Process Changes You’ll Need For Storm Damage Restoration (From a Million-Dollar Contractor Who Knows)

There’s no doubt that you achieved the level of success you have in your contracting business because you’re a hard worker who knows what he’s doing. You’ve been around the block a few times, learned some tough lessons, made the right changes and not only survived, but thrived. And you know what works for your company. Everyone has their job, their roles and responsibilities, and you have a system in place to make sure the office runs smoothly.

But now it’s time to take your business to the next level. Perhaps you’ve been earning $500K, $750K a year in gross revenue and you’re looking to take it to the $1M level. What does this mean to the processes and systems you already have in place in your business? Are they going to overload and breakdown from the extra work? Do you think you’ll need to hire additional staff to handle the extra load, and worry that this will eat into your (potentially higher) revenue?

This is exactly the scenario I’ve seen played out when my clients consider adding storm damage restoration to their portfolio of work. But as I tell them, you don’t need to worry about overloading your staff or having to make additional hires if you put the right processes in place across the board. There are specific workflows that are required for SDR that will create success and lead to higher revenue if implemented correctly. These are changes that will need to be made across all channels of your business, but if done right, can take your business to the next level you want to be.

The Sales Process 

The first thing you will need to do is make some tweaks to your sales process. SDR jobs are going to require different interactions and relationships than traditional jobs. In the traditional interaction, you typically go into the field, discover the problem, and then present the solution and the price: a Measure Call and a Sales Call (unless you “One-Call” close, where these are combined). SDR jobs are going to have a Measure Call of sorts, but it’s really an inspection for storm damage. If damage is discovered, the first “close” is really to file the insurance claim. 

Once the claim is filed, there will be an adjuster meeting. Then the second “close” is to get the client to give you the Scope of Loss and the initial insurance check. Your process will need to include effective means to track the customers in different buckets – in different parts of the pipeline – as well as a way to organize the workflow in such a manner that you can easily convert the job to a retail job should the client’s insurance company not approve the work as storm damage.

Production Process 

Your traditional processes from Sales to Production are all going to be applicable. You will need a good scope transfer (so that Production knows what they are doing), and you’ll still need to order material, schedule crews, etc. The only process you’ll need to modify is the final walk through and creating the Certificate of Completion. Most insurance companies require a form or document that, in some cases, is signed by the homeowner, acknowledging the work is 100% complete. With this form, the insurance company will release the final amount of money (the Deprection) to the homeowner and, ultimately, to you. The COCs are going to vary from insurance company to insurance company, so having a generic process in place that includes pictures, customer signature, and all of the applicable information, will make that process much easier.

Back Office Processes  

At this point, you probably think that you will need a whole new team in the back office to handle this work. However, just like Production, only some very minor tweaks are necessary.  Just like any other customer, you will need a way to manage invoices and payments (Quickbooks, Freshbooks, CRM, etc). You will need a process of getting the COC to the insurance company. I put this on my administrative team but your Sales Reps or Production team could also handle this.  

It would also be helpful to have a CRM that organizes your customers in such a way that you know each of their statuses and the workflows that define the movement criteria from stage to stage. For example, my jobs move from Production to Administrative after “All Work is Complete,” which is the bucket in my CRM. When that happens, emails go out to the Sales Rep and Production to submit the COC to the administrative team.  My Admin gets the warranty document and thank you letter generated as well as a prompt to call the customer and confirm all work is done. Production gets a prompt to submit completion photos and other required items.

Like any business, the customer experience is going to make or break you in SDR. There are no shortage of contractors in most areas, but there are very few reliable and consistent contractors doing SDR. If you do it right, it can translate to the next step in your business. Just make sure you adapt to the way storm damage restoration work is done. Processes that account for potential confusion in the sales/production transition, processes that allow for easy follow up and feedback, and processes that allow for clear communications between the field team, client and insurance company are all going to be critical to your success in building your insurance work.

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