From the moment someone decides to contact your company, their customer service experience will be the most significant factor in determining whether they will use your services.
From a friendly, empathetic voice on the phone to a prompt email response, your company's Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) significantly affect whether your potential customers will choose to book your service.
And it all starts with your intake process.
At Scorpion, we listen to tens of thousands of our clients’ phone calls, so we know what works and what doesn't. Based on all that data, we’ve compiled three useful tips, which can be applied to your CSR training.
Empathize with the Customer
It always helps to remember that the people calling you are likely undergoing a significant issue. Their home might be flooding. They might not have cold air on the hottest day of the summer. Or, maybe their electricity is out, and the food in their fridge is at risk of going bad.
Be sure to train your CSRs to listen to callers, and respond appropriately to any perceived urgency. Letting customers know you empathize with their situation is a great way to earn their trust. And their business.
The caller determines how important the issue is to them.
And this leads to another critical point to remember: you should invest in your business's "after-hours" capabilities.
Since some customers call in a state of urgency, you want to be positioned to help them any time they need your services. The hottest leads often aren’t the ones calling during regular business hours. Emergencies strike at all hours of the day or night. Since these jobs are typically urgent, people are willing to pay more to get the problem fixed immediately.
Having the processes in place for responding to these after-hours jobs can be a tremendous advantage over your competitors and help you secure more jobs.
A Prompt Response to Seal the Deal
If a potential customer does not reach you on the first call, they will likely try the next company from their search. So aim to have every call answered, no matter the time of day.
Of course, sometimes a call might be missed and end up in your voicemail. That’s okay. Just prioritize responding in as short a period of time as possible. The sooner you respond, the sooner you can capture the lead.
It’s critical to train your CSRs to record the pertinent information in every call. Take down their phone number (try to use the caller ID whenever possible) and their email address. Without this, you can’t follow up with the person later (you might be surprised to learn how many home services businesses do not follow up with their leads).
The same principle applies to email, contact forms, and online chat. A general rule of thumb for online communication is that contact forms and chats should be responded to within the first 10 minutes during business hours to capture the lead before the person moves on to a competitor.
After initial contact is established, regardless of the outcome, make a point to follow-up with every potential customer. It makes people feel cared for, which boosts their comfort level with you and the company. Plus, it can always lead to the possibility of another booked job.
On the Matter of Money
It’s best to book a call and get your techs in the door without discussing pricing on the phone. If someone doesn’t book because you won’t give them pricing, you might want to give them the trip charge. With that, explain what exactly they are going to get from that charge. You may want to add it to the repairs if they move forward, so they are not getting double charged.
Always be prepared to address pricing questions at any time.
If you can offer a free estimate, then you should do so. It can get you one step closer to securing the lead and allows for your techs to close the job. This way, potential customers have a chance to see your dependable service in action, which will give them confidence booking your services.
It is also helpful to familiarize yourself with your competitor's pricing; this will let you know where you stand in the market. If you are offering higher prices, make sure you have a strong value proposition to justify the market price difference.
It Starts with Customer Service
If you are familiar with some of these points, we hope this is a good refresher and made you feel at ease because you’re on the right path. Perhaps this even opened up a new perspective for you.
We at Scorpion want to set you up for success in 2021. One of the most important steps towards success begins with your CSR intake process. If you have any further questions about customer service best practices, feel free to contact the team at Scorpion. We are eager to learn about your business and help however we can.