In a water damage emergency, customers want to talk with a qualified person and not a phone system or operator. We listen to thousands of water damage leads every week and one of the most common reasons customers hang-up is an automated phone system. Water damage leads that go to call centers have a lower rater of conversion because customers don’t want to take a survey. If you want more after hours water damage calls, ditch the call center and phone system and have a qualified technician answer every call.
3 Ways to Get More After Hours Water Damage Calls Without Relying on Call Centers or Phone Systems
Have a Dedicated Phone for After Hours Water Damage Calls
Get a simple call routing system and a dedicated emergency phone for use during after hours. The phone doesn’t need to be fancy but should include texting and map or directions app.
Set a schedule for who gets the phone on what days and make sure the ringer is loud and noticeable. This will help prevent you from missing calls overnight. Unfortunately, it requires your team to keep track of an extra piece of equipment.
Route After Hours Water Damage Calls to Multiple Phones
Often called call blasting, most basic call routing systems allow you to forward the same call to multiple numbers at the same time. Once someone answers, all of the phones stop ringing.
This avoids the issue of paying for another phone and keeping track of more equipment. However, it does mean that some or all of your employees are on-call all the time. You should still consider creating a schedule of who is on call what days.
Adjust the Schedule of Employees
The goal here is to get as many calls as possible while missing the fewest. After hours water damage calls often account for a high percentage of revenue, so consider adjusting the schedule of your employees to maximize your coverage.
While you probably don’t need someone scheduled around the clock, have one employee that covers the evenings and another that takes early mornings. You should also schedule employees around severe weather as well. This gives you the best chance to get as many after hours water damage calls as possible.
Customers Want to Talk With A Water Damage Specialist
While most customers will use a search engine to locate a water damage company, they will almost always call the company they choose. However, a customer with water damage or a sewage backup doesn’t want to “Press 1” or wait for an expert to call them back. They are going to call someone else if they can’t talk with a qualified technician quickly.
Why You Should Avoid Using an Automated Phone System
Automated phone systems are extremely common in many industries. Also called interactive voice response systems or IVRs for short, they use pre-recorded prompts to direct customers to the correct department. While they might be convenient for you, think about your customer’s experience.
Although it saves you from needing to answer calls in the evening and over weekends, a customer in an emergency isn’t going to talk to a recording. In fact, customers hang up in more than half of the calls we listening where a computer system answers the call. Even if you’re just 1 button press away, your customer doesn’t know that.
Why You Should Avoid Using a Call Centers
Many contractors consider call centers more effective than automated phone systems because they connect customers with a real person. While they are more interactive than a recording, the operator is still following a script. Unless the call center is specifically trained to handle water damage calls, there isn’t really a difference.
Most of the time, the operators treat the call more like a survey than a conversation. We routinely hear customers getting frustrated or confused when talking to call center operators that are just trying to get their information. Assuming they don’t call another company as soon as they get off the phone, they already are wary of your company.
Convert More Water Damage Jobs By Having a Trained Technician Answering Your Calls
It’s not a secret that the key to more water damage jobs is answering the phone. Strive to answer every call you get, no matter what time it is. Whether you or one of your technicians is answering the phone, the goal should always be to provide good customer service and set the appointment.
Anyone that takes calls needs to answer the customer’s questions and have a good understanding of the services you provide. For every water damage call, ask qualifying questions to validate the opportunity and determine the scope of the job. From there, you can set the customer’s expectations.
How To Handle A Missed Call
You are bound to miss an after hours water damage call from time to time. That customer will call another company within minutes, so call them back as quickly as possible. You won’t land every job, but you’ll still get more water damage jobs than you had before.
If they say they already booked an appointment with another company, ask them how long that company said it would take to respond. If possible, beat their response time and see if that customer is willing to have you come out.
However, avoid making promises you cannot keep. Never get pushy with customers or disparage a competitor, but you should still make an effort to set the appointment. The worst thing that could happen is they say no.
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