According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were over 715,400 registered electricians in the United States in 2018. From now until 2028, the electrician profession is expected to grow at a 10 percent rate, adding over 74,000 new jobs in that time period. Part of this drive growth in the electrician industry is fueled by our nationwide transition to different sources of energy and power. Emerging renewable energy technologies such as solar, wind, and others will create increased demand for electricians in new and exciting ways.
For example, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) reports that over the last decade, solar energy installations experienced an average annual growth rate of 49 percent, and that growth is only expected to intensify in coming years. According to the SEIA report, “the residential solar market experienced a record year in 2019 as costs continued to fall and solar expanded into more state markets. That trend continued into Q1 2020, as the segment record its second-largest quarter and states outside of California combined for their largest share of installations ever.”
In the coming years, then, electricians across the country should find ample opportunities to expand their operations, increase their customer base, and grow their business. From residential installation of renewable energies, to linking these alternative sources of power to the grids, to more traditional electrician tasks, the market opportunities are certainly promising.
While this might seem like good news, it also means that there will be increased competition across the industry. One of the best ways for electricians to increase their competitiveness within the industry is to work with an answering service. Below, we offer a concise overview of why electricians would do well to hire an answering service.
Reason #1: An Answering Service Can Handle Routine Customer Calls
As any electrician knows, one of the biggest challenges in the profession is finding the right balance between offering quality electricity-related work, responding to existing customers and accounts, and engaging in innovative marketing strategies to secure new business. Independent electricians who spend the majority of their time actually doing the work will often struggle to adequately attend to routine customer calls. Constantly answering phone calls from a growing customer base is a major interruption to the work on hand.
Not promptly answering routine customer calls, however, is one of the best ways to lose business. According to one recent report, bad phone experiences will send 74 percent of consumers to a competitor. In our increasingly fast-paced world, people expect to be attended to in a prompt and timely fashion. For busy electricians who spend most of their time out of the office, hiring an answering service can drastically improve your customer service attention through effective and punctual handling of routine customer calls.
The best answering services will have employees specifically trained to respond to common customer questions related to the electrician profession and industry. The answering service can instantly provide your customer with important information related to your service rates, your availability, the hiring status and process, and other common issues without requiring your time and attention. For more specific, detailed, or urgent customer inquiries, the hiring service will be able to record the customer issue and efficiently deliver the message via cell phone, SMS, email, fax, or any other wireless device. In some cases, an answering service will be able to transfer important live calls to specific, trained members of your workforce.
Reason #2: An Answering Service Can Handle Emergency Calls 24/7
Delivering emergency service coverage to your top accounts, contract customers, or corporate clients is certainly an important revenue stream for electricians. These large clients will obviously expect prompt, around the clock service. For independent electrical contractors or small businesses, however, hiring a 24/7 receptionist to attend to any potential emergency calls in the middle night will obviously be expensive.
Hiring an answering service is a cost effective alternative to hiring a receptionist who is “on-call” around the clock. Hiring another full-time or part-time employee to work as a receptionist can cost your business tens of thousands of dollars each year. A quality answering service is able to provide an additional bump in staffing at a fraction of the cost of hiring.
The best answering services on the market offer 24/7 customer service attention, so that your important customers can be immediately attended by a real person, and not inefficient automated technologies. The answering service will be able to offer efficient screening, discerning between true emergencies that require your immediate attention and lesser issues that can be attended to during regular operating hours. The result is happier customers, and a better night of sleep for independent contractors or managerial staff.
Reason #3: An Answering Service can Help Build your Customer Base
The average homeowner in need of electrical services will most likely turn to a quick Google search to find available electrical contractors in their area. If a phone call goes unanswered, if they are put on hold, of if they are redirected to an automated machine, many of those potential customers will quickly hang up the phone and call the next electrician that comes up on the Google listing.
By hiring an answering service, electricians will be able to quickly and efficiently provide potential customers with your basic rates and your availability. To help turn those introductory calls into jobs, answering services can gather and record essential customer information and even schedule appointments for your business. Studies have shown that just a 5 percent increase in customer retention can result in a 75 percent increase in customer value.
Similarly, companies with a customer-centric focus are 60 percent more profitable than companies that don’t focus on customers. By hiring an answering service to improve your service, you can avoid the $1.6 trillion in economic losses that businesses lose every year due to customers switching companies due to poor service.
Answering services are a key in helping to enlarge your customer base and thus increase revenue streams for your business. The best answering services will offer detailed reporting, documentation and follow-up for all your customer calls. They should also include the latest technology in software and systems for a seamless integration with your existing business and team. Hartley & Associates is one professional answering service that continually invests in their employees and their technology to provide their clients with the best service possible.