Home improvement service providers are seeing a big uptick in business over the last few weeks as they get hit with a triple-whammy of business drivers. The economy is beginning to reopen from the pandemic shutdown, they’re entering their normal spring-summer busy season, and people are realizing they will be spending much more time at home for the rest of this year (at least) and they want to make their homes as comfortable as possible. On the week of June 7-13, Invoca’s home services customers saw an 88% increase in inbound calls compared to pre-pandemic levels.
If you are in the home improvement services business, you have to be ready to capitalize on an influx of inquiries and be able to adapt to rapidly changing customer needs. Here are a few tips to help you respond during this busy season.
You Have to Pick Up the Phone When Customers Call
I know that this one sounds pretty obvious — if you don’t pick up the phone when someone calls, you can’t convert the lead. And you significantly increase the chances that people will call your competition instead. The problem is, you might not be answering as many of your inbound sales calls as you think.
When polled, home services companies thought they answered 97% of their calls, which would be really good. But the reality is that their call answer rate was just 66%, according to pay-per-call provider Service Direct. That’s a lot of leads leaking out of the sales funnel. Given the high average transaction price for most home services companies, not picking up calls is going to cost you. A lot.
Here’s how to make sure that you are answering more of your calls and converting more callers into customers.
Use Call Tracking to Dynamically Route Calls
If your home services business has many different locations, dealers, service providers, or call centers, you have to make sure that your calls are being routed to the right place. With Invoca’s call tracking platform, you can improve call conversion and answer rates by getting your callers to the right destination quickly to ensure the best possible experience. You can set rules to filter and route callers based on time of day, caller location, digital source, and even your own CRM or product SKU data.
Watch this video to see how you can personalize call routing with Invoca.
To simplify routing calls and collecting call outcome data for businesses that have many locations, Invoca has also developed a solution that eliminates the old multi-destination call tracking headaches and swaps the tedious manual setup with technology that detects and routes calls automatically and makes updates to local network information a snap. You can read more about our multi-destination call tracking and call routing technology here.
Closely Monitor Your Call Performance
According to Service Direct’s research, the average home service provider could experience a 54% increase in new business just by answering 100% of their phone calls without any increase to their existing marketing budget. By consistently tracking call answer rates and conversion rates, you can make more informed marketing and call center operational decisions.
By using a call tracking and conversational analytics platform like Invoca, both the call center and marketing can get a better view of call performance. This is especially true because in the call center, you have access to the entire range of unfiltered customer emotions. They’re asking real questions because they don’t understand your product. They are telling you all about the problems they are having, and they are not going to hold back because they want to get it solved.
This is where you can start to establish some patterns. When the first 20 people call with an issue, say, navigating your website, you might think “woah, that’s weird.” Then you see 5,000 people are having the exact same issue and you know that you have a problem on your hands.
The best marketers will pay attention to this and you can monitor this performance at scale with technology like Invoca Signal AI and Signal Discovery. With Signal AI, you can detect call outcomes like sale made or appointment set and deliver that data in real time to your CRM, advertising, and analytics platforms. This gives the call center the data they need to measure their effectiveness and create more complete customer profiles, while marketing gets the conversion data they need to optimize online campaigns.
Signal Discovery can help you better understand caller behaviors and discover valuable customer insights that were once buried in your call recordings and develop new first-party customer data for you to power your marketing and better train your call center reps to handle customer objections. Watch this video to see how Signal Discovery works.
Make Sure You Can Rapidly Adapt to Changing Customer Needs
During the pandemic, we have frequently heard that customer needs and behaviors are changing by the minute, depending on what the news of the day is. In this rapidly evolving market, the need for accurate marketing measurement and monitoring customer sentiment is more important than ever.
For example, we have worked with some of our customers to add COVID Signals to their Invoca platforms so they can adapt their marketing and help their call center agents adjust their scripts to customer concerns.
By monitoring phone conversations for mentions of terms like “coronavirus” or “COVID” our customers were able to prepare their call centers to have these conversations and adapt marketing messaging depending on how often their customers were mentioning it and what the outcome of those calls were. Some had actually found that these mentions were actually correlated to calls with higher conversion rates, highlighting the importance of knowing how to handle these calls when they come in.