3 Vital Steps for Increasing Your Booking Percentage

by on March 23, 2015

Vital Feedback Customer Support Service TrainingUndoubtedly, the number one question we receive from clients is “How do I get more leads?”

Now, you may expect us to say something like, “Increase your PPC budget,” or “Overhaul your website,” but most likely, we will recommend Feedback Training. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t increase your marketing budget or invest in a website renovation, but often the cheapest and most effective option to increase sales and revenue is to take advantage of the leads you are already generating.

You don’t want to keep shelling out dough to generate more leads if you aren’t already taking advantage of the leads you have.

Do you know how many qualified leads your call center loses every day? Do you know how many of these lost leads were easily preventable?

We can tell you! We developed our Feedback Training Program after listening and qualifying hundreds of thousands of home service phone calls. The biggest flaw that we found  in our clients’ marketing programs was with their call center.

We were driving a ton of great leads to our clients, but for one reason or another, they weren’t converting that well. It doesn’t matter how many leads your marketing campaigns generate for your business; if you aren’t converting those leads into actual booked appointments, all that money is simply going down the drain.

As a result, we began taking notes and grading the performance of our clients’ CSRs and quickly found out easy, effective ways to dramatically improve their booking percentage. Most of the leaks in your sales funnel are at the bottom, where you actually land the sale. For the success of our clients, we decided to focus on the whole sales funnel, not just the top or middle.

Top, Middle, and Bottom of the Funnel

Image Source: casjam.com

Tracking the path of a cold visitor from prospect to customer revealed the same thing over and over again. Your customer service representative is the most important link between your marketing efforts and the success of those efforts.

If your booking percentage is lower than 60%, we recommend taking the time and money to train your team for increasing booking percentage and measuring your progress, rather than simply throwing more money at your marketing campaigns.

And that is why we developed our Vital Feedback Program — to help our clients maximize the leads they are driving to their call center. Our Feedback Theory was uniquely developed for the Home Service Industry and this is how we do it:

3 Steps for Increasing Your Booking Percentage

 

1. Measure

We don’t know who said it first, but Peter Drucker, management consultant and author, is often credited with the line “you can’t manage what you can’t measure.” At VitalStorm, we take measurement very seriously. When someone asks us what they can do to increase leads, the first thing we look at is their Metrics — our easy-to-read, real-time, reporting platform.

Using call tracking technology, we listen to and record all phone calls, keeping track of booking percentages and reasons for lost leads. We track not only your total booking percentage, but also the booking percentage of each individual CSR.

If your booking percentage is under 50%, there are usually some pretty simple explanations for why your numbers are low based upon the actual call records your call center has received.

After looking at your booking percentage and listening to how your call center handles calls, we can provide easy-to-use strategies for dramatically increasing your booking percentage.

Our Vital Feedback Team sifts through every call, making notes and suggestions for improvement based upon an objective grading scale. The Feedback Team then gathers all the notes, listens to individual calls themselves, and provides the necessary feedback and suggestions for improvement in weekly challenges and monthly training.

So, if you want to increase your leads (new and repeat customers), the first thing you need to do is track your phone calls and marketing data in Metrics.

Here is an example of what you might see in your Metrics reporting:

Increase Booking Percentage

Along with a report of your call center’s overall performance, our Metrics platform gives you individual reports on each one of your CSRs, where you can click to see call notes, sort by result, and track your improvement.

Increase Booking percentage

You can export everything to Excel and listen to every single call made to your call center. All of this information is available to you whenever you log in. If you feel as though you are not building the value necessary to book the call, you can listen back to the calls to see what went wrong and what can be done to improve.

Instead of spending more money on acquiring qualified leads through marketing, you should be maximizing the phone calls you are already driving to your call center. Now that’s fully optimizing the lead cycle.

Our Feedback Theory is based upon years of research and results from hundreds of thousands of home service phone calls. It has been tailored to the Home Service industry and its unique challenges.

Don’t waste any more of your money on more marketing or one-sized-fits-all call center training. The Home Service industry needs a unique way of handling calls! Invest in your success through measurable terms and stop leaving money on the table.

 

2. Improve

The next step to increase your booking percentage is to take the necessary steps toward improvement. Measurement is the first step, but in itself, won’t do anything. The Metrics need to be communicated to your CSR team in a way that motivates and improves their performance. This is where VitalStorm’s Feedback Team comes in.

With our in-house Feedback Theory developed over years of working with home service companies and listening to nearly one million home service calls, we know how to successfully build company value and deal with hard callers like discount and quote-seekers.

Rather than teaching a robotic script, our Feedback Team teaches and trains each CSR team on 10 Vital Tools based upon many years of research and results. This “secret sauce” is presented to all of your CSRs on a weekly basis in the form of interesting challenges.

This strategy is meant to provide each CSR with the motivation and personalized advice necessary for building successful habits. This makes every response more natural and genuine.

After gathering information and reviewing 10-15 randomly selected calls per CSR, our Feedback Team holds an additional monthly meeting to reveal coachable opportunities for the entire team. We play back recent phone calls from beginning to end in order to check for implementation of the Vital 10 Tools and identify opportunities for improvement.

Instead of a script, we teach the CSRs tips, tricks, and techniques for turning missed opportunities into booked appointments. We encourage unconscious competence through guided challenges, interactive worksheets, retrospective call notes, CSR score cards, personalized resources and coaching, and benchmark goals.

Our Strategic Road Map shows the mental path a CSR goes through with each service call:

VitalStorm Feedback Road Map

After the initial introduction to our Vital 10 Tools, Strategic Road Map, and individual call reviews, you will begin to see a dramatic improvement within just one month of signing up. As with all of our other services, Vital Feedback is a month-to-month contract.

Other call center training programs tend to be give-and-go, one-and-done. We stay with you the whole time, maintaining constant contact along with real-time Metrics tracking.

 

3. Reinforce

In order to keep your booking percentage above a healthy 60%, you need to continually reinforce good call center habits. We have seen the most success from clients who have instituted an incentives program for CSRs, whether it is a group bonus or individual bonuses for jobs well done.  Regardless of whether you have an incentive for your call center, our scorecards and transparent training provide the motivation necessary for continued success.

Although we are a month-to-month training program, we have seen that those who have dropped out have seen a significant decrease in their booking percentages. We advocate call center training as a day-to-day resource, rather than a one-and-done script model. As a result, in order to experience continued booking percentage success, you should stick with Feedback training for at least a year.

As we’ve said before, you don’t want to keep shelling out dough for your marketing efforts if you aren’t taking advantage of the leads you are already getting. Most call center problems can be overcome with the right coaching and training. This training is not one-and-done since it depends on continual coaching of tone, gratitude, empathy, value, and overall strategy. Habits need to be built over time for each Vital 10 technique.

Usually, the first point of contact a customer has is with your call center. You want them to be able to sell company value and build trust in the heart and minds of your consumers. Training opportunities provide your CSRs with empowerment and motivation to raise their individual booking percentage. Not only do CSRs get a rise out of booking a call, they also set your technician up for success and gain energy and motivation for the next call by spurring customer satisfaction and pleasure.

We coach for home service call centers and no one else, so we speak your language and have developed a unique training program for your industry. Your success is our success!

Feedback Call Center Feedback Case Studies

In the first graph, you can see the dramatic improvement in the team’s overall booking percentage. Within just one month of starting and implementing Vital Feedback, their booking percentage jumped from a measly 21% to a whopping 70%. Just think how much extra revenue that home service company generated by simply maximizing their call center leads.

The second graph shows a team that started with Feedback immediately. They started out strong with a 73% booking percentage and through continued reinforcement and weekly challenges were able to consistently stay in the 70s, reaching as high as 81%! It was in July that this team stopped attending their Feedback scores, and their booking percentages began falling to all-time lows.

The third graph, on the bottom left, is included here because it shows a more realistic graph, with understandable ups and downs. Many things will affect your booking percentage, including seasonal changes, employee turnover, out-sick employees, or simply more difficult phone calls. This team in particular had a high turnover rate during this period, requiring continual training of its new call center representatives. Still, as you can see, after starting Vital Feedback, this team never regressed to their original 38% booking percentage. Since September, this team has consistently remained above 70%!

This last graph shows you a typical starting point for home service companies and where Vital Feedback can take you within just one or two months.

Every situation is different, but you can calculate how much money you are losing by doing a personalized booking percentage calculation.

Assuming you have an average ticket of $500, if you have 100 qualified leads coming to your call center each month and you book 45% (typical home service booking percentage), you have made $22,500 in sales. Now, let’s imagine that you signed up for Vital Feedback and increased your booking percentage to 70%. By making one simple change, and not adding a penny to your marketing budget, your sales have now increased to $35,000. That is a $12,500 increase in sales in just one month. Over the course of a year, you could increase your sales by $150,000!

So, what are you waiting for?

If your booking percentage is under 60%, you will definitely benefit from Vital Feedback’s unique approach to call center training. This service goes most effectively with our PPC campaigns, which generate the best quality leads in the industry.

Measure. Improve. Reinforce.

Build the best call center team possible with Vital Feedback!

Please visit our Vital Feedback page and feel free to contact VitalStorm with any questions about improving your booking percentage and call center conversions. We’re here to help! Get Leads: 1-877-311-5695

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