The home service industry is a saturated market, where customer experience is the pinnacle of any new and returning business. Because customer needs are ever-changing and require a close watch, business texting is often used to communicate with customers because it has a high response rate and quick response time.
Texting also works great for home service businesses because they typically require a lot of back-and-forth coordination, and text is a two-way communication tool. Whether a lead needs to reach out to ask for a quote or a contractor needs to schedule a service, texting helps bridge any communication gaps caused by the personalized nature of home services. We’ll break down the many ways your home service business can use texting to coordinate communication, increase revenue, acquire new customers, and improve customer retention.
Common challenges home service businesses face
Operating a home service business is expensive. Compared to other industries, home services has one of the highest cost per actions, or CPAs, at $87.13 on Google Adwords alone. An action can look like a lead form submission, a newsletter sign-up, or even a click on a link. Not only that, but the cost of labor has been rapidly increasing throughout the years. The top 10 percent of electricians now make roughly $90k a year, so keeping top talent is costly.
Some common challenges home service businesses face are:
- Acquiring new customers
- Billing and collections
- Customer service
- Customer retention
- Cost of labor
So, how does using business texting tie into all of this? Texting can help home service businesses by generating new customers, keeping appointments on the calendar, collecting payments, and growing a loyal customer base. Ultimately, texting fits seamlessly into a home service business’s workflow, and it’s native to a customer’s phone, making it easy for home service businesses to reach their customers proactively.
5 ways to use business texting to improve your home service business
To give you a better idea of how business texting can help your home service business, we’ll cover some of our Textline customers’ popular use cases.
1. Convert more leads
When it comes time for a person to look for a home service, they typically have many options to choose from. One thing that helps a business stand out from its competitors is being fast to respond.
Though a lead may have specific criteria for selecting a business for their needs, studies show that the first company to respond to a prospective customer has a 78 percent chance of converting them compared to the companies that reach out after. Texting allows you to handle multiple lead inquiries at one time, allowing you to respond to them quicker or follow up with customers who don’t answer a phone call. Texting on the customer’s side also has an average response time of 90 seconds, so it’s a better tool for responding to new leads than other mediums like email that have a 90 minute average response time. The faster you can reply to a new lead; the higher your chances are of converting them.
Textline customer 1-800-GOTJUNK? not only asks leads to request a quote via text for any junk removal services, but they also use MMS to provide quotes and schedule appointments. They credit texting’s fast response time for helping them handle conversations quicker.
2. Reduce no-shows with appointment reminders
Regardless of the industry, no-shows are poison for a business. For the home services industry, no-shows can look like a customer not being home for a scheduled appointment. That’s actually more costly than simply missing out on potential revenue, considering that the home service business has the additional cost of sending a provider to a location, and a no-show wastes their time.
No-shows can also look like the inability to complete a job because of some interference, like if you need to access a person’s backyard but the door is locked, and you’re unable to reach them to start the job. One everyday use case for business texting is to send appointment reminders to reduce no-shows and ensure things are ready before you arrive. The goal is to receive a response from a customer in time to confirm an appointment, cancel it, or reschedule for a better time. By using business texting to gauge a customer’s commitment to their allotted time, home service businesses can better understand what their expected revenue is, based on their calendar.
3. Schedule repeat appointments
It’s costly for home service businesses to acquire a single customer, but the hope is that they will come back and provide repeat business. In the best-case scenario, the cost of acquiring a customer is made up tenfold with the revenue they provide your business by reusing your services every time they have a need. It’s easy for a service to slip a customer’s mind, primarily if that appointment occurs every few months. Home service companies can use business texting to reach out to old customers to schedule appointments proactively, locking in more revenue and making for a better customer experience by staying on top of their needs.
4. Billing and collections
If we’re talking about technicalities, technically, a job isn’t complete until a payment occurs. Home services are pricey, and the time commitment to a single appointment can rack up hundreds of dollars of revenue. Sending a payment link via text makes it easier for customers to click the link and pay immediately. Links in texts have click-through rates eight times higher than other channels. Home service businesses can also send follow-up texts for late payments, which is a gentle way to remind customers that they have an outstanding balance without touching on any nerves since money can be a sensitive topic.
5. Ask for customer reviews
One way home service businesses can acquire new customers is through word of mouth, namely customer reviews. Statistics show that nearly 72 percent of people won’t take action until they’ve read a review. A home service business has to stand out among its competitors, especially since it’s likely one of many providers to the exact geo-location. The more positive reviews a company has, the better its chances of standing out to people on the hunt for a service provider.
Home service businesses can text customers asking for reviews on popular review sites like Google Business Profiles, Yelp, Facebook, or Angie’s List. They can also use text to understand which customers to ask for reviews since you don’t want to request one from a customer who had a poor experience with your business.
The bottom line
In today’s world of customer service, texting is a must. It’s one of the most popular communication methods, and it makes it convenient for home service businesses to stay in touch with their customers for a plethora of reasons. From converting a new lead to scheduling repeat appointments and collecting payments, business texting is a tool that takes a home service business’s revenue to the next level.