We’ve all heard the saying that “time is money.”
Well, when it comes to lead response time in the home services industry, that phrase couldn’t be more true.
In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at why speed is so important when it comes to responding to home services leads. We’ll also share some tips on how you can improve your own home services lead response times.
So, let’s get started—there’s no time to waste.
Why is Speed to Lead So Crucial for Home Services Teams?
Home services teams need to be ultra-responsive. If a potential customer sends in an inquiry, they should receive a response as soon as possible. That’s because, in this hotly contested industry, there are always other companies out there who could potentially take the lead if you don’t respond in a timely manner.
Speed is also important for building relationships with potential customers. Responding quickly to inquiries shows that you value their time and are serious about providing them with the service they need. A speedy response helps set expectations for future interactions and can even help you close more deals in the long run.
Above all, however, the importance of home services lead response times lies in its tremendous influence on sales success.
The Statistics Behind Speed to Lead
The moment a lead enters your system is typically the moment that they’re most ready to buy—or at least learn more about—your services. As the statistics show, the longer your team waits between interest and outreach, the less likely they are to make contact and convert:
- The Crucial First Minute: Calling a lead within the first minute boosts conversion rates by 391 percent, according to Velocify.
- The Five-Minute Rule: A landmark study found that when sales teams contacted leads in under five minutes, leads were 100 times more likely to respond compared to waiting just an hour. Not only that, those leads were 21 times more likely to convert.
- Being First Matters Most: According to a survey, as many as 78% of customers buy from the company that’s first to respond.
Home Services Lead Response Times
Despite these clear-cut stats on the importance and effectiveness of fast lead response times, the vast majority of home services businesses have yet to implement systems and processes that deliver the speed they need.
According to an industry study conducted by Valve+Meter:
- 95% of all home services companies did not respond in under five minutes
- 71% did not respond in under an hour
- 55% did not respond in under one day
The bad news is that there’s a lot of ground to make up here for companies in the industry. However, the good news is that those sales teams that take action will be very well-positioned to reap the rewards and gain more customers for their home services business.
How Can Home Services Teams Improve Their Lead Response Time?
Improving your lead response time can be a challenge, but as we’ve seen it’s well worth the effort. Follow these steps to step up your lead response times.
The Right Speed to Lead Tools & Technology
Improving lead response time begins with having the right speed to lead tools in place. For instance, automated workflow systems can help streamline communication and ensure that leads are being addressed as soon as possible. Likewise, ready-made email templates can be created to quickly respond to inquiries in that channel and save time with each response.
What’s at the heart of any speed to lead strategy though is a powerful dialer platform. Whether you’re dealing with dozens of leads or thousands, you need dialer software that you can rely on to prioritize those hottest leads, put them at the front of the list, and dial them without delay.
While some dialer providers advertise the use of a high number of lines, they might not be forthcoming on just how many of those lines they can actually use at once. Otherwise, they might also withhold information about their connection rates. Put questions on these issues to your current and potential dialer provider—because the answers are worth a lot.
Without the necessary throughput and power, extra lines for your agents won’t matter. Your dialer will be unable to penetrate your lead lists and your agents will experience unnecessarily high wait times, leaving sales and growth on the table.
Plan Your Home Services Lead Follow-Up
In addition to having the right tools in place, home services teams should also create specific follow-up plans for leads. This plan should outline how long it will take to contact a lead, when they should be contacted, and what type of communication should be used. Following a structured plan will help ensure that leads receive timely responses and increase your chances of closing more deals.
Workflows should include omnichannel call center capabilities in support of outbound calls. For example, automated outbound SMS and email can work in tandem with dialing to deliver not just speed to lead but speed to contact. After each initial call attempt, a text or email can let leads know you called. Then, as you move through your follow-up cadence, ongoing drip campaigns can nurture leads and help increase contact rates on future calls. They can also drive more inbound traffic, bringing the customers to you first.
Teach Your Team the Importance of Speed
Finally, training your staff to follow best practices for lead response times is essential. Your team should be aware of the importance of speed when it comes to responding to leads and understand how to use their tools effectively. Having a team that is trained in proper lead response procedures will help you close more deals and build better relationships with customers.
Making Your Lead Response Time Count: Home Services Sales Best Practices
Speed is obviously key when it comes to driving sales. But while having the right tools and processes in place can help, it’s also important to remember that the quality of your response matters just as much. Here are some best practices for improving not just the speed but the quality of your response:
Personalize with Dynamic Scripting
To convert leads, your agents need to deliver the right message. And these days, that means delivering the personalized response that consumers expect. Employ dynamic scripting software to pop individual lead info from your CRM straight into scripts that respond in real time as your agent moves through a conversation.
Get the Right Agents on the Line
Every agent is unique, and some are better than others at selling certain services—or selling services in certain locations. Make sure that the best agent for each sale is the one who is on the line with the help of a smart, skills-based routing solution.
Make Improvements with the Help of Reporting
You can’t improve what you can’t measure. With real-time and historical call center reporting tools, you can analyze your outreach approach from end to end and understand which aspects of your approach are working to make improvements.
By following these best practices—and implementing the right tools—home services businesses can turn leads into opportunities and profitable projects at a pace they never dreamed of.