• Stupid Things Contractors Say On Social Media

    Stupid Things Contractors Say On Social Media The highlighted message below (in quotes) was recently posted on a Social Media site by a contractor who, in my opinion, is ill informed – at best. “Attention Homeowners:  Do Not Choose a Restoration Company/Contractor Who Has Little, or No Experience Working With Insurance Companies. As the insurance policyholder, it is your responsibility to disclose any loss to the insurance company and provide the necessary documentation required to process the claim. You will need an estimate from a restoration company that meets the strict insurance company requirements, created using specific estimating software. If the estimate format does not meet the insurance company standards, it may be rejected.” Sadly, the above statement seems to be Read More
  • Low Price Strategies Usually Fail

    Everyone wants to know they are charging the right price.  (Nobody wants a loss, and we don’t want to “leave money on the table).  The right price should fall between your actual cost and the value you offer to customers. Within this range, your prices should be closer to the value of what you're selling. So to price high, add value, then learn to sell value. Corporate customers often won’t buy from small, unproven businesses even when the price is substantially lower.  They want dependability, capability (as in being able to delivery everything that’s promised), and stability (being there when you’re need); and they usually want high touch service.  Generally, they are willing to pay accordingly. Many entrepreneurs start with Read More

    A PREP (Priority Response Emergency Planning) certified company (or individual) is required to attend and participate in 24 hours (3 days) of intensive training.  In addition, they must meet additional criteria to qualify for the PREP program.    Why Should I Choose a Professional PREP Certified Contractor? Working with certified and licensed contractors is always a safe bet for a number of reasons. Contractors who have passed the PREP (Priority Response Emergency Planning) process have had formal training, and know the requirements for proper protocols and procedures to do the job correctly.   This is even more assurance that they will respond in the appropriate manner to you urgent disaster.   Without this certification, you could be dealing with contractors that don't have Read More
  • Do You Have An Automatic Marketing Program (AMP)?

    The Automatic Marketing  Program, (AMP) is a 20 step strategy to ensure you are maximizing every possibility to get more leads, more customers and more jobs. Since the AMP class is an intense 7-hour training seminar, I’m not going to cover all twenty critical steps in the process. It would take fifty pages or more to cover it with any detail and I know you are not going to read fifty pages!  I will, however, touch on some of the initial concepts to get you thinking about this in a more attentive manner. CRM Database (and Maintenance of CRM).The first one (a CRM) should be the foundation of your sales and marketing efforts:  If you are not actively using a Read More
  • Are You A Member of CRA?

    CRA - Cleaning & Restoration Association membership information CRA Membership Call Jennifer Germond today to join!    916-736-1100, x302     Read More
  • Great Twitter Feeds for Disaster Preparedness

    Great Twitter Feeds for Disaster Preparedness Twitter is a proven performer in distributing information on disasters as they unfold and in providing users with information on shelters, safety procedures, proper preparation far ahead of disasters, and much more. As an information tool for the digital age, it's been shown to be invaluable in providing much needed details when cell phones may be unavailable and landlines may be down or jammed. In the list below, you will find Twitter feeds that relay important emergency and disaster information, both generally for the country and more specific to certain regions of it that may be more prone to certain types of disaster, such as the Western seaboard. American Red Cross (@RedCross) The official Read More

    PLUMBER - HVAC SPECIALIZED COURSE THIS IS A PRIVATE - BY INVITATION ONLY  PROGRAM Highlights of this specialized course: SOARING WITH EAGLES - Specialized Plumber Course Teaching technicians how to make a good first impression. Creating customer cheerleaders How to sell your excellent service - not price! What to Say and What NOT to Say! Ways to pre-sell on the phone, before the tech arrives! > The Morning is specifically designed for Technicians & Managers > Afternoon portion is much more in-depth and ideal for Owners and Managers & Sales HELPING OWNERS BECOME MORE PROFITABLE TODAY’S MARKETING & SALES STRATEGIES WHAT TO SAY & WHAT NOT TO SAY! BRANDING AND DIFFERENTIATION USING SOCIAL MEDIA TO GET MORE BUSINESS   By Invitation Only:  $995  SPECIAL Read More
  • Relationship Marketing is Alive - Maybe!

    Route Marketing Is Dead is the title of the last article I wrote for R&R mag online.  Many of the calls and emails I received asked if I thought they should completely quit marketing to insurance agents or adjusters or plumbers.  The short answer is No.  More accurately is: HOW you are marketing – (what you are saying), because cookie marketing won’t get the jobs you need and want.  Wasted route marketing is what I keep referring to as Stop, Drop and Roll.  Simply put, it is when the “marketing rep,” (and I use that term loosely) is more concerned about how many Stops they are able to achieve in one day, or week/month. They just Drop off a bag of Read More
  • 1 Stupid Things Contractors Say On Social Media
  • 2 Low Price Strategies Usually Fail
  • 4 Do You Have An Automatic Marketing Program (AMP)?
  • 5 Are You A Member of CRA?
  • 6 Great Twitter Feeds for Disaster Preparedness
  • 8 Relationship Marketing is Alive - Maybe!
  • Commercial Marketing and Training

    Commercial Marketing and Training

  • Social Media Marketing Classes

    Social Media Marketing Classes

  • 1
  • 2

Automated Phone Answering: Poor Customer Service?

An automated phone answering system for your business may seem like it makes good sense when you consider that it eliminates the cost of a receptionist to answer all calls personally. 

You might conclude that it’s an inexpensive way to expedite incoming phone calls, but you really need to consider the following:

  •     Public perception of these systems is negative.
  •     Often the “terminology” is confusing. 
    • (press 1 for collaboration tech support) or (press 2 for non-warranty technical help) or (press 7 if you would like to hear the menu again) “in case you weren’t paying attention the first three times, or you aren’t smart enough to know exactly which option you need.”
  •     There are often too many unclear choices.
  •     It’s even worse when they don’t work perfectly.
  •     You are entrusting your “best first impression” to an oft problematic machine.
  •     When things go wrong on the initial answer (machine pick-up), there is rarely an opportunity to repair the damage.
  •     People repeatedly say they want a live person.
  •     The opportunity to quickly solve customer service issues in needlessly delayed, or worse, it never gets resolved!
  •     Many times sales are lost as a result of caller frustration at not being able to get to the right person.
  •     The automated system enables employees to “distance” themselves from any urgency or immediacy.
    • It creates a company environment where the caller is not most important.
  •    Bottom Line:  It helps people hang up!  (It's kind of like saying:  "if it wasn't for these darn customers, I could get some work done!"

If you Google "Automated Phone Answering Systems," you find that they all list one of the major "benefits" as COST SAVING.  How sad that your first opportunity to make a great impression is relegated to "cost savings!"

altWe now live in a world where ONLY really isn’t only anymore.  It’s a rare situation when your business is so unique, so exclusive, so “one-of-a kind” that you can choose to distance yourself from callers by using an automated phone answering system for your business!  The only real differentiation you have today is CUSTOMER SERVICE.  Without the most awesome, incredible, problem solving customer service, you aren’t much different from all your competitors.
No, this isn’t some personal vendetta against this technology!  Yes, I have experienced many negative calls into a company where the automated system was lousy or in many cases, so bad that I simply hung up and went another route.  My decision to put this article on my Blog is solely intended to help businesses realize that automated phone systems are often a major deterrent to your ability to differentiate yourself by offering better customer service than your competitors!

Dick Wagner is a Disaster Restoration and Commercial Marketing Consultant.  419-202-6745