You’re doing your best, I know you are, but if you’re like me, I’m sure there are things that could be done better. The last year has been a testament to the ever changing world we live in, so that begs the question, how do we keep up? Below are a few ideas from our top performers on what is setting them apart and increasing efficiency in their shops.
1. Optimize tech time
In a world where there are no more techs are you treating yours like the hot commodity that they are? We hear it all the time, everyone is slammed, so busy, and they can’t find good, qualified staff. I can’t send you a list of qualified staff in your area, but I can tell you that our most successful shops are optimizing the talent they have.
If you had to guess, how many hours a week do your techs bring in money? Or rather, how often are you paying them to do tasks that are not directly related to tasks you get paid for? I will tell you that on average it's $1306 per month.
Shops that can utilize that lost payroll AND put it towards work hours that they can invoice for earn on average $7,569 more a month!
Think if you had the increased revenue of $90,828 annually, what would you spend it on? Benefits/salary to keep the killer techs you have or hire great tech away at a competitive wage? Now we’re talking. Or maybe you want a new house? A trip for your family or your kids' future? The world is your oyster.
What else can you do to keep your techs better busy? I’m going to say three words and after I do please try to read on… On-site diagnostic. Yep, I know you’ve been offering free estimates since the first Bush was in office, but I’m telling you it’s time that that goes away.
First and foremost, because of the point above. You’re too busy to send your valuable people (and labor hours) to estimates that aren’t going to end up as paid jobs. Sure, they may not always pan out, but at least recoup the labor, gas, and time lost if you’re going to send them.
Our top tier shops won’t roll a truck without charging at least $19 (some charge up to $150). If you hate it that much you can include the OSD in the final total and not charge as long as they book. But in the time of we-have-no-time. Charging an OSD will increase your cash flow and better utilize the precious resource that a good tech is.
2. Respond to customers quickly and follow up
How would it make you feel if you woke up on a Tuesday morning and had $52k worth of booked jobs in your inbox? Ok, fine, it was after Cyber Monday, but we had a customer do just that. While that is an extreme example, the power of the follow-up is proven and vital to running a successful shop.
We find that on average, sending follow-ups increases your sales by up to 23%. I know what you’re going to say, I barely have time to call a customer back on current jobs, let alone follow up on estimates that we’ve already sent. There are ways to make these types of activities automatic. And here comes the shameless plug, we have a mechanism to do just that. Set it and forget it, until the job comes through, then do the work.
One of the most important factors in the equation of running a successful shop is the time it takes for you to get back to a customer. Statistics tell us even if you don’t answer every question right away, if you respond faster, people are more likely to choose you.
Whatever mode of communication that is — phone, text, email— the quicker we communicate the more we build trust and ease uncertainty, the more we book jobs.
The most effective follow-up strategies include: setting a cadence for timing and frequency, dedicating specific communication methods and people to carry them out, and using technology to automate as much as possible.
3. Build Credibility online, and use technology to their advantage
Good, you have a website, that’s the first step. Next is looking at SEO. I know, I don’t know how the Google machine works either, SEO may as well be a foreign language. Thing is, more and more consumers are using the internet to find their next contractor every day.
The good news is you don’t have to know about SEO to make the internet work for you. One simple and effective way to increase your online presence is to ask for (and receive) Google reviews. If you’re not doing it, you’re falling behind.
Our top tier shops not only use the Google machine to their advantage, but they also utilize software to keep themselves organized. No, I’m not talking about a list on your phone. I’m talking about task management and organization of all the info you have in one central location (not just your brain).
Would you agree that it is easier for you to text/email a customer rather than call them? How about if all of that communication was kept organized in one spot but accessible from any place/device? And that mode of communication allowed for you to assign tasks, for your staff to communicate with each other and different departments AND the customer at the same time? Now that's what I’m talking about!
Digital communication/organization is the way of the future. If you don’t do it now it will take a little getting used to, but the shops that utilize this strategy are edging ahead of the competition, while saving themselves time and manpower, and most importantly, headaches.
We can help!
If this has overwhelmed you, you’re not alone, it's why we created BidClips. BidClips can help you automate all of the above and do so much more to make you more effective.
You can collect payment online (attached to your virtual estimate), swap pictures/video to diagnose and gather information, and communicate automatically with your customer as the job progresses. All the while improving your bottom line without gouging your customer.
Let’s find a time to chat so we can discuss all of this and more of what top-notch shops are doing to grow and prosper in the ever-changing world that we find ourselves in. Is there anything else you would change about how you run your shop now? Lets chat!
Published on Dec 23, 2020