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 for shoulder season? Do you have a plan to make it as successful as possible?
If you find yourself scratching your head wondering how to deal with slow days that seem to drag on into eternity, or how to make your checking account positive again, you’re not alone. But worry not – I’m here to help! I’m a firm believer in the idea that “Weather doesn’t dictate our business, but it dictates how hard we have to work!”
The first thing you have to decide is what to do to ensure you have the correct number of opportunities for your technicians to convert on. This should begin 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. Jones, this is Tracy with XYZ company. It’s time for us to perform your system check. Would Monday or Wednesday be best for you?”
This enables the customer to be decisive, and thus more likely to commit than they would with an open-ended question such as “When would you like to have someone come out to perform your cleaning?”
This will help make these calls more efficient and productive. You should also be time stamping your calls so you can track them and figure out when you are most likely to reach your customers. This timestamp will give you valuable insight when it comes to the best time to contact them going forward.
Once you have executed on booking all your current plan members and annual maintenance customers, you should then begin the process of reaching out to your existing customers who you have serviced in the past. You may want to call them and offer an “early bird special,” or a whole home safety evaluation. Whatever offer you go with, it needs to be clearly communicated to your staff, and expectations surrounding outbound goals should be put in place.
Another way you can improve your slow season is by making every inbound call count. I would suggest the buddy system when you have inbound calls that go unbooked. Have a co-worker or call center manager follow up on any calls that were missed. This will serve as a simple display of your dedication and eagerness to earn your customer’s loyal business. Show them that you truly care. Often, this practice will convince potential customers that you are the right company for them. Other times, you can have another co-worker deliver the original message in a different voice or cadence.
Regardless of the message you choose, the outcome will be a net positive, as it leaves a good impression on the customers in which you may not have gotten off on the right 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 than it is to book outbound calls.
The most important part of thriving and not just surviving the slow season is you! Take actions to be the best you think off-season. 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!
Publication date: 12/17/2018