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Bringing Tech to Home Service Pros | Adi Azaria from Workiz

When we think of the digital technology boom, we often think of financial, entertainment media, data services, and other enterprise-level industries as the major beneficiaries.

But information technology has the ability to benefit the locksmiths, repairmen, electricians, and landscapers as well. As a former locksmith himself, Adi Azaria understands the need.

Transport routing, communications management, invoicing… much of it was done on paper, and it meant a lot of wasted time. “Everything was very manual back in the days,” Adi says. “Surprisingly, 20 years later, it’s still very manual for about 70% of the market.”

So Adi (who goes by Didi), founded Workiz with his two partners. Workiz now brings the sophistication of 21st century information technology to the working class service industries.

On this edition of UpTech Report, Didi tells us about how his early experience in the field informed his vision, and how this technology is helping the workers in vans save time and operate smarter.

More information: https://www.workiz.com/


Adi Azaria is the CEO of Workiz, a San Diego-based field service management and communication platform that serves locksmith, junk removal, carpet cleaning, garage door repair, appliance repair, and other on-demand service businesses.

Business owners leverage Workiz’s complete cloud-based solution to manage and automate every aspect of their businesses, whether in the office or in the field, 24/7. With Workiz, businesses can take full control of calls, scheduling, dispatching, estimates, invoices, and reports, all in one place. Workiz enables business owners to track and monitor every job and manage all communications between technicians, dispatchers, and clients. Service businesses using Workiz get more jobs done in less time, increase revenue, and grow faster.

Before Joining Workiz as CEO,  Azaria co-founded Sisense, a leading business intelligence solution. Azaria received his BSc in Computer Science at the Interdisciplinary Center in Israel.

DISCLAIMER: Below is an AI generated transcript. There could be a few typos but it should be at least 90% accurate. Watch video or listen to the podcast for the full experience!

Adi Azaria 0:00
But eventually when you have a problem, like you know, your plumbing or your pipes are broken in your house is getting flooded right now. Guess what? You’re not gonna. I’m not gonna say the word you’re not going to check anybody right now. Is it gonna pick up the phone? When you get a call? Somebody’s gonna shout come here now.

Alexander Ferguson 0:22
Welcome to UpTech Report. This is our applied tech series. UpTech Report is sponsored by TeraLeap. Learn how to leverage the power of video at TeraLeap.io. Today I’m joined by my guest DiDi Azaria who’s based in Israel. He’s the CEO of Workiz, good to have you on Didi.

Unknown Speaker 0:38
Hi there, how are you today? I’m

Alexander Ferguson 0:40
doing good. I’m excited for conversation now your platform Workiz is all around helps field service businesses in their scheduling and management. So it’s a scheduling management software. And you’re focused on the service business areas of like locksmiths, junk removal, carpet cleaning, garage door repairs, appliance repair industries, all that whole space. So if you’re a CEO of a field service business, this might be a platform you’re going to want to check out. Now help me understand it. Where did the beginning the genesis of this idea begin? And what was the problem that you guys saw?

Adi Azaria 1:14
So being a locksmith, I mean, 20 years ago, myself, I mean, riding in traffic, awful traffic at four or five, I mean, LA is not is known for its great traffic, right. And I don’t know if I can say that, you know, but it’s not a public station. So let’s, let’s do that. I mean, you sit in the car, and you have nowhere to be and it’s like four hours driver. So you take a bottle, right? This is just a tiny example, all the challenges that the field service guy, the guy that actually serves your home, when you’re stressed when you you have no patience for them. But still, I mean, this is what I experienced entirely, right? There are millions of things like that. My partners, the founders of the company, Dan, and Eric has basically

had

the same experience just in a different city in San Diego. I mean, experiencing traffic experiencing, you know, paper maps, like the thomascook guides, right? They have a GPS once once we saw, you know, smartphones coming in, they had like four or five different phone numbers for each of the advertisements on the package, right, you need to make sure they’re charged, and you need to make sure that each phone has the right you know, vocal, basically you you pick up the phone is, Hey, this is San Diego, hey, this is LA, you need to figure it out, right? Everything is very manual, that back in the days, surprisingly, 20 years later, it’s still very manual for about 70% of the market. So if you’re a plumber, if your locksmith garage door doesn’t matter, most of the work is being done on pen and paper. And that’s, you know, this is

Alexander Ferguson 2:53
a lot of wasted time and effort. But when it comes down to that,

Adi Azaria 2:57
yeah, when you see guys that are holding older invoices in India, you know, shoe box, and when when the year comes to an end, and you need to pay your taxes or whatever, you need to start get over those invoices and, and suddenly, you figured out that you missing like 1000s of dollars and even just didn’t pay. We cannot see that happen. I mean, as a businessman, this is painful for me. And our goal is basically to tear this you know craps people to business people, without them even realizing that that’s the real magic of working.

Alexander Ferguson 3:31
Well, I think a lot of people they come into this maybe of doing a great job, and they’re like I can run a business now on this. But it’s it’s a whole nother mindset and effort to have to manage that. So what you’re trying to provide is is the business side sort of handles itself, like how much is it truly automated, and where’s the direction for that you guys are headed.

Adi Azaria 3:54
So we are a CRM, you know, in actual word CRM, but we’re unique here and because we see communication as, as the beginning and end of any job, so you cannot fix any plumbing issue without speaking to the customer first, or even having them you know, book you over the website, it doesn’t matter. It’s all different forms of communication. And understanding that we build Workiz as a communication and then the CRM platform. So they are married together. And every different bits and bytes where we use you know, you have a voicemail or you send an email, or you create a job, everything is attached to communication. And once we do that, we have easier life to maintain better customer relationships. And as a result, better reviews and vice versa, more customers, better customers and so on. It’s it’s the magic of communication, which has not gone I mean, even with all the chat apps these days, you know, people are using WhatsApp, Snapchat and so on. But eventually when you have a problem like you know, you’re playing Are your pipes are broken in your house is getting flooded right now, guess what you’re not gonna have. I’m not gonna say the word you’re not gonna chat. Anybody right now is going to pick up the phone. And you’re going to call somebody, you’re going to shout come here now, because you see your house destroyed. So this is what we do we serve the on demand markets, US and Canada mainly whether it’s your locksmith when you’re locked out of your house, or plumbing when you know, in a big disaster like this happens. In my case, it just, you know, a cockroach on the back, I’m going to call it pest control, I’m going to be really stressed about it get

Alexander Ferguson 5:35
those bugs begun, you touched on a great point, I think of what is the role of technology, right? Is it where to remove the human so we can’t talk to the person that we’re talking to bots or whatever. And people want to pick up the phone and call somebody but to help a business? like where’s the Space Technology supposed to be helping? Making? Like what would you say? Where’s the role? Do you think

Adi Azaria 5:58
maybe Uber is the best example Uber, Uber Eats and the other platforms is this. But we got used to you know, hit a bottom, you know, the the app and the taxi gets there immediately. But how many times? I mean, be honest with yourself how many times you actually call the driver and say I’m not here? I’m on the other side? Where are you man? I mean, I see why you die doing all these roundabouts. And communication is a crucial layer in our relationship. Even with all these automation, it happens when you’re the foot. It happens when you take a cabin and bicycles. I mean, you need to create to bring more technology to the what we call the nanotechnology markets. You need to make them more efficient, but in a human way. So eventually, if there is a driver, maybe autonomous cars will not pick up the phone, maybe I’m not sure it’s gonna be that great. Let’s see. You need to have somebody over the phone and you know vent a little bit or compliment them a little bit. It’s part of being a human, I guess,

Alexander Ferguson 6:59
a human interaction we need it is it’s a whole interesting conversation around the importance of communication is not going away and nor will it ever there potentially.

Adi Azaria 7:11
That’s a different form of in the transforms itself to more chats, we definitely more use more chats and phone system these days. Is it a different, you know, way to communicate? Definitely. Is it a revolution, probably probably the text messaging is a is an evolution, maybe all these emojis that happens these days are the evolution of that. I don’t know what’s going to be next. But it’s all forms of communication. And I don’t care about the vehicle too much. I care about the essence, the essence is me needing to speak with you to create something greater, even with an overdrive or the greater thing is me going to the body and you taking me there, man, we are like this synergy. And this is what

Alexander Ferguson 7:56
I mean when I say communication. If you had to provide a word of advice to a service based CEO of a field service business, in today’s world that they’re in, what kind of advice would you provide?

Adi Azaria 8:12
The single most important thing is customer service. You can be a lousy locksmith, you can be a lousy plumber, you cannot be a lousy customer service guy. Because once you do that doesn’t matter how great you are, nobody’s going to forgive you. You can have faults here and there, right? Like you can have these issues. I mean, we all have them I mean you’re not at your best or everyday. If you have a great customer service, you will be forgiven. Now these days reviews are the most powerful weapon that consumers have and they use it use it almost every day and usually they use it for the bedside, they don’t like to praise you only happy no shady, shady things happen. They’re gonna go on Google reviews and and you know, spread everyone when they’re going to do stuff that you don’t like. And guess what people are going to look at this reviews, they’re not going to get your services anymore. So again, it’s a you know, revolving door you give a good customer service better customers are coming, wanting your service and so on. And of course vice versa.

Alexander Ferguson 9:18
So if you were to invest in any kind of technology, it better be helping with customer service with with that communication with that station but

Adi Azaria 9:26
with customers wants to be heard, they want to vent in most cases don’t want to give you better review. But if they find it is the last resort, this is exactly what they’re going

Alexander Ferguson 9:37
to be able to get reviews positive reviews, you met you because you touched on that that fact, we don’t naturally go out of our way to give someone a positive review unless it like you’re just really feeling it. So how do you keep that up? How do you keep the positive stuff coming in not

Adi Azaria 9:52
just negative. It’s a great question. And it’s very much like sales. You already have a no so you should ask right? What we train our customers, this is what we do over webinars and also on in our own onboarding sessions, he still use a lot of automation during the process of building your relationship with clients. So they pick up the phone, they get a job, you go and do the job, that’s great. Once everything is done, and everybody are happy, just send them a text message. I mean, it should be very nice. Your review really helped me to grow the business. So I would appreciate you clicking here and give me like five stars. And you know what, most people will just say, he did a good job, why wouldn’t I? But they need to be led to that. They in most cases, they will not do it voluntarily. I mean, we analyze 10s of 1000s, or even hundreds of 1000s of reviews lately. And guess what most of the reviews are that. And usually it’s not about the job itself. It’s about the experience. I mean, he didn’t speak that nicely to me, he, he promised this and it gave me that he didn’t pick up the phone after the job. It’s like the frustrating, frustrating things that shouldn’t happen between your business and the customer.

Alexander Ferguson 11:08
For you guys, where have you seen the biggest role or impact that your your product has, has played in in this in this space?

Adi Azaria 11:19
So due to the fact that we came from, you know, what we call the concrete in Ireland and you know, we’ve been, we suffered. We understood the very early days that that anything from very much like sales, by the way, when somebody’s having some sort of a request, you need to pick up the phone right now. So we’ve created a system that basically gives you most possibilities for an answer. So we created like a help the center or a virtual command center, that when a phone’s comm phone comes in the entire team’s phone number her phone, devices, start training and then first come first serve. And guess what, if you have a broken by and nobody’s answering, you’re going to call the competitor immediately. This is exactly like an in sales, but he says you might have no more leverage with field service in specifically on demand. It’s not the case, you’re just going to, you know, close the job with with the first guy is going to pick up the phone. We’re doing more than that. We are automating the part where Okay, you went to the toilet, that’s right, he happens. He didn’t pick up the phone. The system basically says Hey, you got to joe the plumber, click wha you know, had hit one if you if it’s an emergency, it is okay. I’m not available right now. I’m going to get back to you in a few minutes. Just leave me a message. And we’re going to, you know, reply to you right now. The system basically what it does, it takes the voicemail. Okay. And you remember sitting in the car, most of the day, the jobs are really quick, most of the day you spend in your car, you don’t have time to listen to voicemails. So we transcribe it, we extract entities and we push them into the CRM, you can call it automatically. And basically within a single click, you can actually see the job and navigate to that, can we extract the address and it’s really accurate and she learned is really good is this and the client gets a response immediately. You know, take it to No worries, you basically need to listen to the voicemail if if you even figure it out, okay, you need to write it down on the paper you’re driving, right? And you need to copy the number from the paper to the phone and phone the client. This is the dangerous zone, right? You’re in a danger zone right now. And with just a single click. And that’s, I mean, it’s a small simple

Alexander Ferguson 13:39
thing, but it’s yet it’s so monumentous because it’s in the moment, be able to click on something and take action versus having to wait or write or do something dangerous while you’re driving.

Adi Azaria 13:48
I’ll tell you secret, our clients are really mad when we don’t get the address accurately. Okay. And we have like 98% success rate over there. When our clients are complaining about that. I know I want because only two out of 100 thought that this wasn’t a good idea. But in most cases I mean they get they haven’t. They forgot how it was before. We forgot how to order a taxi back in the days we have Uber is right. We’re getting lazier. This is good. I mean, it’s more efficient. It’s like being being a new a new age person. That’s fine. This is exactly what we’re trying to achieve. We know that these guys work very hard and we try to give them the technology is simple.

Alexander Ferguson 14:32
What about people who are concerned or afraid to give such an automated system a control of their business? What if they miss something you get it wrong? Where people like no, no, I just like my pen and paper. I just like the way things are done. Why would I want to switch to this whole fandangled technology thing?

Adi Azaria 14:48
So I just asked him a few questions like how many times this week you got the address wrong when you picked up the phone you wrote it on the paper and you will be surprised to see that about, I don’t know four or five jobs are Which is a lot. I mean, if if a job is 400 bucks, it’s a lot of money. What happened? What happened when you get it all? They say, well, we need to call the client. I said, but you got the wrong number. So what do you do? So I’m starting, I’m starting to looking for it in my you know, previous calls, and I got that I got like, 10s of 10s of minutes. And then they figure out that they’re not in the balance of risk and opportunity, the opportunity is much, much higher. And the risk of what we call being in the same status is much bigger these days. And if you’re not going to do that, your competitors definitely will. And if they’re going to be quicker than you, you lost.

So that’s

Alexander Ferguson 15:42
how we do that. Basically, it’s the it’s the trade off of quick, you probably are making the same mistakes, you just don’t realize it but be having a system in place allows you to crack a lot better. And that’s the biggest thing is if you’re having so many things coming in, be able to track it. As far as where you guys are headed. What can you speak to is like upcoming updates or the roadmap of what you’re excited about and can share.

Adi Azaria 16:04
So Workiz just raised around $13 million, we totally total, we raised $20 million. so far. We’re in the startup world for about two and a half years. But beforehand, we’ve been a small shop, basically bootstrapping. So we experienced everything. I mean, creating a small shop, which is very successful. And right now rapid growth, we will continue our rapid growth, we see a great success in every aspect. Gartner thinks that we’re the most comprehensive and easiest tool that exists today, which is great. And this is by you know only by our customers, we didn’t ask them we didn’t even ask them to do to say that. And you know, always say it’s within the name, we will make work pieces. I mean, work shouldn’t be hard work should be fun. We should take all the you know, annoying tedious things that you do, and vanish them. And this is the goal basically, to create a system that operates your business, allow you to be in control, allow you to get more jobs, and you know what most importantly get paid.

Alexander Ferguson 17:13
That is the most important when it comes when it comes down to it. Get get paid and make your customers happy, leaving those positive reviews.

Adi Azaria 17:21
You’re getting paid and you’re getting more paid. If you’re living customers happy. It’s like a byproduct of HR

Alexander Ferguson 17:26
as well. I appreciate you for sharing this breakdown for those that want to learn more you can get a free trial go to Workiz. That’s what is Workiz.com and be able to check out more of their platform. For those that are curious more about Didi’s background and his history. We’re going to have a part two of our interview discussion, which is, what his journey that’s been on and now being able to be CEO of work so stick around for part two of our discussion. Thanks again no for this, Didi for your time, and we’ll see you guys on the next episode. That concludes the audio version of this episode. To see the original and more visit our UpTech Report YouTube channel. If you know a tech company we should interview you can nominate them at Uptechreport.com. Or if you just prefer to listen, make sure you subscribe to this series on Apple podcasts, Spotify or your favorite podcasting app.

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