Despite changes in marketing, water damage and disaster mitigation still remain predominantly phone-based services. But are you asking qualifying questions when you answer the phone?
The Value of Asking Qualifying Questions
One of the biggest mistakes we hear on calls is waiting too long before asking qualifying questions. We’ve seen calls run fifteen, twenty, and even thirty minutes long. While these customers likely had plenty of questions, talking about a job you can’t see isn’t helpful.
While you should answer questions, the goal should always be to set the appoint. In our experience, the longer you talk the less likely you are to book the job. By taking control of the conversation early on, you have a better chance of either setting the appointment or getting off the phone so you can take another call.
One of our water damage partners recently got a call from a woman very concerned about water in her living room. When the contractor went, he found she had just spilled water on her carpet. While she was very happy that he came out to clean it up, it really didn’t require a professional dry out.
1. Are You the Homeowner or Decision Maker?
No matter how urgent the situation, you are wasting your time if you aren’t talking to the homeowner. Renters may have the best intentions, but they aren’t authorized to do the work.
You should verify that you’re talking to the homeowner or decision maker within the first 15 seconds of that call. The easiest way to confirm this is to ask for their name, then confirm they are able to make decisions regarding service.
2. Where Are You Located?
After confirming that you’re talking to the homeowner, make sure they are in your service area. You aren’t expected to know every city or subdivision, so don’t be afraid to ask for specifics like major cross streets, nearest cities, or what county they are in.
If they called you directly, you have some flexibility as to your service area. If 33 Mile Radius or another marketing service routed the call to you, you’ll want to confirm whether they meet the billable criteria.
3. What is the Extent of the Damage?
Every situation will be different and no two callers will have the same concept of damage. One caller’s major flood is another’s overflowing toilet. The goal is to confirm there is actual damage.
Avoid questions that cause the caller to speculate and stick to ones that describe the damage. How deep or wide is the water? How many rooms are involved? What do you see? Is water still coming in?
Asking Will Stop You From Wasting Time
These three questions will help you waste less time on calls that aren’t likely to turn into jobs. For calls that turn into jobs, they will also give you a better understanding of what you’re walking into.