You are the owner of the heating and air company. You are proud of your company and you want to make sure that Sue, and callers just like her, have a great experience with your company because you take great pride in your and your team’s work and you know that she is going to share her experience with her friends.
Now let’s shift our focus: Imagine it’s a hot day in June. Sue is driving home from work and the temperature gauge in her car reads 93 degrees. She parks her car in your garage and walks inside her house, which is a “cool” 85 degrees. She turns on her air conditioner realizes that the house is getting hotter, not cooler.
Sue realizes that this needs to be taken care of ASAP, so she calls your local heating and air company to take care of her broken air conditioner. After all, she simply is NOT going to live in the heat this way.
The relationship that you have with Sue starts with the phone call.
Here are 4 steps that you can ensure that you start the relationship on the right foot.
- Make Sure to have a live answer for every call.I
As many as 60% of all customers will stop working with a company if they do not receive a live answer when they call.
In our experience, a live answer has helped our trades clients achieve as much as a 60% increase in sales within 6 weeks of starting service with us.
Think about it: If someone is having an emergency, they want to feel heard and that starts with a real human answering the telephone. If you offer 24/7 emergency service, you may want to consider working with an answering service that specializes in handling after hours and emergency calls to reduce overwhelm for your employees and to ensure the phone is answered at all times.
- Listen to what the caller has to say.
When people call about something they feel is urgent, they need to have the time to express their problem to the person answering the phone. Allow them to talk and listen to what they have to say so that they feel heard.
- Ask appropriate questions.
Our most successful clients equip our staff with a series of detailed questions to ask the caller prior to our client calling them back. It helps them understand what the issue is and what steps to take next.
- Dispatch strategy for emergencies.
If the caller is having an emergency, the answering service will typically dispatch an on-call technician. Note: for on-calls, it’s always good to rotate the schedule and to provide backups if one on-call cannot be reached.
With regards to dispatching, there are a couple of ways to do this so that the caller feels they are being taken care of: send the detailed message to the technician and inform the caller that the technician will reach out to them as soon as possible; or connect the technician to the caller via patching.It is very important that the technician calls the prospective client back! Do not ignore the message! Even if you have to tell them that you are not able to come out until the next business day, that is better than not calling the person back.
- Book appointments.
Let’s say the person calling feels that what they are calling about is not an emergency but would like to have a technician come during regular work hours to make sure there is nothing wrong.
The answering service can either schedule the appointment (if possible) or take a date and time the caller would like the service and request the office call back to confirm the appointment is scheduled. Our clients prefer the latter because they will have an opportunity to connect with the caller and ask more questions.
- Express gratitude.
This is one the most crucial tasks: make sure to thank the caller for choosing to contact your company. You appreciate their business and it is important that they feel appreciated.
If you follow the above steps, you will have a great experience with your callers this summer!