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Katy Pusch - Easing the Pain of Payments - PODCAST TRANSCRIPT

Katy Pusch - Easing the Pain of Payments - PODCAST TRANSCRIPT
March 11, 2024 at 12:00 p.m.

Editor's note: The following is the transcript of an live interview with Katy Pusch from Leap. You can read the transcript below or listen to the podcast.

Intro: Welcome to Roofing Road Trips, the podcast that takes you on a thrilling journey across the world of roofing. From fascinating interviews with roofing experts, to on the road adventures, we'll uncover the stories, innovations and challenges that shape the rooftops over our heads. Fasten your seat belts and join us as we embark on this exciting roofing road trip.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Hello and welcome to another Roofing Road Trips from RoofersCoffeeShop. This is Heidi Ellsworth and we're here today to talk about payments. How can contractors really streamline their payment programs because that's so important. You want to make it easy for your homeowners and your building owners. We brought in the experts from Leap to talk to us about how this all works, and we have Katy Pusch here today to talk about this. I'm so excited. Katy, welcome back to the show.

Katy Pusch: Hello, Heidi. I'm so happy to be here with you today. Yes, I'm very excited to talk here about Leap. My name's Katy Pusch, I'm the VP of product here at Leap. I've been with the company since January of last year, and it has been fantastic to come into the home improvement and roofing space. I have more than a decade of software experience prior to this, and so it's fantastic to bring the types of best practices into what Leap is able to offer our customers. It's been really rewarding,

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Katy, product management is so important and I don't know if everyone always understands that because it's kind of sometimes a new concept in the roofing world. I know when I was with EagleView, when people started talking about product management, I was like, and software and how that all works. Tell us a little bit about, I have so many things, but real quick, just tell us a little bit what product management is. What do you do?

Katy Pusch: Absolutely. Product management, the Cliffs Notes version is that product management is responsible for understanding what the market needs out of a software product and then working with the company and the cross-functional teams to deliver that successfully to customers. That's it in a nutshell.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: It's in a nutshell, but let me tell you everyone, that is a big job. It's a big job to really understand the market, but I think of all the companies out there, Leap does such a great job of understanding the market, the home improvement market. Can you maybe share just a little bit about Leap? I know pretty much everybody knows about it, but tell us a little bit about Leap and what it's doing for contractors.

Katy Pusch: Absolutely. We have the Leap platform. It's made up of both the Leap product, which is like CRM Production Management as well as SalesPro, which is on our in-homes retail point of sale sales tool. The Leap platform as a whole makes it easier for home improvement businesses to win and manage jobs. That's the business we're in. Whether you're a neighborhood contractor or a national franchise, we have a complete tool set for you to handle everything from sales production management to customer service, and it's all in a single platform.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yeah, it's very cool. If anybody has not listened to the old podcasts and they're not old, old, but they're maybe a year old, with some of the Leap founders, they were contractors, they understand sales. Go listen to those. They're just so interesting. Part of a great software company is innovation, and so we wanted to talk about the newest product or feature that Leap is bringing out and that is LeapPay. Katy, what is this new product?

Katy Pusch: I'm very excited. The team came together and launched LeapPay at IRE. That was, its big unveiling. It's been in beta since the end of last year, and it was created to solve a problem. When we talked to our customers in the space, and as you mentioned, our founders have such rich background just operating in this space. It's fantastic to learn from our founders as well. When we talk to customers and prospects, folks in the market, we understand that inefficient business processes and poor customer experience and narrowing profit margins are a threat to the business. We want to make sure that we're offering solutions for that.

LeapPay was built to help roofers improve the business processes around payment specifically, make sure that it is easy and seamless and a convenient process for your homeowners to make that payment to you, and come in competitively to help improve your profit margins and defend those profit margins. In addition to profit margins, it's cash flow, right? The easier it is for your customer to make payments, it's a better experience for them and it's also aiding in the health of your business. It's an easy to implement payment processor. One of the things I'm very excited about, it comes at no additional cost with our product Leap Team. It's included in the platform, and so it's very easy to adopt.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: That is cool. That is so important. Talk a little bit, when we started out, you're like understanding the market, understanding the contractors.

Katy Pusch: Yeah.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: With LeapPay, this is making invoicing and payment tracking more efficient and streamlined. How is that helping their businesses, especially all the way through the sale, through the whole process of getting a new roof?

Katy Pusch: Yeah. Absolutely. To talk about this a little bit from the homeowner experience, because we do think about it both from the contractor experience as well as the homeowner experience, and so we can cover both angles. I'll talk about this sort of in a specific sort of feature-based way, so you can really kind of picture it in how this is working. Homeowners can make secure and it's PCI compliant payments of course, either in-person or remotely. The fact that they have that flexibility to either give you their card information right when you're on site, or have the opportunity to come to a customer portal where they can make the payment easily after the fact, very convenient to have those options.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yeah.

Katy Pusch: There's also flexibility in types of payments that are accepted. There's credit cards, debit cards, ACH payments available and there's also flexibility in the amount that's being paid. There are some solutions out there that only allow complete payments to be made, there's no space for partial payments. You have the ability to configure what types of payments you'll allow as the contractor, but we have the functionality to enable you to collect partial payments or full payments from the homeowner to really streamline that part of the process as well.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Wow, that's so important. As a homeowner, I want things to be easy.

Katy Pusch: Yes.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: I just want them to be easy.

Katy Pusch: Yes.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: I think when contractors, and I've always felt this way, that when people are coming in to do home improvement, if they are using technology, to me that seems like it's going to be a little bit easier and it differentiates that contractor overall.

Katy Pusch: Yeah.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: With everything that you do including now LeapPay, how is that differentiating contractors? How is that making them more appealing to the homeowner?

Katy Pusch: Absolutely. It goes along with something that Leap is really trying to help empower our industry to advance in, which is to continue to have this professional conduct and appearance with how we interact with homeowners. I think it's so important for your business and the way that you present yourself competitively, versus any other remodeling contractors available in your space. Having that professional image, part of it starts with not writing down banking information on a scrap of paper as you're leaving to try to get this payment or not asking the customer to pay you on Venmo or just not following some of these less professional.

What we've seen in the industry is that it is a very polished presentation and really the expectation that consumers have when they're interacting with other businesses, that you can offer something like a payment portal that they feel confident in the security of their financial information as they're making that payment to you and that it's something that they can do on their schedule without tracking you down or without you having to call them over the phone to collect that payment information. I think really it's about consumer expectations and it's about you as the contractor being able to meet those expectations with a professional look and feel and stand out against your competition.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Right. Contractors can really look at this, and with the Leap platform, I'm kind of going to a little bit higher level, but with that Leap platform, they can manage their leads, they can manage all of their customers and now they can manage all the payments that are coming in, or I should say financial transactions, in one unified platform. Part of that is the addition of a CRM from last year with the merger of JobProgress. Katy, when you're looking at this integration and how it benefits the contractor across the board, and we just talked about that in that it's very for their thing, but just for their processes, I think process is so important to be able to work leads quickly, to have all the fingertips. Talk about that a little bit.

Katy Pusch: Absolutely. We talk about payments as a feature, but it's really a lot of very deeply thought out user experience for both the homeowner and for the roofers. We know that you didn't start a roofing business to sift through receipts all day. We want to take care of everything associated with those payments from the processing to dispute so that you can focus on your business and what matters. What we're doing for roofers is managing all of the customer payments right in Leap at no additional cost. I know that the majority of the customers that I've spoken to prefer to do their invoicing through Leap with customers. It just makes sense to be able to make those payments and see the result of those payments and outstanding invoices right inside Leap where you don't have to go into any additional platform. You can see as a result, all of this financial job history in one place. You don't have to go multiple places to piece it together. It's streamlining the financial reporting so you can better predict your cash flow.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yeah.

Katy Pusch: That's one side of things. I also want to talk about the amount of time that it can save roofers to not be chasing checks or trying to reconcile this process constantly. That doesn't help your bottom line to have to spend your valuable time as the owner or as someone's time on your team where they could be doing higher value add activities. You can get paid faster and easier with LeapPay because you get daily bank deposits with no additional fees. There's low processing fees, talked about that earlier, so that we're not cutting into your margins. Again, this full view of your finances without any manual entry. It's just so much easier to keep an eye on holistically and then to manage that process to get paid faster.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yeah, that's so important for the owners because I mean, as we talk all the time, there's nothing more important than really understanding that bottom line and knowing your numbers. This really allows, not just the salespeople to have that view with their customers, but for the company, the ownership, to have that big picture of what's going on.

Katy Pusch: Yes.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: I don't think there's anything more important right now than understanding those numbers at the end of the month.

Katy Pusch: Cash flow, life blood of a business.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yeah. Yeah, it makes it so important. One of the things I'm also thinking about, sorry, you're leading me down a few trails here, Katy, because I'm just like, "Oh, this is so interesting." One of the things I'm thinking about too is for the exterior contractors out there who are doing roofs, siding, windows, doors, they have a user, they want that experience on every level so they're able to look back and say, "Well, things went really great with the roof. They all paid on time, everything was great." This is a great one. Let's talk more about windows. Let's talk about siding, let's talk about some other things. What are some of the specific design elements or functionalities that contribute to ease of use, including those faster payments and tracking those payments? I think that's important as you're looking at multiple types of projects on one home as an exterior contractor.

Katy Pusch: Yes. Yeah. That ease of use, it has a lot to do with the interactions that you're having and how you're facilitating those interactions. I don't mean to sort of boil the ocean with definitions of what user experiences, but let's think about that. It's the interactions that you're trying to facilitate with your homeowner.

The way that we're facilitating that process in a more streamlined fashion is you can send these invoices through email. You can actually add the invoices to the customer web page as well. The web page will show all open invoices for the homeowner and allow them to pay those invoices at their leisure. Having this sort of on demand, full transparency, it's fully white labeled as well. It's got your company's branding on it, Leap is not the headliner, you are, in this portal to make sure that in addition, homeowners can also ask questions via email or texting. Of course they can call you, but we're making it easy for them to feel like they can get access to your company as well. That's again, one of those functionalities that you can configure to best suit what your workflow is as a business.

We want to make sure that this process that we're facilitating with a homeowner is really that seamless, transparent, on demand feeling. From a contractor perspective, it's a five-minute onboarding to get on with LeapPay. It's just some simple information to enter about your business, things that are straightforward, tax ID, the information that you want deposits to be sent to, those types of information. It's a very smooth five minute process and then your up and running. We also from the Leap side have in-app chat, so it's easy for you to get in touch with us just like it should be easy for the homeowner to get in touch with you. Knowledge base and full support to make sure that you're successful with it. We really just have tried to streamline it and keep it as simple as possible so that the focus is on the value and not on the technology.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yeah, I love it, that value. The thing is, we're used to portals, I think.

Katy Pusch: Yeah.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: I mean, and not everyone, I realize you're going to hit some homeowners who are on technology, but for the most part, we're all very used to going into our doctor's office, into Bill Pay, all those different things where we work through a portal. Working with customers, homeowners and building owners to really explain to them that, "Hey, this is just a portal. Everything that's going on, you're going to be able to see."

Katy Pusch: Yes. I think that flexibility with communication, because again, if a customer calls you to make a payment because that's their preferred user experience, then you can take that payment over the phone and implement it and put it into LeapPay. You're still going to see all of your comprehensive payment information in one spot. If they click the payment email that you send them and pay through that invoice, it's just a one click, take them straight to the payment. It's easy. If they prefer that email experience, then that payment information is showing up in the same place. You've got this holistic view.

Same thing, if they're keeping an eye on their customer portal because they like that user experience, then they can find the invoice and pay it there straight from the portal. I think that this flexibility and meeting people where they are and having options, is a big deal in terms of facilitating a seamless user experience. Exactly to your point, there's some homeowners who are very used to portals and are very comfortable with that idea, and then there's some others who, "Oh, gosh, I don't have email. No, I don't know. I don't know what to do with that." They want to call you on the phone. Being able to facilitate that process in a number of ways, and all of your payments still showing up in the same location at the end of the day, so you have a complete picture of your finances, is a big deal.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yeah.

Katy Pusch: Also, type of payment flexibility, the partial. Everything that we're doing is about flexibility and really facilitating that person's best experience. Yeah.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Well, some people still want to write a check. I know there aren't very many, but yeah, we write a check now and then. We all still have checks, well not everybody, but some of us. Okay, this just leads us, Katy, perfect into my next question because I'm a little paranoid and I tend to be a little paranoid about things, and so that's why write a check, but maybe that isn't as safe. In fact, we know it's not. Let's talk about security. You mentioned it early on in the podcast, but let's talk a little bit about security, how people can feel comfortable. I think even more important, how can the salesperson or the roofing company share that confidence and security with their customers?

Katy Pusch: In terms of security, there are some things to keep in mind when you're looking at your vendors and evaluating whether you can have confidence in this payment processing vendor. PCI compliance is the type of compliance that you're looking at for this type of technology in particular. PCI just stands for payment card industry, but there are standards in place for how vendors should encrypt data, collect data, transmit data to make sure that the consumer's information stays safe and secure throughout that process. LeapPay is indeed PCI-compliant in every step of the way, and this helps reduce errors and protect your customer personal data. It also means that you don't have to personally worry about that compliance because we've taken it on.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: That's so important, and I love how you explain it, very simple, and that's really what contractors need to be doing as they're talking to their consumers and their homeowners to say, "This is a great way to do it." I think kind of going back, Katy, to what we were talking about, so many of us have been on portals, we are doing Bill Pay, we're paying with credit cards online. I'm even finally getting to the point where I'm like, "Okay, I'll give my bank information now." I'm definitely old school, no question about it. Do you have any, I mean, I know you just launched it at IRE, but any kind of examples or any thing of what you heard back from contractors either at IRE or through your data, throughout this whole process?

Katy Pusch: Absolutely. Yeah. All of this emphasis that I have on flexibility is really largely coming from the feedback that we hear from the market in terms of what's important to them. When we launched our beta, those of you who are maybe a little bit more familiar with software and technology, because Apple does the same thing, Apple has betas and things of that nature. You may have participated in a beta in your experience. When we go through the beta process, we launched a set of features that we believe will be successful in the market that we want feedback on. We also respond to that feedback over the course of the beta before we actually launch the product. A lot of what was coming through that beta feedback was, "Hey, we do want more flexibility. We want to be able to, for instance, require only credit or debit card payments, or only ACH payments. We want the ability to configure some of these other things."

We're going to continue to develop additional configurability and flexibility into the platform because we want to make sure that this payment processing solution truly is the best user experience, and not just by someone's standards of what they dreamed up and wrote down on paper, but from real life examples of what experiencing in the field in homeowner interactions and how you need to be able to serve your customers. That flexibility has really been some of the core feedback. I'm really pleased with the way that we've been able to respond quickly and incorporate the different types of flexibility that we've heard that feedback on. We'll continue to listen to that feedback and continue to innovate.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: I love it. I love it. We're in good hands with you taking on product management of our new technologies, Katy, I love it. Okay. How can contractors get started with LeapPay?

Katy Pusch: If you are a Leap customer already, it's really pretty simple. It's generally available now. We have an onboarding form that you can fill out. It takes about five minutes. If you want to initiate this process, you can reach out to our support team. We also, you might notice a little pop-up inviting you to get started inside the application. If you notice that, feel free to click it. If you're not finding it inside the application, reach out to us. We're happy to help you get started. It's a five-minute onboarding, and again, it's no cost. It's included with the platform that you're already using to run your business. It's just making life a little bit easier for you. If you are not a Leap customer and you'd like to get familiar with everything that the Leap product has to offer, then I would invite you to go to our website to learn more or to reach out to our team directly.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Love it. As everyone knows, you can find all that information on RoofersCoffeeShop on the Leap directory. You know what, Katy? Something fun's coming up at the end of this month, and that is we are in a leap year.

Katy Pusch: Yes, we are. Oh, don't worry. We have an eye on it.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: We need to make sure everybody's thinking about that at the end of February, Leap Day. Think about the software Leap. Anyway, I had to bring that up.

Katy Pusch: Yeah.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: It's kind of fun. I saw that the other day.

Katy Pusch: Yes.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yes, you can find all that information on RoofersCoffeeShop or any of the coffee shops and just go to the directory and you can get ahold of your Leap thing. Now, if you're not a Leap customer right now and you want to get a demo, you can also find that in the directory on how to find out more and get more involved with Leap. Katy, thank you so much.

Katy Pusch: Thank you, Heidi. It's always a pleasure to speak with you sincerely. I really enjoy it.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Oh, I enjoy it every single time. This has been so great, and I want to thank all of you. Please check out the Leap directory on the coffee shops and find out more about LeapPay. I think this is the kind of technology, customer service, customer experience that really makes a difference with a roofing company. Check it out or exterior company, whatever you're doing, check it out and see about incorporating that into your day-to-day processes and please check out all of our podcasts under the RLW, I'm going to start over, Adam, and please check out all of our podcasts under the RLW navigation, under Roofing Road Trips or on your favorite podcast channel. Be sure to set your subscription. Geez. Or on your favorite podcast channel. Be sure to subscribe and set your notifications, and we will be seeing you next time on Roofing Road Trips.

Outro: If you've enjoyed the ride, don't forget to hit that subscribe button and join us on every roofing adventure. Make sure to visit rooferscoffeeshop.com to learn more. Thanks for tuning in, and we'll catch you on the next Roofing Road Trip.

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