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–it’s also a huge waste of time and money for your home improvement or home services business.
What’s a better way to connect with your leads, then? When given the choice, most people would rather skip the phone call and receive a text instead. In fact, 97% of consumers have said that they ignore phone calls from businesses or unknown numbers.
I confess, I can’t even count how many calls I’ve ignored in the last month.
So why would we keep beating our head against the wall with phone calls when we’re the ones dialing? 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
Automated appointment confirmations and other text message reminders have become an essential part of how consumers interact with businesses. Just think about your personal consumer behavior when it comes to the businesses you interact with regularly. How many of them send automated messages like order updates, appointment reminders, breaking news, due date reminders and more?
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 nearly everyone.
- Texting gives you a record to refer to later. When you set an appointment via text, the customer automatically has the date and time saved for future reference. This minimizes the chance of forgetting about or missing appointments.
- Texting helps you connect with customers more easily. Even if someone isn't available by phone, a text message allows them to respond whenever is more convenient.
The Disadvantages of Texting for Appointment Setting:
- Text messages have a limit (typically 160 characters). It’s important to craft messages that are short, to-the-point, and still convey everything a customer needs to know.
- Some people dislike texting because of its impersonal nature or a discomfort with technology. 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.
There’s no better way to qualify and talk about a project than via phone call. An authentic, human-to-human connection is still a key part of building trust and forming a relationship.
The Advantages of Calling for Appointment Setting:
- Phone calls are familiar to many people, especially older generations. It's been their traditional way of setting appointments for years, and familiarity makes it easier for them to trust you.
- Phone calls allow for longer, more in-depth conversations and make it easier to communicate a lot of information, such as the details of customized services.
The Disadvantages of Calling for Appointment Setting:
- Phone calls can often feel like an inefficient use of time, especially just to quickly confirm an appointment. Most people hate being on hold (unless they love looped jazz music), and they don’t like having to re-explain the information they just submitted online.
- Calling doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get in touch with the other person. Eight out of every 10 Americans don’t answer calls from an unknown number. Missed calls are inefficient for everyone, and customers can get frustrated when they have to leave a voicemail, knowing that may add another call they have to respond to later.
- Younger generations often just dislike making and receiving phone calls. Millennials are now the leading segment of home buyers, and calling will increasingly fall out of 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: 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, qualify the lead with a phone call, and use the opportunity to discuss the project in-depth. Need a good script? Check out our fail-proof sales method.
- Text to Follow-up: After you qualify the lead, send the prospect another text to recap the important details of your conversation. Then, stay top of mind to be a resource and provide periodic appointment reminders.
“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.
We combine one-to-one texting with automation to improve your speed-to-lead time, follow-up with quoted and unsold leads, improve customer experience, and so much more. Get in touch with us to learn more.