“You are out of business if you don’t have a prospect.” – Zig ZiglarEvery field service business owner recognizes the importance of new leads. Although not all leads will translate to sales, without them, you’ve got zilch: no sales, no revenue, no profit. Strategic business owners also know that relying on one source for leads is a poor approach and could leave your business in a very vulnerable state. If you’re looking for new leads for your field service business, here are 5 must-do strategies. While some ideas may seem basic, they serve as good reminders to make sure the experiences your customers get, both online and offline, are the best they can be — it’s key in turning a lead into a loyal customer. For more ways to bring in leads, stay tuned for Part 2 of this series, coming to our blog next month!
1. Make sure your site is mobile friendlyA responsive and mobile-friendly website is one of the most important things you can do for your business. Responsive refers to website design and simply means your site’s layout will change and conform to the screen size the customer is using. It’s not that your customers and prospects won’t see your website on their phones or tablets, but if your site doesn’t adjust to their smaller screen, they’ll be left zooming or pinching to find important information on your site, like your phone number. The more you make it easier for your website visitors, the greater the chances they’ll turn into a lead. People who get frustrated with your website will quickly jump ship. A mobile friendly site is also important because Google includes it in its ranking algorithm. If your site is not optimized for mobile devices, you’ll likely rank lower in Google search engine results, which then affects the traffic to your website and number of potential leads.
If you’re looking to build a new website, we like Squarespace, which offers beautifully designed websites that are already optimized for mobile devices. It’s also easy to use, even for those who are less tech savvy.
2. Set up a live chat feature on your websiteA great way to stand out from your competitors is by engaging with your website visitors the moment they land on your pages through live chat, as it’s not a feature that most field service businesses offer. With live chat, you’ll be able to interact with prospects when they’re most engaged on your website, which can help increase the chances they’ll turn into leads. Most website visitors are trying to figure out whether they should hire you for an opportunity. You can use this time to showcase your timeliness and care for the customer by asking if they have any questions or offering a special deal or discount through a live chat window. Wondering who can take on this responsibility for your business? This would be a great channel for an office manager to handle and allow him or her to help more than one customer at a time. Still not convinced? Here’s another thing to consider: Millennials expect a feature like live chat. In fact, “63% of millennials prefer to have their basic customer support questions answered by chat versus traditional channels.”
For live chat software, we like Zoho SalesIQ, which is enabled for phones and tablet devices, which allows for managing live chat on the go. They also offer great pricing for small businesses, in addition to a 15-day free trial.
3. Rank for local search terms on Google and online searchIt’s a given that the majority of customers search the internet for local businesses when looking for a contractor or business to perform a home service, so you cannot afford to not show up in online search. The first step is to list your business on Google My Business and complete a profile for your business. This will include your business name, address, business category and phone number. To verify your business, Google will send a postcard with a verification code to your business location within 1-2 business weeks, so make sure to watch out for that in the mail. Another critical step is to make sure that your contact information (name, address and phone numbers) is consistent across all your channels, from your website and social media pages to directory listings and review sites. It’s also very helpful to use local keywords (i.e. DC plumber, HVAC Chicago, Boston area handyman) in your website links and the content you place on your homepage and web pages. Want more steps around local search marketing? We like this great Local SEO Checklist from smallbiztrends.com.
4. Partner with businesses with services that complement yoursCustomers who want to enhance the curb appeal of their home could very likely be interested in both a landscaper and painter. At the same time, customers looking to build a home media room might search for a drywall contractor who can build custom “bump-out” to mount an electric fireplace and big-screen TV, along with an audio/video entertainment installer. A creative strategy to generate new leads is to reach out to other local home service providers in your area who offer services that go hand-in-hand with yours and see who is interested in sharing leads and customers. You may want to start with businesses you’ve already worked before that you think would be good to partner with. With this strategy, you’ll want to create a formal agreement with your business partner on how you’ll promote each other. Some ideas could be giving discounts to customers who choose a service from each of you during a specified period of time, promoting each other on social media or sending out seasonal emails that call attention to both of your services.
5. Create a lead capture form on your websiteYour contact page, which should list your cell phone and email address, shouldn’t be your only way to generate leads on your website. Creating a simple form is an easy way for prospects to contact you. A good practice is to make your form as simple and short as possible, making sure to request the prospect’s name, phone number and email. We like this example from Aircor Air Conditioning and Heating in Chicago:
It’s also important to make sure your form is located within the top third of your homepage and preferably across all your pages. Most businesses owners miss a huge opportunity and countless leads each month by not doing the latter. Again, you want to make it as easy for your website visitors and prospects.