The home services industry pulls in over $500 billion each year in the United States. And the landscape is competitive—businesses vying for every homeowner’s business. The costs to acquire a new customer are high with cost-per-click on Google Ads more than $40. But while costs to acquire leads will likely increase, the market isn’t expected to slow anytime soon. More than 70% of all U.S. homeowners have started home improvement projects since the beginning of the global pandemic, and the on-demand home services industry is answering the call (and it’s expected to see 50%+ growth in the next three years). 

Your digital customer journey

As the market expands and more homeowners seek out home services businesses to help with projects, maintenance, and other updates or upgrades, the businesses that stand out will be those that focus on a truly customer-focused, omnichannel experience. Digitizing critical interaction of the customer journey will help your business retain customers, attract new leads, and beat the competition.

Ready to digitize your home services customer journey? To keep up with the digital expectations of modern homeowners, prioritize the following digital touchpoints and options:

Easy to navigate website

As a baseline, your website should be easy to find online—showing up when customers are looking for your exact business or a business like yours (most home services customers don’t know which business they’re looking for when they start their search online). Connected to your Google My Business listing, your website should be easy to navigate and ready to serve potential customers. Details about your services, business hours, storefront locations, technicians or other contractors, payment options, and contact information should be easy to find and easy to use. 

Keep in mind that the majority of customers are likely searching for you on their mobile devices, so your mobile site should be just as easy to use and navigate. It’s critical to capture mobile leads as 78% of local searches (on a mobile device specifically) lead to a purchase within 24 hours.

Webchat and other messaging options

Now, more than ever, consumers are interested in messaging with businesses (especially since the pandemic started). And those messaging opportunities start at the discovery phase of the customer journey with webchat. In fact, more than 40% of website visitors expect you to offer a live web chat option anyway, and when they’re visiting from their mobile device, the expectation increases to 50%. 

But the businesses that truly digitize the messaging touchpoints of the customer journey understand that customers want to communicate with you beyond the initial website visit. Customers are ready to connect at nearly every stage. Consider adding a textable number to your Google My Business listing, converting web chats to text conversations, setting appointments via text, and sending payment links, review requests, and follow-up information all through a text thread. Customers are ready to connect with you in their most preferred method—texting (and the data backs it up—90% of customers want to communicate with businesses via text). Consider moving communication to a text thread to meet the growing demand for it from customers and to consolidate all messaging into a channel that easily allows a customer (or you!) to scroll through conversation history.

Appointments scheduled digitally

Call volumes for nearly every industry have increased, but for home services, the numbers are staggering. Home services providers saw a 36% increase from February 2020 to July 2020 in monthly calls. Customers need your services! But if you’re short-staffed or running a leaner operation, consider digitizing the most common phone call conversation—scheduling an appointment. 

Offer to schedule appointments via text—sending available openings and allowing your customer to select what works for their schedule. The same text thread can be used for appointment confirmations, appointment reminders, and post-appointment follow-up messages. And as a plus for your staff, call deflection through texting saves time and resources—the data shows that when the front desk staff uses texting instead of phone calls, they can handle up to eight conversations at the same time.

Automated payment links sent via text

Home services customers are ready for digital innovation in payment options. They order grocery delivery through an app and reserve movie theater seating online—paying for all of it digitally. And they’re ready to pay your home services business in the same way. In fact, nearly 80% of all consumers say they prefer mobile, contactless payments. Instead of mailing invoices or emailing a payment link, consider digitizing this touchpoint in a better way—sending a payment link via text. 

person reading text on mobile phone

Review requests sent via text

Post-service messages are critical to meet customer expectations (homeowners want to know they can reach back out if there’s a problem with the services your business performed) and to stay connected for reviews, feedback, and future business. A review request sent via text is more likely to be opened (text message open rates are 99%!) and more likely to be completed if you include a direct link to the review site where you want your customer to post a review. 

And if you don’t have a review program in place now, it’s to start! In fact, 77% of customers will leave a review when asked. And for home services customers, reading reviews is an important part of selecting a home services business. Not only are they necessary to build trust for your business, reviews help with ranking on Google. Don’t rely on word-of-mouth referrals, digitize the referral process with online reviews. 

Update your customer journeys

To find out more ways you can digitize your customer journey and add texting to meet the demands for convenience and speed, check out this free eBook: The Modern Customer Journey: 10 Surprising Ways You Can Use Text Messaging

The home services industry pulls in over $500 billion each year in the United States. And the landscape is competitive—businesses vying for every homeowner’s business. The costs to acquire a new customer are high with cost-per-click on Google Ads more than $40. But while costs to acquire leads will likely increase, the market isn’t expected to slow anytime soon. More than 70% of all U.S. homeowners have started home improvement projects since the beginning of the global pandemic, and the on-demand home services industry is answering the call (and it’s expected to see 50%+ growth in the next three years). 

Your digital customer journey

As the market expands and more homeowners seek out home services businesses to help with projects, maintenance, and other updates or upgrades, the businesses that stand out will be those that focus on a truly customer-focused, omnichannel experience. Digitizing critical interaction of the customer journey will help your business retain customers, attract new leads, and beat the competition.

Ready to digitize your home services customer journey? To keep up with the digital expectations of modern homeowners, prioritize the following digital touchpoints and options:

Easy to navigate website

person looking at phone and laptop

As a baseline, your website should be easy to find online—showing up when customers are looking for your exact business or a business like yours (most home services customers don’t know which business they’re looking for when they start their search online). Connected to your Google My Business listing, your website should be easy to navigate and ready to serve potential customers. Details about your services, business hours, storefront locations, technicians or other contractors, payment options, and contact information should be easy to find and easy to use. 

Keep in mind that the majority of customers are likely searching for you on their mobile devices, so your mobile site should be just as easy to use and navigate. It’s critical to capture mobile leads as 78% of local searches (on a mobile device specifically) lead to a purchase within 24 hours.

Webchat and other messaging options

Now, more than ever, consumers are interested in messaging with businesses (especially since the pandemic started). And those messaging opportunities start at the discovery phase of the customer journey with webchat. In fact, more than 40% of website visitors expect you to offer a live web chat option anyway, and when they’re visiting from their mobile device, the expectation increases to 50%. 

But the businesses that truly digitize the messaging touchpoints of the customer journey understand that customers want to communicate with you beyond the initial website visit. Customers are ready to connect at nearly every stage. Consider adding a textable number to your Google My Business listing, converting web chats to text conversations, setting appointments via text, and sending payment links, review requests, and follow-up information all through a text thread. Customers are ready to connect with you in their most preferred method—texting (and the data backs it up—90% of customers want to communicate with businesses via text). Consider moving communication to a text thread to meet the growing demand for it from customers and to consolidate all messaging into a channel that easily allows a customer (or you!) to scroll through conversation history.

Appointments scheduled digitally

Call volumes for nearly every industry have increased, but for home services, the numbers are staggering. Home services providers saw a 36% increase from February 2020 to July 2020 in monthly calls. Customers need your services! But if you’re short-staffed or running a leaner operation, consider digitizing the most common phone call conversation—scheduling an appointment. 

Offer to schedule appointments via text—sending available openings and allowing your customer to select what works for their schedule. The same text thread can be used for appointment confirmations, appointment reminders, and post-appointment follow-up messages. And as a plus for your staff, call deflection through texting saves time and resources—the data shows that when the front desk staff uses texting instead of phone calls, they can handle up to eight conversations at the same time.

Automated payment links sent via text

Home services customers are ready for digital innovation in payment options. They order grocery delivery through an app and reserve movie theater seating online—paying for all of it digitally. And they’re ready to pay your home services business in the same way. In fact, nearly 80% of all consumers say they prefer mobile, contactless payments. Instead of mailing invoices or emailing a payment link, consider digitizing this touchpoint in a better way—sending a payment link via text. 

Review requests sent via text

Post-service messages are critical to meet customer expectations (homeowners want to know they can reach back out if there’s a problem with the services your business performed) and to stay connected for reviews, feedback, and future business. A review request sent via text is more likely to be opened (text message open rates are 99%!) and more likely to be completed if you include a direct link to the review site where you want your customer to post a review. 

And if you don’t have a review program in place now, it’s to start! In fact, 77% of customers will leave a review when asked. And for home services customers, reading reviews is an important part of selecting a home services business. Not only are they necessary to build trust for your business, reviews help with ranking on Google. Don’t rely on word-of-mouth referrals, digitize the referral process with online reviews. 

Update your customer journeys

To find out more ways you can digitize your customer journey and add texting to meet the demands for convenience and speed, check out this free eBook: The Modern Customer Journey: 10 Surprising Ways You Can Use Text Messaging

Jennifer Wilson
Jennifer Wilson Strategic Home Services Account Executive

Jennifer Wilson is a home services professional at Podium, the premiere messaging platform that connects local businesses with their customers.

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