Andy Deering, who with his sister Kim O’Connor represents the second generation of Columbus, Ohio-based ServicePro, helped produce the annual ServSuite University (SSU) event this year just weeks after the announcement was made that the company was acquired by ServiceTitan, based in Glendale, Calif. Deering and O’Connor remain at the helm of the company, however, as ServicePro general manager and head of operations, respectively.
In addition to adjusting to the transition, which Deering notes has gone seamlessly, the ServicePro team had the added challenge of hosting ServSuite virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Deering says the team felt fortunate to have participated in several successful virtual industry events last year, which helped prepare them for how SSU might go.
“We pulled inspiration from the networking and learning events that worked, to stay true to the ethos of ServSuite University, which is connection,” he explains. “I look forward to the conference every year because it’s a unique opportunity for our team to connect one-on-one with our customers. While to be honest, I had my reservations about how much connection would be possible, this was actually a very dynamic experience.”
Deering noted that having ServiceTitan’s team and input on SSU was extremely beneficial: “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: ServiceTitan is a rocket ship, and I am excited for what their insights will do for our customers.”
Just for SSU alone, he says, “We’ve been able to learn from their wins and challenges with their own large-scale events. From their perspective, I think they’ve enjoyed meeting some of our customers and gaining insight from the unique resilience of the pest management industry.”
This year’s SSU took place over a total of 10 weekdays, yet attendance was higher than ever, Deering says. While the team hopes SSU 2022 will take place in-person in San Diego next spring, ServicePro is exploring the idea of hosting a hybrid event so that those who cannot be there in person can attend at least some of the presentations online.
In the meantime, the team is engaging with ServSuite users throughout the year via the Monthly Meets program, which brings everyone together in a Zoom format. Deering explains that the program came about because “it just seemed to me like a great opportunity to connect with our customers about our products and new developments beyond the two-week main event. We are also offering access to the recordings and the presentations for a whole year. We’ve heard great things from our customers in return, and all I can say is that when our customers are happy, we’re happy.”