Stop letting callers’ excuses prohibit you from gaining their commitment to your business.
The phone rings.
You are ready to answer a call from a person who needs something from your business.
They chose you! That’s why the phone is ringing in your office!
So why don’t you always set the appointment?
There are many reasons that someone may call into your business but end up dodging an appointment with you by the end of the call. Sorry, but it is inevitable.
The good news is – although you most likely won’t be able to book 100% of these people into appointments, you can increase the number of callers that will become a customer with you with just a bit more effort.
Below are top excuses or reasons that callers may have to not book an appointment with you during the initial phone call. By overcoming these reasons, you will be well on your way to increasing your appointment conversion rate and earning more lifetime customers instead of potentially losing them to your competition.
1. They need to check with their spouse/significant other/someone.
Sure, maybe the caller does need to check or verify with someone else – but that doesn’t mean that you can’t still get them on the calendar.
Suggest in a non-pushy way that you can still get them set up with an appointment for the time being and if they need to change anything they can always call back. Use scarcity as a tactic by letting them know that an appointment day has opened up and may get booked quickly; it is better to set the appointment now rather than having to call back and risking losing that appointment time slot.
2. They are looking for a price quote.
It’s tricky to get a caller to commit to your business for their home services needs without a price in mind – but this is where your call handling skills, business and industry knowledge come into play. As the employee, you are the expert. It is your job to demonstrate to the caller that you are the expert as well.
Mention value statements about your company and why it is that you cannot give a price estimate without first coming to the house to see what is needed to do the job correctly. Let the caller know that you do not want to misquote and that no prices are given on the phone to ensure that each customer gets the best service possible since every job is different.
You may even note that this is also because you don’t want to over-quote them. Some less reputable companies may give a higher price quote on the phone, then when the technician arrives at the home, they find out the job is easier than expected and still stick to the higher quote original price given. You want to make sure that the value of your service matches the service(s) needed.
3. They need to check their schedule or have scheduling issues.
This is a situation where it might be more difficult to gain the caller’s commitment since they may have trouble knowing a time that can work for them or their schedule does not align with available appointment times that you have.
Still, getting a solid appointment on the calendar is vital to ensure you capture that commitment from the caller and they do not forget about you or try to call another company after you. Offer two different time slots that may work and let them call you back after they are already both on the calendar to see which appointment time they officially want. Or – try to rework your schedule to fit theirs. Could you move some of the technicians’ routes or move someone else’s appointment that has more flexibility in their schedule?
4. They do not want to pay a service trip fee or the price you have laid out.
Explaining the reasoning for your service trip fee (if you have one) or your pricing is important when overcoming this opposition. But it is even more important to start explaining the value of your company and the services you provide to derail the caller from focusing so much on price.
You pay for what you get, so make sure that the caller truly understands the value that your company will deliver, and how your pricing works – including the service trip fee and if that rolls into the work they end up getting done. If they really don’t budge, you can always offer to waive the service trip fee if the job sounds like it is worth the time and money for your efforts to acquire them as a customer.
5. Call Handler didn’t ask the caller for an appointment.
This is the worst reason for a missed appointment opportunity of all!
Although the prospect called into you for a service, the call handler must still stay in control of the conversation, and that includes asking questions that the caller may not think to ask themselves.
Perhaps the caller wanted further information from you – but who is to say that if you ask when they’d like to schedule an appointment that they would say no? Sure, they wanted information on something, but if you ask to schedule an appointment to come out and help them further, it shows that you are the right company to help them with the job. Don’t let them move on to call the next company to ask the same questions and then have your competitor scoop up your caller as their customer.
- Try to get the caller to agree to a time on the calendar, even tentatively, when they say that they must check with someone else before scheduling an appointment.
- Use value statements about your company when overcoming price objections or an objection to setting the appointment because you cannot disclose an exact price quote.
- Give wiggle room to allow for scheduling one or two appointments on the calendar for those who are unsure of their calendar – getting them on makes it less likely that they will call a competitor afterwards.
- Explaining the value of your company is also imperative when it comes to objections to any service trip fee. Explain the necessity of the fee and if that cost gets absorbed into any work done.
- ASK FOR THE APPOINTMENT! If the call handler doesn’t ask, why is it up to the caller to do so?
Want to work on recapturing potential customers that still fell through the cracks despite your best efforts? We applaud you and are here to help! With our Missed Opportunity Follow Up Spreadsheet, you can track your outbound efforts to help determine what works best when attempting to gain a lead’s commitment the second time around.
In this spreadsheet, you will be able to:
- Track how many missed opportunities you consistently follow up on
- See which employee is most successful at gaining the appointment on that second call
- Figure out which outbound calling tactics work best when regaining a caller’s appointment
- Make decisions to improve based on data that you are collecting, instead of assumptions