You have worked your way through apprenticeship and are now focused on growing your electrical services business. Growing successfully means scaling your communications support team and you are quickly facing some decisions about how to go about this change efficiently and profitably.
There are three critical time windows that your electrical services business will need assistance as it grows. These are overflow support, after hours answering, and scheduling services into your field service software. Fortunately, a call answering service can support you for each of them.
During business hours, you will likely receive more phone calls, service inquiries, customer questions, quote form submissions, and other contacts than your front office staff or in house call center can handle at any given time.
Not capturing these calls means they go to your competition, and your electrical service could be seen as unresponsive, understaffed, or incapable of helping customers in your service area. None of these deliver the positive service experience your business should deliver. You have a few options to capture these overflow calls.
Option one: Automated systems.
Automated systems, such as IVRs, voicemail boxes, or auto-attendants are relatively low-cost options, but they risk the possibility of your electrical services company not being seen as customer focused and responsive. They can also be difficult to manage, require that you set up complex phone trees and if/then scenarios, route them to the correct persons, and manage those numbers, branching, and forwarding around the clock. Additionally, most callers will hang up when presented with a voicemail box, rather than leave a message.
Option two: Hire more staff to handle these calls.
There are several inherent problems with hiring in house staff to handle your overflow call needs. You must match staffing to the incoming call arrivals, which may be random and leave you with either too many staff, wasting time and money not being productive or too few staff. You are also faced with the need for adjusting staffing needs, updating schedules, forecasting call volumes. This is not why you went into the electrical business. Frustration will set in and you will ultimately be facing the same options to make the support decision over again. Add to this the increased training time, hiring cost, management time and cost, and the cost of benefits. You can quickly see that there must be a better way.
Option three: Outsource call answering to a professional call answering service partner.
Overflow answering service provides your organization with assistance during periods of high call volume. Instead of forcing callers to wait for an available operator, or to leave a voicemail and wait for a return call, excess calls are routed to live operators who are ready to assist. Doing so minimizes missed calls, reduces hold times, and provide faster call answering.
It is proven to increase your customer satisfaction, and as an added benefit you will have happier, less stressed employees. What a win-win!
Outsourcing your services requires careful consideration of your communications goals, staffing strategy, and an assessment of your present and future support needs. There are pros and cons to outsourcing your calls to an answering service or call center.
If you are ready to select an answering service provider, we have a ready to use vendor comparison checklist for you .
After Hours Answering
Some of the same options for overflow answering during hours apply to after hours coverage for your communications needs.
After hours call answering hours supports your operations without having to hire, train, supervise or pay benefits to front desk staff. It can also take the stress out of your work.
Whether your callers are wanting to make a purchase, schedule an appointment, check your hours, inquire about pricing, or get other information about your business, a professional answering service is ready to support your needs after hours.
Additionally, every home services company that has goals to grow is marketing their services. Electric services companies can easily justify the cost-benefit of partnering with a professional answering service after hours. The numbers do not lie.
According to Forrester, 84% of marketers report phone calls having higher conversion rates with larger order value (AOV) compared to other forms of engagement. Phone calls are often the most valuable conversions for home services marketers (source: Forrester).
18% of home services calls go unanswered on weekdays, while 41% go unanswered on weekends. Home services providers are frustrating consumers and leaving revenue on the table with each of these unanswered calls (source: DialogTech).
Costs per click on Google Ads for certain home services keywords can exceed $40. In this competitive landscape, home services marketers must invest significant budget in search ads to acquire new customers (Sources: WordStream, ACCA, HubSpot).
Marketing your services to generate new business is only the first step in generating new revenue for your electrical business. Scheduling the caller is an all-important next step.
Look for an answering partner that can sync your field service platform with their answering software to share information, carry out tasks, and reduce rework for dispatchers and administrative staff. We accomplish this through call data integration. Appointments are booked directly in your system without requiring you to pay for unnecessary, redundant data entry, saving your business both time and money.
See how scheduling services can work for your electrical company:
If you do not have a CRM, we have custom solutions that can address your scheduling needs any time of day.
Understanding your options is a great place to start, but the decision process can be overwhelming. We are here to help! Grab some time on our calendar to have a quick discussion of your needs and how we can support your electrical service.
Want to take your electrical contractor business to the next level? See what our fellow Nexstar partners shared about what field and home service businesses can do to increase their growth in 2021 and beyond.