For Mary Ellen Krom, owner of TradeWind Irrigation in Newington, CT, keeping her loyal employees busy this summer was a priority. So when she saw that her field service software provider, HindSite Software, was partnering with Hunter Industries to insert professional emails promoting Hunter’s Hydrawise controllers into HindSite, she saw an opportunity to do just that.
With over three decades of experience in the irrigation industry, TradeWind has grown to 18 employees and over 4000 customers. For Krom, keeping her employees busy was a priority. “With the exception of our two newest people, our guys have been with us almost since the beginning. So I mainly used the templates to drum up business, keep all my guys on payroll rather than laying them off.“
TradeWind began installing Hydrawise controllers on all their new install jobs in 2018 because it made their job easier. “We can actually help the customer a little bit better over the phone without having to send a technician out to just program their timer. Most customers don’t really like paying for a service call for us to go out and do that,” Krom said.
As a result, they’d installed about 150 Hydrawise controllers for new installs and another handful to service customers who’d requested them.
"I mainly used the templates to drum up business, keep all my guys on payroll rather than laying them off."
Once the decision was made to promote Hydrawise to their existing customer base, Krom found sending the email to be extremely easy. “It literally took seconds. You just go in and do a mass email. The process of sending the email was fabulous. I use the templates a lot for other things, too. So, it’s just seconds and you can generate revenue.”
Krom sent the email to roughly 3000 people and also placed phone calls to any customer without an email address. She expected to get somewhere from 30 to 40 responses as a result.
"The process of sending the email was fabulous. I use the templates a lot for other things, too. So, it’s just seconds and you can generate revenue.”
The result was much better: Within three weeks of sending the Hydrawise promotional email, TradeWind had already installed more than she expected. “I have probably installed 50 to 60 controllers and have quite a few more on the books for the next couple of weeks.”
For an email that took a small amount of time to send, Krom saw a significant amount of revenue. “My rough estimate is about $25,000 of revenue from those installs. Plus, like I said, it keeps my guys working. I’d rather keep them out on the road than lay them off.”
Not only that, but it gives TradeWind a competitive advantage in that they can now deliver better customer service. “I’ve got all the notifications on for all my customers. I go in and check those and it's a simple thing. It pops up on the screen, I see who’s not connected to the internet. And if they aren’t, I’ll call them and say ‘You need to reboot.’ To me, that’s customer service.”
Customers also appreciate the convenience of the Hydrawise controllers. “Some just want the technology because they think it’s cool. We have a large population of people that we service multiple homes for them because we have a shoreline community. A lot of people want to be able to just monitor their northern house when they’re on the beach.”
Ease of use is another selling point. “They think Hydrawise is easier because they’re really point and click and they can change things instantaneously. With our older customers, they can’t afford to have a service call to just come out and see what’s going on with the timer. So the way we market it is ‘You don’t have to go up and down the stairs. We can do this for you.’”
Krom also appreciates the feedback she’s already received from Hydrawise customers. “They’ll call and email me and say ‘Oh, I love this! So great.’ When you show them the reports that tell them why this system is not going on, you say 'This is the beauty part of this timer. It saves you water. So it saves you on your water bill.’ And they really appreciate that and they’re like 'Wow, that’s even more cool than I thought.’”
Krom recommends HindSite customers not only take advantage of the Hydrawise templates, but also the email functionality in general. “I would say definitely use it. It’s just a no-brainer because you’re not wasting payroll or having people calling to see if somebody wants to purchase something or somebody who wants to set an appointment or whatever the case may be. And it literally takes seconds.”
“My rough estimate is about $25,000 of revenue from those installs. Plus, like I said, it keeps my guys working. I’d rather keep them out on the road than lay them off.”