Marketing and the Home Improvement Industry: featuring Gutter Helmet by Harry Helmet
How call tracking technology is reinventing the way home improvement companies manage and market their businesses.
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The Evolution of Marketing
Marketing strategies for home improvement companies have drastically evolved over the past few decades. With the ever-evolving landscape of digital and offline advertising channels, these businesses need a scientific and automatic way to track and measure which channels are making their phones ring and generating the most sales.
In the 80s, the Yellow Pages was the primary source for finding and researching potential home improvement contractors. Business owners used strategies like naming the company something that started with an A to give themselves an advantage, since the Yellow Pages were listed alphabetically. Other strategies were to offer coupons in local newspapers and mailers. The coupons were a way to measure the ROI on the advertising campaign. Marketers could count the amount of coupons used from each advertising source to judge whether the campaign was bringing in new business or not.
With advancements in technology, specifically the internet, the consumer’s access to information has drastically shifted. Consumers now primarily use search engines, online review sites, and social media to find and research potential contractors. Traditional advertising channels like TV ads, radio ads, mailers, and printed flyers are also still used, but often as part of a multi-channel strategy to get people online to get more information about the company.
Marketing for Home Improvement Companies
The home improvement industry is very competitive. Typically, home improvement work should last well over 10 years and cost between $5,000 & $25,000 depending on the quality and size of the project. This creates a small window to lock in a new client. If the customer decides to go with another company, it could be 10+ years before they are in need of these kinds of services again.
This industry is also unique because even though many companies have a showroom, the clients rarely visit them. Instead they call and schedule an appointment to have a representative come to them for an in-home presentation on products they offer. This factor is significant because a vast majority of the leads generated are coming in over the phone. When you advertise in multiple places like the radio, TV commercials, online paid ads, trade shows, social media, direct mailers, and printed flyers, and all the leads are all ringing to the same place, it’s nearly impossible to measure which of the advertising channels are driving in sales and bringing in the the largest return on your investment.
Know What Makes Your Phone Ring
Gutter Helmet by Harry Helmet came to CallTrackingMetrics looking for a service that could provide them intelligence to take back to the advertising vendors regarding the performance of each campaign. Like many home improvement businesses, they were advertising in several different channels and weren’t able to accurately attribute the new business to a specific advertisement. This made optimizing more of a guessing game rather than making strategic optimization based on the performance of each campaign.
In some cases, it’s easy to know how the caller found out about a company. For example, they might volunteer the information and say “I heard you on the radio and want to know more about the 40% discount.” But that isn’t always the case; a lot of the time people don’t volunteer that information because it’s not relevant to their needs.
30 years ago, the process of acquiring a new phone line was expensive and required long contracts. This made the idea of assigning each advertising channel a unique phone number a costly and inefficient concept. Additionally, people used to write down phone numbers in address books which would serve as a reference for phone numbers for years to come.
Currently with the advancements in mobile phone technology, people are less likely to save business’s phone numbers, simply because they don’t need to. If you lose a phone number, you can just ask Siri to look it up for you, or you can search your recent calls. Telephony companies like CallTrackingMetrics offer tracking numbers for low monthly rates starting at $1.50 per line plus a usage fee without a contract. This makes the idea of assigning tracking numbers to each individual advertising channel a much more digestible concept.
Delphin Thebaud, a manager at Gutter Helmet by Harry Helmet, said, “I didn’t come from a technical background, but I found the whole process of purchasing and assigning tracking numbers to be comprehensive and straightforward. These tracking numbers can be set up and activated in a matter of minutes.”
Gutter Helmet by Harry Helmet was quickly able to identify trends in certain geographic areas that were bringing in the most leads from their direct mailer campaigns, and they could replicate those strategies in other markets. They now use call tracking as the primary performance metric for each advertising campaign. This allows them to be completely transparent with their advertising vendors when it comes time to negotiate rates, showing which campaigns are performing and which aren’t.
The software also helps them gauge how many leads should come in per campaign and how many of those leads close. By utilizing the intelligence gathered from CTM reports, Gutter Helmet by Harry Helmet quickly developed new tricks and strategies to better optimize their marketing campaigns towards those that bring in the highest converting leads. This helped them get the most out of their marketing dollars and eliminated wasted budget dollars for campaigns that weren’t driving results. Now when the phone rings, they know exactly how the caller found them and they can approach the conversation accordingly.
Measuring and Optimizing More than Advertising Campaigns
The CallTrackingMetrics feature that impressed Gutter Helmet by Harry Helmet the most was the use of call queues to create a remote, after hours call center. Much like creating the employee’s work schedule for the week, the managers are able to create custom call schedules for each person and route the after hours calls to agents who work from home. The after hours calls are routed to the agents’ cell phones or landlines, forwarding the call to them when they are on the clock and automatically stopping when their shift is over. Utilizing features like call recordings, call tags, live listen, and real-time agent reports, management is able to manage the performance of the agents and quickly spot issues. Before using CTM, they weren’t able to measure things like missed calls, how many calls each agent was taking, and the length of those calls.
Having the after hours call center allows Gutter Helmet by Harry Helmet to offer their clients superior customer service.Every call gets answered by a person no matter the hour.
Other Routing Solutions
For those national or regional home improvement companies with multiple locations, CallTrackingMetrics offers geographic routing, which automatically routes each call to the location that is most relevant to the caller. It’s no secret that clients dread being put on hold and transferred between locations or having to repeat their information from agent to agent. Geographic routing provides a comprehensive solution to eliminate situations like this.
Another great routing solution is the use of IVR menus and virtual voicemails. IVR menus prompt the caller to use keypresses to direct their call to the correct department. This is a great tool for separating production calls from sales calls. Virtual voicemails can be configured to automatically be emailed or sent as a text message with the audio recording, caller contact information, and even include the transcript of the call. Contractors and salesmen can then quickly and effortlessly keep up with their call volume on site or on the road.
According to Forbes Magazine, over 70% of online leads are wasted due to the fact that the average time it takes for the sales team to reach out to the lead is 47 hours and 53 minutes. The odds of closing an online lead within the first 5 minutes is 100 times more likely to convert than the same lead being contacted 30 minutes later. Each minute that passes is a minute that can be spent researching a competitor. CallTrackingMetrics’s form reactor automatically triggers a call back to the person who just filled out an interest form, eliminating the need for staff members to constantly check for form submission emails. Instead, a call is automatically triggered seconds after the form is submitted, connecting the person who just filled out the form to a sales representative. Clients are very impressed when they don’t even have to wait 5 minutes for a call back, increasing the odds of closing the lead and making the sale.
Justifying the Cost
“When you’re comparing the cost vs. the valuable data that you’re getting back, it’s a no brainer. It costs pennies on the dollar,” said Delphin Thebaud from Gutter Helmet by Harry Helmet. Being able to have the intelligence about which advertisements are performing allows companies like Gutter Helmet by Harry Helmet to make smarter marketing decisions and provides them with the tools they need to maximize their ROI. The ability to have a virtual contact center has saved them thousands on the overhead cost of setting up the software and supplies for a call center. The technology used to create Gutter Helmet by Harry Helmet’s after hours call center was already included in their CallTrackingMetrics service plan, which meant they were able to create the call center at no additional cost to them.
Gutter Helmet by Harry Helmet provides homeowners across the country with high quality gutter protection and other exterior home improvement products. Family owned and operated, their rapidly growing company recognizes the importance of communication, hard work and trust. If you are tired of dealing with the frustration of cleaning out your gutters each year, you have come to the right place. They have helped more than 100,000 customers eliminate their need to regularly clean their gutters by installing the most effective gutter guards on their homes.
They’re in the business of making life easier for homeowners throughout DE, MD, NJ, NY, OH, PA, VA, WA, WV, and the District of Columbia.
Gutter Helmet by Harry Helmet Headquarters
1121 Benfield Blvd., Suite S
Millersville, Maryland 21108
CallTrackingMetrics provides businesses with cloud-based software to manage their call flows so that they can optimize phone calls to increase customer satisfaction and sales conversions. From tracking the exact ad and website visitor that generated a call to routing calls in sophisticated patterns to a distributed agent team, businesses will find the tools and reporting they need to manage the tracking, reporting, and routing of their phone calls.
Our goal is to simplify the complexity and reduce the cost of traditional phone systems and provide businesses with a self-serve cloud-based phone system that has all the bells and whistles, plus the marketing reporting to bring the whole picture together.
601 Baltimore Annapolis Blvd
Severna Park, Maryland 21146
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