For a solo contractor or small business owner, it may be a worthwhile investment to hire an answering service to be available when you cannot. Phone studies show that 3 out of every 5 prospective clients will just hang up when they reach the voice mail and move on to the next name on the list.
Here’s an example…lets say you are a roofing contractor who tries to answer the phone whenever possible. As most busy contractors or small business owners can attest, this is certainly no easy task. If we do some simple math, it can get ugly quite fast. A typical small roof replacement cost (shingle roof) is somewhere between $7K – $10K, maybe much higher. If you receive 5 new calls a day for information on replacing a roof and you can only “live answer” 2 out of 5, based on the studies done above, you may have just lost 3 potential customers. If you are a “super salesman” and close about half of your sales, you may have lost business valued at $14K – $20K. Multiply this by 4-5 per week and…well, you see where this leads.
To avoid missing out on this huge loss, an answering service gives prospective clients the opportunity to get a human, record the details, and get to you quicker. Waiting to pick up messages on a voice mail can again, create a lost opportunity as the potential client may have heard back from another contractor sooner. Answering services can often pay for themselves quickly as you have the ability to get return calls with a much faster turnaround rate.
Remember, the vast majority of your new business is obtained online, so if they cannot reach a “live” person, your potential clients will just go down the list on their computer screen and simply call the next listing.