The Pulse chats with Christy Lindsey, owner of North American RV Services in the Houston, Texas area about her decision to leave corporate America for business ownership, her approach to garnering a high business reputation, and doing what you love for a living.
North American RV Services is a mobile RV repair business. They operate by sending repair technicians to the various RV locations to repair the customer’s rig on-site. Christy and her husband named the business intentionally as they have ambitions to expand across the continent.
Christy worked as a compliance professional for 26 years prior to becoming an operator in the business. She loved her job in corporate America and could have stayed in that job for the rest of her life. Her husband, an engineer, dreamed of owning a mobile RV repair business, and softness in the oil and gas industry gave them the incentive to make the leap into business ownership.
Christy approaches ever customer interaction with a personal touch. She personally handles every call and follows up each service visit to see how it went. Her goal is to be the customer’s new best friend by the end of the call. She understands that negative reviews will happen, and she takes the time to respond to these reviews in a politically correct way. This shows future customers that she operates in good faith and sets the right expectations. While mistakes happen, nearly all of the time she hears that a highly negative review was not warranted.
When she first began operating the business, Christy’s first move was to select the right software, and she spent countless hours researching her options. She was looking for a field service platform that afforded the customization required for her unique business. There are many options for standard plumbing or electrician businesses, but few for a highly unique model like hers that was also easy to setup and use. Prior to picking out the ideal software platform, her invoicing and payments process was difficult. It involved using a hodgepodge that included Adobe, Drive, and various spreadsheets. Once she started using FieldPulse, things became easier. And even her techs love using the FieldPulse app, too!
Just like every new business owner, mistakes were made and lessons were learned. One of the important things that Christy got right through trial and error involved finding the right people to hire. Christy also recommends understanding tax laws and county laws when you start your business. She suggests taking the time to talk with a CPA or the tax office.
Christy knows that the best way to run a business is to be extremely involved and hands-on. Employees and customers need to hear from you. Your employees will work harder if they feel like they are part of something.
Her business felt some early effects from the coronavirus pandemic, especially in March when the phone didn’t ring for a bit too long. Recently, she has since seen calls start coming back in. She is hearing less from the vacationing customer and more from the full-time, retiree who lives in the RV full time.
Christy’s older clientele afforded her a good laugh when it came to accepting payments “over the computer”. Have a listen to hear about that one!