Here are some talk tracks for home services companies to help guide your call handlers’ during the COVID-19 outbreak.
In these difficult times during the COVID-19 outbreak, essential businesses such as home service companies have a lot of changes to deal with in day-to-day operations. Here are some talk tracks and tips to help guide your conversations with customers during this pandemic.
We want all home services professionals and brands to stay strong and remain healthy.
Get Clear on Internal Communication
Internal Communication is key for all businesses sending out technicians. It is important to stress health and safety first for your employees and your customers.
CallSource recommends you talk to your employees and managers to make sure everyone is on the same page when it comes to in-house visits and scheduling, as well as what to do in specific situations. CSRs, management, and technicians must all be on the same page and speak with a united voice.
We recommend you stay up to date with your state’s laws and follow proper protocols. Remind clients you are considered an essential business and you want to do right by the customer. It is ok to not know everything, but it is your job to find out and let your customers know.
Add Context Regarding Safety Concerns
In these times, it is acceptable to ask if anyone is sick or has been out of the country before sending out a technician to the home. Yet, it is important to add context to help customers understand why these questions are being asked. Here are some tips for what to say regarding safety and health concerns.
- “Due to the recent health concerns in our country, I have a few questions we are asking everyone for the health and safety of our employees and customers. Has anyone been feeling sick or having symptoms that are in line with the COVID-19 symptoms? Has anyone been out of the country in the past few weeks in your home?”
- If Yes: Skip to “How to Politely Turn Away Business”
- If No: Skip to “Explain Your Process”
How to Politely Turn Away Business
If a customer thinks they may have been at risk to exposure of COVID-19, you want to emphasize that your company’s number-one priority right now is safety. While you don’t want to turn away business, you do not want to put anyone else at risk. Do not cancel–reschedule.
“I am sorry to hear that you haven’t been feeling well. Due to the current climate, our company’s top priority is to keep all of our employees and customers safe and healthy. While we are not servicing homes with a possible infection, I would be happy to schedule an appointment for you in 3-4 weeks to ensure that everyone is feeling better by then.”
What to say if the sick customer’s situation is an emergency:
“I’m so sorry to hear that you aren’t feeling well and are dealing with this emergency. The safety of our customers and our employees are our top concern right now, and we’d like to help in whatever way we can. Let me get a hold of one of our technicians to see if they can give you a call to troubleshoot those issues until this is over.”
No matter how you communicate to your customers in this situation, it is essential to continue to build that trust and your relationship with them to do what you can.
Explain Your Process
While this should always be a part of your conversation with a customer before sending out a technician, it is more important than ever to thoroughly explain your process and reassure your customer that you are taking all steps necessary to provide them with the service they need while also keeping everyone safe.
- Personalize what you are doing by telling the caller it is for their safety and comfort. Write down specific talking points to help you remember each important point.
- What are you doing?
- What can the customer expect from you?
- What do you expect from them?
- What changes are you making from your normal routine?
Tips for Overcoming Objections
In any other time, usual objections may revolve around pricing or scheduling concerns. Now, many customers may now be afraid to have someone come into their home because of safety and health worries. Here are some ways to overcome those objections so you can help the customer and book the appointment.
Empathize and Reassure Concerns
- Always restate the customer’s objection and let them know you understand. It is essential that the customer knows they have been heard.
- It is more important than ever to empathize with your callers and reassure them in choosing your company.
“I certainly understand your concerns, and I do want to assure you that we are taking all of the necessary precautions for both our customers and staff against illness.” [Discuss what steps your company has taken to minimize the risk].
Examples of steps:
- Providing all technicians with hand sanitizer
- Wiping down steering wheels between every job
- Sanitizing all tools
- The team is wearing disposable gloves on every job
- Technicians are keeping a safe distance at all times
- Technicians are carrying cleaning supplies and wiping down everything after the install is done
- Wiping down or eliminating tablets and letting customers verbally confirm and pay by phone with CSRs to limit contact
“Considering the recent health issues, I want to assure you that we are taking all the necessary precautions for the safety of both our customers and staff against illness and are taking extra precautions during this time. We are doing daily temperature checks on our technicians, and asking them to stay home if they are showing any symptoms or feeling ill. Other precautions include limiting physical contact, as well as wearing gloves, face masks, and booties. Our technicians will thoroughly clean and sanitize all surfaces before leaving your home, as well as the tablet they use to accept payment. If you prefer, we can also take your credit card information over the phone to limit contact even further.”
Emphasize the Importance of Service
Home Service companies were deemed “essential businesses” with COVID-19 regulations. Help customers remember why they scheduled service with you or why they should, even during these times.
- Reiterate that your company is considered an “essential business” and is working to maintain the health and safety of everyone in the home.
- Remind callers that keeping their maintenance appointments is important to ensure their system stays in good working condition, and avoid costly repairs down the road.
- Be empathetic and assure customers you are doing everything you can that they and the techs are safe. If they are still not comfortable having someone in their home, don’t let them cancel – reschedule!
“I want to assure you that we are taking every measure to ensure that everyone stays safe and gets the service that they need. Our company falls within the essential business guidelines because it is important for you to stay safe in your home. It is important to ensure your systems are maintained, especially when you are spending more time at home so that you don’t end up in a bind. This is a preventative maintenance to keep you comfortable and safe in your home and is less intrusive than an emergency situation.”
Maximize Upsell Opportunities
With the news changing day by day, it is important to capitalize on every phone call that you receive right now.
- Ask about additional issues: “Is there anything else you’d like our technician to look at while he is out there?”
- Offer maintenance: “We have also started scheduling our AC tuneups. We recommend yearly maintenance to keep your system running smoothly. Do you know when your system was last maintained? Would you like me to schedule a tune-up for you as well?”
- Offer a service plan: “I’ll make a note for our technician to leave you with some information on our service agreement plans. You’re under no obligation, but it’s a great way to save money with our company on your annual maintenance visits, and you would also get 20% off any repairs.”
Tips for Outbound Calls
CallSource’s recent phone data shows calls to home service companies are slightly dropping week over week. If you are not receiving enough inbound calls or are not at capacity to serve customers, focus on making outbound calls to current and past customers as well.
- Ask questions on how their system is running.
- Share with them the importance of keeping their systems maintained.
- For their comfort since they are spending more time at home.
- Remind them of other services you provide that may help them.
- Show empathy for what they are going through and reassure them that you are there to help.
- Focus on the customer and their needs.
- Don’t let technology distractions minimize your number one focus – helping the customer.
- Prioritize the health and safety of your employees and your customers.
- Reassure callers that you are taking their concerns seriously and implementing necessary changes to procedures to keep everyone safe.
- Be empathetic.
Coach Your CSRs for Better Conversations
It’s more important than ever to make sure your company is on the same page with communication and internal processes. To discover how CallSource can help with our call coaching, schedule a time to talk to a specialist.
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