Answer your #&*% phone! | TruckMount Forums #1 Carpet Cleaning Forums

Answer your #&*% phone!

CallBetties

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Jan 15, 2015
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Emily LaRusch
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If you put it into perspective the cost of 1-3 jobs a month will pay for an entire month of receptionist services. This means no waiting for the neighborhood mom's to put kids down for a nap to take calls, no pressure to answer while you are on a job and you could even take a little time off for yourself and know that business continues even when you are off duty. Now isn't that worth the few hundred spend?

When my husband opened his counter top and tub resurfacing business the first thing he did was hire Betties to answer his phones. It costs him between 3-5% ($300 - $500) of his gross monthly revenue and he has receptionists working for him 6 days a week scheduling consultations and jobs. We also outsource our payroll. I'm a huge believer in focusing on what brings in revenue and hiring out to do the rest!
 
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rob allen

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Good point. Just make sure the answering service is qualified.
 

Omar

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If you put it into perspective the cost of 1-3 jobs a month will pay for an entire month of receptionist services. This means no waiting for the neighborhood mom's to put kids down for a nap to take calls, no pressure to answer while you are on a job and you could even take a little time off for yourself and know that business continues even when you are off duty. Now isn't that worth the few hundred spend?

When my husband opened his counter top and tub resurfacing business the first thing he did was hire Betties to answer his phones. It costs him between 3-5% ($300 - $500) of his gross monthly revenue and he has receptionists working for him 6 days a week scheduling consultations and jobs. We also outsource our payroll. I'm a huge believer in focusing on what brings in revenue and hiring out to do the rest!
How does an answering service work? Is it a seperate number that they call or do they pickup after several rings? It would be tough to be able to answer every question that a customer has about, carpet, tile uph etc.. how are these situations handled?
 

Wec

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Jul 31, 2012
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dustin denton
Willson makes a great booster for the van
You just need to get a bigger antenna for it which is fairly cheap
 

ACP

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Bjorn Marshall
what are some really good answering services you guys are using?

considering going this route soon, its just too hard to focus on getting jobs done and taking calls, scheduling.

If your in a smaller town and living a slower lifestyle its easy, but in the big city with a very full schedule its not easy... busy season it may ring more than 20x a day
 

Ray Thomas

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Oct 6, 2014
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Are you hungry? I called and texted 15 landscape companies form Craigslist today. Only one answered and said hello but sounded like hell. if you don't answer your phone or return messages quickly don't expect to grow or be successful. Let me give you an example of being hungry when I was young.

It was after hours and a client called in. I usually don't answer at 7 in the evening but I was hungry then because I needed work. I noticed from caller ID that it was from a good area. I answered and the lady said I live in the Great Neck area nd need some cleaning done,do you work in crews? I said no and before I could say another word she hung up. I was not put off and did not get angry. Instead I did this;

"I called back the number and said ma'am I would just like to let you know something,you may find a crew but you will not find a better cleaning service. I will show up on time,clean cut,uniformed and in a nice lettered van with professional equipment. I will do you a great job and back it up with a 100% guarantee."

Well she was quiet for a minute and she said I like your tenacity. When can you come over? It lead to a 600.00 job,she repeats and refers. And I because I answered my phone and then would not give up. Winners never give up. Sure i may lose some but I won't lose many. And when the guys who don't answer their phones or sound like hell when they do I will take the ball and run for touchdown baby!

So for gods sake,answer your phones and answer them professionally! :)


View attachment 49162
did you just use a stock photo without paying for it? :O
 

Beeks

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Dec 11, 2012
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JR
7-7 mon-Saturday we answer phones. Been doing it since day one, and plan on it for th foreseeable future. Our answering machine says blah blah blah we will call you back within 30min. The customer usually respects this, so when we do call back a few min later, then haven't booked yet with another company. ...yea pick up your phone!
 

CallBetties

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Jan 15, 2015
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Glendale, AZ
www.backofficebetties.com
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Emily LaRusch
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United States
How does an answering service work? Is it a seperate number that they call or do they pickup after several rings? It would be tough to be able to answer every question that a customer has about, carpet, tile uph etc.. how are these situations handled?
Hi Omar - sorry for the delay. When you hire an answering service you forward your existing phone to a phone number provided to you by the service. You can set up the phone so it only rings to the service if you don't answer your line or you can have all calls go to the service.

Just like training any in-house receptionist you would want to give very clear details on your pricing and your cleaning process as well as service areas so that the reception team can speak intelligently about your business. If there are ever any one-off questions that the receptionist can't handle they would reach out to you by phone or email for an answer. Most companies can provide estimates and schedule your appointments in addition to answering FAQs. Some companies charge by the booking, some charge by the minute and some require you to pick a plan.

Some of the companies I've seen used by folks on these forums are:

Back Office Betties (my personal fave, wink wink)
Securus
Perceptionist
Answer One
 

Steve Toburen

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Absolutely Correct Rob...Single Quickest way to lose work... Do you have any suggestions on how solo operators without a phone service can lessen the losses?
Good thread. The challenges:

1) As has been noted, an o/o can't afford to miss any calls. (This is actually true for any size company.)

2) Answering your cell (or even letting it ring) in the client's home (while they are on premises) is a HUGE negative Moment of Truth. They may not say anything but trust me, they do NOT like it.

3) As Dave says, you are "solo". Or are you?

One solution: Find a (coherent and sharp) retired person. How? Ask your customers, search at your church, ask your parents, etc. Give them your killer phone script (Don't have one? Then download my free Phone Format HERE.) and set up your scheduling online. (Google Calendar is free and works well)

Answer you own call when you easily can. But before you go "offline" (driving, working on the customer's premises, out of cell service) just call your phone person and let them take over. Some of my clients tell me they found their new phone person after training booked MORE jobs than they did. (Stop thinking you are the best at EVERYTHING! Try "letting go".) :)

How to pay your phone person? Some are paying a hundred bucks a week base pay and 10.00 for every call that get's booked. (Remember these folks are on Social Security and can't make too much money anyway!) :) Too much? No. Do an honest appraisal of how many calls you are missing. Work the numbers.

NOTE: Heck, your mom will do this for FREE! :)

Steve

PS Now can it be a negative thing to answer your phone 24-7? Yes! And here is why...
 

GregAllen

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Nov 10, 2015
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I use two methods to miss almost zero calls. One: When I arrive at a customer's home, I ask their permission to answer my phone if needed, being a solo operator. Every client has graciously agreed, and most say they certainly understand. Two: on my voice message recording, I offer a "patience discount" if they allow me to call them back later, and reiterate that the quality of my detailed work is worth the wait. I lose very few jobs, perhaps one or two per month.
 

Steve Toburen

Strategies for Success
Jul 15, 2008
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Steve Toburen
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When I arrive at a customer's home, I ask their permission to answer my phone if needed, being a solo operator. Every client has graciously agreed, and most say they certainly understand.
If you have to still answer your phone in a client's home (I get it) then this is a great idea.

Steve

PS Why? Because Greg is giving his customer the "Illusion of Control".
 
Aug 8, 2016
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Kelly Annette
Maybe you could have a message on your voicemail that says: Congratulations, I missed your call. This means you will receive 25% off your first cleaning if you are a new customer. Send me a text message now that says "Voicemail" and I will honor this discount when I call you back to schedule your cleaning.
 

rob allen

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Maybe you could have a message on your voicemail that says: Congratulations, I missed your call. This means you will receive 25% off your first cleaning if you are a new customer. Send me a text message now that says "Voicemail" and I will honor this discount when I call you back to schedule your cleaning.
Very good idea.


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AnswerSmart

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Oct 21, 2019
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clinton hoffmann
Greetings everyone,
I am a 30 yr veteran in the industry, but due to unfortunate circumstances (some punk rear ended me with a 2 ton flatbed a few yrs back) and abruptly ended my carpet care career. Well, long story short-- I picked myself back up, took my knowledge, and started a professional answering/call back/appointment setting service for "carpet cleaners only". If you're interested in learning more about what I can do for you and your dilemma of losing potential jobs, please kindly let me know. Thanks!