Now is a challenging time to be a roofing contractor. You’re adapting your strategies to deal with the restrictions and difficulties posed by the coronavirus, while trying to market your business and do your work at the same time. After all, roofs still need repairing, virus or no virus, and many homeowners can’t wait around while their roof leaks or lets in cold air. (This is why in some states with shelter-in-place orders, like Illinois, roofers have been classified as essential workers.)
But homeowners are also understandably wary, avoiding unnecessary contact with people outside their households, and may be feeling reluctant to make home improvement decisions. How can roofing contractors reach homeowners who need their services during these times?
Here are some roofing contractor tips to help you connect with customers despite coronavirus.
Tip #1: Start With Empathy
Being sensitive to the needs and concerns of homeowners will go a long way. During a time when so many people are worried about so many things, it’s more essential than ever for roofers to be mindful of their customer communications.
Instead of knocking on their door and potentially catching them off-guard right now, try starting with a phone call first. When you connect with a homeowner, take time to ask how they are doing. Making a human connection with those you are speaking to means there is a greater chance you will be listened to—and it’s the right thing to do.
Don’t dismiss the concerns they may have about getting roofing repairs done during this time, even if you think that they’re not a big deal. Homeowners will be much more responsive if they sense that you’re willing to work with them.
It’s also important to be transparent about what your business is doing. Homeowners will likely have lots of questions, such as:
- If they hire your business to repair their roof, how often will you have to be at the job site?
- How are you working to reduce contact with homeowners?
- What can be done virtually?
- What safety standards are your crews adhering to?
- What is necessary for the repair, and what is extra?
Answering these questions clearly for the homeowners will help them understand your process and feel at ease about your work. The more straightforward, transparent, and understanding you can be, the more your customers and prospects will trust you during this time.
Tip #2: Get Creative With Video
Many industries are using video technology in creative ways to work while maintaining social distancing and safety. Roofers can do the same. While you can’t repair a roof over video, there are many parts of the process that can be done using video, keeping you and your customers safe and engaged at the same time.
Video can be an essential component of the sales process, replacing some of the traditional in-person sales techniques. For instance, if your roofing company has a Facebook page, consider doing a Facebook Live video to answer any questions homeowners have in real-time. This provides you some “face-to-face time” with leads, without having to show up in person.
You could also record a video sales pitch that you can send to anyone who makes an inquiry about your services. Not only do many people respond better to hearing rather than reading a pitch, it shows that your company is technologically savvy and responsive to the needs of your customers.
You can also use video calls to interact with customers throughout the repair process. If you’d typically check in on a project by going to the job site, you can do a video call to check in instead. Some roofers find that they get better responses when they’re able to communicate job information face-to-face, so don’t be afraid to use video calling to accomplish the same thing. You could even inspect a leak or other damage over FaceTime, if necessary. With video calling technology, there are many possibilities for interacting personally while maintaining distance.
Tip #3: Reduce the Number of Touchpoints
Listening to customer needs doesn’t stop after the initial conversation. You need to follow through on what you promised—and that includes providing a customer experience with reduced in-person contact. If you talk a big game about being touch-free but knock on your customer’s door every day, you’ll lose trust and damage your reputation at a critical time.
Fortunately, there are plenty of tools you can deploy to reduce the number of touchpoints between you and the homeowner. For instance, many roofers already use SkyMeasure, EagleView, or other aerial measurement reports in their estimating process because of their superior accuracy—but they also help you get roof measurements without having to be physically present.
If you use roofing software like AccuLynx, you can automatically populate electronic estimates with measurements from your EagleView or SkyMeasure report and send them to homeowners via email, so they can review from the comfort of their homes. You can also turn that estimate right into a contract with a few clicks, which saves a lot of time. Instead of hand-delivering a contract and having the homeowner sign in person, now is a good time to provide homeowners with an electronic or digital signature option. AccuLynx offers SmartDocs with eSign, which allows you to send your contracts to customers electronically and receive a legally binding digital signature in return—no in-person interaction needed.
Another way to reduce touchpoints between your team and your customers is to make your work as efficient as possible. While job site visits are necessary to complete the repairs, the fewer errors and delays during the work, the more quickly it will be completed and the less time your crews will have to spend on-site.
AccuLynx offers a mobile Crew App so you can keep your crews up to date on the latest job instructions and communicate with them more easily throughout the day. With this mobile app, managers can create checklists and see updates on how crews are progressing through these tasks throughout the day, right in the AccuLynx platform . With this increased oversight and connectedness, you can help your crew stay on target, complete the work quickly and accurately, and reduce the amount of time crews spend on the job site.
Homeowners still need roofing help, even during these times. Taking the time to listen to their concerns, using innovative technological solutions to connect with customers and reducing the amount of in-person time you have to spend will all go a long way to letting you reach customers, even from afar.