Business growth in the home services industry can be challenging. Sometimes there is so much to do and not enough time or people to do it. Did you know that there are things that you can automate in your business to help you get more done without hiring more people?
We aren’t talking about physical robots or anything futuristic, purely software that can fit into your existing business or website to automate your home services business and make your life easier.
Automation is the key to success for many home services businesses. If you haven't started using this kind of technology yet, you should start as soon as possible! Here's why:
- It will save you and your team time and money.
It will enable you to offer better customer experiences.
It will help you book more appointments with past clients.
It will help you get paid for your work faster than ever before.
You can handle more with less employees.
And these are just some of the benefits that automation can offer your business. The question is, how do you start automating tasks—especially if you're not a "tech" person?
In this article, we'll cover seven simple ways you can automate your home services business, and offer up software solutions that can help you get started.
1. Offer LiveChat on Your Website
Serve your customers automatically with a top live chat option.
People visit your home services website for one specific purpose: to find answers. The harder these answers are to find, the more angry potential customers will become. In fact, 34% of customers claim to get frustrated when they can't find simple answers to their questions. That means over 1 in 3 people who come to your website may leave if there isn’t a clear answer to their questions.
In many cases with home services that will be what you do specifically, what areas you service, and how several ways to contact you.
How should small business owners attempt to solve this problem? Here are a few ideas:
- Invest in a stellar website design that's easy to navigate.
Create a FAQ page that answers common customer questions.
Give customers access to an automated live chat option on your website.
This third option is especially helpful because it puts customers in the driver's seat. They don't have to search for information. They simply ask a question and it gets answered.
Fortunately, setting up live chat is easy. There are plenty of software tools available to you. Scorpion LiveChat is a popular choice for the home services industry.
All you have to do is pick the one that suits your needs and budget. Then automate answers to common questions like "What are your business hours?" and "How do I make a payment?"
You can also link live chat to online scheduling and your customer relationship management software to make communication easier with your company.
2. Create Automated Email Plans
Automated emails are a fantastic way to stay in touch with your customers.
What's an automated email sequence? A series of emails that automatically sends when certain conditions are met. Like, for instance, when a new subscriber joins an email list.
Here's an example of what this kind of sequence might look like:
- Day 1: Once a lead signs up for your email list, they receive an initial email from the automated system. This email welcomes them to your list and thanks them for becoming a subscriber.
Day 4: The second email in your sequence sheds light on your company's background. Subscribers learn when you started your business and why.
Day 7: Email number three highlights the plumbing, HVAC, roofing, or other services you offer to customers and provides price ranges for each.
Day 10: The fourth email shares glowing testimonials from previous clients. This helps build trust between you and your subscribers.
Using email software like Scorpion, you can easily build and automate email sequences that promote your services on autopilot.
3. Make Appointment Scheduling Easy
Use online scheduling tools to boost appointments and customer satisfaction.
Your customers crave convenience. Research suggests that 94% of people would likely change service providers if it meant they could book appointments online.
Online appointment scheduling, as well as text and email scheduling, is preferred by your customers because it gives them options. They don't have to call a home services provider between 9am and 5pm. They can book appointments when their schedules allow them to.
To make it as easy as possible for customers to book appointments, try this:Add a textable number to your Google My Business listing.
Include an appointment scheduling link in all of your emails.
Feature an online booking tab on your company's website.
Each of these digital appointment scheduling options is an example of automation. Bookings are handled automatically, freeing you up to focus on other tasks.
4. Send Appointment Confirmations and Reminders
Your customers want to receive an appointment confirmation and reminder texts.
When it comes to building a successful home services business, communication is key. At least, that's what the stats would have us believe:
- 69% of homeowners want to receive an appointment confirmation email or text.
61% of homeowners want to receive an "on my way" email or text.
56% of homeowners want to receive an email or text the day before an appointment.
Don't worry, each of these messages can be automated using email and/or SMS marketing software. This means that you can boost customer happiness without any extra work. And we all know what happy customers do: purchase more home services.
This will also ensure that your customers remember your appointments and are ready for your technicians when they arrive.
5. Accept Mobile Payment Methods
Help your home services business stand out by accepting mobile payments.
If there's one thing your customers want, it's simplicity.
They want to find information quickly when they visit your website. They want to book appointments on their own timetables. And they want the payment process to be convenient.
Unfortunately, most service providers complicate the payments process with paper invoices. These kinds of bills are easily lost and harder to pay. Instead, send your customers payment links via email or text. That way they square up with you on their mobile devices.
According to HubSpot research, 91% U.S. citizens keep their phones within easy reach at all times. Additionally, 95% of text messages are opened and responded to within 3 minutes.
What does this mean for your home services business? Not only are mobile payment methods preferred by customers, but they'll also help you get paid quicker.
6. Ask For Customer Reviews
Supercharge your home services business with positive customer reviews.
Google reviews are like rocket fuel for your home services business. The more of them you have, the more success you can achieve, plain and simple. Why? Because modern consumers take online reviews and testimonials very seriously:
- 93% of customers read reviews of local businesses to determine quality.
Businesses with 25+ fresh reviews drive 108% more revenue than average.
Reviews account for about 15% of Google's method to rank local businesses.
It's actually a lot easier to generate reviews than you might think. 76% of customers will leave a review if you ask them to. The trick is to make the process simple—noticing a trend, here? Ask customers for reviews via automated texts and emails after you complete a service. You can also ask for reviews when taking payment on the job, or have something setup at your office.
And don't stress about negative reviews. 95% of customers get suspicious if a business has zero negative reviews, anyway. The sweet spot is somewhere between four and five stars. Review management will be critical to your ongoing growth.
7. Follow-Up With Past Customers
Stay in touch with past customers via automated emails.
Finally, use automation and email marketing to follow up with customers you've worked for in the past.
A plumber, for example, could email a previous client to ask them if the leaky sink he fixed last month has started acting up again. An HVAC technician could email past customers about a new brand of smart thermostats that have become popular in recent months.
These follow-ups serve two purposes:
- They make customers feel valued. By taking the initiative and asking after your customers, you'll show them that you truly appreciate their business.
They help businesses grow revenue. Follow-up messages provide upsell opportunities. While many customers will turn down your offer to install a smart thermometer, some of them will accept, giving you the chance to earn more money.
It always pays to stay in touch with customers. Fortunately, automation will allow you to do it without keeping you from other business-building tasks.
Automation will help your home services business become more productive, better serve its customers, book more appointments, and generate more revenue.
The best part is, all of the automation ideas we listed on this article are easy to implement and maintain. If you're willing to put in a little bit of work upfront, you'll save yourself loads of time and enjoy a much more successful business in the future.
If you want to get started with these tips today we have you covered. Scorpion is a small business provider of all of these technologies and has the team to help answer any questions you might have as well as set these up for you.
Get a free consultation from Scorpion today.
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