Our recent work with Melbourne-based tree company, Tree Amigos, was focused on customer qualification, using layered automation within their contact form to identify whether or not a potential lead was a fit for their business in terms of location, job size, lead time and willingness to comply with council requirements.
We sat down with Taman to see how a tree company that spends its time out and about across clients’ homes stays focused and streamlined via thoughtful automation.
Taman, can you start by introducing yourself?
I’m 35 years old, have a wife and two kids. I run a tree company based in Melbourne. I’ve been in the industry for 15 years, and I’m passionate about developing a company where we can grow people professionally and create an environment where people want to come to work.
What do you love the most about your work and your industry?
When I first started in the tree industry, I remember being pretty crappy at it. At one point I thought, “I’ve never failed so much in my life!”. But I persisted with it and slowly got better at my job. Now my role as a business owner sees me doing completely different things than I was doing before. I get great job satisfaction from implementing new systems and watching the success of them unfold.
What are some parts of your workload that you’d happily hand over to automation, or have done so already?
Most of our automations are around our quoting and job scheduling. We send automated responses to people when they request a quote or accept a quote. We also use a complicated rules process on our contact form which can either deny or accept the new client based on our location, how soon they want to get their work done, and whether they’re happy to get permits for tree removals or not. From there, they’re added to our quoting system, scheduling system, and pushed through to Google Sheets for data tracking.
Where did your automation journey begin?
As a business owner, I’m very cautious about adding extra tasks to my day-to-day operations. I had an idea about qualifying our leads when our clients wanted to get a quote from us, but didn’t know how I could complete such a task without it being cumbersome and time consuming. We’d developed a list of questions that we would ask when people called, but we didn’t know how to ask those questions on our contact form on the website.
What did Agility build for you?
Shaun built us a Contact form on our website that has some complicated metrics around screening our clients. At several points on the form, it may knock back a potential lead because they don’t suit our business.
We first ask for a location, and if they’re not in an area we work, then the form generates a pleasant rejection message. We ask them about whether their job is big or small, and then how soon they want to get it done. If they’re having trees removed, then we make sure they’re happy to get permits if required, and we also find out if they’re happy for us to drive past to see the tree, or if they need to be home.
So what we end up with is a client that’s in our area, that’s happy to wait for us based on our current lead time, happy to do things by the book, and some tracking info.
How have Agility’s automations impacted your team’s workflows? Can you estimate how much time is saved on a weekly basis?
The qualifying question on our contact form literally saves us about 2 hours a week in phone calls and driving time. That’s a huge saving financially. Most recently, we made the decision to run all of our enquiries through our website. This then makes our reporting process much easier and also probably saves us an hour of admin time.
Are there any other unexpected results from automation implementation – do you benefit from time reallocation, the ability to focus on other fronts, or the space to grow without adding more manual work?
One of the key things I like to see when we’re out quoting is where the customer heard about us. It can change the way we talk to people and allows us to give them the right information they need. In a sales role, we only have a limited amount of time to spend with them while we’re looking at their trees and speaking to someone who already knows about our business and who we are is completely different than speaking to someone who has never used a tree company before.
What’s on your automation wish list?
I really need to finalise some “service specific” content emails so we can start emailing people relevant information about the service that they’re questing from us on our contact form. We believe that this will increase our conversion rate as our customers will be informed about the exact service they’re about to receive, rather than some generic information.
Where can people find you and your work?
Taman’s a great example of a business owner harnessing the power of automation to gain back time and deliver a richer customer experience. What could you do with more hours in every week