Five years ago, we helped develop a smartphone app that has been extremely successful in generating new business from our existing customers. The app, Lead Line, is embedded in the operating software we use, Evolve.
Lead Line gives our field service specialists the ability and tools to generate and turn in leads on issues our customers might have at their homes or businesses. For example, if a pest specialist notices tree branches are touching the roof of the home, he has the ability to turn in a lead electronically, even if the customer isn’t home at the time of service. He simply takes a picture of the tree branches touching the roof and attaches it to the customer’s account with a voice message about the issue. The picture and voice file go to our in-house Lead Line team, where they will then contact the customer to schedule an appointment for one of our arborists to give a proposal to trim their trees.
This process ensures that each customer is contacted in a timely manner. It also helps assure the service specialist who turned in the lead that it has been followed up on appropriately. The service specialist receives $10 just for turning in the lead, regardless of whether it is sold. The idea is to get our service specialists to look for and turn in leads so we can help our customers. In addition, if a service specialist turns in more that 10 leads in a month, he receives $20 for each lead generated that month.
APP LEADS TO SALES
Lead Line has been incredibly successful for our company, our customers and our service specialists. It’s the proverbial win, win, win. The software keeps track of each serviceperson’s leads, along with the status of each one. We track the number of times we contact the customer to schedule the inspection/estimate, the number of leads each service specialist turns in, and the sales we generate from the program. The service specialist is confident the leads are appropriately followed up on, and customers have someone to solve an issue for which they may or may not have been aware of previously.
The trick with something like Lead Line is to get all the field staff to participate. Some service specialists are absolutely fantastic and look for opportunities. Others just don’t seem to notice. We report to everyone at our company our current Lead Line statistics and who our Lead Line leaders are each month. We celebrate the top service specialists.
For the past several years, we have generated an additional $4 million to $5 million in new sales each year due to the leads turned in by our service folks. This is a tremendous value to our company from a revenue and profit standpoint.
The newest program we have initiated to help generate new business is our drip marketing campaign. This is an automated follow-up program to contact customers who have already received our proposals. Many of the proposals our sales specialists leave with the customer are not what the customer actually contacted us about.
For example, if the sales specialist is there for a termite inspection/proposal and he sees the pool is not clean, he is able to price and propose a pool cleaning service. If the customer does not purchase on the spot, the drip marketing program will spring into action over the course of the next 12 months (or until the customer purchases). We send automated touches to customers to follow up and let them know we would love to take care of their pool (or whatever
the secondary proposal may have covered).
We are very excited about these programs. Both are much more efficient at gaining new services than traditional advertising methods. Of course, we will continue to advertise, because it keeps our brand top of mind. But we also will continue to emphasize and push both Lead Line and our drip marketing tools.