Written by Ari Greenbaum, co-founder of conXpros
In a perfect world, homeowners that just submitted a lead for a home improvement project will patiently wait until you have finished painting a room, installing new flooring, or servicing a furnace. However, this is not fairy tale land, this is the highly competitive business of being a home improvement or home services pro! This is 2020, a world where homeowners are no different than other consumers who expect instant gratification. We live at a time that most customer service issues can be attended to 24 hours per day, 7 days a week through chats or AI driven systems.
A recent article from the digital marketing company Super Office shared some interesting statistics. They shared that 88% of customers expect a response within 60 minutes or less, while 30% expect a response within 15 minutes of a request being placed. Harvard Business Review published the following data: “We audited 2,241 U.S. companies, measuring how long each took to respond to a web-generated test lead. Although 37% responded to their lead within an hour, and 16% responded within one to 24 hours, 24% took more than 24 hours—and 23% of the companies never responded at all.” An even smaller percentage responded within 5 minutes (only 586 out of the companies measured).
Clearly a fast response time sets you apart from the competition. The question is “why is this so urgent?”. The simple answer is that the internet is a source for multiple options for the consumer. When a homeowner that just submitted their information for a project (a lead) does not get the response and answers they need from you…they will turn to alternatives to get the help needed. Home improvement and home service companies are in a highly competitive business. That homeowner has likely already reached out to and made contact with your competition! If you are ok with sending your business to your competitors, all the power to you. I am not of that mindset and I imaging that most reading this article share the same sentiments.
When you are receiving inquiries from your own website or ads, you cannot assume that the homeowner wants you so bad that they will wait. It is more likely that they are finding your competition one click away from where they found you. This is even more evident with lead generation. When receiving shared leads, the odds are that one of the others receiving the same customer lead have beaten you to the punch and have a leg up on you to close the job. For those that work with exclusive leads from a lead generation company, when the homeowner has not heard from you, they will find a different landing page for a lead company that will get them the help they desire. Lead generation often comes town to the same rules as the wild, wild west…quick on the draw or you end up dead.
So, what is the clear message from all of this? Decreasing your response time to homeowner inquiries and leads will directly increase the number of new clients you acquire! Your leads are more likely to convert when you respond fast. There is not a study I have found that suggests anything other than the faster you respond to leads, the more likely you are to close the deal. Consumers live busy lives with many distractions. Put your company in the front of their mind as opposed to delaying and having your company a distant thought.
3 Simple Tips to Improve Your Response Time and Lead Conversion
- Dedicated responders: Whether you are an owner operator or a larger company, make sure you have someone dedicated to responding to homeowner inquiries and leads. If you work with a lead generation company that allows you to dictate when you are eligible for leads, adjust your settings to ensure that someone will be ready and able to make that call immediately upon receipt of a homeowner request. If you are the only one capable of doing this for your business, utilize the “pause” feature that most lead services offer to stop leads from being delivered when you are not available to respond like a gunslinger.
- Technology is a tool: It is better to have an automated response (email or text) than to ignore the homeowner until time allows you to respond. There are many options for auto response softwares out there both for email as well as text. I have shared one of these companies, ContractorTexter in the past and believe in what they offer as a huge value. Hubspot also shared a list of the top response automation platforms available to help find what works for you. Although it is not as personal as a call, it still puts you in front of the client and ensures that they do not think you are simply not interested in helping them.
- Process: Develop and implement a consistent multi touch point process that you apply to every homeowner inquiry or lead. Game plan the first call, the automated responses, additional calls, & follow ups. People that are process driven are more likely to achieve consistent results.
Success in today’s uber-competitive world is challenging enough based on the number of options available to consumers to meet their needs. With most of these options only a click away, the importance of lightning fast response times are more exaggerated and necessary than ever before. You market your company to generate business. Put yourself in the most advantageous position on every opportunity to dominate your competition. Applying this approach will directly impact your results, regardless of where the homeowner request is originating from. I have seen the customer acquisition results of so many companies improve when implementing these practices. Are you next?