Getting More Water Damage Jobs Starts With Answering The Phone: Why You Should Never Use IVRs or Call Centers

Getting More Water Damage Jobs Starts With Answering The Phone: Water damage is still a phone-based industry and customer with a sewage backup doesn’t want to 'Press 1' or wait for an expert to call them back.BBernard / Shutterstock

Every day we talk to contractors looking to get more water damage jobs. One of the most surprising things is the number that use IVRs or call centers. Although they may seem easier, they may actually prevent you from getting jobs.

Water damage and disaster mitigation is still a phone-based industry. 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 your phone system is too difficult.

The Problem With IVRs

An interactive voice response system, also known as an IVR, is an automated phone system widely used by many industries. Using pre-recorded prompts, the system queues and routes callers to the correct department.

An IVR saves you from needing to answer the phone or hire someone to do so. The downside is, a customer with a flood, smoke damage, or another type of emergency can’t talk to a recording. A customer with an emergency is likely to hang up and call a competitor.

The Problem With Call Centers

Many contractors consider call centers more effective than IVRs 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 industry specific or specifically trained to handle water damage and disaster mitigation calls, there isn’t really a difference. If the operator can’t answer the customer’s questions, they will most likely call someone who can.

Get More Water Damage Jobs With A Person Trained To Answer Calls

The best way to get more water damage jobs is to have a person trained to answer disaster mitigation calls picking up your phone. Their goal should always be to provide good customer service and set the appointment.

They need to answer the customer’s questions and have a good understanding of the services you provide. Train them to ask qualifying questions and set the customer’s expectations, too.

How to Handle a Missed Call

You are bound to miss a 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 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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