How to Give Your Customers Virtual Estimates
The COVID-19 pandemic has made it difficult for many businesses to operate, especially with social distancing guidelines in effect throughout the world. Of all the businesses affected, service businesses have had to do some of the most adapting during these difficult times.
Much like a majority of the other roadblocks businesses encounter, the digital world comes to save us yet again. By offering virtual meetings, giving virtual estimates, and even providing customer care virtually, any business can continue being helpful to their clients or customers during this pandemic.
If you’ve been wondering how your business can successfully make this transition as smooth as possible, don’t worry. We’re going to detail what you need to do to better help your customers during this difficult time.
The first thing you need to do is assess what you’re capable of doing virtually. Not everything is going to be possible, but certain services and procedures can. For example, contractors can give estimates for a repair job virtually, but won’t be able to complete the repair without physically being there.
Try writing every single service you provide on a piece of paper. Grab a separate piece of paper and separate it into two columns -- one labeled ‘virtual’ and one labeled ‘contact.’ If a service can be done virtually, put it in the corresponding column. Do the same with non-virtual services.
Once you find the services that can be done virtually, you’ll be well on your way to making your customers feel much more comfortable about doing business with you -- especially those that are at an increased risk of getting sick.
That was just the first step, though. There’s more to do if you want to deploy those virtual services properly, but that’s where the decision comes in.
The second step in this process is the decision. It involves deciding between the various different options available when launching your virtual services. With the way technology is always advancing, it might seem the opportunities are endless.
Most business owners immediately think of utilizing phone calls and emails, which are certainly helpful in some situations. At the same time, customers already have access to those. If they trusted it, they’d already be using it.
That’s where video calls truly come in handy. Many of them don’t require much to get set up, whether you’re a customer or business owner -- such as Zoom, Skype, Facebook Messenger, and Google Hangouts.
The decision should be based on what your customers want. Think about the platforms your customers are most likely to use and already have downloaded.
Now that you’ve had a chance to decide which platform and method of virtual estimates is best for your company, it’s time to let your customers and clients in on your recent decision. Unless they know about it, they won’t know to utilize it.
There are many ways to do this. While none are more powerful than social media, you should also consider posting it on your service page, as well as in a blog post and email newsletter. Again, you’ll know which way is best when reaching out to your customers, so keep them in mind when preparing this.
Once you start informing customers about your recent decision, you’ll start to receive virtual appointments. Make sure you pencil those into your schedule just like any home visit you would normally do, the only difference being you don’t have to travel anywhere.
It’s also good practice to follow up with the customer after the call to give them a written estimate, which acts as a summary of what you discussed on the virtual appointment. It’s best to do this via email, that way you don’t have to bother them with another call.
Getting Virtual Estimates to Work for You
Offering virtual estimates does a lot for the business you’ve worked so hard to build and maintain throughout the years, but it’s also a great way for newer companies to gain trust and clout within their industry.
When customers learn you have virtual estimates -- especially when those estimates are free -- it does two major things for your company. First, it minimizes the amount of phone calls and emails you get. Second, it gives you a chance to set yourself apart from others.
It also limits the amount of house calls you need to make, reduces your risk of getting sick, and allows you to follow local or state guidelines.
If you’ve been struggling to get virtual estimates to work for your business, Consultants In-A-Box can help. We take great pride in helping companies find the most effective ways of keeping their business running strong through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you improve the way your business operates during these difficult times.
- Jordan VanMaanen