Like it or not, today’s times are much different than yesteryear. The days of our businesses running on banking hours are coming to an end faster than we can staff them. Customers are dictating not only our hours of operation but also the ways in which we communicate with them.

An increasing portion of the population becoming smartphone owners, coupled with nearly every home equipped with an email account, is causing a shift in the way we communicate with our customers daily. Throwing a stamp on an envelope and sending communication is simply not going to make the cut with our customers these days. In years past, we would simply pick up the phone and dial a home number, but those times are gone too. The clear majority of our clientele now simply have a mobile phone as their means of communication.

We must adapt to this changing time and these faster-paced lifestyles. We are now seeing more successful businesses offering appointment scheduling online. They are making it easier for customers to choose their companies. We are also seeing customers using live chat to get answers to frequently asked questions or simple situations.

If you have not made the move toward modern technology, now is the time to consider these as viable options for your customer base. In addition to the above mentioned, texting customers to confirm their appointments is growing increasingly popular. This would also extend to updating your customer on the arrival of their technician. These new avenues should free up some of your staff to answer the tough questions and really improve the customer experience.

Using email to send renewal letters for expiring partner plans is a profound way to reduce churn and maintain a proactive approach to securing this revenue stream. I have also seen success with scheduling these visits via email or text. Even if the initial contact does not result in a booking, it elicits a return phone call to our companies.

We are also finding that homeowners are enjoying the technician profiles that successful companies are sending to their customers. This text or email provides an additional layer of security and builds value with our customers.

This is not to say phone calls are going away completely — it is simply food for thought on how to be proactive and ensure our business is set up for long-term growth, while attracting new customers and effectively reaching our existing customer database. Being flexible and staying ahead of the curve is vital to the success of our companies, employees, and customers.

Publication date: 7/5/2017