HVAC Contractors: How to Effectively Use an Answering Service
Does an HVAC business need an answering service? A number of HVAC professionals will tell you, “yes, they do”. Voicemail is a tool, and it really does only one thing - it records messages, either holding them in wait for someone to manually check them or alerting a designated monitor that they’ve arrived. Some apps allow for transcription of incoming messages, but in all these cases the missing factor is human presence and judgment. Here are some tips to effectively use an answering service:
Tip #1: Basic Information
Give your HVAC answering service team the information they need to answer basic questions. Things like business hours, services offered and price quotes are made available to callers without having to wait for a call back. This will lead to more satisfied callers and more jobs for your team.
Tip #2: Organized internal coordinations
Make sure your entire team knows about the answering service, and vice-versa. Answering service employees should know how to reach out while putting customers in contact with your technicians, and your team should know when to expect calls. Eliminate surprises for a better business flow.
Tip #3: Detailed offers
Communicate with your answering service team members properly about what you offer. Does your company allow customers to request emergency assistance? What about after-hours help? Your answering service team needs to be well informed about the different offers and emergency assistance rules.
Tip #4: Human Touch
Select an answering service without worrying much about their geographical location. Imagine this: A customer calls your business and hears, "Smith and Jones HVAC. How may I help you?" The operator takes the information and promises, "You'll be getting a call back in just a few minutes. Thanks!" The technician calls back as promised, gets the customer's address, and reaches shortly after hanging up the phone.
There is a surprise twist on this happy ending. Clients are much more satisfied than they would have been if they had been greeted solely by an answering machine.
Overcoming The Challenges of Voicemail
In the age of cloud-hosted IVR, not everyone can afford to let their customers wander around "voice jail" and never reach a live person. It's frustrating when a big business like the cable company or bank does it, but when a smaller business does it, people can get even more frustrated. When this happens, they are likely to take their business elsewhere.
An HVAC business with a live answering service is going to get more incoming calls, answer more incoming calls, and turn those calls into jobs. That's what is called the marketing funnel, and that's worth signing up for.