4 Ways Plumbers Can Spend Less Time on the Phone
How do you feel when the phone calls? If part of you is stressed out, thinking about the million things you have to do, and wondering how long this call will take, chances are you need to spend less time on calls. Taking the calls you get will always be part of the job as a plumber until you get a receptionist (or hire a digital one for less money.) So, getting good at making your calls efficient is a must. Here are some tips to save you time on calls.
1. Get Efficient
Chatty, unclear and angry customers can be a problem. But the way that you deal with them can get them off the phone much faster. Here are some techniques:
- Ask closed questions: Cut right to the chase and ask only the specific information you need to know. Instead of “what’s wrong?” ask, “Is the leak coming from the bottom of the water heater?”
- Redirect customers: When customers ramble, gently emphasize and then redirect them back to the subject at hand.
- Repeat their concern: Settle an upset customer by repeating their concern back to them. When they feel heard, they’ll be more willing to end the call.
Be warned, there is a fine line between being really efficient on the phone and appearing to rush and ignore customers. You always still need to take the time to listen, emphasize and connect with customers, or you’ll lose out on some business.
2. Reduce Spam
It particularly hurts to waste time on spam calls, where you don’t even have a chance of making money. You can take steps to reduce these calls so that you don’t get them at all, including:
- Install apps which block spam calls.
- Check if your phone provider or service provider offers ways to block spam calls.
- Choose a digital receptionist to screen your calls.
- Block the area codes spammers call from as long as they are outside your service area.
3. Return Calls Quickly
The longer you go between when a customer calls and when you call them back, the more time you’ll waste on that call. That’s because the odds go way up that the customer has chosen another plumber, discovered their own solution to their plumbing issue, or forgotten the essential information they’ll need to tell you about (and they will need to go look for it during the call.) You can end up saving time if you don’t delay your return phone calls more than necessary.
4. Use a Digital Receptionist
Perhaps the best way to spend less time on the phone as a plumber is to hire a digital receptionist to take your calls for you. They can pass on only the calls that they can’t deal with themselves. And, if you’re immediately stressing about how much this will cost, consider that choosing a virtual receptionist is much cheaper than hiring a staff member. There’s no cost for vacation, sick leave, severance, or all of those other human resource costs.