Are you missing the boat on zero-charge tickets?
A recipe for increased sales and more confident technicians.
What is the conversion rate for your demand service calls? If you’re like most contractors in the plumbing, HVAC and electrical businesses, your response will likely be somewhere between 60% and 80%.
That means that out of every 100 customers that you run a demand service call for, you are providing a solution to only 60 to 80 of them. The other 20 to 40 are likely opting to go to another contractor for a second opinion. If you are on the low end of that spectrum, then this number should scare the living daylights out of you. Rest assured though, there is plenty that can be done to boost that number. A good place to start is by taking a look at the amount of zero-charge tickets your business is running.
A zero-charge ticket is a service call run that ultimately leads to nothing more than a diagnostic charge being collected by your company. Quick math says that within that base of 100 customers, at an average ticket of just $300, you would be leaving between $6,000 and $12,000 to be completed by a competitor that would likely provide the same solution as the one you originally proposed. So why did they get the business instead of you? Why did your competition take your customer and their hard-earned money from you?
In the majority of cases, the answer is follow-through.
Making it happen with follow-through
There are two types of follow-through that come to mind when considering a zero-charge ticket. The first is follow-through from the technician while they are on the call. The second is follow-through from your inside sales team after the call is run.
The best way to decrease your zero-charge ticket percentage is to ensure the technician on the job is being incredibly thorough in his or her follow-through. This means that once solutions are presented to the customer, your service technician should ask a couple extra questions as a form of follow-through to the customer’s initial response.
The aim of these questions is to dive deeper into any objections from the customer, rather than simply stopping the conversation as soon as the most common objections from potential customers arise.
Some examples of these common objections include: “I have to talk to my wife,” “That’s too expensive,” and the infamous “I don’t have time” response.
If your technician can overcome some of these objections while they are in the home, you stand a much greater chance of earning the business of your hypothetical customer.
The second type of follow-through is that of the inside sales rep. I can’t overstate the importance of having an inside sales presence in your company, and how much you stand to gain by doing so. This is evident in the decrease of zero-charge tickets that I have seen in businesses that bring in an inside sales rep. Remember, every time your inside sales team sells something, it closes that gap between your 60 to 80 percent conversion rate.
Why follow-through matters
Closing a sale with thorough follow-through means much more than an increase in revenue. There are a few other perks that will arise when your business begins to increase its conversion rate.
First, the confidence level of your technicians will soar. Have you ever watched a person being trained on a new concept and eventually saw that light bulb come on when they finally “got it?” What happens to their confidence level after they’ve achieved what they previously thought was impossible? It takes off!
The same thing happens once your technician begin converting more tickets. Once this starts to happen, it can have a hugely positive impact on the culture of your company, and even the personal lives of your employees. Through the simple act of asking a few extra questions, their self-confidence will rise, and you’ll have an entirely different technician on your hands.
What happens to your technicians when they have an increase in self-confidence? I’ll ask that another way – what happens to you when you have an increase in self-confidence? You walk a little taller. You have a little “pep in your step.” Maybe your personal life takes off in a different, better direction. All because you have more confidence in your abilities at work.
How many times have you heard or seen a person that appeared to have changed overnight? They might have come to the office with a little more swagger than normal, and often the smile on their face will be brighter and more present than ever before. This is confidence. And believe me, you want your technicians to have it!
In addition, when an inside sales rep makes a sale on a follow-through, it means the service team is also impacted in a positive way. Your inside sales rep just created work for one of your service technicians. This usually means the service technician gets to fix or install something. Most service technicians love this, because that’s the reason they got into the trades in the first place … to fix things. When an inside sales rep creates work for the service team, the service technicians will start to recognize your inside sales rep as a member of the team. This builds morale and excitement within your company. It also increases the likelihood of your service technicians relying on your inside sales rep to help them when needed.
When you make improvements to your follow-through techniques, your conversion rates will increase.
When your conversion rates increase, your team’s confidence and customer satisfaction will soar.
When your customer satisfaction increases, your revenue and net profit will follow suit.