Video Chat a Pro Blog

Overcoming Request for Free Estimates

November 15, 2018 - Video Chat a Pro

This topic is a double-edged sword for service repair companies. On one hand, we pay for the customer to call our company. And we need to perform repairs and replacements to keep the doors open. The cost of sending a truck, the technician, and a representative to answer the phone among other costs is what builds the price of the service fee to go out to a customer’s home to perform the free estimate. When we waive the service fee, we start losing money before we even arrive. The price must be adjusted to compensate for the loss, as a result, the price of the service and repair goes up for everyone or the company loses money until it goes out of business.

We use call booking percentages to track this phenomenon of customers who called to receive repair, however, we told them No because they wanted a price over the phone or a free estimate. As licensed trades repair professionals we know the value of the service we offer and know first hand of the cost to operate a service repair company. Therefore, most licensed service repair companies do not give free estimates or prices over the phone.

We train our call takers to follow scripts to overcome objections caused by attempting to force the customer to do something they really don’t want, to pay a diagnose fee/service fee. These people can see the problem and do not want to wait to see how much it cost to get it fixed. They simply want to get the best price and will call everyone till they get what they want, a price over the phone. This causes a hurdle for the technician. Now he must sell the repair or replacement after he gains the trust of the customer. Because we must capture more customers, we place ads in almost any online advertising platform with a TV commercial even if they offer services we don’t perform, like free estimates. We have forgotten the most important factor to the Customer, is to get what they want.

I am going to take you back to the basics here.

Our customers call and ask for a free estimate. Let’s logically examine this first hand, A few things can be happening here. The customer has no idea how much the repair or replacement costs or even what to expect. They have researched our company on-line; we have good and bad reviews and an online article posted by Angie's List is bashing service repair companies that charge to give estimates. The customer may be trying to hire you by testing customer service before they invest time to wait on us to show up. Some call takers are better at building value or manipulating a customer to pay the fee and wait for us to arrive. The customer loses a small amount of trust and has time to shop for what they originally wanted. While sitting waiting for us to show up, the customer finds Homeadvisor and sees an ad and our company profile on the website that offers free estimates. The customer has lost trust in our company. The customer now calls other companies and gets a free estimate, sometimes they don’t call to cancel, and the Technician shows up to find the other company is there. This situation is never profitable and does not feel good for the team.

We have learned after many attempts, that when we give the customer what they want faster than the traditional method it is much easier to make a sale. We learned that utilizing technology to perform the costly processes to perform free estimates and pricing over the phone with Video Chat Services provided by Video Chat A Pro to be an effective path to providing better service to our customers while becoming more profitable. We are eliminating costly process when performing services that could potentially cause harm to our profitability and doing more with what we have.

Learn more about how you can benefit from our Video Chat Platform.