Have you ever needed to make an appointment, but kept putting it off? Have you missed a call that you were waiting for, only to get sent straight to voicemail when you return their call?
“Phone tag” isn’t just a huge pain in the a#$ - it’s also a huge waste of time and money for your home improvement or home services business.
When given the choice, plenty of people would opt to skip the phone call and simply receive a text. In fact, 97% of consumers have said that they ignore phone calls from businesses or unknown numbers.
I can't even tell you how many phone calls I've ignored in the last month. I’m sure you're in the same boat, too.
Why do we keep beating our head against the wall with phone calls when we’re the ones dialing? “It’s how we’ve always done it" just doesn't cut it as an answer anymore.
I decided to take a look at this text vs. calls in the context of setting appointments - is texting really more convenient or efficient for your customers? Here are our thoughts on texts vs. calls for setting appointments.
Texting is How Homeowners Communicate Today
Text confirmations and text updates have become much more popular over the last few years - it’s starting to become an essential part of how consumers interact with businesses.
Just think about all the quality of life notifications you and your family receive on a weekly basis - Amazon order updates, hair salon appointment reminders, breaking news updates, bill pay reminders, etc.
Texting is an integral part of our lives these days, and it’s a great way to stay top-of-mind with homeowners.
The Advantages of texting for appointment setting:
- Texting is immediate, informal, and available to everyone these days.
- Texting gives you a record that you can look back at later. When you set an appointment via text, you’ll automatically have the date and time written down for future reference.
- Even if you’re in a place where you can’t talk on the phone, you can discreetly respond to a text.
- Texting allows people to respond at leisure. This is efficient for both parties involved. You can’t “miss a text” the same way you can miss a call.
The Disadvantages of texting for appointment setting:
- Text messages have a word limit (160 characters for SMS messages). You’ll need to formulate messages that are short, to-the-point, and within character limits.
- Some people dislike texting because of its technology or because it is impersonal. Others may find it unprofessional for a business to text them.
Setting Appointments Via Phone Call: Is It Still the Best Way?
Now don’t get me wrong - we’re not advocating you abandon the phones entirely. That’s crazy talk.
There’s no better way to qualify and talk about a project than via phone. Having an in-depth, human-to-human conversation is a key part of building trust and forming a relationship.
The advantages of calling for appointment setting:
- It is familiar to many people, especially older generations. They’ve been the traditional way of setting appointments for years, whether that’s a medical appointment or a home services installation.
- Phone calls allow for a longer, more in-depth conversation. They are better than texting if you have to communicate lots of information, like discussing a job.
The Disadvantages of calling for appointment setting:
- Most people hate having to sit on hold (unless they love looped jazz music). Some are intimidated by the idea of leaving a voice message.
- Calling often feels like an inefficient use of time, especially if you just need to quickly confirm something. Missed calls are inefficient for both parties. Busy people don’t want to call back just to confirm an appointment that they’ve already scheduled.
- Younger generations dislike making and receiving phone calls. Millennials are now the leading segment of home buyers - calling will increasingly fall out favor as the way to connect.
The Secret to Setting More Appointments - Text First, Call Second, Text Third.
Here’s the fail-proof methodology we’ve found when it comes to setting, confirming, and running appointments:
- Text to schedule the appointment. When a lead submits a request, get directly in front of their eyes with this text:
Hey [First name] - [Rep name] here with [company name]. I saw you requested a quote for [Product]. Do you have 15 minutes to chat about your project on the phone?
- Call to qualify. After texting to confirm a call, use this opportunity to discuss the project in-depth. Looking for a good script? Check out our fail-proof sales method blog.
- Text to follow-up. After your qualification conversation, send a follow-up text to recap information. From there and up until the in-person or virtual appointment, continue to periodically text reminders and to stay-to-of-mind as a resource.
“Hey [First name] - thanks for talking with me earlier today. Wanted to send over some [product] ideas like we had discussed - [URL link]. We can’t wait to get your project started - let me know if you have any questions in the meantime!”
Texting Made Easy (and Automated) with Hatch
As a home services provider, you want to make things as easy and efficient as possible for you and your customers. Texting can improve the customer experience AND make your job simpler.