We all know that the peak seasons are physically demanding. The hours are long, the days are short, and there are often too many calls to get to efficiently. We all prepare for the peak seasons, but what about the slower seasons? Are you prepared? Do you have a plan?
If you find yourself scratching your head, wondering how to prevent the days from dragging on, or how to make your checking account positive again, then I am your solution! I always say, “Weather does not dictate our business, but it dictates how hard we must work!”
You should first decide what to do to ensure you have the correct number of opportunities for your technicians to convert on. This begins with outbound calling to your existing plan members to schedule their maintenance visits. The best way to schedule these calls is to offer two options for dates or time frames when calling. For example, “Mr. Customer, it is time for us to perform your annual cleaning —would Monday or Wednesday be best for you?” This enables the customer to be decisive more readily than the open-ended question of, “When would you like to have someone out to perform your cleaning?” This will help make these calls more efficient and productive. You should also be time stamping these calls, so you can track and see when you are most likely to reach your customers. Going forward, you will know what the best time to reach them is.
Once you’ve executed on booking all your current plan members and annual maintenance customers, you should then outbound dial to existing customers who have used your company in the past. You may call and offer them the “early bird special,” or a whole-home safety evaluation. The offer needs to be clearly communicated to your staff, and expectations around outbound goals should be put in place.
You can also make every inbound call count. I like to use the buddy system for inbound calls that go unbooked. Have a coworker or call center manager follow up on any calls you missed. This can be viewed as a simple display of your dedication and eagerness to earn the customer’s loyal business, showing that you truly care — inevitably convincing the customer you are the right company for them. Other times it is simply a cosigning of the original message delivered in a different voice or cadence that wins them over. Either way, the outcome is a positive because it leaves a good impression on the customer for whom you may have gotten off on the wrong foot with on the first attempt. It is much easier to book an inbound call with a customer who has expressed a want or need then it is to book outbound calls.
The most important part of being successful during — not just surviving — the off season begins with you! Develop a plan, execute the plan, and communicate the plan of success to the members of your team. Share with them your expectations, and show them just how valuable their role in the company’s success is. Refuse to accept failure as an option and commit to winning the day, every day!