You’ve lit the candles. You’ve put on the music, poured the wine. You hear a knock. Behind the door is Google Local Services (affectionately known as GLS). They’re ready to get to know you.
Right now, home improvement companies are on a first date with GLS, which is Google’s new lead generation program. Could it be a good match for the home improvement industry?
After months of beta testing, we finally have sample data that answers that question. Keyword Connects has listened to dozens of phone calls from homeowners who responded to GLS ads for their HVAC needs. Here’s what we discovered.
Learning More About You
The good news is GLS leads are on-target and relevant — most of the homeowners calling are interested in the services advertised. That means HVAC companies have the opportunity to set appointments with mostly every caller.
On the calls we listened to, homeowners had questions. A lot of questions. Callers wanted to know prices, installation time, product offerings and the like. In some cases, companies struggled to provide accurate answers. It caught them off guard.
Why do callers have so many questions? Because GLS doesn’t connect homeowners to your company’s website. Instead, a homeowner sees a white screen that simply lists your services, territory, licensing details and reviews. That’s it. None of the material on your web site – price ranges, financing, installation time, product brands – appears.
Google’s White Screen does get homeowners to call, but it requires quick and courteous answers to several questions.
Setting the Mood
Because GLS doesn’t link to your website, whoever answers the phone needs to focus on selling. They need to do the work a website does: tell them who you are, why you’re perfect for the job and when you can start the project. In short, they need to convert the caller into an appointment.
You don’t want to make callers wait, either. The fastest pickup time we saw was 39 seconds, which is roughly 10 rings. In contrast, in Keyword Connects’ own call center, we pick up within 3 rings.
Long pick-up times caused several hang-ups, which resulted in missed opportunities to set an appointment. Response time matters.
Keeping Your Options Open
We also noticed a lot of callers were interested in simple dryer vent cleaning. Since that’s a low-ticket service, the company charged a higher trip fee. Callers in turn declined, and the company lost out on a potential sale.
Why should companies be concerned with losing a low-ticket sale? Since GLS will be a pilot program, your company will be able to shape your reputation from the outset. By taking those low-ticket leads, Google will see you as a success. And the more successful you are, the more likely a homeowner will choose you when they need a more expensive service.
Is it a Match?
Google is, and always will be, a numbers game. It’s only a matter of time before they apply an algorithm to GLS that prioritizes certain ads over others. To make your company first on the list, you’ll need to take the time to get to know GLS – learn what they like, what they dislike and how to make them happy.
Should companies give GLS another date? Absolutely. But you’re going to have to beef up your phone sales skills to impress them. If you focus on first impressions, fast response times and excellent phone work, you’ll get more successful leads. It should be the beginning of a beautiful relationship.
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Twice a month, Todd Bairstow shares his take on internet marketing for home improvement companies. Submit your email to receive his latest posts.