Initial impressions of Housecall Pro vs Service Monster | TruckMount Forums #1 Carpet Cleaning Forums

Initial impressions of Housecall Pro vs Service Monster

Will Reed

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I mean this with constructive criticism to show areas of improvement from a long time SM user. I would like to use Housecall Pro as my main platform, but I can't right now in its current state.

I'll start with pricing. SM is I think $80/month. I'm paying $50/month since I've been with them for awhile and got in at a lower rate. Post cards are $1.30/ea which is a little pricey. Housecall Pro is $23/month, if you add one employee so he/she can close and access jobs its $40/month.

I know that Housecall Pro is a new service and they are still improving and working on their interface and SM has been around for years. The difference really shows between a new service and an established service when it comes to the interface. I like a lot of ideas that Housecall has like the text messaging to the customer when you are en route and when the job is done, built in CC processing.

This is all my opinion, other users may have different opinions.

Customer info
  • With SM when you enter in the zip code it auto populates the city and state.
  • SM also auto populates the area code for the phone number which I find surprisingly handy when I started using a different service that doesn't.
  • SM has a lead source field and Housecall does not. I find it critical to keep track of how my customers are finding me. During housecall training I was told that this can be done by applying tags to customers but this is cumbersome and not an option that appears when doing a 'quick add' for a new customer.

Company info and services
  • Housecall needs to add an option for default area code like SM has. Easy and but very handy and time saving feature.
  • Once you add a service into Housecall, you cannot delete it. Don't mess up when you are adding a new service because once its in it is in.
  • With Housecall you cannot currently add unit numbers to an order you are building. If someone wants 4 rooms done you need to check off the box that says '4 rooms'. You cannot add one room with a quantity of 4. This goes on to create other problems such as multiple rooms with pet treatment, or if you are doing 10 small chairs, carpet protectant for 5 rooms etc. I was told they are going to add this feature soon.
  • Orders cannot be edited once they are saved. Lets say a customer orders 3 rooms and a hall. You get to the site and its actually 4 rooms with one extra large room. With SM you can pull up the order and increase the quantity of rooms to 4 and add one large room as a line item. With housecall you cannot add another room, you have to manually add another line, type in the description for that line and a price. You cannot get back to the order line item screen to enter your predetermined services.
Scheduling
  • When you go to the scheduling screen in Housecall it defaults to todays view. SM defaults to the week view which is much more useful. Very small detail and it can probably easily changed by default but I couldn't find it.
  • Drag and drop scheduling is much more intuitive on SM. In housecall you can only modify the job time of the one you are actively looking at. Once you modify it, you can't start drag and dropping other jobs. You must exit out and back to the scheduling screen then select the next job to modify its time.
I'm not meaning this to be negative toward Housecall at all. Just ways on how to make the service better. Housecall has a lot of potential once they iron out these rough spots.

Things that I like about Housecall compared to SM
  • Better price rate
  • Applications instead of fairly archaic mobile website
  • Customer notification system
  • Much better rates on post cards
  • Integrated CC processing at a rate better then squared.
Suggestions and wish list
  • Address the above points I made
  • Online booking through our websites using a widget of some kind. SM has this feature through a 2nd company but it is at a ridiculous price of $200/month
  • Default scheduling to week view with drag and drop rescheduling. Have jobs show the price total and show a running total for current weeks sales
 

Pinosan

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I mean this with constructive criticism to show areas of improvement from a long time SM user. I would like to use Housecall Pro as my main platform, but I can't right now in its current state.

I'll start with pricing. SM is I think $80/month. I'm paying $50/month since I've been with them for awhile and got in at a lower rate. Post cards are $1.30/ea which is a little pricey. Housecall Pro is $23/month, if you add one employee so he/she can close and access jobs its $40/month.

I know that Housecall Pro is a new service and they are still improving and working on their interface and SM has been around for years. The difference really shows between a new service and an established service when it comes to the interface. I like a lot of ideas that Housecall has like the text messaging to the customer when you are en route and when the job is done, built in CC processing.

This is all my opinion, other users may have different opinions.

Customer info
  • With SM when you enter in the zip code it auto populates the city and state.
  • SM also auto populates the area code for the phone number which I find surprisingly handy when I started using a different service that doesn't.
  • SM has a lead source field and Housecall does not. I find it critical to keep track of how my customers are finding me. During housecall training I was told that this can be done by applying tags to customers but this is cumbersome and not an option that appears when doing a 'quick add' for a new customer.

Company info and services
  • Housecall needs to add an option for default area code like SM has. Easy and but very handy and time saving feature.
  • Once you add a service into Housecall, you cannot delete it. Don't mess up when you are adding a new service because once its in it is in.
  • With Housecall you cannot currently add unit numbers to an order you are building. If someone wants 4 rooms done you need to check off the box that says '4 rooms'. You cannot add one room with a quantity of 4. This goes on to create other problems such as multiple rooms with pet treatment, or if you are doing 10 small chairs, carpet protectant for 5 rooms etc. I was told they are going to add this feature soon.
  • Orders cannot be edited once they are saved. Lets say a customer orders 3 rooms and a hall. You get to the site and its actually 4 rooms with one extra large room. With SM you can pull up the order and increase the quantity of rooms to 4 and add one large room as a line item. With housecall you cannot add another room, you have to manually add another line, type in the description for that line and a price. You cannot get back to the order line item screen to enter your predetermined services.
Scheduling
  • When you go to the scheduling screen in Housecall it defaults to todays view. SM defaults to the week view which is much more useful. Very small detail and it can probably easily changed by default but I couldn't find it.
  • Drag and drop scheduling is much more intuitive on SM. In housecall you can only modify the job time of the one you are actively looking at. Once you modify it, you can't start drag and dropping other jobs. You must exit out and back to the scheduling screen then select the next job to modify its time.
I'm not meaning this to be negative toward Housecall at all. Just ways on how to make the service better. Housecall has a lot of potential once they iron out these rough spots.

Things that I like about Housecall compared to SM
  • Better price rate
  • Applications instead of fairly archaic mobile website
  • Customer notification system
  • Much better rates on post cards
  • Integrated CC processing at a rate better then squared.
Suggestions and wish list
  • Address the above points I made
  • Online booking through our websites using a widget of some kind. SM has this feature through a 2nd company but it is at a ridiculous price of $200/month
  • Default scheduling to week view with drag and drop rescheduling. Have jobs show the price total and show a running total for current weeks sales
good suggestions Will, I'm making my wish list also and I'm experiencing some of the problems you mentioned. I hope they fine tun it soon.
 

rolandal

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Mar 13, 2015
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Roland Ligtenberg
I mean this with constructive criticism to show areas of improvement from a long time SM user. I would like to use Housecall Pro as my main platform, but I can't right now in its current state.

The only way that we can make our software better is by listening to all of your feedback, so we really appreciate the time you took to write this out and also use our software - it means alot.

I'll start with pricing. SM is I think $80/month. I'm paying $50/month since I've been with them for awhile and got in at a lower rate. Post cards are $1.30/ea which is a little pricey. Housecall Pro is $23/month, if you add one employee so he/she can close and access jobs its $40/month.
Those costs are correct if you are comparing monthly rates. With the TMF discount and annual pre-pay you will actually save even more, with $20/month for individual and $17.50 for multi-user respectively. In addition, the postcards (4x6 full gloss full color front/back) we have are at $0.65/card (printed, postage, and shipped).

I know that Housecall Pro is a new service and they are still improving and working on their interface and SM has been around for years. The difference really shows between a new service and an established service when it comes to the interface. I like a lot of ideas that Housecall has like the text messaging to the customer when you are en route and when the job is done, built in CC processing.

We have been building the web portal for a couple months now, SM definitely has quite a head start. We've focused a lot of our energy on having a native, real-time sync, app for both iOS & Android. We are updating the webportal weekly with improvements based on your guys feedback!

This is all my opinion, other users may have different opinions.

Customer info
  • With SM when you enter in the zip code it auto populates the city and state.
  • SM also auto populates the area code for the phone number which I find surprisingly handy when I started using a different service that doesn't.
  • SM has a lead source field and Housecall does not. I find it critical to keep track of how my customers are finding me. During housecall training I was told that this can be done by applying tags to customers but this is cumbersome and not an option that appears when doing a 'quick add' for a new customer.

The 1st 2 are great ideas, definitely we can do pretty easy.
The 3rd we do through adding Tags (as a lead source). We should be adding the add tag on quick add, probably get that in this week for you guys!

Company info and services
  • Housecall needs to add an option for default area code like SM has. Easy and but very handy and time saving feature.
  • Once you add a service into Housecall, you cannot delete it. Don't mess up when you are adding a new service because once its in it is in.

You can definitely delete it, there is a little trash can. Maybe we should make it more visible/obvious. We can show you with another training.

  • With Housecall you cannot currently add unit numbers to an order you are building. If someone wants 4 rooms done you need to check off the box that says '4 rooms'. You cannot add one room with a quantity of 4. This goes on to create other problems such as multiple rooms with pet treatment, or if you are doing 10 small chairs, carpet protectant for 5 rooms etc. I was told they are going to add this feature soon.
  • Orders cannot be edited once they are saved. Lets say a customer orders 3 rooms and a hall. You get to the site and its actually 4 rooms with one extra large room. With SM you can pull up the order and increase the quantity of rooms to 4 and add one large room as a line item. With housecall you cannot add another room, you have to manually add another line, type in the description for that line and a price. You cannot get back to the order line item screen to enter your predetermined services.

Yes, we are working on adding quanity x units of things. This way you can easily increase rooms to 4, or for example you can say $0.20 per sq/ft and say 100 sqft = $20.

You're right in that this is absolutely necessary so it's REALLY high on our priority list!

Scheduling
  • When you go to the scheduling screen in Housecall it defaults to todays view. SM defaults to the week view which is much more useful. Very small detail and it can probably easily changed by default but I couldn't find it.
  • Drag and drop scheduling is much more intuitive on SM. In housecall you can only modify the job time of the one you are actively looking at. Once you modify it, you can't start drag and dropping other jobs. You must exit out and back to the scheduling screen then select the next job to modify its time.
I'm not meaning this to be negative toward Housecall at all. Just ways on how to make the service better. Housecall has a lot of potential once they iron out these rough spots.

In the future, we'll have a way where you can set the default view to whatever your preferences are. I imagine each business likes to look at it in a different way, and this wouldn't be a huge addition. Great idea.

Things that I like about Housecall compared to SM
  • Better price rate
  • Applications instead of fairly archaic mobile website
  • Customer notification system
  • Much better rates on post cards
  • Integrated CC processing at a rate better then squared.
Suggestions and wish list
  • Address the above points I made
  • Online booking through our websites using a widget of some kind. SM has this feature through a 2nd company but it is at a ridiculous price of $200/month
  • Default scheduling to week view with drag and drop rescheduling. Have jobs show the price total and show a running total for current weeks sales

Your wishlist is definitely being noted - also want to make sure that you know that we take the feedback from paying customers the most serious!

The online booking through website will definitely be added and is already on the roadmap. This is on the near-term roadmap, but no promised dates yet ;-) Once it's implemented, it will all be bundled into the same rate, so you'll be able to save this.

The last request is kind of 2 requests - the 1st is definitely possible. Also showing pricing is something we could add as a setting that you can flip on our off!

Really appreciate the time you took to write this up and we are listening & taking notes! :)
 

rolandal

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Roland Ligtenberg
good suggestions Will, I'm making my wish list also and I'm experiencing some of the problems you mentioned. I hope they fine tun it soon.

Hey Martin - would love to hear your feedback too so we can put your ideas on the drawing board as well! ;)
 
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Pinosan

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Hey Martin - would love to hear your feedback too so we can put your ideas on the drawing board as well! ;)
there are a few, I know it will be impossible to get everyone happy and no software is perfect but I would love in the near future have the feature on the invoices to invoice the same client with a jobsite address without having to modify his information.
If I'm not clear, I will be more than happy to email you one of my current invoices so you can see how I maintain the client's info and there is a separate box with the job site address.
For guys like me that feature is viral. I work for several real estate agents and management companies that want to be billed to their address but want to also be able to see where the job was done.
 

Jose Holguin

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there are a few, I know it will be impossible to get everyone happy and no software is perfect but I would love in the near future have the feature on the invoices to invoice the same client with a jobsite address without having to modify his information.
If I'm not clear, I will be more than happy to email you one of my current invoices so you can see how I maintain the client's info and there is a separate box with the job site address.
For guys like me that feature is viral. I work for several real estate agents and management companies that want to be billed to their address but want to also be able to see where the job was done.

Same here, too many housecall threads to keep up with now...
 
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Johnny Bravo

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@Will Reed addressed every issue I can think of as well as @Pinosan. If you guys do as you say you're going to do I think I as well as many others will be happy long time customers.
 
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shane deubell

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Not a fair comparison, they are barely competitors. Each occupies a different space from what i can see.

One is focused on desktop functions and weak in mobile while the other is focused on mobile apps and weak on desktop.
One uses small 4x6 postcards and the other 4 sided jumbo cards.

like comparing apples and oranges...

The question is what features are important to you.

One thing we do know for sure, mobile is definitely the future, when not sure. But its moving pretty dam fast!
 
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rolandal

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Not a fair comparison, they are barely competitors. Each occupies a different space from what i can see.

One is focused on desktop functions and weak in mobile while the other is focused on mobile apps and weak on desktop.
One uses small 4x6 postcards and the other 4 sided jumbo cards.

like comparing apples and oranges...

The question is what features are important to you.

One thing we do know for sure, mobile is definitely the future, when not sure. But its moving pretty dam fast!

We definitely both are trying to help you guys with running your business by streamlining it and making it more efficient.

That being said, HouseCall Pro is not as robust on the web portal functions.... YET... but we've been working on that side for months now, not 5+ years like some others that are out there.

You are definitely right that it is like comparing apples and oranges. No software is perfect, and everyone has to decide what works better for their business.

All that we know is that we're actively soliciting for feedback and listening to you guys to make it the best mobile app and web portal as possible...

Also.... Mobile is not the future anymore... it's the present.
 
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rolandal

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Roland Ligtenberg
there are a few, I know it will be impossible to get everyone happy and no software is perfect but I would love in the near future have the feature on the invoices to invoice the same client with a jobsite address without having to modify his information.
If I'm not clear, I will be more than happy to email you one of my current invoices so you can see how I maintain the client's info and there is a separate box with the job site address.
For guys like me that feature is viral. I work for several real estate agents and management companies that want to be billed to their address but want to also be able to see where the job was done.

That would be great - can you send it to us so we can see how to build that? I think I have an idea of what you're asking for. Essentially Billing Address vs Service Address
 

Pinosan

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We definitely both are trying to help you guys with running your business by streamlining it and making it more efficient.

That being said, HouseCall Pro is not as robust on the web portal functions.... YET... but we've been working on that side for months now, not 5+ years like some others that are out there.

You are definitely right that it is like comparing apples and oranges. No software is perfect, and everyone has to decide what works better for their business.

All that we know is that we're actively soliciting for feedback and listening to you guys to make it the best mobile app and web portal as possible...

Also.... Mobile is not the future anymore... it's the present.
Just work on making it better and fair. I forsee success. two of my clients today liked the app. One said, "I can even see where you are when driving to my place" Is that true??
He was happy but I felt like you guys are spying on me. :eek:
 
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rolandal

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Just work on making it better and fair. I forsee success. two of my clients today liked the app. One said, "I can even see where you are when driving to my place" Is that true??
He was happy but I felt like you guys are spying on me. :eek:

I'm glad your clients are liking the consumer booking app, this will DEFINITELY increase rebookings down the line because it makes your MEMORABLE and stand out amongst your competitors.

Yeah, when you are on the way to the job, it show's a map and a little truck on it that moves as you go to the job. Once the job is done they obviously can not see your truck!
 

emeraldclean

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So if I put an employee on this program. Will this allow me to see where he is all time too?
This would not work well for us!
We like to stop and grab a couple of road puppy's ( beer) and even hit a peeler joint in between jobs!
Well maybe it would work... don't want to throw off the custy and have them be surprised that we are half in the bag!
The app can send an alert.... just finishing my Molson Canadian beer, peeler's floor show ends after Zep's Stairway to Heaven and then we are in transit to your house!
 
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