If you own a home service business, this one’s for you.
For most home service businesses, phone calls are the single greatest source for new customers. If your sink is spewing gallons of water all over the kitchen or you just discovered a termite infestation, you’ll probably pick up the phone rather than waiting for a response to an email. Given the recent uptick in mobile searches and search engines offering click-to-call directly from search results, this is perfectly logical and convenient. It stands to reason, then, that if you’re the business receiving those calls, and you take your business seriously, answering every single call is high on your priority list. You might even think you do a pretty good job of it! Unfortunately, new data suggests that might not be entirely true.
According to a report from ServiceDirect, the know-it-alls of online advertising, there’s a lot home service professionals don’t know about their telephone usage. They analyzed 2017 call data across 42 home service categories, focusing on three key metrics:
- Call Answer Rate: The number of phone calls the business answered as a percentage of total phone calls received;
- Lead Capture Rate: The number of phone calls during which contact information was collected as a percentage of the total number of answered calls;
- Appointment Booking Rate: The number of phone calls during which an appointment was scheduled as a percentage of the total number of answered calls.
What they found was somewhat surprising, starting with:
You might be missing more calls than you think.
Every missed call is a missed opportunity, especially when most of your potential new clients will reach out via phone. This is precisely why this first statistic is so important. When surveyed, home service professionals estimated, on average, that their call answer rate sits somewhere around 97%. Their actual answer rate? 66%. In other words, you might be missing up to one-third of your phone calls without ever knowing it.
Fret not. There’s an easy fix.
If you think you might be experiencing a similar disconnect, there’s a simple solution: Consider hiring an answering service to answer your calls. According to this report, answering services kept an answer rate of 99% as well as a lead capture rate of 86% (again, this means that the answering service collected contact information for 86% of the calls they answered). Not surprising, as it’s their sole purpose. In-house staff, on the other hand, had a lead capture rate of 75%.
The cost of hiring a high-quality answering service might seem like an unnecessary expenditure at first, but you might reconsider when you do the math: If the average home service job costs $450, your answering service will pay for itself if it brings you even one new client a month—and we’re willing to bet it can do more than that. If these numbers are anything close to how your business operates, you’re hurting your business by continuing to answer your own phone. Many answering services will even start you off with a free trial, so it won’t cost you anything to give it a shot.
To recap: You might be missing more calls than you think. Most, if not all, of your business will come to you through the phone, so you’ll see more clients coming in if you take measures to ensure every call gets answered. We didn’t spoil it all, though: Read the entirety of the ServiceDirect report here.