Many states are starting to relax some of the regulations they put in place to stop the spread of coronavirus. However, it is still important to practice social distancing while interacting with customers. Limiting in-person contact and taking extra safety precautions will go a long way towards making your customers feel more comfortable and ensuring you’re still in compliance with city and state guidelines. Here are a few tips to help you provide great customer service while social distancing.
Equip Your Employees to Work Safely
In order to make your customers feel safe, you first have to make sure your employees feel safe as well. First and foremost, this involves listening and communicating with them. While you may have reached out to employees to discuss safety before, things may have changed for them over time. Be available to answer any questions and address any concerns they may have, and make sure your employees know that you have their safety at heart.
Helping your employees work safely also means having policies in place that will protect your employees. Make sure that everyone on your staff has access to the personal protective equipment they need, such as masks and gloves. Give your employees the flexibility to work from home if they need it, even if offices in your state have permission to re-open. Update your sick leave policy if possible and make it a part of your work culture to stay home even when mildly ill. The more ways you can equip your employees to work safely, the better morale and motivation will be.
In addition, make sure your employees understand fully the strategies and policies your business is using to protect customers. Communicate clearly your expectations for customer interactions so your employees will be ready to meet with homeowners. If you make any changes to policies as situations evolve, give your employees plenty of heads up so they can enact those changes in their day to day work. Prepare your teams to answer questions that customers might have about your safety policies. When your employees have the information, protections and policies they need to stay safe, your business and your customers will benefit.
Create and Advertise Contactless Experiences
Many roofing businesses have created “contactless experiences”, where in-person contact with customers is minimized, in order to continue growing their businesses during the pandemic. Using tools to reduce customer contact is still a smart move even as restrictions lift. Customers have varying levels of comfort right now, and contactless experiences can protect both them and your employees.
There are many ways to keep contact to a minimum and still keep your business moving forward. One solution is to use electronic documents to create estimates, contracts and more. With AccuLynx roofing software, you can upload and save templates for all these documents that can be populated automatically with customer information. Then, once your documents are created, you can email them to a customer for approval and receive a legally binding electronic signature using our eSign feature. Instead of using a pen and paper and visiting the job site, you can safely provide your customers with important documents from anywhere.
Another way to create a contactless experience is allowing your customers to pay electronically. Compared to paying by check, electronic payment processing requires fewer points of contact between the customer and the contractor. You can simply send a payment request to the customer via email, and the customer can pay online—no need to visit the job site or collect a physical check. AccuLynx is now offering AccuPay, our fully integrated electronic payment service that lets you request payment directly from our software, so it’s even easier.
Whatever tools you use to reduce contact, it’s important to advertise your contactless experiences on your website, social media pages, and other advertising platforms. Promoting a touch-free approach can attract customers and reassure them that you are a trustworthy roofing company that is keeping their safety in mind.
Communicate More Effectively With Customers
As you reduce in-person contact with customers, it’s important to increase the rest of your communications with them. Since many roofing contractors are used to meeting in-person with customers and having conversations in their homes, you’ll have to make sure that customers are receiving important information in other ways. Now more than ever, customers want to be in the loop about the progress of their jobs and other important information.
One way to stay in touch with customers more effectively and keep them updated is to use automated emails and texts. In the AccuLynx Automation Manager, you can trigger these emails or texts to send when you make certain changes in the AccuLynx platform, such as scheduling an appointment or updating the date of a material delivery. By utilizing automations, you can keep customers informed in real-time, even if you’re so busy it’s difficult to stay on top of your communications.
Using video calling tools like FaceTime and Zoom is still a good way to stay connected with customers as well. Many customers have gotten very used to using these tools during this time and may feel more comfortable having a face-to-face conversation over video than meeting in person. Make sure customers know that video meetings are an option for any communications with your roofing business.
It’s important that whenever you reach out to customers, your communications are clear and informative. Customers are facing a lot of confusion in many areas right now—make sure they always understand the status of their roofing jobs and any changes you might need to make to scheduled appointments.
Offer Financing Options
Many customers are facing varying degrees of financial uncertainty right now. While they may need important repairs completed, their ability to pay for those repairs up front may also have diminished. You might already be finding yourself losing sales because homeowners are saying “I can’t afford it right now.” If you can offer financing options to your customers, you will be able to overcome these objections and make it easier for your customers to afford repairs or replacements.
AccuLynx has partnered with GreenSky®, one of the leading companies in consumer financing for home improvements, to create an integrated financing platform. With this new partnership, you can offer consumer installment loans directly from the AccuLynx platform. It only takes a few clicks to give your customer financing options that work for their needs, and you don’t need to leave the AccuLynx interface in order to do so. Multiple different payment plans are already set up within AccuLynx, so your customer only needs to choose which is best for them to get started. With AccuLynx financing, you’ll have a solution for overcoming cost-related barriers in the sales process and a way to improve your customer service.
You can serve customers well during these challenging times while keeping them and your employees safe. By implementing strategies like these, you will be able to grow your business and match your service to your customers’ needs.