This post is based on a presentation by Donald Spann from the 2020 Maid Summit. Donald is a former maid service owner and the founder of Call Center Cash and Vicky Virtual Receptionists. Over years of success, he has gained tremendous insight into the right ways to handle calls that will result in more booked customers. In this post, you’ll learn his best practices for handling phone calls like a pro and how they’ve helped hundreds of maid service companies increase their client numbers.
As more people opt for online booking methods, your phone might ring less often than it used to. But that doesn’t mean that you don’t need a strategy for getting the most out of the phone calls you do receive. Phone interactions are still one of the best ways to convert incoming leads into new customers.
Despite it being the internet age, 60% of potential clients still prefer phone calls.
Catching every call is more important than you think. Even if your phone calls are less frequent, phone interactions still have one of the highest conversion rates of any communication method. Your ability to master phone interactions is a huge asset that can help you book more customers.
In this post, we’ll highlight some best practices for optimizing your phone calls with potential customers to make sure they’re happy and eager to book their next cleaning appointment.
Set hold music
Did you know that out of every missed call you receive, only 15% will choose to call you back?
The key to minimizing those missed calls is to try and keep the caller on the line as long as possible and give you more time to answer.
One way to do this is to have hold music set up. You can preface the music with a quick welcome message that plays when the caller is first connected. This way, they’ll know that you business is open and you’re on your way to answer their call.
Without hold music, the average abandonment time of a call is 26 seconds. When you add hold music, that number shoots up to 90 seconds.
When you add a welcome message, the average caller will think that the hold time is shorter than it really is. The caller’s patience triples with hold music and a welcome message.
For a great tool that lets you add hold music and welcome messages, check out grasshopper.com.
Use voice-over IP connections whenever possible
Voice over internet protocol (VoIP) or voice over IP is an online technology that lets you make and receive calls using an internet connection rather than a regular phone line.
A few examples of voice over IP include Skype, Whatsapp, or even Facebook Messenger. Essentially, an online tool that allows you to make phone calls without using a physical phone line is VoIP.
Using voice over IP gives you much more room for flexibility when trying to optimize your phone call process, especially when receiving calls from potential customers. Some of these tools let you create automated answering systems that will give your customers information they need while they wait.
The ease and clarity you’re able to communicate to your clients and potential customers will have a measurable impact on your caller’s initial and ongoing experience.
Smile as you speak
This might sound silly, but hundreds of call centers swear by this tactic because it works. If you smile on the phone, your tone improves, and your mood changes.
Callers will notice the subtle difference, and it will compel them to stay on the phone longer. A good attitude always makes for a better customer service experience.
This will also give you a better chance of achieving your desired goal with a phone call.
Confirm key points
Ensuring you confirm things the caller says can help you avoid confusion or mistakes, and ensure understanding between both parties. This is especially important in booking cleaning jobs.
Try to summarize what the caller tells you out loud and ask clarifying questions to make sure they understand what you are telling them. This will reassure the caller and let them know that you want to make sure their needs are met.
While you’re on the call, take notes of important information the caller gives you and make a note of questions that they ask that could help you improve your script for future calls.
Have answers ready for common questions
There are a lot of questions and objections that come up during maid service booking calls. The best way to answer these questions with confidence and conviction is to prepare for them ahead of time.
Compile a list of common questions that you receive during your booking process and have a script already written with answers to these questions. Make it easy for whoever is taking the call to access these questions and provide a quick and helpful answer to the caller.
It’s also helpful to have a script or list of all of your services and packages that you offer and any company information that a potential customer might ask during the call.
Let your website work for you.
Your customer will likely do some research about your company before they make a phone call. When your website is up to date and contains helpful information about your services and pricing, it can help the phone call go much more smoothly.
You can also try and address common objections before they come up by offering a fuller explanation of services on your site. This way, your prospect can retain the information better.
You want all of your call handling to be an asset to help you close the deal. So instead of using the call to read off a checklist of services, you can use the call to describe what a customer can expect from working with your business.
The call should be about answering more specific questions catered to the customers unique needs rather than giving them information that they can easily find online.
Have a quality management system in place for calls
Answering the phone is only half the battle. You need to know how to talk to customers.
About 67% of lost clients are due to unsatisfactory customer service. And even though 91% of unhappy customers may not complain, you won’t get those recurring bookings or referrals.
To keep an eye on the quality of the conversations and information you’re providing, implement a call scoring criteria checklist that your team can follow. This is a set of guidelines to cover on every single phone call, especially prospects.
Make sure call takers have a solid understanding of all of your company’s services and policies before they take their first call. This will help them avoid giving any wrong information that could lead to misunderstandings.
It’s also extremely helpful to have a script to guide the conversations. Knowing what they will say beforehand will make them feel more comfortable on the call and sound more confident when speaking to potential customers.
When hiring someone to manage phone calls for your cleaning business, let them shadow you or another team member before they jump in. You should also observe them on a few calls as well and offer feedback or suggestions for improvement.
A prospect can sense when the person on the other end of the line doesn’t know what they are talking about, and that can reflect poorly on your business. You want your team members to be confident and be knowledgeable when representing your cleaning business.
Hire the right people to handle calls
There are a few different ways you handle calls within your cleaning business. If you are a new business, you’re likely taking many of the calls yourself in the beginning. It can also be helpful to hire a part-time office assistant or virtual assistant to monitor the phones for a few hours per day to give you a break to do other business activities.
There are also a number of virtual reception companies, like Vicky Virtual Receptionists, that you can use to outsource all of your phone handlings.
It’s okay to incorporate a combination of all of these strategies into your business to make sure you’re missing as few calls as possible until you’re able to solidify which process works best for you.
For even more tips about how to build a phone sales process and convert more customers over the phone, check out Donald’s full talk from the 2020 Maid Summit.
The Maid Summit, hosted by ZenMaid, is designed specifically to help maid service owners grow their cleaning businesses and improve their lives in the process. Check out over 40 presentations by cleaning industry experts, successful maid service owners, marketing experts, and more.
For more great articles like this one, check these out:
- 4 Training Strategies That Turn Inexperienced Cleaners into A-Players
- How To Get Comfortable Having Difficult Conversations With Your Team
- How to Use The Five Love Languages to Nurture and Inspire Your Cleaning Team
- 3 Things You Need To Go From Cleaning Professional to Cleaning Business Owner
- How and Why To Use Video Marketing For Your Maid Service