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April 30 2024

We’ve heard it time and time again from homeowners across the country. The number one customer complaint about home services is that contractors don’t follow up on time or at all.

If you’re a contractor, you can’t afford to have bad follow-ups. When you fail to respond to a lead, you’re losing business. Plain and simple. Multiply this against the chance for a positive review and referral, and the lost revenue adds up. And if you think you’re safe because you remember to follow up later, think again. Late follow-ups are worse than forgetting all together. You don't want to invest time and energy into a lead that's not likely to convert. Your efforts are too little, too late.

Fortunately, there’s a better way. This article outlines the top tips for perfecting the art of the customer follow-up. With the proper system in place, you can save time and increase your close rate in no time at all. And if you do it right, you’ll stand out from the crowd as the contractor customers love.

Customer communication preferences are changing

Customers today aren’t the same as they were 20 years ago. According to the US Census Bureau, homeownership for Americans under 40 is growing faster than any other group. And with this growth comes different trends in customer behavior. Homeowners under 40 were born in a time of rapid technological change. They’re tech savvy and grew up being able to access information right from their phone or computer. Gone are the days of picking up the phone and waiting for a callback. Modern homeowners expect fast responses and answers at their fingertips, day and night.

As a contractor looking to serve this group, you have to meet customer expectations. The way to stand out is by being accessible and responsive with your follow-ups, no matter the time of day.

This is no easy task, but you’re not at it alone. To help you succeed, we’ve put together five tips for crafting perfect customer follow-ups.

Tip #1: Lead with speed

Research shows that customers are 8 times more likely to respond when they hear back in 5 minutes. Not only that, but by responding within one minute, studies show conversion can increase by as much as 391%. That’s why speed to lead — the time it takes to respond to a new lead — is so important. With how easy it is to do research online, customers shop and reach out to many contractors at once. Many times the contractor that responds the fastest is the most likely to win the work. Promptness often trumps price.

As a contractor looking to earn more work, you need to follow-up fast and follow-up first. We know that’s not always easy: if you’re out in the field or not by your phone, responding fast can be next to impossible.

Kopperfield puts you in pole position to instantly get back to a customer. Our custom web forms make a great impression and capture all the needed customer info up front. With our tools, customers automatically receive a personalized message within seconds. Speed leads the way, so don’t let your follow-ups slow you down.

Tip #2: Send frequent reminders

Like you, customers are busy and may not always remember to respond right away. In some cases, they may be in touch with another contractor who isn’t moving fast enough on their project. That’s where you come in: you can win more work by being persistent with prospects. Put simply: following up once is not enough. Create many points of contact over an extended period of time and you can remain top-of-mind and win new work.

How many follow-ups should you send? While there's no magic formula, many marketers stick to the
Rule of 7. This states that customers need exposure to a company’s message 7 times before making a purchase.

Sending repeated follow-ups can be a lot to manage. Kopperfield makes this easy with automated message sequences that send to customers.

  • Joe Smith hasn’t uploaded photos for their project? We’ll send automated reminders.

  • Emily Johnson hasn’t reviewed their quote? We’ll send automated reminders.

  • Sophia Rodriguez has an overdue payment? We’ll send automated reminders.

With Kopperfield you can also use automations to send custom messages on specific days. No matter the frequency you decide, we know that repeat messages work. With Kopperfield follow-ups, contractors have achieved a 30% conversion lift from dormant customers.

Tip #3: Make it easy to respond

It’s common for contractors to take internal tools and re-purpose them for customers. You might be doing load calculations, for example, using scanned forms built for your team. If you’re sending these to customers, they may not know how to respond. Worse, they may spend time printing a form before filling it out — only to re-scan it before sending it back to you.

This back and forth costs time and can create a poor customer experience. In fact,
94% of customers report dissatisfaction with when and how they hear from businesses. Contractors are no exception. With smoother communications, you can improve customer satisfaction and increase project close rates. Above all, this means sending digital follow-ups that are easy to use.

These design principles are central to everything we build at Kopperfield. After a customer submits a project, we send a follow-up form right to their phone. Forms include step-by-step instructions, making it easy to upload photos and utility bills. We designed our quotes this way too. Kopperfield proposals are mobile-first, making it easy for customers to review details on-the-go. That’s why almost 40% of our customers pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay. With easy follow-ups, customers can send information faster and help you win more work.

Tip #4: Master the art of timing

Many contractors spend the day on site and don’t have time to respond to customer questions as they come up. Instead, they block off one time during the day to work through customer follow-ups. This is great for time management, but bad for customer experience.

It should come as no surprise that customers don’t only want to hear back when it’s convenient for you. Customers want to be in touch when they most need a response, which could be at any time during the day. Perhaps they want confirmation of a payment late at night or they have an issue that comes up after an install. Maybe they have a time-sensitive question about a rebate program. In these cases, a timely follow-up is critical to create a positive experience and close more work

No matter the time of day, Kopperfield is on call to help you respond quickly to customer needs. Our tools send automatic follow-ups based on repeat actions so you don’t have to. We’ll let customers know when you receive a payment or complete an installation. That's one less message for you to worry about.

Kopperfield also uses AI to surface the messages that need your attention the most. Using turn detection and sentiment analysis, we notify you of open issues or questions in need of a fast response.

When it comes to review collection, we automatically send a note to get customer feedback, as well. By getting the timing right, we’ve seen shops receive as much as 2x the number of reviews per month. Timing is everything.

Tip #5: Chat across channels

Our final tip is about what method to use to deliver your customer follow-ups. Is it best to call? Send a text message? Shoot over an email? Preferences vary by customer and are changing as younger generations become homeowners. Today, over two-thirds of customers prefer outreach via text than phone call. On top of this, most customers tend to communicate across many methods (including both email and text) at once.

To succeed in sending follow-ups, it’s important to manage across all channels. This helps create as many points of engagement with a customer as possible. There are tools on the market today that help with this, allowing you to send messages by either text or email. Unfortunately, though, these tools don’t synchronize messages between methods. They leave you forced to choose a channel and guessing which method to use for your follow-up. If your customer is not near their phone, they may not see a text, diminishing the impact of your follow-up.

Kopperfield does this differently by sending messages across separate methods all at once. With unified text and email, we increase your number of customer impressions. This in turn improves your chances of winning more work. Every text message is sent as an email, and every email is also sent as a text message. And get this: in your project page, all your messages appear as a single thread in one centralized inbox. No more guessing.

Great contractors use Kopperfield

Kopperfield helps contractors prefect the craft of the customer follow-up. As customer preferences change, our tools help you stay ahead with great communications. Kopperfield helps improve your close rate with fast, frequent, and multi-channel follow-ups. In fact, contractors using Kopperfield have experienced as much as a 42% boost in conversions, while saving 2 hours of admin time per job.

Don’t let customers complain about your follow-ups. Book a demo today and upgrade your communications with Kopperfield.
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