Scheduling Issues - House Call Pro

OxiFreshGuy

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Nov 12, 2016
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Matthew Frein
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A 2 part thread about my experience with House Call Pro (HCP) and a general scheduling issue.

Switched over to HCP after this company has used Camelot for 15 years. Initial impressions:

Positives
*Sleek & Professional Looking
*Invoicing is easy
*Online Ordering is great
*Customers seem to love the scheduling/notifications
*Web & Mobile App

Negatives
*Cannot set individual technician schedules
*Schedule doesn't show routes or open time slots - just the standard time set for your business
*KPI reports only included in the Premium package
*Reports not capable of showing upsells/additional services for technicians
*Cannot create "territories" for efficient bookings...in other words drive time between jobs may be longer due to the scheduling aspect

So initial impression is I think this would be a great software for a single operator or maybe up to 2-4 total. Beyond that, I feel it will become messy and diminishing returns.

Second part to the thread is, due to the fact I can't set individual schedules I've now put everyone on the same schedule.

Thoughts and opinions on doing so? We currently run 5 vans in the field. Used to be they had alternating schedules but now they will need a set schedule to maximize what HCP does.

Here's a screenshot of this coming week's schedule to show you what I mean about lack of routes, the jobs don't stack properly based on the technician.

 

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Select

Member
Mar 3, 2019
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Real Name
John Cartegna
A 2 part thread about my experience with House Call Pro (HCP) and a general scheduling issue.

Switched over to HCP after this company has used Camelot for 15 years. Initial impressions:

Positives
*Sleek & Professional Looking
*Invoicing is easy
*Online Ordering is great
*Customers seem to love the scheduling/notifications
*Web & Mobile App

Negatives
*Cannot set individual technician schedules
*Schedule doesn't show routes or open time slots - just the standard time set for your business
*KPI reports only included in the Premium package
*Reports not capable of showing upsells/additional services for technicians
*Cannot create "territories" for efficient bookings...in other words drive time between jobs may be longer due to the scheduling aspect

So initial impression is I think this would be a great software for a single operator or maybe up to 2-4 total. Beyond that, I feel it will become messy and diminishing returns.

Second part to the thread is, due to the fact I can't set individual schedules I've now put everyone on the same schedule.

Thoughts and opinions on doing so? We currently run 5 vans in the field. Used to be they had alternating schedules but now they will need a set schedule to maximize what HCP does.

Here's a screenshot of this coming week's schedule to show you what I mean about lack of routes, the jobs don't stack properly based on the technician.

I can't give suggestions to what your asking because I don't have experience as a newbie starting up.

The online booking feature seems quite nice but at $137/mo really adds to the fixed costs column.

But, based on high level research seems to be a feature customers are looking for.

My question is does this feature work for first time customers since they may need an estimate for the job they want done?
 

OxiFreshGuy

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Nov 12, 2016
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Matthew Frein
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United States
The estimate is essentially your room pricing. The $137 isn't bad when you figure if even ONE job books online per month you have already paid for the program.

I've been training my property managers and Realtors that we now offer online booking and they love it because they don't have to play phone tag with me.now.
 
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mrotto

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Paul Ottensmann
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I think online booking would be great but Id have to rearrange the schedule everytime I came back to the office. You cant do all jobs in a 2 hour time window. I only do 2-3 jobs a day (4 if they are really small) and each takes different amounts of time. That, and as stated above, you cant have efficient routes. Id be more concerned about excess travel time which would cost much more in labor than the cost of the program.
 

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John Cartegna
I think online booking would be great but Id have to rearrange the schedule everytime I came back to the office. You cant do all jobs in a 2 hour time window. I only do 2-3 jobs a day (4 if they are really small) and each takes different amounts of time. That, and as stated above, you cant have efficient routes. Id be more concerned about excess travel time which would cost much more in labor than the cost of the program.
You raise good points. I would hope the software has flexibility to set the windows to your liking if 2 hours isn't sufficient.

I can see how distance in regard to efficient routes would be a concern. Maybe, if your target market is the people in a short 10-15 mile radius of you and you are marketing to them the most maybe that would help make driving distances as reasonable as possible. Ive thought about doing it this way and then I think, "is the closest 10-15 thousand households (within 10 miles of me) enough to sustain my business?"

To be honest, as I plan my business start. My big concern is getting at least 2 customers per day for the 3 days a week I plan on working.

Maybe others can share their experience regarding these concerns as it pertains to online booking software.

Another concern would be pricing yourself out of jobs. What. I mean is if we are pricing by the room, say $68.45 per room and the customer has 3 rooms for a total of $205.35 maybe they feel that is too high in relation to competitors. Or (im spitballing here) maybe they think that's a steal if your marketing has them thinking that you are reliable, professional, and will do a great job and not look to bait and switch or raise the ticket for every little thing.

Lots to think about..
 

OxiFreshGuy

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Matthew Frein
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You can set time windows, they currently do not have zoning, which so far hasn't been a major issue.

Through their app, I get notifications as soon as someone books, at that point if it's a major problem I simply call them right away.

I don't worry about the pricing if they don't like my pricing online they weren't going to like it on the phone. I make a pointer stressing I'm local and no hidden charges.

I've booked about $5,000 online in the last two months.
 
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Mar 3, 2019
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John Cartegna
You can set time windows, they currently do not have zoning, which so far hasn't been a major issue.

Through their app, I get notifications as soon as someone books, at that point if it's a major problem I simply call them right away.

I don't worry about the pricing if they don't like my pricing online they weren't going to like it on the phone. I make a pointer stressing I'm local and no hidden charges.

I've booked about $5,000 online in the last two months.
Really good stuff man thank you for sharing. Good point about zoning and giving them a call right away if it might be a problem, etc. And about the pricing. I like how you stress you are local and no hidden charges.

Regarding the customers who are booking online:

What age of clients do you see booking online?

Are you ever surprised at who books online because maybe in your head you think they might be old or not involved with technology too much?

Also, are you seeing any local competitors doing online booking? It seems just Stanley Steemer in my area has this and I'm thinking it could be a good differentiator.

And, are you working with a web developer or do you find building the booking tool into your site to be not so difficult in you do it yourself?

Sorry for the many direct questions but this is an interesting topic.
 

OxiFreshGuy

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Matthew Frein
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Right now I mostly see 30-55+ age range booking online - pretty much what you'd expect.

Locally - only Oxi Fresh is offering direct online booking. But their system isn't even as polished or convenient as HCP. I've asked all of my customers feedback about the booking process and they all stated it was very easy to understand.

I do have an SEO guy that implemented it on ourwebsite, but my understand was it was a plug & play type deal. He mostly works on keeping us up to date with Google as much as possible.
 
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Right now I mostly see 30-55+ age range booking online - pretty much what you'd expect.

Locally - only Oxi Fresh is offering direct online booking. But their system isn't even as polished or convenient as HCP. I've asked all of my customers feedback about the booking process and they all stated it was very easy to understand.

I do have an SEO guy that implemented it on ourwebsite, but my understand was it was a plug & play type deal. He mostly works on keeping us up to date with Google as much as possible.
I see. Thank you.

So are you a former Oxi Fresh guy - isn't that a franchise or something also?

Interesting that even where you are you are one of the few or only one with online booking. Good stuff.