Founded in 2004, Valley Roofing & Exteriors was built on the principle of quality. When 20-year-old Anson Martin saw a shortage of reputable roofers in the area, he jumped at the opportunity to fill the need. And after the first year, 16-year-old Joe Showalter joined the company, harnessing his energy for speed and accuracy—typically used on the basketball or volleyball court—into quality roofing skills. “I fell in love with the business and just really got interested in how everything worked,” said Joe.
As Joe helped spearhead the move into different product lines, installation types, and even services, he moved around the company in different roles. But after several years, he was ready for a new challenge. “I asked Anson if there was an opportunity for me to move up in the company and do something different. That’s when I got into sales and management,” said Joe. Now as the Sales Manager, Joe runs a team of six sellers that bring in $10 million in annual revenue.
Since 2020, Valley Roofing has used Podium to build a better customer experience—implementing texting for faster communication and mobile payments for added convenience—and tying it all together with more quality online reviews, averaging a 4.9 star rating and making their presence known throughout several of Virginia’s largest cities.
Before Podium, Valley Roofing struggled to find an easy way for customers to communicate with both the office staff and roofing technicians, and simple operations grew unmanageable. Valley Roofing wrestled with issues such as:
→ Insufficient systems and processes
As the company grew in the first five years, it became clear that to scale, the current systems and processes needed to change. “Anson and I recognized that we needed systems in place if we wanted to do bigger things,” said Joe.
→ No reliable way to gather customer reviews
Anson and Joe recognized how critical positive customer reviews were to their business, but they didn’t have a great way to capture testimonials, let alone get them online.
→ Customer communication hurdles
Anson and Joe made it a priority to be as honest and transparent as possible. “In our industry, it’s really easy to get a bad reputation. That usually happens when you’re not communicating with your customer or not showing up on time,” said Joe. And customers were feeling the strain. “One of the biggest complaints we were getting was, ‘I have no idea who I’m supposed to talk to here,’” said Joe.
→ Valuable time wasted on the phone
“Our phone was ringing off the hook. Most new leads would call in, but even web form leads would need a sales rep to call them and set up an appointment,” said Joe. The back and forth on the phone to schedule an appointment took up a significant amount of time for the sales team and tied up the phone lines for the front desk as they fielded new inquiries.
→ Missed phone calls meant lost sales
With so much of their work reliant on weather, Valley Roofing would often get a big influx of customers calling in after a rainstorm or windstorm. But when the team couldn’t get to every call or answer every inquiry, they lost the potential business. Joe explained, “If you’re not quick to pick up, or you don’t have a good system in place to intercept all those messages flooding in, customers are going to go with someone else.”
→ Delays in receiving payment for completed jobs
“When we started getting into higher volumes of work with more clients, it was obvious the process for payments was slow and problematic,” said Joe. Between generating and mailing invoices, waiting for delivery – assuming it didn’t get lost in the mail – and waiting for customers to respond, the average time for an account to receive payment averaged three weeks after a job was done.
The Podium Solution
With Podium, Valley Roofing implemented a better way to connect with customers, a faster process for payments, and a more streamlined experience for collecting customer reviews. More specifically, Valley Roofing uses Podium to deliver:
→ A single point of contact for every customer
With Podium, Valley Roofing customers now have one point of contact for their roofing project. Even when they need to speak to a different team member—such as moving from a sales conversation to a production conversation—it’s simple and easy. Customers can use the same number and same contact for their entire engagement with the business. “They don’t have to guess. It’s a single point of contact and it’s very simple,” said Joe.
→ A more convenient way to communicate with customers
Now, with the option of texting, Joe and Anson are seeing a dramatic uptick in customer engagement and a faster response time for messages. Converting phone calls to text messages has saved the team time and improved the speed of conversations. “Customers respond to text messages,” said Joe. “Sometimes you don’t get what you need from an email for 24 hours or you don’t get a returned phone call for a day or two. But people can’t resist typing back a text message response.”
→ A better, faster review request process
Prior to Podium, Valley roofing had collected a total of 22 reviews in 2019 – just under two per month. Once they allowed customers to leave a review by texting them, they immediately saw those numbers rise by 4.3x. Best of all, customers now had a fast, easy way to share their thoughts on Valley Roofing with the community.
→ A customer-focused payment experience
By offering customers the ability to pay Valley Roofing for their work through a secure payment link in their existing text thread, Anson and Joe were able to shorten the time between a completed job and getting paid from almost three weeks to just under one day. “Podium made the process very simple. We can get paid immediately and move onto the next job.”
Results and ROI
In just two years partnering with Podium, Valley Roofing has enjoyed results like:
→ Managed 3,400 conversations in Podium in 2021
Joe and the Valley Roofing team understood the value of communicating with customers in the channels they prefer, and took action to meet their needs. “Sometimes you don’t get what you need from an email for 24 hours or you don’t get a return phone call for a day or two,” said Joe. “But it’s almost like people can’t resist typing back a text message response.”
→ Decreased response time to new leads down to 15 minutes
New leads expect a rapid response when they inquire about a service. Valley Roofing understood this and turned to Podium to ensure leads are answered within minutes.
→ Reduced wasted time on the phone by 40%
By offering texting as an option to customers, Joe estimates the amount of time his staff has saved by not wasting time on the phone is at least 40%. “With Podium, we can text back and forth and we don’t even have to pick the phone up,” said Joe. “The team’s time has been freed up to do more of the more important tasks.”
→ 182 reviews in just 24 months, average a 4.9 star rating
The Valley Roofing team is committed to providing a service that leaves every customer delighted. Their north star is “making sure that at the end of the job the customer is going to refer us—that has really kept us head above our competition in the area.” But in order to sustainably capture the fond favor their customers have, they implemented Podium to drive an impressive 182 reviews in just two years.
→ Processed $1.67M with Podium Payments in 2021
“Our old methods of collecting payment were very cumbersome,” Joe explained. “Especially when we started getting into higher volumes. If we can make it easy for our customers to pay, they’re likely to remember that and come back”.
→ Improved speed-to-payment by 11.4x (from 21 days to 22 hours)
Payments that used to take weeks now take less than 24 hours with Podium Payments. And the process is much simpler, too. “The payment process isn’t nearly as hard as the actual work, which it used to feel like.” The invoice is texted directly to the customer, making it easy to get a quick customer response and get the invoice paid.
“Contracting and home improvement companies can be hard to get in touch with. But Podium solves that problem with a central platform to communicate with customers. And with Podium Payments, it’s easier for us to do business with our customers because we’re easy to do business with.”
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