As a business owner, you know that the first contact with a potential client is important. Whether it becomes a new job or a lost lead is often up to the person who answers the phone for your company. We listen to hundreds of incoming phone calls to restoration companies across the country each week, and we've identified some key best practices that determine the success of a phone call.
Attitude: Expectation and Tone
A positive attitude doesn't mean peppy and cheerful when it comes to someone who answers the phone for a restoration company. After all, the person calling is likely experiencing a personal crisis at their property. "Positive" in this means you are saying phrases like the following:
- "You've called the right company."
- "We are able to take care of you."
Those statements offer much-needed assurance because they address real fears that anybody has when calling a company they've never worked with before.
While it's smart to screen incoming leads to establish their credibility (or the likelihood of an insurance claim payout), it's important to do so in a way that doesn't feel like an interrogation or that the caller has to prove to you that you should take their business. After all, you are not their only option, and what may not seem on the surface to be a big-dollar-sign project could become one after an inspection or further conversation.
Relationship: Customer Retention and Satisfaction
Establishing the start of a relationship during that first contact will make it more likely that your company will be hired even if they're shopping around for estimates. They'll come back to YOU if you positively addressed not only their need for information, but also their need for a shoulder to help carry their burden. If the call is answered by someone who sounds distracted, bored, or rushed, the caller will assume that everybody else on your team will respond in that manner, and they won't call you back.
- Be empathetic when listening to their situation. Put yourself in their shoes.
- Respond to their distress with soothing compassion.
- Be the calm in their storm with ready answers and a plan of action.
Clients who felt taken care of from start-to-finish are customers and friends for life. They will go out of their way to leave your company and your technicians an awesome review. They will also recommend you to their neighbors, their coworkers or anybody who asks who to call if they need a restoration contractor.
Details: Find Out Who is Calling You and From Where
Early on in the phone call, it's vital to get a callback number if the call is disconnected. While they may call you back if the call drops suddenly, you'll also have the chance to call them back right away, letting them know that the call mattered to you. Modern phone service is pretty reliable, but business phone systems often route through internet connections, making them vulnerable to disconnection.
Don't wait until they speak to a mitigation technician to get the service area address. Asking for that information lets the caller know that you are already planning on helping them.
Authority: You Know What You Are Doing
Restoration companies are superheroes. You can do things most people can't. The caller needs to know that they are talking to someone who has an understanding of what goes on with a restoration job. Avoid statements like, "I have no idea if we do that."
Some of our most successful restoration clients have a phone system in place where a call can be transferred to an on-call technician if the person answering the call doesn't have an answer or isn't sure about something. Your technicians will have the experience needed to answer questions while driving the conversation toward an on-site assessment.
Losing a Lead = <$$ in Three Ways
- No Job = No Invoice, No Payment
- No Relationship = No Referrals From Satisfied Clients
- Phone Calls Can Cost Money
If you have any ads running, every incoming phone call to your business could be a $40, $80, or even a $150+ phone call. Make that money worth it by making sure your entire team knows how to not lose a lead on the first call.