Michael M.

Marketing Coordinator
Blog posts by me
UPDATE: What's New in ServiceMonster 6.5

ServiceMonster 6.5 is here! Every time we release a product update, it's important that our users (and anyone else who is curious) know what exactly has changed. In release 6.5, there's quite a lot to go over... but we're going to tackle the biggest and best improvements in this post. Let's get started!

New Themes & Updated Visuals

Perhaps the most noticeable changes with 6.5 are the multitude of visual improvements. We are so excited to introduce dark mode and light mode, as well as a redesigned and modernized classic view! This is the first step of many in a continued effort to make ServiceMonster not only the most powerful software of its kind, but also the best looking. This update includes other various visual improvements all across the software, some of which we will cover below.

The redesigned classic view (above)
The all-new light theme (above)
The all-new dark theme (above)

New Home Page View

We've completely redesigned the home page. Now, see your most important company data, stay up-to-date on the latest ServiceMonster news, and view each training course all from one page.

The new home page has 6 or 8 tiles visible, depending on your screen size

"Job" is Now "Appointment"

It often has been difficult for us to convey the difference between a job and an order. An order within ServiceMonster is WHAT is being done, whereas a job was simply the time blocked on the schedule for each trip to complete that order. To help illustrate the difference, think about a situation where you are cleaning a rug in your own shop rather than in the home. You could have a scheduled event to pick up the rug, time dedicated to cleaning the rug marked on the schedule, and another scheduled event to drop off the rug. One order, three different events.  

Moving forward we will now be calling these scheduled events "appointment" rather than "job." To alleviate any confusion, we are changing the term “job” throughout the software to be “appointment” (or “appt” if an abbreviation is necessary).

New Dashboards

The home page has multiple new dashboards to give you quicker access to your data. We’ve also added new dashboards on the Leads, Accounts, Orders, Scheduling, and Marketing sections to give you easily digestible & targeted data based on each specific area.

An example of the new dashboards found on the Accounts page (above)

An example of the new dashboards found on the Orders page (above)

Navigation Menu Overhaul

The navigation menu has had a massive makeover! The collapsed view gives the menu hover functionality so that you can instantly access any section of the software in one click. The expanded view gives you easier to read menu titles as well as more detailed expandable sub-menus.

This image shows the expanded navigation menu mode (above)

This image shows the collapsed navigation menu mode with hoverable sub-menus (above)

In-App Training

We know that there's a lot to learn within ServiceMonster. To aid with that learning process, we are now offering in-app training lessons that will slowly walk through the various sections of the software. These 1-to-2 minute long lessons are then grouped into larger courses so that you can track your progress and continue your ServiceMonster education.

Additionally, there will be a full course dedicated to all of the 6.5 changes. Plus, every new release moving forward will also have dedicated training materials so that you can take advantage of the new features right away!

In-app training will be accessible from the user dropdown (pictured above), as well as in the home page "Training" panel and in the "Home" submenu in the main navigation menu

The Training panel on the home page gives you a visual indicator of your progress (pictured above)

The actual lessons page is where you can find all of the courses and lessons that we offer (pictured above)

Updated Grids

Grids have had a makeover, with some new default views and a new “advanced options” toggle.  Now you can customize each grid via the advanced options and those changes will “stick.” Or, simply just enjoy a cleaner default view! The choice is all yours.

Marketing Wizard

The all-new Marketing Wizard is here to make building campaigns much, much simpler! Create an email, letter, call, or export list quickly with built-in campaigns and a step-by-step walkthrough of the campaign process. Those of you that have more advanced chops can still create any campaign from scratch.

Drip campaigns will be added to the marketing wizard in the future as well!

The beginning of the Marketing Wizard (above)

Order Screen Improvements

We’ve beefed up the bulk add items process and made it the primary way to add your products and services to an order. Those of you that prefer to add items one at a time on the primary order screen can still do so.

More order updates coming soon!

The new Bulk Add Line Items screen (above)

New Account

Quickly adding an account is easier than ever. Use the "+ Account" button to open a modified version of the Quick Add to enter in all basic account information and scan your account list for potential duplicates. Keep your data clean!

The new account screen (above)

... And So Much More!

This release is packed full of many other improvements, fixes, and new features. Like we've been saying, it's seriously massive! Please contact us if you have any questions or need help understanding a new feature or change that you're seeing. Be on the lookout for full release notes soon!

Also, don't forget:

The 6.5 Release Live Webinar

Join us Thursday, March 26th at 5:00 pm PST for a live webinar showcasing all of the new features and improvements in 6.5! A recording will be available sometime following the webinar. Make sure to register here.

ServiceMonster News
The GROSSEST Carpet Cleaning Wastewater Videos

Most of us have seen those super satisfying cleaning videos that are all over Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok. Whether it's a pressure washer showing us how clean a sidewalk really can be, or a carpet cleaner totally transforming a living room so it looks new again, we love seeing the results of a good cleaning. But where does that filth go? And HOW dirty were those carpets actually? We wanted to find out, so we went straight to the source: Carpet cleaning professionals.

To make things a little more fun, we decided to run a contest called "Grossology", with the winner receiving a PP5000 Pet Urine Detection Light Kit from Army Chemical. The requirements for entering the contest were simple: Show us the absolute grossest carpet cleaning wastewater from one of your jobs. After two weeks of receiving submissions, and a round of voting by the staff here at ServiceMonster, we have a winner.

Congratulations to Pure Dry Carpet Care for submitting the grossest video! There's not much to say about the video besides... it's really, really gross. Check it out here:

If you can make it through that one, we chose 2 runner-ups who we felt deserved recognition for their submissions.

The first runner-up is Cascade Cleaning Services, with this video showing wastewater being drained into a toilet. Yep, pretty nasty. Check out the video here:

Our second runner-up in the Grossology contest is Christopher's Chem-Dry. In the caption, they explain that these particular carpets were soaked in pet urine. Watch their submission here:

It's eye-opening to see how truly dirty many carpets are. The great thing about these types of videos is that they show exactly how important and necessary it is to get your carpets cleaned. To all carpet cleaners reading this: Record this type of content. Show your customers. Use it for marketing. The before-and-after photos and videos are great, but supplement those with a picture or video showing just how filthy the carpets were. The vast majority of people aren't aware of how desperately their carpets need to be cleaned. So, show them!

Thank you to all of the carpet cleaners who submitted videos for the Grossology contest. We appreciate each and every one of you for taking the time to show us the grossness that you see every day! If you haven't tried out ServiceMonster, you can learn more and sign up for a free trial here. We'd love to help you reach your business goals for 2020.

Until next time!

Carpet Cleaning
5 Easy Repeat Business Strategies

Did you know that it costs on average over 5 times more to attract new customers than it does to keep your current ones? How about the fact that selling to existing customers is drastically more successful than selling to new customers (60-70% success rate for existing customers vs. 5-20% success rate for new customers)?

Successful businesses understand that their most profitable customers are their current client base. Your business has already spent good money to convince your customers to use your cleaning services. If you’re not taking full advantage of the hard work you have done by selling and servicing your clients, then you’re missing out on some very real profits. Research shows that by increasing your client retention (the number of customers that use your services again) by 5%, you can increase your profits by 25% to 95%.

Again... this is crucial for the long-term success of your business. To illustrate this point, a carpet cleaning company conducted a survey at a home trade show and asked home owners to recall the name of the last carpet cleaning company they used. Less than 1% of those who stated they were satisfied with their cleaning could recall the company name. If your customers can’t remember your name, how are they going to get ahold of you when they need additional cleaning? There are many ways you can help to ensure that your customers will call you again next time, instead of calling your competition.

1. Reminders

Reminders serve two very important purposes. First, they let the customer know that you are a professional, detailed-oriented company. Second, it reminds them that they need to be serviced again (by YOU). You can send reminder postcards, letters, emails or whatever else you want, but always try to add that personal touch by customizing it (use their name, last service date, pet's name, etc.).

2. Additional Service Marketing

If you offer more than one type of service, it’s a great idea to market to customers who have already used one of your other offerings. For instance, if a customer has you clean their carpets, send them some sort of marketing communication (letter, card, email, etc.) offering your tile and grout services 2 or 3 months after the job. This serves a dual purpose: It will help keep your name in front of them, and it also keeps them from going to another company simply because they were unaware of your tile cleaning service.

3. Newsletters

Send newsletters quarterly, or even monthly. This will keep your name and phone number in front of them all year. Be sure to add some sort of content that offers them something of interest. Make them want to read it, or at the very least just notice it. Newsletters also serve as a great way to connect with your local community.

4. Trinkets

Calendars, magnets, pens and emergency contact lists are great trinkets you can leave behind to help them remember you and keep your phone number easy to find.

5. Social Media Engagement

This is a huge one in the digital age: Encourage your customers to interact with you on social media. Now, the vast majority of adults use social media on a daily basis (check out some statistics here). As a business owner who is active on social media, this is an incredible opportunity for you to stay engaged with those past customers. Even just posting regularly will ensure that they see your name and your content on a far more regular basis than ever before.

None of these marketing strategies are secrets. In fact, you’ve probably identified the ones you promised yourself to do and have not completed. The education of WHAT to do is only half of the battle. You actually have to DO IT for it to be effective. Very few of us wants to come home after a hard day of work and sift through last year's invoices, compile a list of clients to market to, and create customized letters, post cards, or emails for each one of them.

The good news is that you don’t have to.

One of ServiceMonster's greatest strengths, our automated marketing features, gives you the ability to perform most of these tasks effortlessly. By creating marketing campaigns with ServiceMonster, you can generate letters, labels, calls, and emails which are targeted and customized. With a few clicks, you're off and running, your marketing is done, and you can spend more time with your newly found profits (and of course, your family).

If you haven't tried ServiceMonster, you can get started with a free 14-day trial here.

The Science Behind Your Real Repeat Rate

The Correct Calculation

A fair number of our clients calculate their repeat rate incorrectly. Part of our training process includes an in-depth look at your marketing efforts. One of the items we focus in is your repeat rate. Here is how ServiceMonster does it: Take the number of customers you have serviced in the last two years (C), then find how many of them used you more than once (R).

(R/C) x 100 = Repeat Rate %

The Incorrect Calculation

Most of our clients will calculate their repeat rate like this: Take the number of customers you serviced this month (c). Then find how many of them used you more than once (r).

(r/c) x 100 = repeat rate %

The main problem here is the length of time sampled. The rate can vary widely depending on how successful or unsuccessful your prospecting efforts are. Additionally, the two year timeline represents your true number of active clients. ServiceMonster research shows that getting a client to return after 2 years (specifically when they used carpet cleaning services) is more expensive than obtaining a new client.

Why you care

There are only 3 ways to increase your revenue:

1. Increase your prices

2. Offer more products and services

3. Service more customers

For most companies, servicing more customers is the quickest and least risky way to increase your revenue. The most successful cleaners have several things in common. In terms of financial stability, ServiceMonster shows us customer retention is the most important aspect of your business. If your repeat rate is under 50%, you are losing more customers than you are keeping and need to make up the loss through additional new sales.

Take this example: Let’s say both Company A and Company B start a cleaning company. They both pull in 20 new customers a month and have an average invoice of $250.00. Company A has a repeat rate of 25% and company B has a repeat rate of 60%.

Company A Company B
New Customers/Month 20 20
Average Invoice $250 $250
Repeat Rate 25% 60%
After 36 Months
Customer Base 640 1,200
Annual New Revenue $60,000 $60,000
Annual Recurring Revenue $20,000 $90,000
Annual Total Revenue $80,000 $150,000

In addition to the increase in base revenue, you will also reduce your expenses. Keeping your name in front of your client is far less expensive than trying to get a new customer. Not to mention that your cross sale potential increases radically if your current clients are aware of ALL the products and services you offer.

How to increase your repeat business

First, it’s time for a change. Rest assured, you will produce the same results if you make the same mistakes. There are many ways to do a better job of staying in front of your customers. Here are the common numbers we see everyday.

Repeat Rate Based on Direct Mail

0% – 15% No customer retention campaigns.
16% – 30% Inconsistent customer retention campaigns such as the occasional seasonal mailer, random newsletters, and random reminders. (2 to 3 mailings each year per customer.)
31% – 50% Consistent generic mailings such as newsletters and/or some basic reminders. (4-12 mailings each year per customer.)
51% – 80% Consistent targeted mailings such as ServiceMonster’s FillMySchedule (FMS). (4 mailings per year per customer.)
Over 80% Repeat rate of over 80% are usually urban legends or the result of an improper calculation. A few of out customers have repeat rates this high as a result of consistent client campaigns from all channels (email, direct mail, and phone) and the correct alignment of the planets.

If you fall into the first two ranges above, you seriously need to reevaluate what you doing for your current clients. If you are in the 30% - 50% range, doing just a little better will have significant results. Sending targeted direct mail pieces on an ongoing basis will improve your repeat rate rapidly. A simple card stating “Dear [First Name], it’s been 9 months since your last cleaning” is all it takes.

The hard part is actually doing it. Gathering the list of clients you serviced between 9 and 10 months ago, performing a mail merge to personalize the messages, and printing on the media are just a few of the problems you need to overcome. Then there’s the stuffing, sealing, stamping, and delivery to the post office.

ServiceMonster can help you with this in two ways. The marketing engine will make list gathering and mail merge simple. Then you can print and mail your reminders with a few clicks. Most of our clients use FillMySchedule and completely automate the process. We can gather the list, print, stuff, stamp, seal, and deliver your cards directly to the post office. Your thank you cards and reminder cards will never be late again. Consistent campaigns for consistent results. Our customers are averaging an 8 to 1 return with the campaigns we automate for them.

One simple way ServiceMonster can increase your repeat rate with just a few clicks.

Release Notes v6.4.7.5


Numerous tweaks and fixes to Subscription Manager (5789, 5791, 5796, 5842, 6498)

Added vertical scroll bars to Orders and Marketing Dashboards when narrow (6198)

Fixed an error when completing an activity on the schedule via the right-click context menu (6396)

Restored the Audit button for Professional and Enterprise accounts (6478)

Fixed an error creating a new activity from the Panel View (6410)

Fixed an error with Route Packets not starting at the correct time by default (6475)

Fixed an issue where some pop-up windows populated partially off-screen (6497)

Fixed an error where social media tags where not displaying correctly when sent as part of a Job Reminder email. (6513)

Fixed an error when clicking the Download Card Template button on the FMS Campaign page (6530)


Added the Laborer security role (6197, 6391, 6022)

Release Notes