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8 ways home service businesses can use texting to acquire more leads and retain customers

Fatima Puri
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Home service industries have one of the most expensive acquisition costs compared to other verticals. On Google Adwords alone, the average cost per action, also known as CPA, for a home service business is $87.13. Despite the high CPA, home service businesses can profit on each acquisition by first converting as many leads as possible and then turning them into repeat business. By doing so, they’re increasing each customer’s lifetime value and essentially turning their marketing efforts into a positive return on investment.

One way to get more leads and book more appointments is to use business texting to reach out to potential customers. Texting is quick, versatile, and personal — making it the perfect tool to acquire and retain customers. Continue reading the article for examples of how home service companies can incorporate texting into their customer acquisition strategy.

Using business texting to acquire new customers

When it comes to converting more leads, speed is everything. Studies show that the first company to respond to a lead has a 78 percent chance of converting them compared to the companies that reach out to a lead after. Not only will a quick reply give you a higher chance at converting a lead, but it will also provide exceptional customer service.

Generally, those looking for a home service will call around for multiple quotes, which is another reason to focus on speed and putting your best foot forward from the get-go. Here are some different ways home service businesses can use texting to acquire new customers. 

Word of mouth referrals

People are always looking for a credible source to help them buy a product or service, so gaining customer trust is crucial for businesses. But relationships take time to build. Texting can make it easier for you to build your customer relationships because it’s a constant back-and-forth that’s easy to access, which can fashion a more personal and convenient customer experience. And hopefully this will lead to your existing customers referring you to their friends and family.

You can also use text to reach out to happy customers you have a strong relationship with to ask for referrals. Fifty-four percent of marketers say referral marketing has a lower cost-per-lead than other channels. The goal is to provide exceptional customer service to your customers in hopes that they’ll become champions for your business.

Text message example of a word-of-mouth referral
A tree maintenance company asks for customer referrals.

Drive reviews to local directories

What’s one of the first things a person does when choosing a business to help them with a home service? They search for reviews, of course! Reviews do a lot for businesses, especially those in the home service industry because they build your credibility and add an extra level of trust to your services. Roughly 72 percent of customers won’t take action until they read a review. 

You can use business texting to reach out to customers to write reviews on local directories like Yelp and Google Places. Texting is a quick and efficient way to first get feedback from customers. If you notice you’re getting great feedback from one, you can shoot them a text on the spot to request a review. 

Text message example of requesting a review
A gardener asks a client for a review on Google Places.

Ads or a lead form

Ads are a costly endeavor, so you want to make sure you make the most out of each ad by adding multiple ways a customer can get in touch with you. Putting your texting number on ads is a great CTA for two different scenarios.

One, a prospect can see your ad and text in with a question. Having your texting number on ads and on your lead forms can potentially increase lead volume because a lead will be more inclined to reach out if they prefer texting. It makes the difference between having a prospect reach out or not.

Text message example of a lead reaching out after seeing an ad
A carpet cleaning service answers a question in regards to a Facebook ad.

As we mentioned earlier, texting is efficient for fast contact, and it has a higher response rate than other channels at 45 percent. The faster you reply to a lead, the higher your chances are of converting them into a paying customer. 

Text message example of following up with a lead after a form fill
A carpet cleaning service answers a question in regards to a Facebook ad.

Reducing no-shows 

Now that you’ve acquired a new lead and booked an appointment, you want to make sure it goes according to plan. There’s no worse feeling than booking a no-show. Across industries, the average no-show rate ranges from 10-15 percent. While you can’t control all no-shows, you do have the power to text leads with an appointment confirmation to reduce them.

A lead isn’t a paying customer until a job is completed. You want to keep leads to their appointments to ensure you have a higher chance of finishing a job.

Text message example of keeping a lead to their appointments
A pool cleaning service confirms an appointment time with a lead.

In the case that a lead needs to cancel their appointment, by texting them, you’ve now made it easier for them to reschedule since text is a two-way conversation.

Text message example of rescheduling an appointment with a lead
A plumber reschedules an appointment with a lead.

Using business texting to book more appointments proactively 

Because acquiring new customers is costly, the key to increasing your return on investment is to become the go-to service provider for that customer. The hope is that over time the customers’ lifetime value will far exceed their initial acquisition cost. Increasing customer retention rates by even five percent can increase profits by up to 95 percent.

Money bag icon with 95 percent
Increasing customer retention rates by even five percent can increase profits by up to 95 percent

You can use business texting to be more proactive with your customer retention efforts by anticipating your existing customers’ needs. Here are a few retention strategies you can implement with business texting. 

Schedule the next appointment upon completion of current service

One of the most efficient times to book a repeat appointment is immediately after a current service. Why? Well, first, you’re in person and already interacting with the customer. Like how dental offices schedule appointments after a cleaning, your business can use the same plan to book future appointments in the home services industry. While it’s ideal to book an appointment on the spot, it’s also likely you won’t have a chance to schedule another appointment until after you leave the customer’s house due to their busy schedules.

After completing a service, you can shoot a customer a quick text that they can reply to at their convenience. Below is an example of a follow-up text conversation after an immediate service. 

Text message example of a follow-up text conversation after an immediate service
A cleaning service schedules a customer's next appointment.

Reach out before a semi-annual or annual service

It’s easy for customers to forget home service needs that only occur every six months to a year. You can be proactive in booking appointments and remind your customers of their semi-annual or annual service needs with texting. Anticipating your customers’ needs is a quality they’ll appreciate because it lets them know they are top of mind.

Compared to email, texting is a better way to reach out for appointment reminders because it has a higher response rate. It also gives home service businesses an easy way to get back in touch with their customers.

Text message example of reaching out for appointment reminders
An HVAC company reaches out to schedule an annual appointment.

Ask for feedback post-job

Requesting feedback from customers helps you better your business for a few reasons. First, it enables you to connect and deepen your relationship with your customers because they feel like you care about their needs if you provide them with the opportunity to share feedback. Not only that, but customer feedback is beneficial to understand what areas of your business need improvement. On the chance that a customer has poor feedback, with text, you’re now able to right the wrong by scheduling a future appointment to fix the problem. 

Text message example of asking for feedback post-job
A landscaping company receives customer feedback and tries to resolve the issue.

Simply express gratitude

Not every text you send a customer has to be a sales pitch — sometimes merely expressing gratitude for their business will mean a lot for your business — but only if your message is genuine and appropriately-timed. While you can text customers on significant holidays, it’ll be harder for you to break through the noise as they're likely receiving texts from friends, family, and other companies.

Instead, reach out to them randomly once or twice throughout the year. You want to be warm and personal but not overly intimate with your messaging.

Text message example of reaching out randomly to express gratitude
A junk removal company sends a customer appreciation text.

The bottom line

In short, business texting is an excellent tool for businesses in the home service industry because it helps you stay connected with your customers, helps you manage multiple appointments, and is perfect for adding a personal touch to your business. The two-way communication also enables you to iron out any questions or comments from your customers while being quick and manageable.

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