For the next five days, I’m going to post some best practices that your company can start doing IMMEDIATELY in the call center. Why there? Because if you don’t book any calls for service then you’re out of business, it’s as simple as that.
So, where do we begin? It all starts with how you answer the phone.
Does your company sound like this:
“Thanks for calling ABC Plumbing”
“It’s a MAGNIFICENT MONDAY here at ABC Plumbing & Heating. How can I make your day better?”
The first one takes no effort. The second one takes a moment of creative thinking. Now, I get it. You might feel that the second greeting sounds dumb, that’s okay. When I started training contracting companies more than a decade ago, I thought the same thing.
And then I heard the recordings of the calls. People nearly always responded positively to that phone greeting I would hear things like “You can make my day better if you can get me a plumber ASAP” or “That just made my day.” Seriously. People were happy to be greeted that way and the thing is that none of your competitors are answering the phone the same way so there is nothing to contrast what you’re doing. You have to assume, as well, that when a call for service comes into your shop, they had called one or two companies before they called you. And chances are they were calling around looking to get the cheapest price possible because most consumers believe that all home services companies are the same. People will always go for the cheapest price if you’re not showing them value and one of the smartest ways to show value is to begin to build a relationship on the phone.
Start of the Call Tips
- Give them that magnificent greeting.
- Listen to their problem.
- Show some empathy (“Oh no. That’s no good”, etc)
- Resist the urge to answer their immediate questions (can I get a ball park price. How soon can you come out, etc)
- Ask for and then begin inputting their name. Phone number. Email. Address. Do this immediately! Why? What happens if the call drops? If you don’t have their information up front then you can’t call them back.
- While you’re doing this, have a chat. Talk about the weather. Ask them how their summer has been. Give them a sense that you’re really focused on having a relationship with this prospective customer. This helps pacify their anxiety about cost and much more. Remember, their problem has inconvenienced them. They might have to miss work. They are going to have to spend money they weren’t planning on spending.
- Ask how they heard about your company. You need to track those lead sources because that way you know where your advertising money is going.
- Ask if they are a service plan member. If they aren’t, they will often ask what that is and now your call takers can tell them “it’s a great way to save money on today’s visit and any future visits. I’ll make a note for our technician to share that information with you.”
Okay, that’s as far as we’re going to go today. Want to find out the next step in getting your call center on its way to booking 9 out of every 10 calls? Come back to the profit tips blog tomorrow for Part II of FIVE DAYS TO BETTER SERVICE CALL BOOKING.