About to pull the trigger and get responsibid


#1

Hello, so I am super close to purchasing responsibid. I am going into it knowing there is pros and cons! I have searched the threads and found some are quite a bit older so I was looking for a recent one. If you are using responsibid tell me what you’re currently dealing with on the pro side and on the con side. I personally am just looking to save time and gas on estimates and book jobs when I’m not even doing anything. however I am deeply concerned of getting in arguments with customers that if I told them it was $250 to clean their windows in an in-person quote they would hire me but because responsibid told them $210 and now I have to tell them $250 I’m a jerk and they’re going to go tell their friends about me, even though next to the website it will say this is a rough ballpark will be confirmed in person. Thoughts . . . . .


#2

@Denver13 I am assuming you are a solo operation.

ResponsiBid will save you time and gas. If you average the savings it will be worth the loss of $40 here and there. It’s the same as if you did an estimate in person and you forgot to carry the 1 when doing some math or forgot to count a window. You make a decision… do I tell this customer it’s $XX more or do I eat it and make them happy. At least with ResponsiBid you cannot make math mistakes due to fatigue.

Main thing you have to remember is that you will need to spend days or weeks tweaking ResponsiBid to your liking. @Responsibid are awesome at helping and getting you to use the software to it’s fullest.

ResponsiBid is worth EVERY penny just for the follow-up automation.


#3

That’s right because the customer makes the math mistakes because they don’t know what’s considered a pane. lol

Responsibid is great for the presentation of the estimate. I’ve noticed the automatons are good, but not dynamic. So if you get a reply from a customer from an automated email sent to them, there’s no logic board behind the emails, they’ll keep sending the next automated email in the line up… So there has to be manual replies, which get’s cumbersome.

Also in my market a majority of people will not take the time to walk around their house and count up the panes. And the graphics that Responsibid uses confuses people on what is considered a pane, and the number to type in. So they’ll see it and call you for an estimate or move on to the next provider that will give them an estimate that takes very little of their time and effort.

If you think about it, people are used to a service provider coming out to their house and doing all of the estimating work, and just explaining to the customer their different options. Now all of the responsibility is on the potential customer to do and it drains people. Responsibid is geared toward helping the service provider MUCH more than the potential customer. I’m not saying to not get it, just understand that if your market is like mine, it won’t eliminate your involvement in the bidding process. I used it to send bids and follow up, and although it saves on drive time, it isn’t like having a “second employee working 24/7”.

Curt, the owner is great and super helpful. Best of luck! It’s a great software!


#4

Excellent points @Frozone. We only use ResponsiBid for phone estimates. We do not utilize the Online Bid form. We try to structure our phone script questions so that the customer knows exactly how to count.

We’ll also try to view Zillow and Google to make sure we’re getting correct information from the customer. If there is any confusion then we tell them we’ll come out to do an in-person estimate.

For us it’s definitely worth it due to volume of residential estimates. Driving to each one is something we decided against for now.


#5

I had always been on the fence about using Responsibid for the online bid feature, but I decided to give it another go just recently.

I put it on my website on Saturday. Figured I wouldn’t get any traffic from it because its the winter here in NJ, and the phone is absolutely silent. I was kind of shocked that by Sunday afternoon I had 2 new Responsibids in my inbox… during a snowstorm followed by the coldest day of the year. Both want service in the spring, and both came in after business hours, when the phone would be silenced anyway.

I’m sold, seriously. Keeping traffic from falling off after hours and correcting missed opportunities is my focus this winter, and Responsibid proved itself to be a valuable tool in the arsenal for this in just a few hours after launching it.


#6

Oh man, I could never use that in my area, too many variables. We had the wettest year on record in 2018, I had to reschedule about a third of our customers. Many are VERY elderly and barely know how to use a smartphone.

I think it would work for places that have similar houses with no ‘surprises’ and good weather, and with companies that have employees. I don’t have those luxuries.


#7

What area?


#8

I definitely understand that if the average estimate takes me an hour at $70 an hour which is usually my average pull on residential plus gas. This would mean an estimate essentially cost me $75. So if there is total of two windows off for a total of $25 I’m still up $50 if that makes sense. The problem with this is if the customer is dramatically off with the information they provided. Also if they enter in 18 windows and you show up and they have 22 and you just honor that quote you know how easy it is to tell their friends yeah I actually had 22 and he only charged me for the 18. Pretty soon everybody is going on to your site knowing they can not put the right amount of windows in. Also the first cleaning I will save time doing an estimate but when they call me back after that if I’m still honoring the wrong info they put in then I’m losing money in the future.


#9

I think what a lot of people are missing is the fact that Responsibid gets you a good foot in the door.

We always need to get someone on the phone before we book, and this is a good time to double check counts, condition etc. I would assume that your saying that there are “too many variables” would mean that you don’t do estimates over the phone either? We do 90+% of our bids over the phone currently, and are able to get close to correct on most jobs while managing expectations through the phone call.


#10

We had the wettest weather ever on record in 2018 and we have lots and lots of custom unusual houses in my area. I also only have one employee. Im pretty sure Responsibid was designed to be used for every window cleaner in every area.

I don’t even use most of the features on Responsibid, but I couldn’t imagine not having it now that I’ve been using it for several years. It is as important to my business as quickbooks and The Customer Factor are.


#11

Exaaaaaaactly!


#12

Yep, 82 inches of rain this year in my area, and most of our work is on either very old (1800’s) homes or custom builds.


#13

I will definitely not be choosing their pane method because customers think they are being screwed. When I was young in my business I used to offer per pane pricing and oh my it caused a ton of problems, I actually don’t know how anybody does it. I would try to explain to people pane to a window cleaner is like square footage to a carpet cleaner. You can’t call a carpet cleaner say I have five rooms what’s the quote. Lol for some reason people understand square footage or why a steak is charged per pound another example I would give them but they don’t understand a pane in windows. If I purchase responsibid I will use their option to charge customers per window not per pane. It is very easy to select a double-hung window and charge $12 instead of putting a per pane double-hung window and telling them $6 per pane on responsibid.


#14

Exactly. Most customers tell me they have “22 windows or so” only to discover the actual count is 36, etc. Every window is like a rough diamond, some are flawless and take a couple minutes to shine, others are coated in deck sealant or artillery fungus, or are painted shut so bad the storms simply cannot be removed. I went to one house where they had something like 20 cats, and the air was literally toxic with ammonia.

Again, too many variables. Its crucial in my business to physically see the house in person.


#15

We have had this on our website for years. Pulled it down last Saturday because I want to update it, but it has been a great help for phone bids over the years.


#16

So in my city I can actually get almost anywhere in 15 minutes maybe 20 minutes. That said during my busy seasons estimating still takes a lot of time. However I do not do phone quotes for several reasons? You cannot see the window styles, exterior landscaping, how dirty the windows are, furniture inside, if you even want to work for that customer, and you certainly can’t give them a whole rundown on the phone about how it doesn’t include the removal of hard water damage or post-construction after you just ask them for a phone, email, address and five minutes of their time to get window information. I personally feel like phone calls need to be short and quick nobody wants to gab on the phone for 10 minutes while you go off about water stains post-construction different window styles etc etc. Now I understand with responsibid you can’t see some of those factors I mentioned but at least they can enter in window style and some might take the time to actually count when they enter that information in as opposed to on the phone they just blurt out a number.


#17

I think that is the importance of having a paragraph that states in huge letters and maybe even a video this is a general quote to get you in the neighborhood it does not mean this is your quote. Unfortunately some people wouldn’t watch that video, read the print or heaven forbid their information is way off and you tell them it’s going to be $150 more and they go wow that’s a hell of a ball park. Lol


#18

“You cannot see the window styles, exterior landscaping, how dirty the windows are, furniture inside, if you even want to work for that customer, and you certainly can’t give them a whole rundown on the phone about how it doesn’t include the removal of hard water damage or post-construction”

Thats why you ask questions. People are generally more than happy to talk to you.

“I personally feel like phone calls need to be short and quick nobody wants to gab on the phone for 10 minutes while you go off about water stains post-construction different window styles etc etc.”

This is an assumption on your part. This is 2019, and people want instant gratification.

“So in my city I can actually get almost anywhere in 15 minutes maybe 20 minutes. That said during my busy seasons estimating still takes a lot of time.”

… and by the time you get to them, a company like mine already has them scheduled with a deposit down.

Not trying to say that what you do at your company is wrong, but I know what we do here works well, saves a ton of time and gas, and makes everyone’s lives easier.


#19

Right. I usually get a call from a potential, saying I’m “highly recommended” and they want a bid. I tell them it can be done one if two ways, a general estimate by talking it through over the phone but will need to “give an exact price when I get there”, or I can physically go out there and count them up when I can in a day or two. The latter is a bit risky as the tire kickers will call another company that gives them a fixed price on the phone, which usually ends up with a disappointed customer as they won’t do screen repair, screen deposit removal, or anything ‘extra’ they ask for like shower doors or mirrors.

I pride myself on showing up in person, but we all know it isn’t easy.


#20

We tell people that their bid is based on the info that they provided us, and we will do a full window count when we get there and give a firm price before we start.

Also, we double check the homes and window counts against Google and Bing Maps. If there’s anything way off, we’ll give them a call back and ask if they’re only having a part of the house done because there seems to be a lot more glass than what was quoted.

I’ve had 2 quotes in particular that were off by over 100 windows. We lost both of them with our follow up, but its better than showing up with 2 hours scheduled and the homeowner expecting their house to be done from $250 when its actually $1700 lol.