When the COVID-19 pandemic started, roofing contractors were forced to turn to technology to keep their livelihoods afloat and keep employees working. Roofers had 2 major pain points – Customer retention & acquisition and ensuring the safety of their employees.
On the customer front, companies needed to maintain relationships with existing customers, and more so, continue to convert prospects while following safety protocols. When it came to staff, roofing companies were dedicated to keeping their employees safe and assuring they felt comfortable performing their roles within the company as they always have.
The answer came in the form of technology.
Online meeting tools and instant messaging became the norm when tackling both challenges. Meetings with customers could be conducted virtually, and the same strategy worked for employee communication. Contractors were able to follow social distancing guidelines assuring the safety of everyone.
Additionally, quotes and inspections can now be done in a completely contact-less manner with the use of drones, satellite images, and virtual platforms. Images are captured by the drone or satellite in the form of pictures and videos, which can then be viewed by both the contractor and quotes reviewed by the client completely virtually. Once the Roofing Contractor has been engaged by a homeowner, There is limited need for any face to face interaction with clients, therefore further limiting risk.
What to look out for
Although technology has augmented the roofing industry, it doesn’t come without some risk. Cybercriminals have increased their online schemes ten-fold since the beginning of the pandemic and experts believe the worst is yet to come if preventative measures are not taken. With widespread reports of data breaches, cyber hijacking, wire fraud, and phishing scams throughout the roofing industry, it is imperative that actions be taken sooner than later. These challenges do not come lightly especially for smaller or fledgling businesses.
Identifying your vulnerabilities is the first step. Whether it’s the server at your company’s headquarters or on the computers of staffers’ home offices, make sure that a strong firewall is implemented. In conjunction with the protective barrier, ensure monitoring daily activity becomes a habit. Mitigate your risk and don’t think that just because there are precautions in place you are not susceptible to cybercriminals. Consider using an online platform to track Customer Management, Accounts Receivable/Payable, or ERP other systems.
As an extra level of protection, consider ‘cyber-liability’ insurance which covers financial losses and rebuilding your network should a data breach happen. This type of insurance will help get you back up and running after an attack.
Contractors have partners watching their backs. This month GAF is planning to release software that will offer dozens of service features. The program incorporates a balance of tools to create a smooth flow from the sales process straight through to the final billing, all of which can be accomplished virtually.
It is apparent that not only will this use of technology become a permanent fixture within businesses, but will be expanded upon to change the way things are done permanently. With or without a pandemic, the technology train was destined to happen. Our current situation just gave things a little push. The strides we have made open doors to so much more. In the end, what we are learning and how we are implementing and embracing these advances will increase efficiency and even profits for roofing contractors.