Leveraging Third-Party App Technology
By Darlene Campbell
Technological advances continue to amaze me as I have watched the definition of service evolve over the past decades. Whether you compare a world of pagers to a world of texting or customers now controlling their own on-call schedules with direct access to their call centers systems, it has been astonishing.
In recent years our call center, ICG, embarked on a partnership to support a specialized industry: concrete repair specialists. As part of this process, my call center was introduced to a unique SaaS App software service called Estimate Rocket offered by Logical Engine Inc. Estimate Rocket is an app that automates the estimating process for contractors. It’s highly robust and has a built in CRM as well as an e-marketing platform. Integrated with Google maps and Quick Books, it can be described as a dream for that industry.
The vision we presented was the ability to interface with the contractor’s Estimate Rocket program. Then we could:
- Allow any call center agent to accept calls or emails in response to the contractor’s promotion or advertising
- Load the data directly into the contractor’s CRM
- Provide information about the service by automatically activating a drip campaign of email to the contractor’s prospect
- Schedule the estimate for the contractor
The poster child for this service is Affordable Mudjacking in the greater Kansas City area. Owner and entrepreneur Zach Poland saw the vision and the opportunity, so he ran with it for maximum efficiency of his operation. We now handle most Affordable Mudjacking’s inbound prospect communication, provide their prospects with basic information about the service, in some cases vet the viability of the prospect and schedule their estimators. In effect we have migrated from a call center to become Mr. Poland’s front office operation, and we are indispensable to his business.
Every business marketing and sales course suggests you answer the question “what’s in it for me” for all parties in a business relationship. Let’s review the benefits for both the contractor and the call center.
- A consistent, professional, 24/7 prospect experience that exceeds expectations
- A consistent estimating process that allows for ease of training and instant fulfillment, as estimates (including photos) are emailed to prospects while an estimator is on site—with a mere click to accept the work and lock in a contract
- Elimination of all costs associated with prospect inbound management and estimator scheduling
- Better quality consistently delivered with efficiency, which increases capacity, scalability, imaging, closing ratios, and profitability
Call Center Benefits
- Increased functionality and capacity to handle more types of client calls
- Longer call duration
- Development of a partner versus vendor relationship
- Relationship longevity
- Improved profitability
Estimate Rocket has modules for concrete repair specialists, spray foam specialists, painters, and more. Its generic version can be used by any business doing estimates, with free-form data entry capability. In the case of Affordable Mudjacking, we have been instrumental in allowing this firm to schedule estimates when prospects aren’t home. This fact has changed the business and reduced their cost per sale.
Estimate Rocket is only one example of the power of app technology and the acceleration of technical influence on business delivery. These tools need not be in competition with a call center environment. Through this we’ve learned to look beyond our own systems and seek ways to embrace tech used by our clients to grow our business.
Darlene Campbell is the president of Information Communications Group, a 24/7 multilingual call center based in Leawood, Kansas.