Billy Stevens has lived in Flower Mound since 1985. He is the founder and CEO of the billyGO plumbing and HVAC company. He created a fully app-based approach designed to bring efficiency to the home services industry, while providing better customer experience, better prices, complete transparency and shorter wait times. Below, Stevens talks about his creation.
Where did you grow up and go to school?
I grew up in Belville, Texas and went to Belville High School.
How did you get into the plumbing and HVAC industry?
At the beginning of my career, I was actually the superintendent for a homebuilder in the Dallas area. At one point we had sold three new homes – the most we had sold at one time – and we needed to get a plumber out to the site quickly to meet our deadlines. I called our plumber and was told it would take three weeks to get a crew, and in addition to the delay there was also going to be a 10-percent increase in the cost. I searched for every other faster and cheaper alternative to no avail before eventually driving out to their office. After a brief conversation with their management, I asked what it would take to buy the company. Mind you, I had no money at the time or experience in the plumbing industry, but I had a gut feeling. I borrowed $10,000 from my father-in-law for cash flow, bought the business and was able to pay him back, with interest, in just two weeks. I grew that business for two decades to be the premiere provider in the Dallas-Fort Worth area before retiring in 2012.
How did you come up with the idea of billyGO?
I tried to stay busy in my retirement, but I didn’t feel fulfilled. One day I used a ride sharing service, and as I was sitting there in the back of the car that I had requested through an app on my phone, I started thinking about the technology behind it. I wondered if that same technology that was used to locate and dispatch drivers could be applied to the home services industry, where homeowners typically wait half a day for a plumber or AC tech. I’m an innovator at my core, and when I saw the chance to transform the industry once again and improve the customer’s experience through algorithms and technology, I jumped at the chance and created billyGO, a fully app-based plumbing & AC company.
How does billyGO work?
It’s really as simple as 1-2-3! Once customers have the app downloaded from the Apple Store or Google Play, they select the service they want to schedule, pick a one-hour APPointment window that works for their schedule and then track our technician’s arrival. We employ all of our licensed technicians instead of just contracting. Once the tech arrives, they’ll review the job and provide a quote before they begin the work. All payments, receipts and record keeping are done through the app.
What is the biggest benefit to billyGO?
billyGO is truly ending the plumbing and AC service and repair hassle by putting integrity, security and customer service back into the industry. Unfortunately there’s been some level of mistrust of home services providers before billyGO. We want to raise the standards of the entire industry by providing complete transparency and outstanding customer service.
How did your previous experiences help shape the idea for this app?
The home services industry has historically not been very customer centric. Traditional plumbing and AC companies have 30 touch points, or contact with a customer, starting from the time a homeowner calls for an appointment until that service has been completed. With the serviceSHIFT technology that powers our app, we’ve reduced that to three or four, which saves the customer some time and headache. Plus with our algorithm-based scheduling, we are able to provide guaranteed one-hour APPointment windows for a homeowner to choose the service time that works best for their schedule, and they don’t have to sit around for four to five hours wondering when we’re going to show up.
How popular has the app been so far?
Our techs tell us stories all the time of customers out on their front lawns waving their arms to greet them because they’ve been tracking the tech’s arrival on the app. They can’t believe billyGO actually arrives during the set APPointment time. We’ve racked up about 4,000 downloads in less than a year and have over 100 positive customer reviews online. One customer even looked up our corporate address and drove out to our office just to tell us how much she loved the experience.
Any hobbies outside of work?
I really enjoy racing competitively. I started with motocross when I was 12 and raced up until my wife very kindly requested I find a different hobby when I was 36 and we started having kids. At that time I switched over to racing cars, almost exclusively Porsches.
Are you involved with any groups, organizations, etc. in Flower Mound?
My wife and I love living in Flower Mound and are always looking for new ways to support the community – especially by patronizing local businesses as we are able.