test everything! Look at what others are doing in their marketing (not just cleaners), look at the plumbers, the lawyers, the realtors . . . look at everything then use it for your marketing. Test it! Don’t be afraid to make a mistake–that’s how you’ll learn to be a better marketer.
A big thank-you to Rob for sharing his wisdom! He has also written a book about social media marketing, which you can preview at http://www.robanspach.com – check it out!
Happy 2013! What did you resolve to change this year?
If you’re like most people, you probably resolved to lose weight, get organized, enjoy life more or save money. According to the Journal of Clinical Psychology, more than 62% of Americans made self-improvement resolutions like these in 2012, and most of them kept up on their resolutions for at least two weeks.
However, the same study reports that only 46% of these resolutions led to changes in habit that lasted more than six months.
Don’t want to be a negative statistic? Follow these steps to ensure that your New Year’s resolutions stick.
Get Specific and Realistic
Want to lose weight? Don’t resolve to “someday” get ripped like Channing Tatum or look as good in a bikini as Jessica Alba. Instead, work towards your goal by breaking it down into achievable steps. Start by resolving to lose five pounds in five weeks. When you’ve done that, resolve to lose five more.
This applies to all types of goals. Don’t vow to “get organized.” What does that mean? Instead, pick an area of your life that you’d like to see more organization in, and focus on finding ways to streamline. For instance, you could designate Mondays as “de-cluttering days,” each week picking a different room of your home and ridding it of at least 25 worn-out, broken, rarely used or unnecessary items.
Make It Easy
If the steps involved in meeting your goal are too complicated, your resolution is likely to fail. Complex diets with Byzantine rules rarely work as well as making a simple lifestyle change, such as the decision to eat oatmeal and fresh fruit for breakfast every day.
Likewise, you can simplify many of your resolutions by either paring them down or automating them. For instance, if you’d like to save money, you can download a free app like Decide, which uses highly accurate price prediction software to tell you if expensive products will soon be going down in cost (so that you know the best time to buy them.) Or, if you’d like to market your business more aggressively, you can use an automated marketing program like ServiceMonster’s FillMySchedule, where we produce, print, stuff, stamp, seal and send direct mail campaigns for you.
Tell Everybody and Celebrate Your Progress
The ugly truth is, we’re more likely to follow through on our resolutions if other people know about them. Fear of bruised pride might not be a virtuous motivation, but it’s an effective one. So share your goals with your friends, family, colleagues and online social networks. Because in those moments when you’re thinking of giving up, the idea of explaining that to all of those people will seem a lot less attractive than getting over yourself and getting on with it.
You might also try committing publicly to meeting a milestone that will show off your progress. For instance, if your goal is to get more fit, sign up to run a short marathon three months in the future. Or if you want to save enough money to go on an exotic vacation, go ahead and book the time off. The prospect of wasting precious vacation days on a “staycation” will push you to tighten your belt and follow through on your dream.
While telling everybody about your resolutions may be embarrassing, the flip side is that you’ll have lots of cheerleaders on hand to help you celebrate your progress. Don’t forget to congratulate yourself for meeting your goals! Throw yourself a party, go to the movies with your family, buy yourself a new gadget or pair of boots—whatever it takes to make yourself feel great about your new habit. Positive reinforcement is an excellent motivator too!
Don’t Give Up
Forming new routines and ways of thinking can be hard. We’re creatures of habit, and it’s all too easy to backslide into old behaviors, even if we know that new behaviors are healthier for us. Many people make a tiny slip-up on a given resolution (missing a gym class, or forgetting to track their business’ financial data for a week or so), and decide that they’re undisciplined monsters, incapable of getting in shape or managing their finances.
Don’t give up! It’s natural for you to occasionally mess up. The important thing is to get back on track with your goal tomorrow.
However, if you find that you’re continually falling short of your targets, you may have set the bar too high. Look for ways to scale down your goals and make them more realistic. If you can’t meet your goal of blogging daily, try blogging weekly. If you can’t find the time to work out for one hour three times a week, try sneaking a few high-cardio ten-minute routines into your work days (running stairs, jogging three times around the block, a jump-rope session.) If you persist with little changes like these, you’ll find they result in big pay-offs!
Tired of not being able to access ServiceMonster in Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox? We’re working on a cross-platform release, but in the meantime, here’s an (unsupported, unofficial) work-around.
If you’re a Windows user who wants to access ServiceMonster with Chrome:
1. Open Google Chrome and go to IETab.net (http://www.ietab.net).
2. Click on the Chrome icon that says “Get IE Tab for Chrome”.
3. A pop-up will open, with a blue button that says “Add to Chrome”. Click it.
4. Another pop-up will open, asking if you want to add “IE Tab”. Click “Add”.
5. IE Tab is now installed. You’ll see an Internet Explorer icon on the right top corner of your Chrome browser window. To access ServiceMonster, click the icon. An Internet Explorer browser window will open within your Chrome browser window. Use this to go to https://app.servicemonster.net/.
6. Enjoy! (Note: you may have to add https://app.servicemonster.net/ to your list of trusted sites in order for it to function properly.)
If you’re a Windows user who wants to access ServiceMonster with Mozilla Firefox:
1. Open Mozilla Firefox and go to IETab.net (http://www.ietab.net). Click on the Firefox icon that says “Get IE Tab 2 for Firefox”.
2. You’ll be re-directed to a page with a description of IE Tab 2 and a button that says “Add to Firefox”. Click the button.
3. Another pop-up will open, asking if you want to install IE Tab 2. Click “Install Now”.
4. A pop-up will appear, informing you that IE Tab 2 will be installed when you restart Firefox. It will give you the option to “Restart Now”. Click it.
5. Once Firefox is open again, right-click on the downward-pointing arrow on the far right side of the browser address bar. Select the “Customize” option.
6. A pop-up will appear, containing various icons. Scroll through the icons until you find the “IE Tab 2” icon. Drag this out of the pop-up and place it next to the browser address bar.
7. Left-click the “IE Tab 2” icon so that the Firefox icon appears, rather than the Internet Explorer icon. This means that you are now using Firefox in Internet Explorer mode. (If you want to switch back to Firefox mode, just left-click the icon until the Internet Explorer icon appears.)
Last week, we launched a new version of ServiceMonster, SM 4.10. We also started using new servers. While these changes were intended to improve your ServiceMonster experience–and in the long term, they will–they created a number of temporary technical issues that we are still working to resolve.
We sincerely apologize for any problems you may have experienced. We had no idea that these updates would cause disruptions in your service, and we very much regret inconveniencing our customers.
We’ve been doing regular updates in order to eliminate the functionality issues caused by these changes. Some problems have been resolved; others are still ongoing. Some of you may be experiencing more of these than others.
We wanted to let you know that the old ServiceMonster URLs are now back in service. So, to access ServiceMonster’s desktop version, you can switch over from using http://c19092-113472.cloudapp.net/servicemonster/ back to https://app.servicemonster.net/. To access ServiceMonster’s mobile version, use http://mobile.servicemonster.net/ instead of http://c19092-113472.cloudapp.net/mobile/login.aspx.
1. ServiceMonster is working slowly:
a.) If ServiceMonster is working slowly for you, it may help for you to switch back to using the old ServiceMonster URLs, as explained above.
2. You may be unsure of how to use ServiceMonster 4.10:
a.) If you’re confused about how to use ServiceMonster 4.10, watch this short training video. It explains ServiceMonster 4.10’s new scheduling features: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5bdM_cZMYc.
Last week, some of our users were experiencing:
• Problems with searching on the left-hand navigator;
• Problems with their scheduling settings;
• Problems with their marketing campaigns;
• Problems with FMS runs;
• Web connector issues;
• Errors with job notifications;
• General navigation problems.
We’re happy to say that we’ve been able to get rid of these issues. Now we’re focusing on general performance optimization, as well as working with specific users to resolve any stray glitches.
Again, we’re very sorry for putting you out like this. Our Customer Support department is working overtime to reply to your calls and emails. We’ve received a huge amount of feedback over the last week and a half, so while we may be unable to respond immediately, please be assured that we answering your questions as quickly as we can.
Thank you for your patience.
As you are probably quite aware, a ServiceMonster update that we launched last night did not go as planned. The goal of the update was to upgrade everybody to ServiceMonster 4.10; in addition, we were switching server vendors. Our hope was that our clients would now be able to enjoy 4.10’s exciting new features; in addition, we wanted to switch server vendors so that future ServiceMonster updates would be easier to perform.
The good news is, we have succeeded in both taking our clients to 4.10 and switching to our new servers. The bad news is, the changes have created a number of unforeseen technical issues that we are still working to resolve.
We deeply regret the inconvenience this has caused our clients. We had no idea that these updates would cause these sorts of setbacks; otherwise, we wouldn’t have attempted them. We understand that you are all very busy and that this interruption in your ServiceMonster service has been very problematic and badly-timed. We’d like to offer you our sincerest apologies.
Currently, we’re doing hourly updates in order to solve the functionality issues caused by these changes. Some of our clients may be experiencing more of these than others.
1. Accessing ServiceMonster:
a.) If you’re having difficulties logging in to ServiceMonster, first clear out your temporary Internet files and Cookies (see our technical service bulletin from this morning for specific instructions on this).
b.) Add ServiceMonster’s new URL to your list of trusted sites: http://c19092-113472.cloudapp.net/servicemonster/.
c.) Login using your regular login information.
2. Accessing ServiceMonster Mobile 2.0:
b.) Go to ServiceMonster Mobile 2.0’s new URL: http://c19092-113472.cloudapp.net/mobile/login.aspx.
c.) Login using your regular login information.
3. Scheduling Settings:
a.) If your scheduling settings are working incorrectly, you need to reset them.
b.) From the “Scheduling” tab in ServiceMonster, go to the “Options” menu and select “Schedule Settings”.
c.) Change the zip code, driving range, and color wheel to the correct settings.
4. You may be unsure of how to use ServiceMonster 4.10:
a.) If you’re confused about how to use ServiceMonster 4.10, watch this short training video. It explains ServiceMonster 4.10’s new scheduling features: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5bdM_cZMYc.z
We also know that you may be experiencing:
- Problems with searching on the left-hand navigator;
- Web connector issues;
- Reports errors;
- General navigation problems.
Again, we’re very sorry about these issues and are working as quickly as possible to eliminate them.
In the meantime, Customer Support is working very hard to reply to each and every one of your calls and emails. We’ve received an unprecedented number of client communications today, so while we may be unable to respond to your call immediately, please be assured that we will contact you as soon as possible. We will also maintain extended hours tomorrow (Aug. 23), from 6:00 a.m. PST to 6:00 p.m. PST.
Thank you for your patience.