Are photo apps for technicians worth a shot?

By |  March 21, 2017
Photo: ©iStock.com/hocus-focus/pixelpup

Photo: ©iStock.com/hocus-focus/pixelpup

During your last training meeting, you underscored to your techs how important it is to take photos at every account, documenting the harborage areas, the pest damage, the leaky pipe and the crack in the sidewalk that should be fixed by the next visit. As such, your technical team members are evolving into ace photographers with their smartphones.

But now what? Before they leave an account, they show the homeowner or facility manager several photos on their phone. Maybe they even email the client some jpg files upon their return to the office. But to the client, the pipe photo might just look like a pipe, not a silverfish siren song. A crack in the sidewalk is just a crack, not an ant superhighway. Besides, where exactly did you say these problem spots were again?
 

Technology to the rescue

Add context to your photos with the help of one of several smartphone apps available for purchase, such as FieldNotesFont Candy, OverPhonto, PicLab, PicMonkey, Typic or WordSwag.

During a recent industry presentation, Fred Haskett, shared his experience with an app that has been around a while, PhotoNote.

“It makes it so easy to perform a needs assessment,” says Haskett, “Head Harvester” of landscape business consulting firm The Harvest Group. “One landscaping crew member showed his boss, 18 miles away, the progress on a project simply by sharing photos and writing captions directly on them from his phone. Based on the images and context, the boss found a mistake on the project. But he was able to instantly communicate what should be done to fix the problem, and it was resolved on the spot.”
 

Go viral, already

While each of the aforementioned apps has its unique attributes (as do dozens more online), there’s another great reason to consider downloading one or more photo apps to play with and master: marketing.

Text on photos is a common way to create and convey a message on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. Whether it’s an inspirational quote, a joke or your company slogan, interacting with customers on social media is a good way to show off your company’s “personality” (professional, fun-loving, concerned about public health). There’s no need to make every post a text-heavy image, but putting a few into rotation could be useful. Image-centric social media is where the trend is among younger consumers, who are going to become your next generation of customers.

Social media may be how your next customer finds you. In December 2016, Instagram reached 600 million monthly active users, up from 500 million in June 2016, according to Statista.com. As of January 2017, there were 150 million monthly active Pinterest users, 70 million of whom are from the United States. Seventy-two percent use the platform to decide what to buy offline. In fact, more than 5 percent of all referral traffic to websites comes from Pinterest, and 87 percent of users have purchased something because of Pinterest, according to OmniCoreAgency.com. With metrics like these and the ease of use of photo apps, upping your image game seems to be a no-brainer in 2017.

Editor Heather Gooch can be reached at hgooch@northcoastmedia.net or 330-321-9754.

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