Founded in 2017, Schedule Engine is a customer service support solution for home service contractors. The company’s suite of virtual services includes online booking, remote diagnostics and repair and 24/7 chat to enhance convenience and efficiency and create value for both contractors and homeowners. PM Chief Editor Nicole Krawcke had the chance to interview Austin Haller, founder and CEO of Schedule Engine, about the company’s services and the advantages they have provided essential service contractors during the COVID-19 pandemic.
PM: What prompted you to create Schedule Engine? What was your goal?
AH: I had the privilege of growing up inside of my father’s contracting business, Haller Enterprises, and learned a lot about what it takes to run a successful home services company. From the field to higher-level management, I learned firsthand about the challenges faced every day by contractors and strategies used to overcome them.
In 2015, I stepped away and took the opportunity to study the industry at large during my MBA program at Villanova. It was during that time that I noticed the growing gap between what consumers were expecting from their service providers and what contractors were able to deliver. Trained by services like Uber, Amazon Prime and Domino’s Pizza delivery, consumers were beginning to expect immediate, transparent services a few taps away on their mobile device. I asked myself, “Why must consumers have to call contractors during business hours, wait on hold and speak to a CSR just to get someone out to their house to fix something? Why must they take a day off work just to sit at home and wait for a stranger to show up unannounced between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.? If an $11 pizza can be ordered and tracked by the minute to your doorstep, shouldn't a few hundred dollars’ worth of in-home repair be as well?”
Contractors needed better technology to bridge this gap, and Schedule Engine was founded to do just that. Since launching to market in 2017, Schedule Engine has evolved into an all-in-one customer support solution for contractors in North America. From intelligent online booking software to live expert support, Schedule Engine ensures that its contractors deliver the type of modern service experience that consumers have come to expect.
PM: What do you hope Schedule Engine can do for contractors and tradesmen?
AH: Ensure that they can exceed the evolving expectations of their customers without overhauling internal processes or sacrificing operational efficiency.
PM: The industry is rapidly changing. How is Schedule Engine embracing that change and helping its plumbing contractor clients do the same?
AH: Schedule Engine is built to enhance customer experience for contractors and prioritizes its roadmap based on evolving consumer trends and contractors’ needs. Our promise to our clients is to always keep them ahead of the curve.
PM: How has Schedule Engine helped its plumbing contractor clients face the COVID-19 crisis?
AH: Schedule Engine’s Online Booking and 24/7 live webchat enables steady flow of booking even when internal CS operations are disrupted by COVID-19 implications. Schedule Engine’s COVID-19 communication protocol feature ensures that web-chat agents share accurate information about each contractor’s unique safety protocol to homeowners concerned about exposure. In addition, the Remote Assist feature allows contractors to offer turn-key live virtual service calls to homeowners with the click of a few buttons inside of their Schedule Engine dashboard. We have also offered discounted and free-trial offers to help contractors manage unpredictable cash-flow challenges.
PM: What is Remote Assist, and how has this feature been used during the pandemic?
AH: Remote Assist allows homeowners to connect with expert field technicians for diagnostic and repair service through a remote consultation using photo uploads and live video chat. It eliminates time and expense, and also potential safety concerns related to home calls during the current pandemic. Up to 50% of Remote Assist calls can be resolved virtually. For those calls that require an in-person visit, Remote Assist has already allowed the technician to get detailed information about the problem and parts required, which means more than 80% of calls are solved in the first visit.
PM: Has use of Remote Assist increased during this time? If so, by how much?
AH: Yes. Increase rates vary by client.
PM: What are some things we can expect to see from Schedule Engine in the near future, and what are your longer-term goals?
AH: In the near future, you will be able to use Schedule Engine for all of your inbound customer support needs around the clock, including after-hours voice support. From Online Booking to omnichannel chat and voice support, Schedule Engine makes it easy for contractors to deliver a modern customer experience.
PM: What is one interesting thing about you that most people do not know?
AH: I’m the proud father of two young beautiful girls, who are 4 years old and 6 months old.