Although a contractor’s main job is fixing and improving homes, when working to secure a new client a contractor should always have a sales mindset. Just as the quality of your work is essential for business success, so is the quality of your customer service. The impression your clients have begins with their first interaction with you– often a phone call. That conversation will likely make or break their decision to choose you as their contractor, so take the time to set in place good practices for every call.
Step 1: Answer the Phone
The first step to having a good conversation with a new customer is to actually talk to them. If potential customers are calling and cannot reach a live person, they will likely call elsewhere. Invest in a good strategy to make sure your clients can get a hold of you. One option is to invest in an answering service, a third party that can answer your phone for you and book appointments. Another option is to forward your calls with an automated forwarding service to multiple phone lines so someone on your team will answer and talk with the client. Lastly, hiring a sales person to work generated leads and talk with people who call in can be an effective use of marketing funds. Consider the value of making sure you have the chance to turn every call into a job.
Although life can be stressful and tiring, try not to bring any of this negativity into your conversations with potential customers. Every call should be answered with a friendly, energetic hello, and remember to speak clearly and articulately to make sure you are understood. Listen actively to what the customer is looking for and wants to accomplish with their home improvement project. Always be polite, answer all of their questions, and maintain a professional demeanor while on the phone. If you are answering the phone on the road, pull over to the side for a moment to give the call your undivided attention. Once you have set an appointment, remember to give a follow up call with a reminder. After the job is finished you should follow up a second time to ensure they are satisfied with your work. The goal of a contractor should be to make the best possible impression from day 1 through the end of the project. Maintaining your company’s good name and reputation are essential, so be sure to provide top quality service 100% of the time. Interested in learning more about follow up calls? Here are some great follow up call tips for contractors.
Making the Sale
Talking to the customer also gives you the opportunity to sell yourself and convince them to choose you instead of another local contractor. Be sure to highlight some great features about your business in the first few minutes. If you have a 5-star rating on Yelp, mention that, if you have been rated the number 1 contractor in your area, mention that. Including a few qualifiers in the conversation will help reassure customers that choosing you is the best option. It also never hurts to mention enticing offers such as a special you are offering for a certain project. Anything that will capture their attention and encourage them to start the project now is great. Keep track of what works best in your phone calls and try to constantly improve your conversion rate of calls, to appointments, to jobs.
Overall, a phone call seems like a small thing, but making a few conscious improvements can create a huge difference in your company. By valuing the quality of your customer service you are valuing your customers, and this will pay off with referrals and loyal business for years to come.