[Podcast] Ray Clark on automating your appointment scheduling process to secure growth for your business

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Business hours don’t exist for contractors. Your customers are always in need. Making sure your leads are converted into appointments and sales is a surefire way to secure the cash flow you need. But, how can you manage that while you’re installing jobs, selling, managing crews, and dealing with everything else? 

In this episode, we’re joined by Ray Clark, VP of Sales of Schedule Engine. In this episode, we discuss automation, removing barriers for your customers, and how to achieve the growth you know is possible.

Below are quotes from our conversation with Ray.

Why it’s important to give customers the power to schedule their own appointments. 

“When you talk about a red flag, look, go to your website. Look at your business in the mirror and say, ‘Is the only avenue picking up the phone when my team’s in the office?’ And, if the answer is yes, that’s probably the first big flag that you’d want to look at. OK, in 2021, I probably need to evaluate and offer additional options for my customers, my future customers to hopefully book and schedule appointments with me.”

On why convenience almost always wins.

“As consumers, there’s a lot of statistics out there that say homeowners, consumers or consumers care more about convenience than price or product. A lot of times, right? I know I order food online probably way too much, and I willingly pay a delivery fee that’s probably double the cost of the food because it’s so frickin convenient, and it goes right to my doorstep, right? And, I think if we can really understand that consumer behavior and the importance of convenience, whether that’s, again, financing options with the contractor that’s scheduling the follow-up appointment, those companies will win.”

On the importance of after-hours call centers

“I think on weekends, on average, 40% of calls go unanswered on weekends, which is a crazy statistic. We’ve actually been seeing, even in what I’ll call the shoulder season. I know in the Northeast we’re still not kind of in peak winter. It’s getting colder, but we’re still a little bit and shoulder season. We see contractors even during business hours and shoulder season, missing five to 10% of their calls during the day, right? So, on that fourth or fifth ring, instead of the homeowner hanging up and going to contractors B, C, and D, that can route over to our [call center] team. We can get that call booked for you in your system. And, as contractors, hopefully, right, once they get that appointment scheduled, that’s where their technician can proudly represent the brand.”

How technology enhances your bottom line

“And, it’s such a fallacy when people think of technology and personalization right now. Technology’s not out there to step in between you and that personal customer experience. Hopefully, if you use it the right way, it’s to automate lower value interactions to the team that you do have. They can spend their time not scheduling monotonous, you know, preventative maintenance, tune-ups, just playing phone tag. But, that team can deal with the customers that want to speak with. You can follow up on opening quotes and can deal with customers that are going through emergencies, not leaving those high-value clients on hold right for minutes or hours.”

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