Contractor Corner

If you hadn’t noticed from the news, hurricane season is upon us. Storms are raging from coast to coast, causing flooding from Maryland to Louisiana to the Southwest. Your plumbing service is reaping the benefits with backed up drains and sewer lines from all of the clogged storm drains or backed up septic systems that can’t absorb any more water because the saturated ground flooded out the septic field causing plumbing back ups.

Missing emergency calls

Being your are so busy, stopping to take calls isn’t on your to-do list. But missing emergency calls is not an option either. So what to do? Hire a customer service contractor, one that knows about the plumbing business and plumbing emergencies. Trust me, going cheaper on any old answering service will cost you in the long run.

Here is a comparison

Any old answering service will be happy to take messages. Those will still have to be returned, by you. They don’t schedule appointments for you or provide information to your customers. You may as well just use the free voicemail that your phone provider has. You’ll still have to take the time to return calls. You’ll probably find that a definite percentage of those calls have been made moot because they called another plumber! In an emergency there is no call back waiting time option!

“Customer and dispatch service”

Now picture this: you hire a service that doesn’t just answer your phones. They talk with your customer or prospective customer about the issue they have with their plumbing. They can find out if it’s a situation that needs immediate attention or can wait. They can also schedule that immediate or future appointment right then and there. Now that customer is on your calendar and not someone else’s calendar. The service will also get in touch with your on call guys and dispatch them out to the emergence calls.

Save time

Hire a “customer and dispatch service”that has knowledge about plumbing and also can access your scheduling software and dispatch capabilities. It will save you time in returning calls and save you money in the business you keep because your customers get the attention they need and deserve before you even set foot on their property.

Looking for a great company to help with this? Find out more about our Customer and Dispatch Service for Plumbers!

Hiring A “Customer and Dispatch Service” For Plumbing Emergencies | If you hadn't noticed from the news, hurricane season is upon us. Storms are raging from coast to coast, causing flooding from Maryland to Louisiana to the Southwest.

Like it or not, as a contractor and business owner you are also a salesperson. Yes, that nasty word…salesperson. But you are. You have to sell the jobs and keep the clients. That takes sales knowledge and tactics. One of those tactics is follow up. There are three important times to do that.

First time to follow up

The first time follow up is important is when you are onboarding maintenance clients. Maintenance clients are the bread and butter of your business. Yes, big jobs are great, but it’s the maintenance clients that keep your business running.

Making sure that you follow up with these clients is important. You should check in with them at each step of the way, starting at closing of the deal. Then after the first maintenance and so on.

After the quote

The next time is after you give a client or prospective client a quote but haven’t gotten a deposit from them. You spent a lot of time with that customer, going over what they want done. Then the time to write the quote.

But you haven’t heard back from them yet. Your first mistake was not getting a deposit on the spot, so following up is really important. Customers will often get a quote from you then use it to haggle down another contractor. Use this follow up to reinforce your job quality and workmanship to win them back.

The last time for follow up is after the work has been completed

This time it’s time to find out how the job went. You got the job and sent out your crew. Now is the time to send a thank you card and follow up with a call. Clients love to be shown how grateful you are for their business.

You need to know that your crew did everything right. Call or stop by and find out just how it went and what they think. Ask for their feedback and use this opportunity to make them a maintenance client.

If you would like to have some help with all this followup, make sure to give us a call today to find out more! (813) 438-3666 – NATIONWIDE.

Contractor Marketing - Our 3 Top Sales Tips... Follow Up, Follow Up, Follow Up | Like it or not, as a contractor and business owner you are also a salesperson. Yes, that nasty word…salesperson. But you are. You have to sell the jobs and keep the clients. That takes sales knowledge and tactics. One of those tactics is follow up. There are three important times to do that.

Your carpet cleaning company is as busy as can be and taking time to answer your phones isn’t on your schedule. But you know you won’t stay busy if you don’t get those messages. So, you realize it’s time to hire customer service help. But don’t hire just anyone. That mistake could be worse than trying to do it yourself.

So let’s see why that is

Picture this: you have a client call because their dog ate a bag of chocolates and threw them up all over the carpet. They need to know whether the stains will come out and what they can do. If you had the time to actually take the call and either give them some advice on how to try and treat it or schedule the time to come and let your magic remove the stains. Hire the wrong service and the most you’ll get is a name and phone number. At worst your prospective customer will move on to another company that will answer their question on the first call.

Dispatch and customer service contractor

What you need is a dispatch and customer service contractor that knows enough about your business that they can be actually be helpful to your customers and prospective customers. They should also have the ability to schedule appointments for you on the call. Your customers will appreciate getting help when they call, from a real person (as opposed to a voice mail box) and not have to wait for a call back to make their appointment. Plus it will save you the time in making return calls and keep your calendar full.

Hire the right customer service not just any old one. Your business will flourish and your customers will love you!

Want some help with your carpet cleaning business, check out our Dispatch and Customer Service Services!

Hiring A Dispatch And Customer Service Contractor For Carpet Cleaning Companies | Your carpet cleaning company is as busy as can be and taking time to answer your phones isn’t on your schedule. But you know you won’t stay busy if you don’t get those messages. So, you realize it’s time to hire customer service help. But don’t hire just anyone. That mistake could be worse than trying to do it yourself.

Service management software is designed to help you as a busy contractor. It seems like there aren’t enough hours in the day and all those hours you spend in the office doing paperwork, bookkeeping and scheduling could be much better spent. So what can you do? Well, there is software you can use to help make the most of your valuable time.

There is a plethora of software for contractors, from general contractors to subs. For the smaller contractor there are a few good programs out there. Here are two.

Service Fusion

Service Fusion is a great business management software tool that provides control of your business anywhere. It has great customer management tools that allows you to easily access contact information, set contact preferences (such as email, text, phone call), billing terms, notes that either all can see or only certain people, referral tracking, multiple services locations, equipment information, documents, images and historical information whenever and wherever you need it.

It also has mobile apps that allow your employees to get job information and manage the jobs on their smartphones or tablets. It also allows employees to keep you up to date on progress. That helps to increase productivity and helps you become one step closer to a paperless office. It has integrated voice and text, email and also allows you to use social media right from the program.

Successware

Successware is another great program for the contractor. In fact, it was specifically built for the home services company. The SW Remote feature allows your technicians to use their smartphone or tablet to do the job from start to finish while it syncs with your desktop program. It also allows you to manage your customer files, including images and documents, take inbound customer calls, dispatch employees via text message and email with mapping, keep in touch with clients via email right from the program, invoice jobs and track receivables, general ledger, income statements and balance sheets, marketing, lead tracking, track purchasing and accounts payables, manage projects, cost jobs and control inventory, employee time/commission tracking, payroll and it also integrates with QuickBooks and ADP payroll services. Talk about business in a box!

Use service management software to help make your business more streamlined, effective and profitable. We can help you implement and manage these systems in your business! Check out our contractor services today!

What Is Service Management Software For Contractors | Service management software is designed to help you as a busy contractor. It seems like there aren’t enough hours in the day and all those hours you spend in the office doing paperwork, bookkeeping and scheduling could be much better spent. So what can you do? Well, there is software you can use to help make the most of your valuable time.

Have you ever wondered why some contractor answering services charge one rate and another service charges more or less? It’s because some services offer so much more “service” than others.

Low end service

If you hire a low rate service, don’t count on a lot of frills. The most you’ll get is someone answering your phones and giving you messages that you need to return and schedule. Usually you hire an answering service to save you time. Not sure how this type of service does that, but at least you don’t miss calls. Whether those prospective customers wait for you to call back or move onto the next name on the list is a risk you take.

Mid rate service

A mid rate service may schedule appointments for you instead of just taking phone messages. They may or may not use your scheduling software. If not, you’ll need to take what they have on a calendar page and add it to your software. Obviously there is a bit more to be charged if they are taking those few extra steps. So you might not lose those prospective customers, but you may be getting appointments that you don’t really need, or lose them because it was actually an emergency situation and the service didn’t know.

Full service contractor customer service company

The full service contractor customer service company charges the most, but gives you much more bang for your buck. This service has it all. They are knowledgeable about your area of business. If you’re an electrical contractor or plumber, they know enough to know the difference between an emergency and something that can wait to be scheduled later. They use your scheduling software to send immediate emergencies out to the field or non-emergencies onto your schedule.

Your customers will love it and probably have no idea that they are talking to a service and not your own office staff. You look professional and the kind of business that people will want to work with.

Don’t go cheap with your service. Your business and customers will thank you for it!

If you would like to learn more about hiring a full service contractor customer service company, check out Contractor In Charge TODAY!

Why Contractor Answering Service Rates Vary So Much | Have you ever wondered why some contractor answering services charge one rate and another service charges more or less? It’s because some services offer so much more “service” than others.

Plumbing problems are the worst. Whether your customer has well water or city supplied water, being without it is horrible. Having their home flooded because of a broken pipe will cost a bunch and customers are desperate to get it fixed. Do you want any old answering service taking those calls? Probably not. You need a service that provides more than just answering your phones. This post will go over what to look for when hiring a plumbing dispatch and customer service contractor!

First, what scheduling services do they offer and during what hours?

You don’t just want an after- hours emergency service. Why not? Because getting back to customers who have to leave a message with and after hours services or on your voicemail is part of the problem. One because they will move onto the next number they have for another plumber who does answer their phones (customers want to hear a human voice) and two because you need to be working your business.

Hiring a service that not only takes messages but also can use your scheduling software and schedule your customers is a huge advantage. No more lost customers because it takes you a day to get back to them.

Next, you need to know if the service specializes in plumbing businesses!

This is very important. Even if you find a service that can schedule and dispatch for you, how will they know how to ask the right questions to help you prioritize the customer needs? Those answering the phones need to at least have a basic knowledge about what your customers and prospects will be calling about.

Being able to troubleshoot for customers will help in a few ways. First because they need to determine whether the situation is an emergency or if it can wait a day or so. Second, help determine if your company has the skills to help them with their problem.. they need to know your team’s skills.

Once you find that perfect service, be sure to check them out!

Check with the Better Business Bureau, state and local court searches, and with the state or local licensure administration to be sure they have any licenses necessary to do business. Check with other similar businesses that may use them and get recommendations. Don’t hire anyone that will harm your reputation by offering substandard assistance when servicing your customers.

You deserve better and so do your customers. Give us a call today to find out how we can help you grow your business! (813) 438-3666

What To Look For When Hiring A Plumbing Dispatch And Customer Service Contractor? |  Plumbing problems are the worst. Whether your customer has well water or city supplied water, being without it is horrible. Having their home flooded because of a broken pipe will cost a bunch and customers are desperate to get it fixed. Do you want any old answering service taking those calls? Probably not. You need a service that provides more than just answering your phones. This post will go over what to look for when hiring a plumbing dispatch and customer service contractor!