Technology is critical to creating efficient systems that enable you to consistently grow your cleaning business. From scheduling your staff to collecting client payments, you likely rely on technology at just about every step of your operation. For most cleaning businesses, the Internet is your #1 source for lead generation. Again, technology at work. But is it possible to build a cleaning business strictly with technology?
Can you consistently book new clients using strictly technology – without having to “sell” to them via phone?
It sounds so simple. Invest in a website with online booking capability. Connect it to some scheduling and billing software. Hire a few cleaning technicians. Set up some Google and Facebook ads and then book your trip to Hawaii and watch your business grow. Why would we ever want to have prospects fill out a quote request form and then go through the tedious task of chasing them down by phone so you can sell your services? What a waste of time, right? BUT WAIT. Is it really that simple?
Let’s look at some real world numbers:
A US-based residential cleaning company has offered online booking since early 2020. Visitors enter their basic contact info (and become a lead). Upon submission, the visitor is redirected to an online booking system that includes the ability to get an instant quote (in this case, Launch27). In this real-world example, we know that the cleaning business closes over 30% of all leads.
What percentage of leads book online?
Q3 2020: 954 total leads / 22 online bookings = 2.3% of leads book online
Q3 2021: 1218 total leads / 105 online bookings = 8.6% of leads book online
Two things stand out when we look at this data. First, the percentage of online bookings increased significantly year over year. Second, even the increased 8.6% is a far cry from the company wide average of 30% for leads closed. Without the follow-up from the phone sales team, over 21% of leads would have never become sales.
Though this is a small sample size, it is in line with what we see across dozens of cleaning businesses who offer online booking. Consumers are definitely moving toward online booking, but it is not yet to the point where it can equal or surpass the return you get from traditional phone sales and follow-up.
Is Offering Online Booking Worth It?
Online booking systems can provide immense value. Preference for online booking is largely generational, so as our target consumers continue to include current generations, the percentage of people who prefer to book online will continue to grow. However, the real current value of offering online booking may rest more in the fact that these systems inherently allow you to promote “Instant Online Quotes”. Consumers, regardless of age, like instant gratification. Websites that offer “Instant Online Quotes” versus the ability to “Request a Quote” typically see at least DOUBLE the conversion rate of visitors into leads.
The most effective method of maximizing the value of your website visitors is:
Create calls-to-Action that offer “Instant Online Quote” or “Online Estimate”
Present a simple lead capture form that collects basic information required to allow your sales team to follow-up
Upon submission of the lead capture form, redirect the visitor to your online booking system or an online estimate calculator
The Bottom Line
The day is coming where offering online booking may not be an option as we strive to keep up with not only your competition but consumer expectations. Certainly you can reap huge benefits today from being able to offer some sort of instant pricing – whether it is a firm quote with booking options or a simple online estimate to hold their attention until your sales team can reach out to them. It really comes down to what you can do to incentivize your website visitors to engage with your business. Even if you simply post your price ranges broken down by square footage and offer “estimates”, hiding the instant pricing behind your lead capture form will increase the numbers of visitors that become leads.