Do you ever get overwhelmed with an abundance of incoming inquiries from potential customers? I mean, don’t get me wrong, that’s a wonderful stressor to have - it’s a wonderful problem to have - but come on, don’t you sometimes wish you could systematize your process so that you could easily handle your incoming emails from prospective clients looking to hire you to clean their home?
Well, that’s exactly what I’ll be sharing with you in today’s Strategy Monday! So, if you want to find out the way I handle some of our inquiries, then I highly recommend you stick around.
So, depending on which phase of your cleaning business you find yourself, you might get inquiries from potential customers in a few different ways - calls, text, and emails.
Today, I’ll be sharing with you how I handle the inquiries submitted to our website via email.
Now, you know that I am a huge fan of keeping costs to a bare minimum and today is no different. All you need to know are the basics to using Google Docs and your web-browser bookmark manager.
So, let’s start off with step number one. And, that’s your reply to the initial inquiry requesting more information or an estimate. I’m assuming you have a manner of replying to these inquiries, but if you don’t, don’t worry - you can work on it right now. All you need to do is create a new Google Doc and title it: “Initial Inquiry Reply”
In it, I suggest you include a brief message asking your potential customer for relevant information that will help you formulate the rate you would charge him or her on your visit and subsequent visits. So, for example, if you charge by the size of the home or by the hour - you’re going to request the customer information that will help you make an intelligent estimate.
Okay, so once your reply is ready, you’re going to create a bookmark folder on your web browser and you’re going to title it: “My Cleaning Company”.
Now, go back to your Initial Inquiry Reply and you’re going to bookmark that page - that link - the one you just created with your initial reply and you’re going save it or bookmark it in your newly-created bookmark folder. Why? Well, look, next time you’re checking your business emails and you come across a customer who’s asking you for more information or an estimate - then, all you’re going to have to do is open a new tab on your web browser and open your “cleaning company” folder and click on the link to your Initial Inquiry Reply. Then, you’re going to copy that message and paste it as your reply to that inquiry.
Now, obviously, you can customize your replay - in fact, I strongly suggest you do. For example, you want your message to be directed to the name of the potential customer who’s inquiring about your service. It’s going to look like you took your time to personally reply to him or her and, plus, we all like receiving messages that appear to have been exclusively written to us.
Now, look, it doesn’t stop here. There’s going to be more than a few possible ways or replies that that customer can respond with - so, whichever way he or she replies and whatever your response is, you’re going to create another document and you’re going to title this other document accordingly. So, just to give you an example. Let’s say this customers would like to proceed to step number two in your customer acquisition process - whatever step number two means to you. Let’s say, that means that you’re going to proceed to an in-home estimate. Well, then you’re going to email the customer back with this information. So, write out your reply, again, in Google Docs and you could title that document: “Step 2: Estimate Appointment Setup” or something to that effect and you’re going to save it in the cleaning company bookmark folder that you created in your web browser.
And, gradually like this you’ll start creating procedures. And, this is working on your business. You’ll get to a point where you’ll have to create other folders within that initial folder you created. For example, you can have replies in a subfolder for customers who complain about the quality on a certain appointment; another subfolder can be filled with replies for customers asking to change or reschedule their appointment. The possibilities are endless.
And, you know what? This makes life so much easier because you won’t find yourself in the spur of the moment trying to come up with what to say to a new customer, or how to reply to a complaining client, or what to say to a customer who wants to reschedule their appointment.
Think simplicity. Think systems. Think procedures.
Yes, it’s going to take some time. Yes, it’s going to be laborious. But, think about how much time you’ll be able to save once you have this process in place. Think about how once you have this system in place, you’ll be able to work on another aspect of your business.
And, again, this is just for the email inquiries. You can also create processes similar to this for answering your business calls and replying to text messages. But, let me know what you thought of today’s strategy. If you liked it, send me a message on any of my social media accounts and let me know. Or leave a message in the comments section of the episode show notes If I get a good reaction, I’ll go ahead and do more episodes that show you how you can work on systems and procedures in other areas of your business - for example, like I said, answering your business calls and business text messages.
Well, that’s it for today! I wish you an excellent week and I’ll catch you on the next episode where I’ll be interviewing Mary Velez from The Cleaning Lady and Company! And, believe me you won’t want to miss that one!
Thanks for listening and I’ll catch you on the next episode!
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