Contractor Marketing: Increase Home Service Inbound Lead Generation with these 10 Call Management Blocking and Tackling Basics
Inbound calls to your service organization are a precious commodity. The way in which you handle hot inbound calls from your marketing and advertising efforts can make or break your opportunity to run the call. I listen into hundreds of calls each week – here are some tips to help you get your foot in the door:
1. Lead the conversation – So many contractors let the prospect lead the conversation. Each of your calls should have a proactive predetermined process where you are leading them down the path to conversion and taking the next step of accomplishing your goal – booking the call.
2. Make the script mandatory – Use a call script and make it a mandatory practice in your organization. Anyone who answers the phone in your organization should answer it the same way. Make no exceptions. A uniform process will help you increase your conversion numbers. Follow the script to the letter and enforce its’ implementation. A good script will make or break your conversion numbers.
3. Be bigger than what you are – If you’re a solo technician it’s hard not to provide your expert opinion to service related questions when you are answering the phone. Don’t be an expert on the initial call and provide free advice. Your goal is to convert the call to a booked appointment. If your CSR has been around for a good amount of time they too also have skilled knowledge of service related issues. Don’t get into the weeds. Your prospect may use this information on their next call.
4. Don’t diagnose or quote pricing over the phone – As you know there are so many variables and moving parts on service calls. A doctor would never give you a prescription over the phone so don’t fall into the trap of diagnosing an issue and providing a price without getting an opportunity for a visual inspection – don’t even give a ballpark. Make it a formal practice to diagnose before prescribing.
5. Use an icebreaker – It’s important to establish commonality in a matter in seconds. Some of the clients I work with use the line – “How can I make you smile today?” as an icebreaker when they answer a call. This is what I call a “money line” – it establishes commonality as well as diffusing any hostility towards unexpected emergency calls.
6. Build value in your service call fees – If you charge a service call fee make sure you back up the fee with value. So many times I listen into calls where the CSR will say something like:“Unfortunately it is $79 for us to come out and take a look at your problem. Would you like for us to come out?”
Instead make the service call fee an experience where the price is backed up with value:“We will come out to your home with a truck full of parts and a licensed technician will diagnose your situation. We charge a low $79.00 service dispatch fee which covers our cost to send a licensed technician to your home. While we are out there we will inspect the unit and provide you with a number of options and give you a competitive upfront price to do the work. If you decide to have us move forward we deduct the service call fee from the total cost of the job. “ I have only two openings available today in your area. Which time works best for you 2:00 or 4:00?”
Notice the last line in this script? “Which time works best for you 2:00 or 4:00?” This is another money line. By ending the value statement with an action decision the homeowner has to decide which time they want you out – not whether or not they want to spend $79.00.
7. Work as a team and establish points of escalation. If a call goes south or you feel like you are losing control don’t be afraid to have it go to a manager or another point of escalation. This gives your organization an opportunity to reset the call and reassess the situation.
8. Document objections – You’re not perfect and you won’t convert every call. Sometimes personalities conflict and sometimes you are just dealing with a potential customer that is unreasonable. Write down your objections and prepare a rebuttal statement that confronts objections head on.
9. Role play – Schedule a time once a week to role play certain call situations. Pretend to be an aggressive price shopper. Practice situations where you are booked solid for the rest of the day and need to push calls out to the next day. Rehearse objections with a counterpart and don’t be afraid to be critical of one another – it will help you increase conversions.
10. Measure.. Measure.. Measure – Get in the habit of measuring your call performance. Result each and every call with a disposition of booked or not booked. Keep score among CSR’s and provide incentives for top performers. It’s easy to measure call to booking conversions with call tracking software and you can easily measure CSR performance with a spreadsheet.