For years, keeping track of leads has been a mostly, or completely, manual process. Writing down someone's information in your notebook. Typing it into your phone or computer. Gathering leads from a social media site or other source and writing them down. All of these methods take time out of your day and can be quite inconvenient when you're on a job. Not to mention, it's much more likely for leads to be lost or misplaced.
How can this lead capture process be simplified?
It's simple, actually. AUTOMATION.
The first step to automating lead capture is to have an easy way for prospective customers to fill out their information and have it sent directly to you. This can be done in many ways, but we will primarily focus on two methods. First up are webforms, which are forms embedded on your website that people can fill out and have their info sent to you. Second, we'll discuss how Zapier can help automate your entire lead capture process from pretty much ANY source.
But then what? Where does that data go?
It should go to a CRM. If you aren't already using a CRM software (Customer Relationship Management), you're missing out big time. Using a solid CRM to manage your customers, among many other tasks, is crucial for any size business. If you're a large, multi-truck operation, you need a CRM for your office staff so they can handle the hundreds of requests and jobs per day. If it's just you on the truck out by yourself, then you need a quick, easy, and reliable system to keep track of your customers, schedule jobs, and get paid in the field. You can't afford to be wasting time manually entering information when it could be handled all automatically.
Now, back to the automation piece! When your lead capturing is automated, that webform will automatically dump the customer/job information into your CRM. Your CRM then will process the lead and you will get some sort of notification or email about it (if you want). Then, your CRM will store the information to be used later on for retargeting, marketing, and even automated follow-up (depending on which CRM you use). Everything is done behind-the-scenes with no involvement from you. How cool is that?!
The key to all of this is using the right CRM with the right functionality. This is where ServiceMonster comes into the picture.
ServiceMonster now has the most complete automated lead capturing system possible. As a user, you have multiple options. The first and most direct option is to use ServiceMonster webforms, which are pre-built, automatically-generated forms for each and every unique ServiceMonster account. All you have to do is paste some code into your website and you're good to go! When a customer on your website fills out the form, all of the info will instantly be transferred into ServiceMonster. If they scheduled a job, it'll show up on your schedule. If they just want more information or want a quote, it'll show up as a lead. All of this is happening while you're out working, with no involvement from you.
The second option is very similar. As a ServiceMonster user, you can also paste the code for a "book now" button on your website. This button has the same functionality as the previously mentioned webform, except when a customer clicks on the button they are taken to a separate page with that same form. Again, all of this is going on behind-the-scenes and takes very minimal set-up on your part.
The first two options are by far the easiest and most reliable options to use since they are ServiceMonster-specific. However, we now have full integration with an awesome service called Zapier. With ServiceMonster/Zapier integration, you can now use ANY webform technology (as long as it can connect to Zapier, which most do), and have that info sent right to ServiceMonster. Zapier also is used by a lot of service companies to capture Facebook leads and leads from any other non-website source. With Zapier, the options for lead capture are pretty much endless, and now with direct ServiceMonster integration, you can fully automate your lead capture from any source. Now THAT'S cool!
So, what does all of this mean for you, the hard-working service business owner?
It means that your leads will be handled faster. Less of them will fall through the cracks. You'll have more time to focus on actual business work, while your lead capturing is always running in the background. Overall, the likelihood of a lead being converted into a job will increase, which means you'll get paid more and your business will grow.
There's also one other reason why automating your lead capture is so crucial: The all-important email list. As you gather leads, you're gathering people's information. For marketing purposes, this is AWESOME! You can now add email addresses to your marketing drip campaigns (another super helpful feature in ServiceMonster), and even add the customer information into Facebook for targeted advertising. Just because someone doesn't use your services right away, doesn't mean that lead is dead. Far from it, actually. The more people contact you and fill out a webform, the more people you can specifically market your services to. And THAT is worth it all right there!
So if you aren't using a CRM, you should be. And if you aren't automating your lead capture, then start automating it! ServiceMonster can do all of this for you, and so much more.
To set up Zapier for use with your ServiceMonster account, click here.