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June 13 2024

It’s 2024 and automation is a buzzword we hear companies throwing around left and right. Automation, they say, can help save time and make our work more efficient. That may be true, but automation is not usually associated with great customer experience. Take automated phone answering services. These systems can frustrate customers due to their complexity, lack of personalized assistance, and the difficulty in reaching a live agent for more complex inquiries. Customers may feel trapped in a loop of automated prompts, instead of getting the human touch they’re seeking.

Despite the move towards automation, customer experience continues to drive consumer behavior. As PwC reports, almost 80% of Americans value “speed, convenience, knowledgeable help and friendly service." On the one hand, businesses are implementing more and more automation. On the other, we have consumers demanding a personal customer experience. How do we square these competing trends?

The short answer is: we don't need to. When done right, automations can actually create an even better customer experience. That’s because machines (and automations) are faster and more efficient than humans. The key is to augment the human touch, not to replace it outright. With automated workflows, businesses and customers can exchange information faster up front. When it comes time for human interaction, customers are more qualified. And at the same time, the employees serving them are more prepared to create a great experience.

That’s why Kopperfield has created new tools for electrical, solar, and HVAC contractors to create automations.

These tools allow contractors to respond to customers on nights, weekends, and holidays, qualify customers faster, and flag projects for follow-up. Kopperfield’s automations can prompt both the customer and your own team to act. Rather than create an impersonal interaction, automations help contractors reduce administrative tasks and speed up response times. And if you want to engage your customer directly, we make it easy to see or stop upcoming automated messages before they’re sent. Kopperfield helps you focus on creating a great customer experience when it matters most.  

Automations at work

What exactly is an automation anyway? A dictionary might define an automation as any technology that helps perform tasks with less human input. This can include anything from early water wheels to lines of complex computer code. At Kopperfield, we’ve created an automations platform that's customizable. This allows anyone to build their own workflows for communications and project management.

Each automation starts with a trigger, an action that tells the automation to run. This includes things like receiving a customer message, collecting a payment, or getting a project request. You can filter triggers based on specific criteria so your automation only works when you want it to. For example, you can instruct a trigger to only run at a certain time of day or for a certain type of project request. Each trigger is then tied to an action (or set of actions). Based on the trigger, you can tell Kopperfield to perform a task. For example: send an intake form, assign a team member to a job, post a note to your team, or send a message back to the customer.

Now that we have the basics defined, let’s dive into how these automations help save you time and win more work.

Respond faster

When it comes to delivering a best-in-class customer experience, speed is the name of the game. As LeadSimple reports, calling a customer within 5 minutes of their request is 20 times more effective than calling after 30 minutes. That’s why speed to lead is critical for booking more jobs. Contractors who respond fastest are more likely to capture a customer’s attention. This makes customers feel valued, in turn making them more likely to reward you with their work.

Unfortunately, contractors are not always able to message every customer right away. It’s impossible to manage a business or a full slate of site visits while also being responsive to every inquiry. That’s where automations come in. With a simple automation, you can respond to every customer within seconds. Whether you’re away from the phone or with another customer, keep them engaged and excited to do business with you. Automations help you win the race and get back to every customer first.

Pre-qualify customers

For simpler and more repeatable jobs, a fast quote can help win more work. After customers request a service, though, sometimes it can take time to develop an accurate quote. For a simple EV charger installation, you might find yourself playing phone tag or trying to schedule a site visit to collect photos and measurements. Sometimes days can go by before you’re able to scope a project and put together a proposal. By that time, the customer may already have made a decision and selected a contractor to do the work. You’re too little, too late.

Not so with automations. Automations can power self-serve remote site visits so you can skip the hassle of rolling the truck and get straight to creating a stellar proposal for your customers. With Kopperfield’s project forms, you can automatically request the right follow-ups to get info faster and start scoping. A customer is requesting an EV charger installation? No problem, they’ll get an automatic request to submit photos of their panel and desired install spot. A customer wants a quote for a solar installation? Kopperfield will send them a form to collect more details on their property and goals.

Charge Pro Texas
is an electrical shop using automations to prequalify customers. Over the last year they’ve improved their customer response time and grown their bottom line, all while taking on more customers.

As Chief Revenue Officer Destiny Rosales explained: “Kopperfield makes it super easy because as soon as the customer clicks on the link and uploads their details — like their name, their phone number, their address — it automatically sends us that the customer is curious about a project and it prompts them to upload the photos.” With Kopperfield, contractors like Charge Pro Texas are focusing on higher-value customer activities.

Never miss a follow-up

Time and time again we’ve heard homeowners complain about contractors who don’t follow up. We’re here to say: we get it. Between managing operations in the office and completing work out in the field, there can be a lot to manage during the day. It’s easy to forget the question a customer texted you at 10am, let alone the proposal that needs updating.

Especially for higher ticket jobs that are more complex — like solar, battery, or HVAC installs — you might want to give customers a more personal experience. Automations can help with excellent follow-ups, reminding you and your team to reach out with a call, a visit, or just to answer customer texts.

In this way, automations are not only helpful for customer communications, but they can help surface tasks to your team. Say you want to direct all solar projects to a particular team. With Kopperfield, you can create an automation to assign projects based on service type. Perhaps you want to flag a project for your accounting team whenever a customer makes a payment. Using automations, you can automatically post an internal message based on job status. Maybe you’d like an easy way to see when a customer is unhappy or dissatisfied with their project. With AI-powered analysis, Kopperfield can provide notifications based on customer tone and sentiment.

Contractors using Kopperfield have saved as much as 2 hours per project. Instead of searching through scrap papers, that’s free time to put towards creating a great customer experience. With Kopperfield automations, you’re back in the driver’s seat.

Send automatic reminders

Just as your team can forget to follow up, so too can customers. Sometimes they need an extra reminder or two to review their proposal or pay their final invoice. Research backs this up. Studies have found that customers need many points of exposure with a company’s messaging before committing to a product. Marketers know this as the Rule of 7. The more impressions you create with a customer (up to a point), the more likely they are to engage.

Automations make creating these impressions easy. Today you might have a CRM or spreadsheet where you track customer follow-ups. If you sent a deposit request on Monday, maybe you send a reminder on Wednesday. If you sent a proposal for review on Tuesday, perhaps you send it again on Friday. If at all. Each of these reminders takes time to remember and then to execute. That’s energy you could be putting towards more value-add activities, instead.

With Kopperfield, you never have to worry about customer reminders. Using automations you can send recurring follow-ups for proposal reviews and deposits. Whether you want to send one reminder or several throughout the day, you can customize the messages and sequence that work best for you.

Automations simplify customer reminders and save you time. Set it, forget it, and watch the customer responses flow in faster than ever.

Reply at all hours

You have many ways to use automations to augment your work. Perhaps one of the most critical is with after hour replies. According to research from Twilio, 94% of customers are unhappy with when and how they hear from businesses. Contractors are no exception.

Today, many homeowners use the web to research and request home services. Given that the internet is available around the clock, customers are free to submit online service requests at any time of the day. You have to be ready at all hours to deliver a great customer experience.

Of course, being responsive is hard when your job demands you spend time away from your phone or computer. And even contractors need time off in the evenings and on the weekend. That’s where Kopperfield comes in. Our automation tools can serve as your 24/7 receptionist. If you’re away from your inbox, Kopperfield can send a personalized reply so customers know they are in good hands. Set custom responses for different hours of the day and days of the week so your customers have a warm welcome. Customers want to communicate when it’s most convenient for them. Using automations you can personalize responses and make a better first impression to win more work.

Don't wait, automate

When done right, automations can drive a great customer experience. Automating tasks like follow-ups can save time and help you turn more leads into paying customers.

Kopperfield is leading the way with automations that you can control. Customize follow-ups, personalize messages, and build workflows that work best for your business. But don’t take out word for it. As Destiny Rosales says, “Being able to prompt [customers] automatically without having to manually do it is a game changer for us.”

Want to learn more? Book
 a demo with our team to discover all the ways we help contractors create a great customer experience and win more work.
Watch our automations webinar ->

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