Have you ever found yourself in a situation like this…you’re driving to a job when a call comes in from a homeowner who has heard great things about your work and wants an estimate on a project. You don’t have time to discuss the details and you don’t have hands free to take their information or check your calendar. You absolutely appreciate the call and you truly want to help the homeowner out and hopefully land the job, but the contact information gets misplaced or the demands of the day take up all of your time and you’re not able to get back in touch with the caller. It can happen to the best of us!
Unfortunately, common or not, these mixups can wind up costing you tens of thousands of dollars in lost revenue over time. No bueno.
Now imagine this same situation, but this time when a call comes in you have an automated process in place to free up your time and keep communication moving forward with the homeowner! You thank the homeowner for their interest in working with you, politely explain that you can’t talk at the moment, and ask them to send you a quick email with a very specific subject line and their contact information in the body.
This extremely simple email the prospective customer sends you sets in motion a magical automated process that will guarantee you send them a timely follow up and dramatically increases your chances of scheduling an estimate at a time that works for both you and the homeowner. Sounds great, right?
Here’s a behind the scenes look at exactly how this process is structured and how it will help you grow your business and deliver an amazing customer experience. Anyone can do it, and it literally costs $0 to get started!
The email the homeowner sends triggers an automation created in Zapier to automatically save your prospect’s contact information in Google Sheets creating for you a list of hot leads. At the same time, this information transfers to Mailchimp and a pre-written email is automatically sent to the homeowner. This email shows the homeowner that you value their time and their business, and it also contains a link to Calendly. The homeowner can schedule an estimate through Calendly at a time that is convenient to your schedule and theirs.
All of this is happening automatically while you’re still out driving to your next job!
All you did was ask the homeowner to send you a quick email, and with no more effort you’ve:
- Collected a new lead
- Added the info to an organized spreadsheet
- Promptly responded to the homeowner’s inquiry
- Scheduled an estimate
We’ve closed millions of dollars worth of home improvement deals, and have honed the process. At ServiceWhale we want our sales team spending time where it matters—reaching out to homeowners and selling on behalf of our contractors. That’s why we put automation tools to work to streamline the tedious back and forth, and to make sure that no lead slips through the cracks. What we’ve outlined here is the streamlined process we use, and here are step-by-step instructions to help you do the same thing using four free tools that are super easy to use.
**DISCLAIMER: Setting up this automation will require about an hour of your time. But fear not! We’ve outlined EXACTLY how to do it below with both video clips as well as screenshots of the entire process in the section below. However, if you find yourself struggling to get this set up, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll help you get set up, free of charge!
How to Set Up Your Free Automated Follow Up Process
Set Up Gmail and Google Sheets
You may already use Gmail and Google Calendar. Google Sheets is the spreadsheet program you’ll use to automatically create a running list of all of your leads as they come in.
- Create your Gmail account (if you don’t already have one)
- Create a new Google Sheet and give it a specific name, such as “New Customer Leads”
- You’ll just need two columns – One titled “Customer Info” and the other “Date”
**See How to Set Up Google Sheets By Watching The Video Clip Below**
**And here are some handy screen shots to follow along to if you’re not into watching our video 😉**
Set Up Calendly
Calendly provides easy to use, customizable scheduling that integrates will with your Google Calendar. You can use Calendly to allow prospective clients to book estimates themselves based on your availability. Many options are available to make sure your schedule is booked only according to your preferences.
- Create your Calendly account
- Sync to your Google Calendar
- Set up your availability and use advanced settings to set limits on how many estimates can be scheduled per day, buffer time between appointments, and rules to determine how far in advance appointments must be booked
- Add your Calendly link into your MailChimp email template
**See How to Set Up Calendly By Watching The Video Clip Below**
**More screenshots, comin’ atcha! 😉**
Set Up MailChimp
MailChimp is an email marketing service that allows you to create and manage mailing lists and automate email campaigns. MailChimp is simple, easy to use and offers a free service that is more than enough for most home service businesses.
- Create your MailChimp account
- Create a list for New Customer Leads
- Create a simple text email template. This is the email that will automatically send to your prospect when they email you with their contact information. Feel free to use the template we provide if you want a proven sales message that’s already written for you!
- Set up an automated campaign
**See How to Set Up MailChimp By Watching The Video Clip Below**
**Yup. You guessed it. More screenshots below… 😉**
Connect Everything with Zapier
Zapier offers easy automation to help busy people connect web apps automatically. You can create Zaps that transfer information between Gmail, Google Sheets, and MailChimp based on automatic triggers that you set.
- Create your Zapier account
- Connect with your Gmail account
- Create a Zap
- Choose Gmail as your Trigger so Zapier will look for incoming emails with the exact subject live you ask prospects to use, such as “Want to Meet”
- Connect with Google Sheets and set your Zap to automatically add your prospects’ contact information to your New Customer Leads spreadsheet
- Add another step to automatically send your prospects’ email addresses to your MailChimp email list as soon as they hit your inbox in Gmail
- Turn on your automation!
**Watch the full video outlining the entire process below!**
**And you thought we’d stop adding screenshots?? 😉**
When you show up to a job you bring the right tools, and you put them to work to complete the job with excellence. You want to use the right tools as a business owner too. It’s a challenge to stay organized when you’re a successful business owner-operator. If you leverage these easy-to-use tools you can capture leads and book estimates even when you’re too busy to take the call. You’ll close more sales, in less time, with fewer headaches. And you’ll have more time to focus on your most important work.
Reach out to us if you have any questions! We’re happy to help!
At ServiceWhale, we generate new business and close sales for home service contractors all day every day. Our patent-pending online quoting technology offers homeowners the convenience of instant, accurate prices from the best local contractors based on contractor-provided estimate guidelines. For contractors that means more time working and less time driving around giving estimates. ServiceWhale acts as an online sales team on behalf of our contractors, providing a salesperson to vet and nurture leads, giving support throughout the home improvement project, and offering financing options to homeowners at no cost to the contractor. Learn more about how ServiceWhale can help grow your business at servicewhale.com/business.