The account managers at 99 Calls understand the importance of taking the time to work through each stage on their Google Ads accounts. The team has identified five unique stages that we guide accounts through as we strive to optimize results. Understanding customer goals and targets sets the course. Continually working to improve Ad performance yields high lead volumes and lower cost per lead.
All accounts start at ground zero and progress through these five developmental stages:
Once you decide to work with 99 Calls for your PPC lead generation, we will work together to define and understand your business goals and budget. We want to understand what types of leads you want most. You will be asked to provide information about your business and what makes it unique. We’ll ask for photos of your work and utilize some of your positive online reviews. We will then take that information and build your Ads campaigns and the associated landing pages.
When you create or change a campaign, Google needs time to learn how to serve the bidding strategy. During the first two to four weeks after your ads go live, your specialist will work tirelessly on your campaign to monitor results. We donot expect conversions overnight, but it can happen! It generally takes time to gain traction. We make daily adjustments to the keywords and your Ads to boost the performance.
Knowledge Assimilation Stage
At this point the campaign will have started to collect a more meaningful pool of data for us to evaluate. Our goal here is to weed out poor-quality clicks and keywords and teach Google’s algorithm what a good lead looks like for you. Remember Google Ads is a tool that targets people searching for specific services. We want to target popular services in your area, while also providing the leads that matter most for your industry.
Together we will work to optimize your campaign and boost performance. When we see that certain keywords work better than others, we will consolidate more resources and efforts into them. We may suggest adding new keywords and/or changing your targeted locations. In order for our team to reach our mutually shared goals, you may need to be flexible in the areas targeted and variations of the services you offer. Our goal is always to get the best result possible for your budget! We’ll refine your ad text, and bidding strategies to help you capture more high-quality conversions.
The campaign is now performing near maximum efficiency, based on the added enhancements and landing page quality. That doesn’t mean we stop working on your account. Your leads and keywords will be monitored daily. We will also start to look into different marketing campaigns and opportunities that may benefit your business and generate more revenue. We’ll communicate with you as we work to achieve your business goals.
When beginning a new PPC campaign, whether you have hired an online marketing or lead generation company or you’re going it alone, patience is important. Lots of business owners assume that because PPC results occur much more quickly than with SEO or LSA/Google Guaranteed, that they should be instantaneous. Rushed campaigns lead to wasted budgets, and lower ROI. The conversion rates are much lower when people don’t take the time to feed the data back regularly to train Google to cut through the noise and show your business for only the most relevant searches. Working through each stage diligently leads to the most robust results. 99 Calls’ talented team yields an average conversion rate of 20% for our Ads businesses (more than 3x the national average). Want to find out how we can help your business? Schedule a free consultation.
Adopting digital marketing trends has become increasingly critical as consumers utilize the internet more and more. Digital marketing encompasses many different strategies for lead generation from SEO and PPC to content marketing and email marketing campaigns. Utilizing different aspects of digital marketing together allows you to connect and communicate with your potential clients throughout all stages of the sales funnel. In 2023, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Media Marketing (SMM), video content, lead nurturing, pay-per-click (PPC) and pay-per-lead (PPL) are all fundamental pieces of digital marketing.
SEO Is Still At the Core
The aspects of digital marketing intertwine and work with each other. Take SEO as an example. Gone are the days when you could create a website and listings with minimal content and start seeing results in a matter of weeks. Now, in order to see your website ranking organically, creating quality content is crucial.
Social Media Marketing Builds Brands
Social media marketing is often used to build brands and does generate leads for businesses with a strong visual aspect or a longer sales cycle. Over 80% of adults use social media in one capacity or another which makes social selling another excellent way to connect with prospective customers. Social media is prime real estate for building brand awareness. You can connect with more potential leads just by keeping your business’s social media updated.
If Pictures Say 1000 Words, Videos Speak Volumes!
One of the most effective and popular methods of digital marketing is videos. Why say everything you want to in text form when there are so many more effective options? Videos are an excellent way to connect with your potential customers and inform them about your business and the services you provide. Some of the most popular video types include explainer videos, video testimonials, and “behind-the-scenes” videos. Each of these videos has its way of engaging potential customers and showing off more of your company for a more personalized feel.
Start Nurturing From The Moment of Contact
Missed calls will hurt you. If you’re not answering your phone when it rings, your potential customers will move on to the next business on the page. With advances in digital marketing, you can engage those customers instantly. Some businesses are sending instant texts when they miss a call. Some send an audio message to their callers. From here, businesses can craft a nurturing campaign to keep potentials engaged and stay on their minds. You’ll want to be careful to find a “just right” frequency of contact. If you’re annoying, customers will opt out.
Nurturing Builds Relationships
Email nurturing is one of the biggest trends in marketing. Meeting potential customers where they are in the buying stage and keeping up with them along their journey is an economical and productive way to grow a business. You want to keep your business at the forefront of potential buyers’ minds. This is accomplished through short-term nurturing. The prospect may already know what they need or they may still be weighing their options. Either way, sending them informative, targeted emails will help guide them further in the process. Sometimes it takes longer than a few weeks for they’re ready to take action and commit which is why having a long-term nurture sequence is also essential. Long-term nurturing allows you to keep in contact with potential customers and to continue building relationships with them.
PPC/PPL Has Become Essential
With SEO competition higher than ever, securing a spot on the first page of search results is difficult for even the most experienced marketers. You know the saying “Don’t keep all of your eggs in one basket”? This applies to online marketing as well. SEO alone is no longer the most substantial option for generating a steady flow of leads each month. The organic real estate on the first page of Google has shrunk over the last several years making pay-per-click and/or pay-per-lead marketing a much-needed, additional method for lead generation.
How Will You Utilize Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing has become an essential part of any business’s marketing strategy in 2023. By utilizing SEO, SMM, video content, lead nurturing, PPC, and PPL, businesses can effectively reach their target audience and build relationships with potential customers. The future of digital marketing is bright and businesses should strive to stay ahead of the curve by utilizing the latest trends. Not sure where to begin? Call the lead gen pros at 99Calls!
We’re all looking for an advantage, a way to stand out, get noticed and get more leads. You may be surprised to know that the best practices for ranking on a desktop search are the very same that will get you ranked for voice search. This is the newest angle that telemarketers are using to convince businesses that if they don’t suddenly hire them to optimize their website for voice search, they will be left behind.
Here’s the thing. We have been writing about voice search since 2019 and the strategies have not changed, but have become more understood. What’s more, if you are using best practices for ranking a website on the first page of Google, you are already optimized for voice search. Why? Because typing a query on your phone, iPad or computer is almost the SAME THING as speaking your query to Alexa, Google, or Siri.
Example: You are having a dinner party this weekend and you just spilled red wine on your dining room carpet. What is your first action? Try to clean it up yourself. If that fails, you’ll go to your device and type or speak “Carpet cleaner near me” or “Carpet cleaning company in (your town)” or “spot removal contractor”. A well-positioned carpet cleaning company is going to come up in a search, regardless of whether you typed or spoke the keywords. And your query is the keywords.
Companies try to make this concept sound complicated, but it really isn’t. I’ll do this experiment now, live and share my results:
First, I’ll engage Siri. Speaking, “Carpet cleaner near me”, prompts Siri to produce the following suggestions on Apple Maps:
I personally prefer to use Chrome, even on my mobile phone. When I open the Chrome browser on my iPhone speak, “Carpet cleaner near me”. Here are Siri’s suggestions:
From the suggestions offered on my iPhone above, I will click the top entry, “carpet cleaner near me”. Here is what comes up. I have placed the long thread side by side below:
With the long screenshot placed side by side, you can see the way the page rolls. Above the images, I was first shown images of carpet cleaning machines. But Google recognized my intent (finding a contractor to remove the wine stain from my carpet) and made suggestions.
Looking at the results, you will first notice the two Google Guaranteed paid search results. Also known as LSA (Local Search Ads), Google Guaranteed services are offered by 99 Calls and are probably the most cost-effective paid ads available, as long as a business can pass the rigorous verification process.
Next, you’ll see the maps section, including a sponsored map placement in the top spot. Next on the page are the organic results (this is the section that requires great SEO practices to be found). There are a couple of local carpet cleaning businesses found in this section as well as some directory entries like Angie’s and Yelp.
Now what if my search was done on my phone without asking Siri? What if I simply type the same keywords into my Chrome browser? Here are the results that come up:
Look familiar? It should! Yes, try this at home. You will find that voice search and typing your search into a browser will yield the same results. Paid ads will be found the same, whether the business is using Google Guaranteed or Google Ads.
Now I’ll conduct the same search on my desktop computer.
Of course, the larger desktop monitor provides greater depth because of the larger screen. Still, the same companies are coming up on the first page of the search.
Here’s the Question Businesses Should be Asking:
“So if the same practices for producing great SEO will yield results for voice search as they do with typing in questions and keywords, what are these practices and how can I rank my business when customers are searching for my services?”
The same advice that was given back in 2019 in this blog is still relevant today. I’ll add a couple more that are also important. Below are the best practices for getting found in any type of online search:
Format your content to be featured in snippets (use headers, lists, and short paragraphs)
Create content based on commonly asked questions in a conversational tone
Get more 5-star reviews! If you don’t have many dozens, make this your top priority
Make sure your site is designed for mobile-first indexing (they all should be by now)
Include relevant local information to show your viewers (and Google) that you’re local
Keep content simple and clean
Get built for speed. Landing pages should load within two seconds.
I’d like to add, “It’s that simple”, but the reality is, ranking in any form on searches is tough stuff. As you can see from the examples above, there are many more paid positions on the first page of search results. Google Guaranteed and Google Ads PPC are taking the most coveted positions. This is true no matter how you search. The truth is, trying SEO practices, even mastering them all, will not yield the same results (and by results, if you’re a contractor, I mean leads) as they did in recent years. In order to get found and get called with enough frequency to stay afloat, businesses need to utilize other strategies and a lot more of their marketing budget to paid ads. For more information on how the first page of Google has (evolved or devolved – you decide) over time, see this article, entitled The Incredible Shrinking First Page of Google.
For more information on SEO, ranking with keywords and voice searches, and pay-per-click or pay-per-lead marketing, call the experts at 99 Calls!
As we reach the one-year anniversary of producing a monthly newsletter, our team thought it would be fun to reflect on a question that is commonly asked.
“Why did you name your business 99 Calls? Is that how many calls you’ll generate?” Our lead specialists are asked this a lot!
When the idea for launching an affordable lead generation company for small businesses was launched back in 2009, Fred and Diane struggled to come up with a name that resonated. In fact, the ideas for building the platform, developing service offerings were solidified and processes were in place and we were still stuck on the name!
We wanted something simple, catchy, and all-encompassing. “99 Calls” was tossed around as an idea, and nothing came along that we liked better. So, like naming a puppy, that’s the one that stuck.
Now 14 years later, 99 Calls has grown from a vision to a full-service business solutions hub with offerings like website building, SEO, Google Ads PPC, and LSA pay-per-lead services. Clients can also benefit from associated services such as GBP management, reputation management, building listings, appointment setting, database reactivation, and even lead nurturing.
99 Calls has become a name people associate with quality, affordability, and results. People remember it. When searching Google recently for the significance of the number 99, here’s what came up:
“The number 99 is said to be a powerful symbol of destiny, completion, and perfection. It is often associated with the achievement of goals. If you keep seeing 99, it may be a sign that you are about to reach a significant milestone in your life.”
No, we aren’t big into the parasciences, but this sounds pretty good to us, and it does represent what we strive to do for our customers. Our mission is to produce as many high-quality exclusive leads for our customers at the lowest price possible. You may have 99 problems, but if you’re using 99 Calls for lead generation, we hope leads ain’t one!
If you are a small business owner with an online presence for at least 5 years, you have seen the first page of Google searches change dramatically. The amount of space for SEO or organic search results is rapidly shrinking. What is causing this shift and how can small businesses generate leads on small budgets?
When we opened our doors in 2010, it seemed as though there was plenty of room for anyone who wanted to establish a presence online. 99 Calls began as a team of 4 professionals. We built websites for service area businesses, and within days, our clients would start to receive leads. We earned our first 50 customers by offering a free 30-day trial. Once contractors saw the number of leads they were receiving from their organic presence, most were more than happy to sign on for ongoing services.
It didn’t take much to get pages ranking back then. The main components were well-written content, stating the contractors’ service offerings and the areas served and building listings for online directories such as Google, Bing, Manta and Yelp. Almost all sites ranked highly within a month or two and often much more quickly.
The First Page Begins to Shrink
Although Google claims that they never accept payment from customers to rank well organically, they have shrunk the available playing field, especially for small businesses. The natural, or organic section became less achievable for owner-operated businesses as they made way for large national chains and huge marketing firms.
Beginning in 2013, we began to see major national businesses claiming the first positions on searches. Companies like Yelp, Yellowpages.com, Home Advisor and Service Pro mysteriously showed up at the top of local organic searches all over the country, knocking small owner-operated local businesses down on the list. This marked the beginning of a trend where smaller businesses were struggling to achieve prominent placement on Google search.
Google Ads – A Game Changer
Although Google introduced Adwords in October of 2000, there were very few early adopters. Adwords was their self-serve paid advertising platform, and their first solid step toward monetizing the first page of search. Between its inception and the end of 2012, the playing field on the first page of searche made a significant change.
The playing field was reduced by 30%. Instead of showcasing 10 companies in the organic section, the number shrunk to 7 to make room for 3 prominently placed paid Google Adwords results at the top of each page. An article from wordstream.com explains the changes seen during that time.
Free Organic Placement is Threatened Again by the Emergence of LSA
In 2015, Google introduced its newest venture; Google Guaranteed, also called Google Local Service Ads (LSAs). LSAs were first tested in small markets for a select group of industries. By the end of 2019, many cities across the United States had access to paid Google Guaranteed campaigns in industries such as carpet cleaning, house cleaning, and handyman services.
The image below shows that Google Guaranteed/LSA paid ads are shown at the very top of local searches:
Google’s verification process is more stringent for those who run LSA campaigns than for those running Google Ads. It requires providing documents such as drivers licenses, business licenses (where applicable) and proof of insurance insurance. Background checks are also often run on the company owners and their employees.
Those companies that are able to successfully complete the verification process often reap great rewards. LSA is a pay-per-lead service, as opposed to the pay-per-click platform of Ads. LSA has a bit of a ranking process that makes it more similar to organic than paid Ads as well.
Those companies that are well-established and have lots of 5-star reviews on their Google Business Profiles and/or their LSA Profiles benefit from being shown much more often than other companies. Although LSA has its benefits, it has also contributed to the shrinking space available for organic results.
The image below shows how one business trended downward in placement on the first page of a Google search through the years.
As The Giant Grows, What Happens to the Little Guys?
In 2020, more than 80% of Google’s worldwide revenue came from their Google Ads platform, and that number is still climbing, according to an article posted by CNBC.
The page layout is as follows. When you search for a service in your area, you’ll see three or more Google LSA advertisements, followed by three or more google Ads advertisements, followed by Google Maps with three entries (which they are also beginning to monetize), and finally, a small organic section with three or more results. This is followed by more paid ads.
Where there were 10 opportunities for a small business to be shown on the first page of a local search, there are now just three, and often the first one or two is a large national company.
Although there are usually only up to three organic results showing on the first page of a search, there are also three Google Maps listings, and for now, these are still free. In order to claim a prominent spot with Google Maps, your Google Business Profile must be complete, follow Google’s best practices and have lots of 5-star reviews.
That and a little luck might make your business visible here (outlined in red):
Google has made it all but impossible to be found without investing in one of its paid services. That said, small businesses will no longer be able to build a site or pay for SEO services and expect to receive a sustainable number of inbound leads. You’ve got to pay to play. That isn’t in question.
The key now is to find a way to play with ROI in mind. Online marketing, when done right, isn’t an expense. It’s an investment in your business. Every dollar you invest will ideally result in at least $5 in return. The good news is that there is plenty of return to be had when you use Google’s services. However, if you are unfamiliar with bidding strategies and optimizing campaigns, you’ll want to invest in a business that can deliver profitable results.
What to Look for In a Digital Marketing Company
Given that organic lead generation takes much, much longer to produce and delivers fewer results, and Facebook ADs are a good option for some businesses but not as effective for service contractors, the two best bets for lead generation are the paid lead platforms on search; Google Ads and Google LSA.
If the name of the game is getting found online and getting leads coming in at a cost that will generate revenue for your business, you’ll want to do your research.
Questions to ask potential lead companies so that you can do your due diligence include:
What are your monthly service fees?
Do you charge a monthly fee plus each Google Ads or LSA lead I receive or are they included?
If the company is charging a flat fee for leads plus a management fee, ask, “What is your markup?”.
What is your conversion rate for my service offerings/industry?
How many other companies do you work with like mine?
What kind of reporting do you provide so that I can measure my ROI?
Once you get your answers and compare them, a clear winner will hopefully emerge. Remember, sales reps get a commission when they sell you. If you feel you’ve made a good connection, that’s great, but the sales rep probably isn’t going to be the person who sets up your account or continues to support your business in the future. Try to stick to the facts.
For questions or more information on how to win with Google’s LSA or PPC campaigns, call 800-717-4669.
One of the newest industries that we serve are mobile mechanics. There are over 45,000 mobile mechanic businesses in the United States and the numbers are quickly growing.. As our lives get busier and busier, finding convenient ways to take care of repairs and maintenance on our homes and vehicles is a real-time saver.
Mobile mechanics, such as Mobile Mechanical Repair located in Tampa, FL provide a wide range of auto repair services and travel to people’s homes or places of business. Whether your need your battery replaced or have repairs on your car or truck, calling a mobile mechanic lets you go about your day without having to sit at an auto shop or be left without a car for days.
Meet Cole Denney, Master Mobile Mechanic
We interviewed Cole Denney, owner of Mobile Mechanical Repair to learn more about his business and his experience with 99 Calls. Cole has probably spent more time in his life under a hood than not. His father and 4 brothers are all mechanics. Cole likes to say that he was born and raised in a salvage yard.
At the age of 18, he became a master technician. After 25 years of working for others, Cole decided that it was time to become his own boss. He established Mobile Mechanical Repair in 2017 and is enjoys providing mobile auto repair services throughout the Tampa Bay area.
Cole was very quick to explain what sets him apart from other mechanics in Tampa. His passion for the challenge of fixing any car problem, no matter how long it takes really drives him. He’s always up for a good challenge and says that “can’t” isn’t in his vocabulary as he troubleshoots and solves problems. He doesn’t even have a favorite make or model to work on. He truly loves working on all types of cars and trucks, even small engines. He most enjoys getting auto repair jobs done right, making satisfied customers, and getting vehicles up and running.
Business Challenges and Goals
The most challenging aspect of owning his own business has been getting established and building a customer base. This is what prompted his relationship with 99 Calls. He contacted us for lead generation for his Tampa mobile mechanic business in July of 2022. His goal was to generate as many leads as possible.
He started with an organic lead generation site to begin increasing his online presence and begin working toward a long-term strategy of generating low-priced leads. Knowing that organic/SEO lead generation takes time to build up, and having the goal of generating lots of leads more quickly, he also started a Google Ads PPC campaign using 99 Calls services.
Lead Generation Results
In his first six months of lead generation service, Cole has received 22 organic leads and 346 leads from his Google Ads campaign. We asked Devon, his account manager how she feels about working on this mobile mechanic campaign. Devon reports that the team at 99 Calls has had lots of success with the mobile mechanic industry and with Cole especially. With a consistently high conversion rate of 39%, the return on investment is tremendous. Organic and Google Ads leads combined have averaged $10 a piece.
PPC Leads Between July 10 2022 and January 31 2023
Cole has been pleased with the number of calls that he’s receiving from the lead generation system. He does have issues at times with people not calling him back or being inaccessible to his calls after an appointment is made. That is definitely one drawback to providing mobile mechanic services as opposed to a brick-and-mortar shop. But when asked about his business model, Cole is very pleased overall with traveling to see his customers. Our common goals are to continue to refine searches to capitalize on high-intention buyers who need a truck or car repaired in Tampa Bay. The team at 99 Calls will continue to strive to get him as many leads as possible at the lowest cost per lead.
3 Mistakes Contractors Should Avoid as the Slower Season Begins
4 Strategies to Implement in 2023
As colder weather rolls in, many contractors begin to pull back on their marketing efforts, but the winter is a great time to do just the opposite! While the demand for many services slows down between November and February, there are still many benefits of holding your marketing efforts steady.
1. The winter months may not bring in the highest volume of leads each year, which will allow you more time to focus on other aspects of your business, including marketing.
The winter months are a great time to beef up your SEO!
Add fresh content to your website like photos, videos, and blog posts.
Confirm that all information on your website and online listings are up to date and make any necessary updates.
This will help your website rank higher when warmer weather comes back around, making it easier for potential customers to find you.
This is also a great time to figure out your game plan for your Google ads campaign for the upcoming year.
Think about what budget you would like to set, what services you want to target, and what areas you want to focus on marketing in.
Google Local Service Ads, or Google Guaranteed offers an additional avenue to show off your business on the first page of Google. LSA is a pay-per-lead program which offers the benefit of a lower lead cost than pay-per-click advertising. If you begin now, your campaign will be further optimized for your busier months!
If you have a database of “old” leads that you aren’t doing anything with, you’re missing out on potential revenue! Reactivation campaigns are a great, low-cost way to book more jobs at a fraction of the price of a new lead.
Get ahead of your competitors and utilize your winter months wisely by focusing on your marketing efforts while you have the time. Using multiple methods of lead generation may seem daunting. Luckily, companies like 99 Calls can help you manage your marketing efforts and get a return on your investment!
3 Marketing Mistakes to Avoid
Fall marks the beginning of the slower season for many contractors. The period between Mid November through the New Year yields far fewer consumers looking to remodel, move or expand. People are gearing up for the holidays and the new year ahead. Add to that the uncertainty that COVID has unleashed, and the supply chain issues that have slowed the market even further, and you may be looking at a lean winter.
There are several common mistakes that contractors make when tighter times approach. It may seem to make sense to cut back, lay off and lay low to avoid any unnecessary expenses, but savvy contractors utilize these quieter months to build. This keeps revenue channels open and puts businesses in a prime position to enjoy exponential growth when the hot season begins.
Top Three Slow-Season Mistakes:
Scale way back on marketing – It might seem prudent to cut your marketing budget as the season comes to a close. However, when the number of booked jobs on the schedule begins to decrease, this is an excellent time to review your marketing strategy and trim out the efforts that aren’t yielding results.
If you are losing money on print, it may be time to pause or halt that marketing.
If you are paying more for leads that you are making in jobs, it may be time to find a new lead company. There are lead generation businesses that only charge for their performance, meaning the leads they actually produce.
Google Ads may also be a viable short-term option for increasing lead volume into the winter. The team at 99 Calls is still seeing a 15 – 20% conversion rate on Google Ads campaigns. Google Ads marketing allows contractors to target specific services in selected areas so that you can get more done with a smaller budget.
There are plenty of opportunities there to gain some leads, win new jobs, and keep your team on the payroll.
Cut back on labor – Because there is a general shortage of qualified, motivated laborers in the workforce nationwide today, if you are lucky enough to have them on your team, now is not the time to furlough or lay them off.
Do what you can to keep those smaller jobs coming in, even if at lower profit margins to keep your valued workers gainfully employed.
We all prefer the big jobs and/or recurring business, but those smaller gigs often lead to larger, more valuable jobs in the future.
Not only are you contributing to your employees’ livelihood, but you are building trust and loyalty. See #1 above for ideas on getting those smaller, one-off jobs to keep your calendar full and your people working.
Take it easy and chill for the winter – It may be tempting to take a long winter nap, but here are a couple of things to do before you decide to take that much-needed vacation or rest after a busy summer.
Take a look at your SEO efforts. Are you promoting the services that you offer in the winter months now? It takes time for new content to get indexed and start ranking on Google. Now is the time to promote the services you want to offer in February and March.
Contact current customers and offer a discount when they book winter services.
Plan your 2022 budget. What are your goals for the new year in terms of growth, revenue, advertising?
Take time in the slower weeks ahead to review what’s working, what isn’t and see where you can trim the fat.
Once you’ve got these things in place, take a quick break – you’ll be recharged and ready to reap the rewards of your efforts!
If the thought of laser-focusing your marketing dollars and finding low-cost, high-value leads seems out of reach at the moment, consider trying the bundle program with 99 Calls. For a $349 price tag, you’ll get set up on SEO marketing which will grow over time, and a Google Ads campaign that can start working for you immediately.
In October of 2022, the team at 99 Calls lead generation company hit a major milestone. After 12 years in business, the 10,000th lead generation site was built. The landmark customer was Kim Beasley, of Same Day Appliance Repair.
Same Day Appliance Repair serves customers in the Fayetteville, NC area. A woman-owned enterprise, Kim opened her doors in 2015 with a single technician. She now employs several appliance repair technicians while she runs the office, sales and operations.
Prior to joining forces with 99 Calls, Kim reports using the services of Dex Media and relying on referrals for new business. She is already enjoying the lead boost that she is receiving from her Google Ads campaign.
Quite pleased with the results thus far, Kim was even more happy to learn that 99 Calls will provide her December lead generation services for free as a reward for hitting that magic number! Thank you, Kim, and we look forward to a long relationship with you!
Phone Tips from an Experienced Customer Service Representative
by Devon Osborne
The way you conduct yourself on the phone with potential customers can be the determining factor in whether you get the job or not. Proper phone etiquette may seem straightforward, but it can be easy to slip up and speak to potential customers or business partners as you would speak with a friend. Making an outstanding first impression, in a good way, of course, will help you convert more jobs.
Answer the phone with a professional greeting. Introduce yourself & your company
Customers want to know whether or not they’ve reached the proper party as soon as possible. Start your conversation off on the right foot with a professional greeting like: “Hi this is [name] with [company], how may I help you?”
Return calls quickly
Missing calls is something that is bound to happen, but it is important to return calls promptly. A good rule of thumb is to try and respond to missed calls within 24 hours, but the sooner the better! If you have difficulty being available to answer calls, consider hiring a receptionist or using an automated process for responding to missed calls such as this one.
Don’t Mumble! You want your customer to be able to hear what you’re saying, don’t you? Speaking clearly and confidently can help avoid unnecessary frustration and build trust with the customer.
Listen to what the customer is saying, take notes, & don’t interrupt
Why are you answering the call if you’re too busy to actively listen to the customer’s needs? Having a conversation with someone who is not listening is maddening. Agree on a time that you both can speak and call back.
Would you choose a company to work with if they were rude to you? No. Being kind is an easy thing to do and it goes a long way. Just be nice!
Eliminate background noise
If you’re in a noisy environment, make it a point to move to a quieter place.
Don’t use unprofessional language
This should be a given, but please don’t use unprofessional language like cursing. This is a professional phone call you’re on, so you should act like it.
Don’t make it complicated
Asking customers to text you their address or asking them to call YOU back at a more convenient time is off-putting. When you make it complicated for them to get the information they need from you, they will seek it elsewhere.
Don’t eat, drink, or chew gum
If you were face to face with the person on the other line, would you do this right into their ears? Hopefully not. Swallow the mouthful of food or drink that’s in your mouth before picking up and take a quick break from eating for the entirety of the call.
Don’t use the bathroom
If you’re using the bathroom and get a call, please don’t answer the phone. Finish up your business and call the person right back, believe me, they’ll appreciate it. You may think you’re being discreet, but I can promise you that they know.
Don’t make promises you can’t keep
It is always best to be upfront and honest with potential and current clients. If there are things that you know aren’t possible, or are not entirely sure of, be very clear about that in the beginning. Making false promises with customers never ends well and can land you a negative review.
Don’t Let Your Business Go Into Hibernation This Winter
by Devon Osborne
As the weather changes from season to season, everyone’s needs shift with them. If you’re in the dead of winter in New England, you’re likely not looking to paint the outside of your home or have it pressure washed. As fall approaches, contractors typically see their calendars less scheduled out. You may be wondering, “How can I keep my calendar booked with jobs during the winter months to keep my business afloat?”
SEO is not always enough to keep businesses busy in the colder months. Ranking organically takes time and effort and pre-planning. To be successful during “off” times, you need to be thinking about what services you want to push months in advance if you want to be seen on the first page of Google.
If you have not modified your organic service offerings yet, all is not lost. Changing your service offerings with the seasons is a great way to keep a steady stream of revenue coming in for your business no matter what time of year. It takes just a little planning and strategy.
How Google Ads Can Help
Instead of letting your business hibernate this winter, try running a streamlined Google Ads campaign for your most profitable winter services. Doing so will help get your business to the first page much quicker. Pay Per Click Google Ads are a great tool for boosting your lead volume. By running an ads campaign, you will have the ability to promote your services more aggressively and keep your revenue stream flowing. You can choose exactly what services you’d like to allocate your budget to in order to be seen more often by potential customers and get more calls for quotes.
Some of the most popular services that our Google Ads specialists target for contractors in the winter months include:
Ice Dam Removal
Heating System Checks
If you optimize your Google Ads campaign and are competitive with your budget and bids, you will likely start to see those calls start coming through within a few weeks. There are many components to running a successful PPC campaign. If you’re not confident that you have the proper knowledge to run a profitable ads campaign on your own, consider hiring a PPC agency instead. Utilizing a company with a proven track record of getting leads using this method can save you time and money in the long run and allow you to focus on service delivery.