CEO Warrior November/December 2017

Your Website’s Not Good Enough

Sure, it looks good. It’s mobile-ready, SEO’d, and looks great. People can even schedule an appointment on it by text or phone. Your website has got it goin’ on. But it’s STILL not good enough. Why? Because it’s missing something vital. But before I get ahead of myself, I’ve been there. I was in your shoes this time last year, managing a $20 million-plus plumbing, HVAC, and rooter company. Four years before I started with the company, we were pushing the $8 million mark. We were growing and pulling in more than 20 percent EBITDA, and offers to buy the company were starting to roll in. It was great.

This time last year, I was approached with a new idea — a live chat on our website.

We launched HomeServiceChats in March of 2017. In the first month of providing full-service chat for my former company, we were getting up to 30 chats a day. And 30–50 percent of those chats were leads.

Now, you know as well as I do that people

If First You Don’t Succeed, Fail, Fail Again.

eyes shut, and wish upon a shooting star to start pulling those kinds of results. We were no exception to that rule. Our formula for

Like everything, I questioned the concept. Like many things, I failed at first. But if I only questioned, and I didn’t try something in pursuit of failing, then I would remain ignorant. I did my research and learned that only 5 percent of web traffic will take action with a company with a standard website, and by adding live chat, you can increase that to 40 percent. So I decided to give it a go. First, I had one of our eight CSRs use it during the day. People liked our chat and used it, but I did NOT get my 40 percent increase. Next, I played hot potato with my customers (never a great idea) to get the response time down. Didn’t work. Finally, after exhausting many other options of doing it in-house, I realized it was time to call in the cavalry. I had to bring the experts on board. Note: Why not just have one CSR do it all day? Even for a $20 million company, there wasn’t enough volume, so I researched the companies. Most of them are outsourced — Pakistan, India, and everywhere in between. None of them focused on our industry. The ones who said they did didn’t. There was a severe lack, and it needed to be addressed.

Why the Big Increase?

Part of it was the tunnel-vision focus. I was only focusing on chat.

“We believe in developing our people. Each chat specialist has KPIs and one-on-one coaching sessions

This is the HomeServiceChats way.

•We engaged with visitors, instead of making them engage with us, which turned shoppers into customers. •We trained our chat specialists into a new breed of salespeople, who understood how to guide a conversation. •We got really good and started bringing in industry experts to train our chat specialists first-hand. (We’re very excited to have Mike Agugliaro coming out in January, for example.) Here’s another vital point. We believe in developing our people. Each chat specialist has KPIs and one-on-one coaching sessions, as well as weekly training sessions to continue honing their skills.

to continue honing their skills.”

success? Fail a lot, and never settle. Try all sorts of things. Question everything. Failing is a fine and under-appreciated art. It’s simple.

1.

Try something.

2.

See if it works. It doesn’t? Perfect. You’ve ruled it out.

3.

Move on to the next thing.

But There Is More …

4.

Rinse. Repeat.

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