Your marketing is only as good as your people. The most creative, eye-catching and compelling HVAC marketing campaign can fall flat on its face at your front door, if your staff isn’t aware of the details. Trust me on this. I’ve watched it happen more times than I can say.
Case in point: an established and successful HVAC dealer we worked with for many years told me that the latest postcards we had created for him didn’t work. He didn’t get nearly as many leads in the weeks after we mailed his cards as he used to. And he was upset. Weird, I thought, when I pulled up his call tracking reports. He was still getting a comparable amount of phone calls – why weren’t they turning into leads and sales? I picked up the phone to discuss it with him and got my answer.
His new receptionist answered the phone with an unfriendly “Service!” – without identifying the company or herself, for that matter. I asked to speak with the owner and she rudely told me he wasn’t available. You won’t be surprised to hear that she didn’t offer to take a message.
I called back the next day and got the same greeting. “Service!” she bellowed.
“Hi, I’m calling about the ductless special you advertised.” I replied.
“Hey, are we running some sort of special?” She barked at someone in the background.
I tried to explain. “I received a postcard from your company” It didn’t help. She said she hadn’t heard about it and someone would have to call me back.
If I had been a real customer, do you think I would have taken that call?
Needless to say, the owner had no idea that this was happening. I later learned his “new” receptionist had worked in the company warehouse for many years and had recently been moved to an office position. And clearly, she was none too happy about answering the phone.
How did he miss this? He was a highly successful dealer, who had been in business for many years. When we talked about it, he admitted that he had been busy with a large commercial job, his kids, and well, life in general, and he just wasn’t paying attention.
A cranky receptionist will turn leads away, but even a perfectly polite CSR who is uninformed can do plenty of damage. When a customer calls in about an advertised promotion, you’ve only got one shot at converting them to a lead and a sale. That first contact is vitally important.
You spend your hard-earned dollars to promote yourself. Don’t sabotage your marketing efforts. Make sure your office staff is fully aware of your marketing promotions, or any manufacturer or utility rebates, or distributor programs. It’s wise to create a script for each promotion you run and go over it in detail with your CSRs. Review questions that customers might ask when they call in so that your CSRs know the correct answer. What could be worse than a customer calling about a special offer your CSR has never heard of? That’s a quick way to lose a sale and appear sloppy and unprofessional.
And you’re better than that!