Even in the face of a disaster or emergency, customers often fixate on location. We listen to thousands of calls each week and customers ask where the contractor is located in more than half of them. The most successful contractors are able to respond to this question with confidence, turning it into an opening to sell their services and connect with their customers. Learn the proper way to respond when customers ask where are you located and you’ll end up with more customers and more jobs.
Why Customers Think Location Matter
As a society, we’re trained to customers to ask where a business is located. Think about the ads you see or hear every day. They all say “visit your local car dealer” or “stop into your neighborhood grocery store”. Regardless of the industry or service, they are inundated with messaging that location matters. Aside from that conditioning, most customers will ask where are you located for 3 reasons:
The vast majority of customers will ask for your location because they assume it will impact the price. For some reason, they expect that you will charge more if you have to drive a few miles further to get to their home or business.
Most customers assume that someone from their own city or town is more trustworthy and less likely to cheat them. In our experience, most businesses are out to perform the best service for their customers at industry-standard rates.
3. Response Time
Normally last on the list, customers will assume that proximity impacts response time. To a degree, they have a point. As much as time is a factor in restoration services, 5 or 10 minutes isn’t going to make that big of a difference in the cleanup cost.
What Customers Mean By Local
The phrase local business means many different things to many people. If your customer asks you if you are local, they most likely want to know if you are located near them. In most cases, they are not asking if you are locally owned or an independent business. However, if they do mean a local business answer their question as clearly as possible.
How to Respond When Customers Ask Where Are You Located
If your customer asks where are you located, this is an easy hurdle to get over. The best way to handle this situation is to know exactly what you’re going to say in advance. The goal is to be confident and to redirect the conversation back to their needs.
Provide a Location
If your customer asks, you should always respond with a location. Give your street and city if you have a brick and mortar office, give the street and city. You can just give your city if you work from your truck. In addition to providing a location, you should also list your service area.
Sell Your Services
You should also make selling your services part of answering their location question. You can include things like how long you’ve been in business, but make sure you hit the main points about your services, like water extraction or soot removal. Then turn the conversation around on them by asking what happened.
Offer to Provide an Estimate
Listen to their response and respond with compassion for their situation. Offer to come out for an on-site assessment and estimate. Ideally, you should offer a free estimate on disaster mitigation services. If you charge a trip fee or there is a cost for the estimate, clearly indicate them at this time.
Give a Response Time
Right after offering to provide an estimate, give an approximate amount of time it will take you to arrive. You probably only have the customer’s city at this point, so keep things general like half and full hours. Factor in both drive time and traffic, as well as time to get out the door. Ideally, you should keep your truck loaded whenever possible, but fact time there if necessary.
How to Deal With Customers Asking About Price
For most customers, the steps outlined above is enough to address their concerns. However, a few may still worry about the cost. If that’s that case, reassure them by outlining your pricing.
If you use estimating software, don’t be afraid to tell them. Explain that you use industry-standard software that estimates the cost of their job based on data. Let them know that most contractors will use something similar and that an estimate from a contractor in their city or town will be in the exact same ballpark as your estimate.
Then reiterate that you are ready to go now and can arrive quickly to provide a detailed estimate. Remember to be clear if you charge a trip fee or there is a cost for your estimate.
Examples of How to Respond When Customers Ask For Your Location
Each of these scenarios outlines how to respond to a customer depending on certain key details. Depending on your needs, you can mix and match to provide the best response and service to your customers.
Example Scenario 1: Brick and Mortar Location
We’re located on Main Street between 1st and 2nd streets in downtown Willoughby, but we service all of Lake County including Eastlake, Mentor, Painesville, and Willowick. We provide water extraction, structural drying, and total restoration for any type of water damage. What city are you in and how bad is the damage so I can get a better idea of what you’re dealing with?
<Wait for their response>
I’m really sorry you’re going through this, but I can definitely get your home cleaned up and restored. I’d be happy to come out and provide a free estimate. I’m about 30 minutes away right now. Based on what you’ve said, I’m going to load some additional equipment in my truck, so it’s going to take a little longer to get out the door. Once I arrive, I’ll assess the damage and provide an estimate. If you’re happy with that, I’ll be ready to begin work immediately.
Example Scenario 2: Working from a Truck or On the Road
I just finished up a job in Independence, but I’m based in Parma and serve all of Cuyahoga County from Euclid to Westlake and all the way down to Brecksville, Solon, and Strongsville. I’m a licensed mold remediation contractor and I’m happy to provide a free visual assessment. Where are you located and can you describe your mold problem so I have an idea what’s going on?
<Wait for their response>
Well, it sounds like the conditions are right for mold, but I can make a better assessment once I see it. If you’re willing, I’d be happy to come out for a free estimate. My truck is loaded up and I can be on my way in just a few minutes. It should only take me 30 minutes to get there at this time of day. I can start work today or schedule something that works with your schedule as well.
Example Scenario 3: Multiple Trucks or Locations
I’m located in Tampa Heights, but I have multiple fire restoration crews throughout the area. We service all of Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, including Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Brandon, and Palm Harbor. If I’m not the closest one to you, I’ll relay the information to the crew that’s closest to you. Every one of my crews will provide a free estimate and will arrive with the tools necessary to start cleaning up after your fire. Can you tell me a little about your fire and where you are located?
<Wait for their response>
Wow, that sounds intense, but I’m glad that everyone is safe. With that amount of smoke and soot after a grease fire, we’re probably looking at cleaning and then sealing the walls but we’ll need to see it first hand to really tell. One of my other crews is closer to you that I am. The project leader is Jorge and he has 15 years experience with fire restoration. He needs a few minutes to load up his truck, but he’s can be there in about half an hour to provide a free estimate. If you sign off on that, he will get this team moving right away.
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