Most restoration leads are still predominantly phone-based. This is especially true with water damage leads and fire damage leads because the customer usually needs emergency services and immediate response. Regardless of how you generate each lead, they are still only opportunities. You still need to convert that customer from an opportunity into a job. Many guides recommend converting leads through sales tactics. While this works some of the time, we find that good customer service and a little compassion are even more effective. By reassuring customers and building trust, you will convert more leads without needing to sell them on your services.
Our Guide to Converting Leads for Restoration and Disaster Mitigation Contractors
We listen to hundreds of restoration and disaster mitigation phones calls each week. We compiled our comprehensive list to converting more leads based on what we’ve heard our partners do over the last several years. Here are the keys to converting more leads:
- Generate Leads – Although obvious, the first step to converting leads is generating more opportunities.
- Make Your Phone Number and Hours Easy to Find – Make sure customers can easily find your phone number.
- Have the Right People Answering the Phone – Train your employees and create a call script so they handle each lead properly.
- Be Patient and Compassionate with Your Customers – You customers are likely frustrated and emotional, so be sympathetic and patient with them.
- Validate the Lead – It’s unlikely that the customer is overreacting, but this ensures you aren’t wasting your time.
- Offer a Risk-Free Estimate to Get in the Door – Provide a risk-free estimate to get them to agree to have you out.
- Confirm the Customer’s Details and End the Call – Once the customer agrees to an estimate, confirm their details and end the call.
- Arrive On Schedule in a Clean Uniform with the Right Tools – Show up on time, in a clean uniform, and with the right equipment to handle the job.
- Perform Emergency Repairs and Provide an Estimate – If necessary, make emergency repairs, then provide a detailed estimate.
Set Your Customer’s Expectations at Every Step
The easiest way to disappoint your customer and lose the job is by failing to meet their expectations. Strive to set clear and realistic expectations at every step of the process. This prevents confusion and avoids complications throughout the process. As a result, you will convert more leads and land more jobs. This will also help limit the number of negative reviews you get.
How to Convert More Leads into Jobs
1. Generate Leads
The first step to converting leads is getting them. You should use a variety of marketing channels to create leads. At the very least, create a website, claim business listings, set up social media accounts, and ask customers for reviews and referrals. However, there are many other options for getting leads.
Paid search campaigns can generate leads quickly but they do require regular maintenance and some technical knowhow. An SEO strategy is also effective, but it takes time for the content to rank. Buying leads from a lead generation company is often cost-effective and much less time-consuming.
2. Make Your Phone Number and Hours Easy to Find
An important part of generating leads is making sure customers can easily find your phone number and business hours. Ideally, you offer round the clock emergency services. In addition to including these clearly on your website, you should also claim as many business listings as possible.
This includes Google My Business, Bing Local Places, Yelp, Better Business Bureau, and other free review sites. Make sure your name, address, phone number, and website address are identical across all of those websites. This helps improve your local SEO efforts and may even influence your paid search rankings.
On your website, use TEL tags so customers can easily call you from their mobile devices. If you are available 24 hours a day for emergencies, make sure you clearly include that on your website and in the company bio or description fields on your social media accounts as well.
Perform an audit of your website at least once a year. Look at the call-to-action messages on your website. Check your phone and test your links. Don’t forget to update your local business profiles, Facebook and Twitter pages, and review sites as well. Remove and revise outdated information, add new images, and
3. Have the Right People Answering the Phone
Converting more leads starts with having the right person pick up the phone. Most jobs are won or lost in the first ten seconds, so it’s important to make a good first impression. Whoever is answering the phone should give a warm hello, say their name and the company, then ask how they can help.
Consider using a call answering script to streamline the process. Anyone answering calls should rehearse the script so they are completely comfortable with the messaging. This ensures that every customer receives the same positive experience regardless of whether it’s always the same person that answers the phone or you rotate through a number of employees.
Remember, converting leads is about building that confidence with your customers. While automated phone systems and call centers are options, customers don’t want to talk to a computer or a phone rep. They want to talk to someone knowledgeable about their issue who can comfort and reassure them.
4. Be Patient and Compassionate with Your Customers
While disasters and water damage are everyday occurrences for you, this is likely new territory for your customers. Most customers dealing with a loss are frustrated or emotional, so be patient. Try to show compassion for their situation and reassure them that you will guide them through the process.
Remember that your customers aren’t experts. They may use the wrong terms or give confusing descriptions. Stay calm, use the simplest terms possible, and answer their questions as honestly as you can. Never be afraid to say you can’t answer a question until you can evaluate the situation in person.
5. Validate the Lead
You also need to confirm that the opportunity is really a valid lead to ensure you aren’t wasting your time. First, you need to confirm they are authorized to approve the work. If they aren’t, have them get that person on the phone with you.
After that, ask the customer to explain the extent of the damage. Focus on the number of rooms affected and the general area involved. While it’s unlikely they are overreaching, The goal is to ensure the customer really needs assistance. Plus, this ensures you bring the right equipment necessary to perform the job.
6. Offer a Risk-Free Estimate to Get in the Door
Surprisingly, some customers are often hesitant to make a commitment even in an emergency situation. The best way to handle this is to offer an on-site risk-free estimate. A free estimate works best in our experience, but clearly outline fees if you charge for estimates. Ideally, you want to arrive within thirty minutes, faster if possible. You are likely to lose the job to another company if you aren’t available to come out quickly.
One of the most common phone mistakes you can make is giving an estimate over the phone. It’s understandable that customers will want an estimate before you begin work, but there is no way you can make an accurate assessment without inspecting the situation first. If they want you to give an estimate before going out, they are probably just price shopping.
7. Confirm the Customer’s Details and End the Call
As soon as the customer agrees to have you our for a risk-free estimate, you want to wrap up the call. While they may still have additional questions, let them know you will address all of their concerns as soon as you can see the damage.
Then confirm their address and then provide an estimate on when you will arrive. Remind them of your company name and describe your truck or van. If you are sending an employee, give them that employee’s name so they are prepared when that person arrives.
8. Arrive On Schedule in a Clean Uniform with the Right Tools
Do everything possible to arrive on schedule. If you are held up for some reason, call the customer immediately and explain the situation. Make sure that your employees do that same as well.
Whether you have a uniform, branded shirt, or just wear basic coveralls, make sure you arrive clean and presentable. This reassures the customer that you are reputable and value their property. Even if you’re coming directly from another job, take a minute to change your shirt and freshen up.
You should also make sure you have the right equipment for the job. While it doesn’t need to look brand new, make sure that its relatively clean and won’t track in dirt. You may also consider keeping shoe covers in your truck just in case your work boots are dirty.
9. Perform Emergency Repairs and Provide an Estimate
Unless there is a cost associated with doing so, you should always perform emergency repairs. This shows that you value your customer more than Most commonly, this includes turning off the main water shut off valve or the electricity but use your best judgment.
Then assess the damage and provide a detailed estimate on repairs. Although some customers may agree immediately, others may still have questions. When necessary, thoroughly explain your estimate and address their concerns.
How to Overcome Common Hurdles
Even if you follow every step outlined above, some customers may still have concerns that you will need to address. Here are some of the most common issues they have and how to overcome them.
What to Do When the Customer Wants an Estimate Over the Phone
Some customers are persistent about getting an estimate over the phone. In our experience, customers that refuse to have you out with knowing the cost are just price shopping. Explain that you can’t provide an accurate price without seeing the damage first hand. If they continue to press you on price, it’s best to just let them go.
How to Convert the Lead When the Customer is Concerned About Your Location
In some cases, customers are just looking for a local business or want a fast response. However, most customers assume that the distance between your location and their property will impact the cost of the job. Address their concerns honestly and give them a realistic expectation when you will arrive.
How to Respond When the Customer is Asking for Another Company
Many contractors will turn away customers calling for another company, but you’re missing out on an opportunity to sell your services. Let them know you offer the same services and give them a realistic expectation of when you could arrive. Ultimately, the decision is still theirs, but at least you attempted to convert the lead.
How to Convert the Lead When the Customer isn’t Unauthorized to Approve the Work
While it’s easy to turn away renters and other customers that can’t authorize the work, you’re missing out on an opportunity to convert more leads. Almost every cell phone can easily do a three-way call with you, the customer, and the decision-maker. If the caller is the child or relative of an elderly homeowner, you may agree to come out without advanced approval at your own risk.
Looking For More Leads? Get More Exclusive, High-Quality Leads Today
Whether you’re still working on getting your marketing rolling to would rather focus just on completing jobs, we have live, exclusive leads that will grow your business. Each of our leads is a high-quality opportunity to land a job with a customer that needs your services. You only pay a flat rate for each lead and are never charged for wrong numbers or spam calls. Fill out our contact form below to learn more about our exclusive leads. A business development manager will be in contact within one business day to provide a free demo of our leads. If you want to secure your area and get started today, call 888-594-8381 now.