Business Text Messaging

10 Things to Look for in a Texting Platform (for Contractors)


With the rise of both omni-channel communication and business texting, there’s no shortage of customer communication platforms in today’s market. So how do you choose the one that is right for you?

The best texting platform for any given business will depend on your industry, business size, business model, and more. And while we can’t speak to every industry, we can tell you what to look for if you’re in the home services or home improvement space.

Read on to learn the 10 most important features contractors should look for in a texting platform.

Table of contents

  1. Full-funnel use cases
  2. Sequence automation
  3. Automated lead outreach
  4. Automated sales follow-up
  5. Custom targeting
  6. Full integration
  7. Home services specialty
  8. Pipeline tracking
  9. Clear and proven ROI
  10. Revenue focus

10 features contractors should look for in a texting platform

For each feature, we’ll provide data-backed reasons for why it’s important as well as examples from our own texting platform.

1. Use cases across your entire funnel

Communication platforms have a wide array of specialties and sales funnel coverage. Some are largely focused on post-sale interactions (like appointment reminders, payments, coupons, and reviews), while others are better suited to provide pre-sale capabilities (like lead outreach, quotes, and booking estimates).

The problem is that consistent, quality communication can only be so if it’s present throughout every stage of the customer journey, so a communication tool that focuses on just one part of the journey defeats the purpose of having one at all.

Make sure your texting platform supports your communication use-cases throughout all stages of your funnel so you can provide personalized, in-context messaging throughout the entire customer journey and therefore maximize your ROI.

texting platform sales funnel

2. Sequence automation, not just message automation

Not every texting platform offers the same kinds of automation. In fact, many platforms only offer one-time automated messages based on a trigger or condition.

The problem with this is, in today’s world, it takes an average of 8 touches to get a homeowner to respond and 5-12 follow-ups to close a deal. This is why it’s important to make sure your texting provider has not just messaging automation, but sequence automation.

example lead outreach sequence

Sequence automation means you can build out a series of multiple texts, emails, and voicemails that reach out and follow up with your contacts over a set schedule.


automated multi-touch sequences
With Hatch, you can automate multi-channel, multi-touch sequences that ensure higher response rates.

3. Truly automated lead outreach

Did you know that 78% of homeowners go with the business that reached out to them first? And that after five minutes, the likelihood of connecting with a new lead decreases by 900%? Needless to say, immediate lead outreach is crucial for home improvement businesses—but with the sheer volume of leads, plus the fact that people rarely answer on the first try—this is just not possible for every lead. Not manually, that is.

But not every texting platform offers truly automated lead outreach. In many cases, the automation doesn’t fire until the lead takes a second action after filling out a form. Essentially, this means the lead has to reach out first.

Hatch, on the other hand, syncs with your CRM and lead sources (Angi, Thumbtack, website forms, etc.) so you can instantly text new leads as soon as they enter your system (with the automated sequences mentioned above).

direct integration with lead sources

Head here to see Hatch’s automated lead outreach in action.

 

New call-to-action

4. Intelligently automated sales follow-up

Sales follow-up (also known as rehash) is of the utmost importance for home improvement businesses. Why?

  • Because 70% of the leads that you quote will not buy from you right away.
  • But 62% of leads that don’t buy right away will buy within 12 months.
  • And remember, it takes 5-12 touches to close a sale.

And yet, sales follow-up is also the most underrated and neglected task among sales teams. This is because it’s such a hassle that it gets haphazardly done, and the haphazard approach renders it ineffective.

But with a texting platform keeping track of who needs follow-up and when, and then executing it on your behalf, contractors quickly find that follow-up, when done right, is one of their most powerful weapons. In fact, implementing an automated follow-up strategy can increase close rates by 7-10% and revenue by 10-20%. And with 50% of businesses not following up properly, this gives you a massive advantage over your competitors.

Hatch is one such platform that has intelligent rehash/sales follow-up capabilities so you can stay on top of recent quotes, old quotes, canceled appointments, dormant leads, and more. It’s actually one of our most popular offerings.

example of automated rehash workflow

Head here to see automated sales follow-up in action.

5. Custom targeting

If you want your messages to actually get responses and yield more sales and revenue, they need to be highly tailored to the individual. But you can’t achieve this level of personalization, and definitely not at scale, without granular audience targeting options.

Some platforms will claim to offer personalization and targeting but are limited to a finite set of contact properties or pre-built audiences. With Hatch, you can target any lead source, CRM property, or value (and any combination thereof) allowing you to create those highly tailored messages you need. Hatch will also automatically enroll (and remove) contacts from lists and campaigns as they meet your requirements for a truly automated approach.

visual of hatch audience targeting

Learn more about the Hatch Audience Builder here.

6. Easy and full integration

The term “integration” can mean many different things, so it’s important to make sure your texting provider offers not just “integrations,” but:

  • Integrations with your specific tools (CRM, lead aggregators),
  • that can be set up and serviced easily,
  • and that fully sync data

Without those qualities, any time saved with your texting platform will be wasted on switching between platforms, creating complicated Zapier workflows, and reconciling data.

Hatch offers 26 home service-specific integrations including ServiceTitan, Angi, EverConnect, Jobber, and more—20 of which are also Hatch partners. Our integrations are bi-directional, available on demand through the app marketplace, and sync all data between platforms. We are also actively expanding our available integrations to meet our customer needs.

visual list of hatch integrations

7. Home services specialization

Many communication platforms are industry-neutral, but because industries vary widely in what makes for successful sales, marketing, and customer experience, this limits the platform’s ability to truly deliver value.

The Hatch platform is designed specifically for home service businesses and their call centers, with an interface tailored around contracting sales processes, reporting based on metrics that matter to contractors, and campaign and message templates based on home service industry best practices.

specialized hatch sequence templates

You can view more tips and templates specific to home service businesses in our Free Resource Library.

8. Customizable conversation tracking

When so much automation is used, you need to make sure you can keep up with the increased volume of inbound and outbound messages. A good texting platform will allow you to view all your correspondence with one contact (across all channels) in a single thread. A great texting platform will allow you to organize all of those threads according to your unique pipeline.

With Hatch, every thread is contained in a contact card which you can drag and drop into customized columns according to your pipeline with an interface that is user-friendly and easy to pick up. You can also have different workspaces for different pipelines or departments (sales vs customer service, for example).

These workspaces are shared, so you can hand off conversations, tag reps in as needed, and oversee conversations for training opportunities.

trello style conversation ui

Trello-style conversation tracking keeps you organized and ensures no conversations fall through the cracks.

9. Clear and proven ROI

Every platform will say they can improve your ROI, but not every platform is specific on exactly how they achieve this.

At Hatch, we offer a clear picture. Our platform streamlines and improves communication, which turns more of the leads you’re paying for into customers and generates more sales out of your existing database—using the same or fewer tools and team members. This improves your ROI across all your marketing, sales, and customer service efforts.

For some numbers:

  • Home improvement businesses, on average, connect with only 20-30% of the leads they’re paying for.
  • Home improvement businesses that use Hatch connect with 70-80% of their leads.
  • Do the math, and you end up with nearly four times as many appointments at the same lead volume.

hatch customer roi stats

We also have calculators to help you estimate your ROI with Hatch:

10. Revenue focus

A lot of texting platforms focus on quantity, and on the surface, this makes sense. Texting is the preferred communication medium among consumers today, so more texts means more revenue, right?

Not so fast. You have to take into account:

  • The types of texts (transactional vs conversational, for example).
  • The quality of texts (not every business knows how to conduct fruitful conversations with customers).
  • The use-case for the texts (back to point #1, as some are focused on just one or two areas of the funnel).

Increased interactions with customers do not necessitate increased engagement, conversion rates, or revenue. High quality interactions, on the other hand, do.

Hatch is focused on such quality. By improving the speed, volume, and messaging of your communications, you achieve higher set, close, upsell, and retention rates, all of which translate into higher revenue.

We lay it all out in our Why Hatch page.

link to how hatch makes you money

Find the right texting platform for your contracting business

As mentioned above, the right texting platform for you will depend on your industry, business size, sales process, and more. But if you’re a home improvement or home services business, the 10 features outlined in this post are the ones that our customers find to be the most important for maximizing their ROI and ultimately growing their bottom line.

To recap, the 10 features every home service business should look for in a texting or communication platform are:

  1. Full-funnel use cases
  2. Sequence automation
  3. Automated lead outreach
  4. Automated sales follow-up
  5. Custom targeting
  6. Full integration
  7. Home services specialty
  8. Pipeline tracking
  9. Clear and proven ROI
  10. Revenue focus

If you found these Hatch features to be a good fit for your business goals, you can book a 15-minute demo here. We’ll give you a tour of the platform and show you how it works to save you time, improve communication, and grow revenue. You can also watch a demo here.

hatch demo offer

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