Customer expectations are growing every year—and convenience and speed top the list. But is your home services business meeting customer demands? 54% of U.S. consumers say that most companies need to improve their customer experience. And for an industry that relies heavily on face-to-face customer interactions, adding technology and automation can seem counterproductive. But the reality is simple—nearly every customer interaction in the customer journey today requires some digital communication. From discovery online to automatic or digital payments, automation can bring both time and resources saved to brands and convenience and speed to customers.
Read on to find out how you can automate five critical customer interactions:
1. Webchat FAQs
New visitors to your home services website are looking for quick and easy answers to their questions. And when they can’t find what they’re looking for, one in three consumers say they’re frustrated with a website’s poor design, inability to answer questions 24/7, and the businesses’ lack of responsiveness. A web chat option can solve this concern (and 41% of website visitors say they expect a webchat option anyway).
If you already offer a webchat option, ensure the experience is as seamless and convenient as possible. Automate typical answers both during and outside of business hours. Queue up answers for business hours, service options, payment links, and more.
2. Appointment scheduling
Nearly 50% of consumers prefer to schedule a service appointment through email, an online platform, or a mobile app. Create a convenient scheduling option by adding a textable number to your Google My Business listing. Customers can click to text you at any time of the day and make an appointment on the go.
By deflecting call-ins for appointment scheduling, you can save your staff time and add convenience to your customer’s journey. Plus, text call deflection—even without automation—is proven to allow front desk staff to handle up to eight conversations at the same time. Customers get an appointment faster and your front desk staff can spend more time on work that can’t be automated or streamlined.
3. Appointment confirmations and reminders
More than half of all U.S. homeowners actively want an appointment confirmation, reminders, and even “on my way” messages for their home services appointments. Nearly 70% of consumers say they want an appointment confirmation via text when a home services provider is scheduled to visit their home. And the data makes sense—91% of all U.S. consumers keep their mobile devices within reach 24/7.
Send an automated text at each critical stage of the appointment experience—confirmation, reminders, and “on my way” messages. With automated messages, you’ll save your team time and decrease no-shows for appointments.
Mobile, contactless payment methods are preferred for nearly 80% of all consumers. And the home services industry is no different—emailed invoices, mailed bills, and hand-delivered payment options create friction for the customer journey. Automate your billing options with mobile payments.
Automate a text send after your services are complete and collect a payment within minutes instead of days, weeks, or even months later. Mobile payments offer speed and convenience for both your customers (who are already on their phones anyway) and your team (who don’t need the additional workload of printing, mailing, collecting, and processing payments).
5. Review requests
Nearly 60% of consumers will only use a business if it has four or more stars on local reviews. Adding reviews to your Google My Business listing is critical to lead generation (and even customer retention). And the good news? 76% of customers will write a review for your business when they’re asked.
Automate the review ask and increase your chances of a review posted online. Text messages are opened and responded to 98% of the time, so don’t waste your time with an email request (or a phone request—most homeowners don’t want to answer their phone in today’s modern world).
Beyond saving your business resources and time, automating appointment scheduling, confirmations, reminders, payment requests, and review requests can create a more seamless, convenient, and customer-focused customer journey.
To add these automations to your customer journey, request a demo to see how Podium can help your home services business. With Podium, you can stay connected with your customers throughout the entire customer journey and automate critical interactions, saving everyone time, energy, and resources.