8 Ways Text Messaging Helps Plumbing Companies Increase Revenue
You run a plumbing company and you enjoy it, but you have one problem that nags you like a leaking faucet. You can’t reach your customers.
You call, email, post on social media, leave voicemail, play phone tag - and repeat - trying to connect with people. You may have even given up looking for a better way, and accepted this is what you have to do!
But it’s not. There is a better way.
With text messaging, plumbing companies all across the United States and Canada are connecting with customers faster and increasing revenue.
Conversations that used to take days are happening in minutes. Promotions that would normally get so-so returns are getting great returns. And appointments that used to fall through are keeping.
I’m going to show you how all of this works - eight different ways text messaging helps plumbing companies increase revenue. Are you ready?
8 Ways Plumbing Companies Increase Revenue by Texting
1. Getting more great online reviews
This is the easiest way for you to start texting with customers. After you service a customer, send them a text asking for a review - just like this:
Hey Jonathan, glad to help you out today! Would you please leave us a review on Google? It would help us out a lot. Here’s a link goo.gl/mybiz Thank you!
This works because 99% of texts are read, and they get a 36% click through rate on average. More importantly, it works far better than emailing customers for reviews, which has 17% and 2% rates, respectively.
It’s so easy a caveman can do it, and, as one person said, “We have had a lot of success sending texts to customers that do not respond to or open a couple of emails.”
There’s also the fact that 90% of customers read reviews before working with a company, and 85% trust online reviews as much as friendly referrals. (It also takes eight great reviews to offset one bad review.)
People want to know they can trust you before they work with you, which is why texting for reviews helps you increase revenue. As another contact said, “It is simple for us. When we got more reviews than our competitors, our business increased.”
2. Sending payment reminders
When you provide a service for someone, you ought to be paid. But people forget.
Your technician leaves the paper invoice with your customer and moves onto the next. That paper invoice gets lost in a stack of mail or accidentally tossed in the garbage. Then you spend time and money trying to get what you’re already owed. What a hassle!
Instead, follow up with customers via text. The easiest way is to setup a schedule for your follow-ups - say two and four weeks after you’ve completed the service. You can just say:
Hi Randy, thanks for being our customer! Don’t forget your bill is due by 6/18. You can pay here if it’s easier plumbersite.com/payme Thank you!
Even if your customers have to wait on their next paychecks before paying you, messages like these remind them to pay their bills on time. That helps everyone.
If you don’t have a way for customers to pay online, just ask them to call to pay instead. With Text Request you can text and call from your current business number, which makes things a lot easier.
3. Earning higher returns on promotions
Occasionally you’ll run promotions to re-engage past customers, and maybe even bring in some new ones. Before, your options were sending emails - which 15% of people saw - or running expensive commercials. Maybe you tried advertising on Facebook.
The best returns, though, come from text messages. There are four reasons why:
- Texts are really cheap
- Virtually every text will be read (no waste)
- People can text you back, or follow a link straight from your message
- The customers getting your texts already know who you are
New water heaters 40% off with free installation! Reply to this text to pick your unit and schedule installation. Offer ends 6/25.
If you want to get fancy, you can set up a keyword (which only takes a few seconds with Text Request) to streamline scheduling. Let’s say your keyword is FREE, and you text customers “Reply FREE to pick your unit and schedule installation.”
When someone replies FREE, they’ll get an autoresponse (which you create) saying “Pick out your unit on this page: ourplumbers.com/water-heaters.” Add your calendar to that landing page so people can choose an installation time that’s good for them, and you’re good to go!
You can apply the discount later. These few small steps lead to big returns for plumbing companies.
4. Booking more appointments with new customers
You’ve got a lot of stuff working to bring you new customers, so you’ve got people consistently reaching out to you.
The problem is you lose so many people between them reaching out and them scheduling an appointment. There are several reasons why you might not close the deal, but the biggest is time.
35%-50% of sales go to whomever responds first. If your potential customer is shopping around for quotes or who can get there fastest - as they commonly do - then you need to be the first person to follow up so you can book their business.
Calls and emails are not the way to be first. No one answers and they often take hours to be seen, especially if your potential customer is at work (or a Millennial). But texting works.
95% of texts are read within 3 minutes of being sent, and the average time is within 5 seconds.
Texting is the fastest and most reliable way to follow up with customers. That’s why so many other plumbing companies use it.
When a new request comes in - from any channel - they follow up with a text. Example:
Hey Tina, saw your request. If the problem’s as simple as you think, it’ll cost about [$X] and we can have someone out there in a couple hours. Does that work?
Of course, you can say whatever you want and book appointments whenever you have someone available. It also helps when potential customers send in a picture or two.
5. Diagnosing problems faster with pictures
How many times has a customer said “I’m having this problem”? You go out to fix that problem, but it turns out the problem is actually something else. It takes your technicians longer to diagnose and fix, and a lot of times they have to leave and come back with another part or tool.
That’s bad for everyone. But you can avoid it, and make everyone happier. Just ask customers to send you a picture.
This way you can know what you’re getting into and give more accurate estimates before sending someone. You can also fix the problem faster, which is ideal.
Pictures aren’t a magical fix to everything, but they can save both your company and customers hours - even days!
6. Gaining more leads from your digital marketing
You’re doing a lot online - or maybe an agency is doing it for you. Either way, texting (and Text Request) will help you convert more people into qualified leads and paying customers.
With what we call Click-to-Text. It’s a button mobile users click to open a text to your business, and it works really well.
Mobile users - particularly those under 40 years old - would rather text you than call, and would especially rather text you than call your competitor. You can add a Click-to-Text button to your:
Google listing (view our guide):
Website (view our guide):
Google ads (view our guide):
And more. You can also integrate these buttons with your Google Analytics (or other analytics dashboards) to track conversions, and you can pull reports on these inbound leads inside Text Request. It’s a powerful and passive way plumbing companies are increasing revenue.
7. Keeping up with technicians more efficiently
Your technicians need to check in with you whenever they get to or leave a location. You also need to provide them with directions to all the properties. Sometimes you even have to provide devices like GPSs, pagers, or tablets.
All of this is expensive, time consuming, and - if you’re having technicians call for every check-in - ties up phone lines that should be kept open for customers.
But texting’s really quick and really cheap. Everyone already has a phone with unlimited messaging. Why not take advantage of that?
And you can text addresses to technicians, who can tap on the message to pull up directions in their Maps app.
Texting simplifies your internal communications, and helps your technicians get to more appointments faster. It’s another win-win!
8. Avoiding cancellations and reschedules
Every so often you send a technician out to service a property, and they get locked out. That’s bad. You’re wasting time and money while that tech could be serving other customers, and the customer you’re supposed to be seeing still needs their problem fixed.
There are two things you can do to prevent this from happening. One is to send an appointment reminder, like:
Hey Sean, quick reminder we’re coming by this afternoon between 2-3 to fix your shower/tub. Let us know if something comes up. Thanks! - Jimmy, PlumbersRUs
That’ll trigger anything Sean’s forgotten about, and usually means he’ll be sure someone’s home to let you in (if needed). If you’re worried, you can also spell out “Please make sure someone is home at this time.”
The other scenario is that you show up and are locked out of the property. You can text the owner:
Hey Cathy, just got to your house but no one’s home. Will someone be by shortly or do we need to find another time?
In both cases, your customer can reply quickly and easily to confirm the time works or to reschedule as needed. Either way, you’ll keep more appointments while limiting cancellations and no-shows.
What is Text Request, anyway?
Text Request is an online texting service for businesses. In most cases you can use your current business number(s) to send and receive texts online through our dashboard.
Multiple users can login to a shared dashboard from any device (most use a desktop). The service is intuitive, but we also provide free training and support to all users.
How does my plumbing company start texting?
For most people, the best way to start is by scheduling a free demo on our Demo page. We’ll show you the product live, answer all your questions, and get you up to speed on how to use Text Request. Demos normally take about 20 minutes.
Or, if you’re ready to dive in, you can sign up on our Pricing page.