In architectural terms, a joist is a supporting piece made of materials like wood, steel or concrete that helps hold the walls, ceiling and floor of a building together. So when Brendon Sedo and Justin Kathan created job management apps for contractors and named their new company Joist, it was a perfect fit.
Joist allows contractors to create on-site estimates, send invoices, manage projects and record payments from anywhere. With iPhone, iPad and web apps, the company has grown its base to several thousand contractors in less than 5 months — and this is in an industry notorious for being slow to adopt new technology.
From the start, the Joist team put huge emphasis on customer service. The Joist team uses Desk.com for the Knowledge Base and to centralize communications with customers across all channels. They also use Hipmob in their iOS apps and on their website to respond rapidly to customers, no matter the issue.
Been using Desk since beta
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="503"] Joist Support Center[/caption]
“Using Desk.com was a great way to direct users to instructions and organize content,” said Brendon Sedo, Joist co-founder.
From the early days of Joist, the team used Desk.com to collect feedback and help users quickly find answers. The Desk.com CMS made it easy to quickly put together new articles, and the Desk.com universal inbox allowed the team to handle inbound support queries from their helpdesk, email, and social channels. They had most of their needs covered.
Getting Feedback Immediately
Capitalizing on the contracting industry's reputation for adopting technology slowly, Joist created solid organic demand by putting out a top-flight product. However, going live in the app store brought a few surprises — good and bad. The challenge, as many app developers know, is users are quick to take their complaints to the app store's reviews and ratings when something goes wrong. Joist chose Hipmob to meet this challenge and used the Desk.com and Hipmob integration to add in-app live chat to their customer support communications.
"We had an issue with email delivery, knew it was a problem within 10 minutes and were able to fix it right away," said co-founder, Brendon Sedo.
By using in-app live chat, the Joist team is able to quickly identify bugs and downtime, and address customer's concerns before they result in a negative review. They learn about bugs, errors or specific issues about a customer’s account rapidly and can do what's required to address it. This strategy has been rewarded — the Joist app has earned a great reputation in the appstore, with the most critical reviews coming shortly after launch, and stellar reviews since. Seventy-nine percent of their app ratings are four or five stars.
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="503"] Joist ratings and reviews[/caption]
Using Hipmob Helped Reduce Support Costs By 70%
The Joist team uses the Hipmob + Desk integration to ensure that chat conversations with contractors are sent to Desk.com, where they're synced to that contractor's record. As a result, they know that when they search for a customer's history in Desk, they have access to the entire record, not just those sent by email or social channels.
"Hipmob has nearly eliminated our support call volume by allowing us to provide our users with real-time support in our mobile apps. This allows us to focus on building a great product, and gets our users the support answers they need sooner," said Kathan.
After implementing Hipmob, the Joist team reduced support phone calls by 70%. This has freed up the team’s time and allowed them to focus more fully on improving the product more quickly, and onboarding more contractors to the platform.
The Big Picture!
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="353"] Joist on an ipad[/caption]
Ultimately, estimates and invoicing are merely the first step. Joist's goal is to become the tool that helps contractors run entire operations, including sourcing and purchasing building materials, gaining leads, performance reporting, and more. The forward-thinking customer-support strategy helps build a great deal of trust and loyalty in the contractor community, which affects the bottom line in ways big and small, but always positively.
At Hipmob, we're super-responsive to feedback, and I'd personally welcome your thoughts and suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org