One of the cornerstones of any business is their communication skills. Regardless of your qualifications or the services you offer, you cannot be successful if you are unable to communicate effectively with your current and potential customers.
Here at 33 Mile Radius, we have worked with thousands of contractors that are great at generating leads. After listening to more than 100,000 phone calls, we found over 30% of jobs are lost solely based on the call itself.
In most instances, it was nothing more than a distracted contractor communicating ineffectively, but in rare cases, we saw people being rude, angry, or even condescending. No matter how frustrating your day might be, remember that the caller has an immediate need and is looking to pay you for your services. Answer the phone accordingly.
For most of our contractors, we recommend writing and memorizing a call script. Planning out what you’re going to say ensures that you communicate effectively with your customers and drastically increases the likelihood of making the sale. While the phone script for a roofer will be different from that of a plumber in terms of content, there are key points that apply to every industry.
Answering The Call
When your phone rings, stop what you are doing and collect your thoughts before answering. The caller has some type of need, potentially even an emergency, so answer the phone in pleasant and professional tone to set them at ease and instill confidence.
“Good afternoon, Rooks Home Improvement Services. This is Jeff, how may I assist you today?”
Stating the name of your company reinforces your brand and ensures the caller reached the correct number. Saying your name makes a personal connection and asking how you can help assures the caller that you care about their needs.
Get Their Contact Information
The caller will likely begin telling you about their problem. It’s possible that they could be frantic, so be sympathetic to their situation.
“I’m very sorry to hear that, but I am happy to help. First, what is your name”
If they haven’t already told you their name, asking allows you to make a personal connection with them.
“I’m sorry to meet you under these circumstances, Carol. You are the homeowner, correct?”
Confirm that they are the homeowner to ensure you are talking to someone who can make decisions. You could also ask about whether they have insurance as well depending on your specific industry. It’s likely that you have caller id, but if not, get their phone number so you can call them back if necessary.
“If we get disconnected, is this a good number to call you back at?”
Now that you have a clear picture of who you are talking to, ask them for more information about their situation.
“Okay Carol, can you tell me more about where the water is coming from?”
Listen Carefully And Ask Relevant Questions
Pay attention to what they say and allow them to finish completely before responding. It’s likely that they won’t know all the right terms, so be patient with them.
“Okay, Carol, if I understood you correctly, there is a leak somewhere in your second-floor bathroom and water is seeping the through the ceiling into your kitchen. You don’t see any signs of water upstairs, but water starts dripping into the kitchen when the shower is running. Did I miss anything?”
Repeat their problem back to them not only lets them know that you are listening, but also ensures you have a clear understanding of their situation. You may need to ask a few questions to get a better assessment. Continue to be polite and focus on addressing their needs.
“How Much is This Going To Cost?”
At some point, the caller is going to ask how much their project is going to cost. Obviously, it’s extremely difficult to predict the cost of a job over the phone, but it’s important to look at the situation from their perspective. While they have an immediate need, they are also likely concerned about being able to afford it.
“Without knowing exactly what is causing the water leak in your bathroom, there is no way for me provide an accurate estimate. However, I would like to come over for a free inspection. Once I know what is causing the problem, I will be able to provide a detailed estimate and we can work from there.”
Whenever possible, offer a free inspection and estimate. Not only will this ensure that you don’t under- or overestimate the cost of the job, but it is also harder for the caller to say no to you when you are standing in their home.
Even if their issue seems clear-cut, providing an estimate sight unseen could be a costly mistake. If you cannot offer a free estimate for some reason, have a clear explanation as to why and explain the costs associated with coming out for an inspection
Set The Appointment
When working with the caller to book an appointment, remember to be flexible with their schedule. Even in an emergency, it might be difficult for them to get off work or arrange for someone to watch their children.
“Is now a good time for me to come over for a free inspection and estimate or would you like to schedule an appointment?”
Once you have it set, confirm the appointment time with them thank them for calling.
“Okay Carol, I’ll see you this afternoon at 4:30 pm for your free inspection. I appreciate you calling Rooks Home Improvement Services.”
While each call will be unique, knowing what you are going to say will help you book more appointments and, ultimately, get more jobs. Practice answering calls and continue to perfect your call skills. Take notes on how different tactics work and remove things from your script that result in you losing the lead.
If other employees are answering the phone, work with them on the script as well to ensure a consistent call experience across your company. With practice, you’ll be an expert at landing the job every single time.
Based in Cleveland, OH, 33 Mile Radius provide lead generation and review management services to home service contractors across the United States.