8 Ways Handyman Services Increase Profits by Texting Customers
You’re trying to bring in new customers for your handyman business, upsell products and services, keep up with employees in the field, and more. It’s a lot, and the common barrier to accomplishing each goal is communication.
You struggle to reach the right person at the right time with the right message—whether that’s in your marketing or just scheduling an appointment.
Why is that?
For starters, only 5% of phone calls are answered, only 15% of emails are opened, and the average person sees thousands of ads every day. You can’t cut through the noise to reach customers and grow your business.
But I’m going to show you how to fix that, all through text messaging. Here are eight ways handyman contractors, just like you, increase profits by texting customers.
Why should handyman services text?
It all comes down to what is going to help you accomplish your goal most effectively?
You need to connect with customers to share your sales and marketing messages, schedule services, and get paid. The problem is you can’t get through to them. Here’s how texting helps:
- 99% of texts are read
- 95% of texts are read within just 3 minutes of being sent
- The average text message response time is 90 seconds
- The average text message click-through rate is 36%-45%
- 89% of people want to text businesses for sales and service
- 91% of people would rather get a text from a business than a call
This is powerful data! And I’m going to show you how to apply it to grow your handyman business (and make your life easier).
1. Increase online reviews with simple asks.
90% of people check out online reviews before deciding whether to work with you or a competitor. Online reviews also help you rank higher on the platform where you got the reviews (Google, Angie’s List, etc.), which creates more opportunities for you. And it’s proven that the company with the most online reviews is who wins the most new business.
Online reviews matter, and texting is going to bring you more of them. Here’s how.
Make asking for a review your final step after servicing a customer. It doesn’t have to be fancy. A simple text asking for feedback on the platform of your choice will do.
“Clarence, loved getting to help you out today. One thing that helps us a ton is online reviews. Will you share your experience with us on Angie’s List? angieslist.com/provider Thank you!”
Do that with every customer, and your online reviews will soar.
2. Generate more leads by letting them text you.
How much time and money do you spend on marketing and advertising, driving people to your website, and prompting them to call you? You want those dollars to bring a strong return, right?
The problem is most people don’t want to call you.
Once you’ve gotten them to your website, you’ve done the heavy lifting. Now you just need to make it easy for them to connect with you the way they prefer. That’s text.
We created SMS Chat specifically to help you with this. Take a look at the bottom right of our site, or watch the 1-minute video below (it has subtitles) to see SMS Chat in action.
Customers would rather text your handyman service than call, email, or wait around for an online chat representative. But there are two other powerful factors that make texting great for lead generation.
Given the option, customers choose to do less.
They would rather ask you a question than search for answers themselves. So when they see the SMS Chat widget that says “Text us for an estimate!” they know they can depend on you instead of finding the answers on their own.
That gives you a massive leg up on lead generation and on closing deals.
You have the #1 way to follow up.
When customers use SMS Chat it also gives you their cell phone numbers and an open channel into their text messages. That’s huge, and in the next section I’ll tell you how much that can improve your close rates (and customer reviews).
3. Close more deals with instant follow-up.
Customers do not expect instant responses to texts. Anytime within 15-20 minutes is good, but you can meet and exceed that expectation. Why would you want to?
Because the first person to respond is usually who wins the business, and 50% of people say response time is a factor in whether or not they want to work with a small home service business. You can win more business just by adding text message autoresponses. A lead comes in, and you have a text go out saying:
“Thanks for your message! Our hours are 8-5 M-F, but we’ll respond soon if it’s a reasonable time. - Handyman Company”
Text back your follow-up questions when you’re available to get the details you need, and schedule the service. This works well, because you can (a) respond after hours when customers are available, which creates a great impression, and (b) you can still reach customers during their work hours. They won’t answer calls, but they’ll respond to texts.
"We wanted to offer the best customer service, even at 8:30 at night, but we didn’t want to use chat bots or a call center. We wanted a real person providing a personal touch, so we found the best service to help us do that. With Text Request, we now have a way to wow our customers." - Jeff Ludy, Houston Window Experts
PC: Jobber Academy
4. Save time and money on estimates with picture messaging.
Typically when something needs fixing, you get the call, you drive out to see what needs to be done, and you give an estimate. Then the customer decides whether they move forward with you.
You want these conversations because they’re opportunities for work. The problem is you spend a lot of time and money giving these estimates, and you don’t always win the business.
What if you could flip that around, and save all that time and money while winning more opportunities?
This becomes easy with picture messaging. Here’s the process:
- A lead comes in
- You ask for pictures so you can see the problem or project space
- They text their pictures
- You give an estimate
- You both schedule a time to fix it
- You attach the pictures (and any notes) to the work order, and you’re off to the races
"Using Text Request has been a great way for us to save time and costs. Before Text Request, a customer would contact us and we’d drive out to their home or business to see what the problem was and give an estimate. Now they just text us pictures." - Stephen Boehler, Mr. Handyman
5. Make scheduling and updates a breeze.
It’s a necessary part of the job, but coordinating where to be, when, and providing updates along the way is a pain—particularly when customers don’t answer your calls.
But texting fixes that.
Text with customers to find the right time for you to come by. When you’re going to be early or delayed, text for updates you know customers will see. If your technician can’t find the right house, text the homeowner for help.
Employees can even text to check in with the office when they arrive at and leave locations, and you can have the customer’s address texted to your phone, so with one click you can pull up directions.
There are too many touch points in scheduling to leave it up to emails, but texting streamlines the process.
6. Show customers who’s coming to see them.
One feat customers have is letting a stranger into their home. Is this person going to treat me well, and are they actually the handyman I asked for?
You can put customers at ease, improve their experience, and tee your business up for great online reviews with a simple message. Tell customers who’s going to be at their house, before they get there, like in the image below.
Include a picture and a quick, friendly bio about your employee, and customers will be forever grateful.
7. Collect more payments faster.
When you provide a service, you ought to be paid. But collecting payments at time of service doesn’t always work. Maybe they don’t have any checks, or are in between pay periods. Whatever the reason, you still need to be paid, and the #1 reason people neglect to pay has nothing to do with their finances.
If there’s only one thing you take away from this article, let it be this: Texting is great for grabbing customers’ attention.
So text customers payment reminders, and include a link for them to pay online, like so:
“Johnny, just a friendly reminder that your bill of $185 for repairing your deck is due. You can pay at handyman.com/portal. Thank you! - Chris@Handyman Service”
99% of texts are read, and the click-through rates are close to 50%, so this is going to help your collections big time.
8. Drive sales with SMS promotions.
You’re always wanting to drum up new business. The problem is finding the right customers in market for your services without spending a ton on advertising. Texting helps—just send promotions to previous customers.
You could try something seasonal:
“Hi Larry, spring is coming quick! If you’re looking to add to your outdoor living space, I’ll be happy to give you a free estimate. Let me know! - Susan @ HandyMatters”
Or maybe there’s a special you want to offer:
“Scared your AC will go out in the middle of summer? Don’t be! We’re offering $40 HVAC services through May to make sure you stay cool all season long. When would you like to schedule your service? - Henry @ Service Repair Shop”
If you want to go the extra mile, you could even include an image flyer with each promotion.
The goal with these promotions is to grab customers’ attention and get them to take a next step. You can do that for all your customers with only a moment’s time (and the ROI is incredible).
How can your handyman service start texting customers to increase profits?
There’s a lot you can do with texting (see above), but the most important thing for your business is that you start. To do that, we recommend picking one use case (like online reviews) and getting your feet wet texting for that one thing.
Text Request will get you and your team up to speed ASAP on texting professionally. We’ll empower you to do everything in this article and more, and you can schedule a quick demo to talk to a real expert and see how it all works.
One thing you’ll like—we give you the power to text as a team using your office phone number, so customers can always text or call the same number to reach your business. Check your number below to see if it’s eligible.