Use Auto-Reply Messages to Deliver Better Service and Close More Deals
No company sets out to provide bad customer service. However, a lot of home service businesses are too busy to provide outstanding customer service.
You would love to hire someone to take care of all of the little customer service tasks. You would love to have someone follow up on your sales quotes, send appointment reminders, let clients know you’re on your way, or answer your calls. You want stronger relationships!
But, you don’t have the time to do those things yourself, and hiring someone else to do them is expensive. However, you can send auto-reply messages, which will take care of these customer service musts at a fraction of the price that it would normally cost you.
What is an auto reply message?
An auto reply message is an automatically generated message that is sent to your customer or sales lead after they have:
- Emailed or called you
- Booked an appointment
- Been waiting for your arrival
- Made a purchase
- Requested a quote
They can be sent immediately after the action (i.e thank you email) or scheduled for a later time (i.e. appointment reminder).
5 ways auto reply messages help your business
These messages automate the countless micro-moments that make customers feel looked-after. But, doing these tasks manually would add up to a full-time job for you.
There are plenty of situations where auto-reply messages can have your back and save a client relationship. Below are some cases in which automation makes sense to small home service business owners.
1. Reminding clients about appointments and details
Sometimes you might go to the wrong address, your customer might be home on the wrong day or time slot, or they might have forgotten specific materials for you at your meeting time.
All these situations are avoidable accidents.
You can easily send a reminder email or text to your customer to make sure you’re both 100% clear on the date, time, and address, while including other crucial details like a reminder to keep pets in another room, or leave the backdoor unlocked.
Doing this helps you look professional, and saves loads of time and money in the long run.
2. Updating clients about your arrival
Sometimes things happen: there’s traffic, an emergency, or a hold-up. The last thing you want is a client sitting around waiting for you, wondering where you are.
Including a personalized touch by texting your client that you’re on your way is the perfect way to eliminate your customer’s fears that you’re not showing up to an appointment they took time off work for.
Using automated on my way text messages and including your name and phone number that your clients can reach you at shows them that you really care, and that you’re a transparent business partner.
3. Looping back for customer satisfaction
You’re not always certain about which clients were genuinely satisfied. One of the best ways to know is by following-up with a satisfaction survey after an appointment.
Getting positive results shows you who’s happy, who you can ask for an online review, and who would like a follow-up or recurring appointment.
Doing this can promise repeat business, positive reviews online, and a stronger presence in your community––which ultimately leads to your growth.
How can you bulk up your client reviews?
Andy Weins explains how he got 500+ 5-star reviews
For his small businessLearn more
Touching base with clients is an opportunity to thank your client for their business, but that can be tough when you’re always focusing on closing the next deal.
Using automated follow-up messages is the best way to take advantage of good business relationships while staying focused on the next clients who need your help.
4. Keeping strong leads warm
Folks who have asked you for a quote are some of the best leads to chase. If you haven’t heard back from someone, you can send them a gentle follow-up reminder via email or SMS to jog their memory. It’s all about taking time to take care of your prospects.
Graham Audenart explains how important staying top of mind is for finding work. “We talk to prospects,” he explains. “We phone them up, talk to their estimating team, do a meet and greet, and bring doughnuts or cupcakes. It shows kindness and care.”
Having the ability to send an automated reminder definitely helps you get your foot in the door again. That can be difficult while you’re busy prospecting. Once the reminder is sent to your lead, you get another chance to answer follow-up questions, stay front and center in their minds (and inboxes), and potentially close the deal.
5. Invoice reminders
Sometimes clients don’t pay their invoices right away. It’s your job to stay on top of unpaid accounts, and remind clients to get their payments in.
However, this can be tedious to remember while you’re on the go, which is where client facing auto-reply message reminders come in handy.
Your system will know when a client hasn’t paid and send them an overdue invoice message, so you don’t have to. All you have to do is decide what does in the message reminder.
What can I use to send auto reply messages?
There are three fantastic auto-reply solutions you can choose from to help you manage your business while you’re in the field:
- Client Notifications
- Auto reply and out of office text messages
- Virtual assistants
Check out our comprehensive guide to out of office messages, complete with templates.
Use automated and customizable notifications to keep your clients in the loop at key points before, during, and after the work. That way, you work smarter, not harder.
Jobber is a great option because it integrates client notification software with field service management software.
Your clients want to hear from you, but you might not always have the time to give them the attention they deserve. Finding the time to do that is the issue. However, with Jobber’s client notification features you can:
- Remind clients via email and text about upcoming service appointments hours, days, or weeks.
- Let clients can view which staff will be visiting their property in automated appointment reminders.
- Send clients text messages letting them know when you’re on their way to a job, and your ETA.
- Automatically send custom follow-up emails to rebook appointments, request feedback, or simply say thank you after every job.
- Win more work with less effort by sending automatic follow up messages about quotes you haven’t heard back on, or invoices clients haven’t paid yet.
Making your own auto reply messages is fairly simple in both Gmail and Outlook.
Using auto-reply emails and canned responses can help you let your customers know where you are and when you will return, while potentially referring them to someone who can help them right now.
It’s important to remember that emails won’t come in handy for specialized situations when your customers need you most, like waiting for you to arrive, or needing an appointment reminder a day in advance.
People looking for home services usually have time-sensitive problems that they want to be resolved ASAP. Early engagement is crucial!
Chatbots can start the conversation and then send the customer’s information and questions to your mobile device so you can pick up where it left off.
Multiple users can have access to the conversation. So, if you’re busy on a job site, someone else on your team can continue the chat.
You can use Facebook chatbot as a free option that integrates with your website and Facebook Business Page, or use more specialized software that integrates with your website.
Broadly’s web chat bot integrates with Jobber, which starts a conversation with a would-be lead as soon as they arrive on your website. Other options include Mobile Monkey, or Chatfuel.
Auto reply and out of office text messages
If you’re driving or in the middle of a job, you can’t answer urgent texts from new leads. However, you can use a service like Textline to send an automatic ”welcome” text after someone’s initial contact with you.
Your auto reply message tells them that you’ve received their text and you will follow up with them as soon as possible. It’s often helpful to give them a realistic timeline for when you will get back to them. For example, your message could say, “I typically respond to texts within 30 minutes.”
Or, you can send after-hours messages that are automatically sent to customers who text outside of your regular business hours, letting them know when you will be open again.
Remote or virtual assistants
If you’re consistently missing calls and your phone leads are slipping through the cracks, then consider working with a virtual assistant to handle your administrative work and phone calls.
For example, you can find a virtual assistant team, like Pink Callers, that understands your back-end software. For example, their team can integrate with Jobber, which helps you keep your CRM, client notes, and scheduling organized. Meanwhile, their trained customer service reps handle your incoming and outgoing phone calls.
Just because you’re out in the field, doesn’t mean you have to be out of reach. Properly leveraged, you can use auto reply messages to start conversations and close more deals.