Marcia Barnes: Plumbers can’t afford to ignore leads
To close more business, close the lead-management gap.
When someone calls a plumber, they are usually doing so because they have an immediate need. Perhaps a pipe has burst or their running water is down to a trickle. Whatever the issue, the customer needs assistance — fast.
Imagine requesting an expert plumber to come to your home, but they never call you back. The damage to the person’s home worsens, and so does the customer’s opinion of the plumbing contractor. Ultimately, the plumber loses this customer’s business and any future business from this customer. This is a common occurrence in the home services industry.
New research from performance marketing agency Valve+Meter indicates that as much as 40% of plumbing companies are not responding to customer inquiries within five days of receipt, essentially ignoring the potential customer.
As part of the study, Valve+Meter contacted more than 450 home services companies — including plumbers, HVAC professionals, electricians, lawn care professionals and more — via forms on the companies’ websites, then tracked their respective response times. Only 60% of contractors responded to the inquiries at all, and 55% of those who responded did so after at least one full day.
Plumbing companies and independent contractors often spend thousands — and in some cases millions — of dollars to generate leads by optimizing their websites, building sales and marketing teams, and advertising. Yet, if a potential customer’s contact is not acknowledged promptly, that person will likely be heading directly to the competition. This means all that expensive marketing spend is being wasted due to poor lead management.
Here are ways plumbing companies can close the lead management gap in order to better serve customers and improve their bottom line.
Ideal lead-response cadence
No two companies are alike in their lead-response times. In the plumbing industry, an aggressive approach to response is vital, as leads are likely looking for help because of an immediate need. The most successful lead-response cadence would include multiple attempts to connect with leads — through multiple channels and across multiple days — until contact is made. Just because a lead reached out via email doesn’t mean sales representatives should not also respond to an inquiry via phone, for example.
Offer live website chat
Consumers today live in a digital age where more homeowners are on the internet, searching for solutions and enlisting services through forms and live chat bots. That means home services companies need to make it simple for consumers to engage online. They also need to be ready to respond quickly to their digital requests.