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4 Ways to Communicate That Will Convert Prospects and Satisfy Customers

At the International Roofing Expo, trainer Kevin White told attendees they can’t just be talented roofers anymore; they must be great communicators too.

Jean Dimeo

February 7, 2024

4 Min Read
Illustration of blue communication keys on computer keyboard
Cirque desprit/Alamy Stock Photo

Being successful no longer is about being the best roofer with the best prices in town. It’s about providing great service through effective communication with prospects and customers in a variety of ways, Kevin White from Thryv told attendees at the International Roofing Expo this week in Las Vegas.

Even if you deliver top-notch installation, communication—whether through texts, emails, social media posts or phone calls—is key to winning new customers and making existing ones happy.

“One thing that the world is missing now is human communication,” said White, Thryv’s lead corporate training manager. “Customers don’t want (interaction) to just be transactional.

“The same way you want to be communicated to is the way your customers want to be communicated with.”

White offered these tips to attendees:

1| Marketing with texts

White said contractors should only communicate via text when there is information to deliver, such as a special promotion, or to remind prospects and customers of appointments or installation updates.

Know your audience, he added. For example, if you are texting with an older person, don’t use LOL, OMG or other acronyms they might not recognize. But if you text a younger potential client, you still should use professional language, and don’t overuse emojis.

2| Chatting with charm

Nearly 75% of consumers say live chat is a more convenient way to communicate with a business, according to a report White cited.

But he warned: “If you cannot answer right away, don’t offer it. Even a few minutes may seem like 20 to 30 minutes. … You can get a bad review and you have a lost opportunity.”

If you do employ live chat, build out frequently asked questions on your website so after staff answers a person’s live question, they can point that person to the FAQs. “You can say, ‘Here is the answer to your question,’ but then you can say, ‘If you have more questions, you can go here.’”

Live chat also is useful for quick questions. But White said employees should have the answers to those questions handy so they can respond right away.

Don’t use live chat to help customers through paperwork or forms, though. Instead, direct them to a person at your company who can call them. “Then you create a human connection,” he said.

3| Posting like a pro

White told attendees to “stop selling stuff on social media. If every time you log on someone tries to sell you something, you are going to turn it off or unfollow them.”

The best use of social media is to disseminate information, such as showing off a project you are proud of or promoting an upcoming event. And make the post personable and relatable.

4| Mastering the email

The best use for email is to stay in touch with former and potential clients, White said. “If you are not at least saying happy birthday, you are missing opportunities.”

Other uses include promotions, announcements and sales notices.

“Keep the customer engaged,” he said. “The customer may not need you now, but they will remember you.”

Another good use of email is to cross-sell jobs, he said. For example, after the roof in installed, send the customer an email about other products and services you offer.

Personalization is key to all email communication, White added. For instance, use each person’s name in a mass email promotion. “It makes them think someone cares.”

Also include a call to action—but only one per email. Finally, keep the email short (250 to 350 words, if possible) and use professional language.

5| Calling with confidence

Calling is the best way to communicate when you want to:

  • Have deeper discussions.

  • Create a sense of urgency.

  • Clarify information or an issue.

“If you are getting an angry text (from a client), that’s a call,” he said.

But don’t call the potential client or past customer too often, ramble or overwhelm them with a lot of technical information or details, unless they ask for more information, he added.

Still, there are times a text is better and more effective than email, he said. For instance, when you receive a client’s payment, you can text: “Got the check. Thank you.”

Say this, not that

White provided a few examples of “say this, not that” scenarios with customers and prospects. Here’s one:

  • Customer: “Why is it so hard to reach someone from your company?”

  • Don’t say: “Sorry, we’re only available from 9 to 5.”

  • Instead say: “We’re sorry. Did you know you can book an appointment on our website whenever it’s convenient for you, even if it’s after hours?”

  • Why this works: Allowing customers to book online gives them the freedom they want and you the time off you desperately need.

On a final note, White said 60% of all types of appointments are booked after business hours, adding: “If you don’t have that capability, you need to get it.”

About the Author(s)

Jean Dimeo

Editorial Director, ConstructioNext, WOC360, IRE360, Informa Markets

Jean Dimeo is an award-winning editor, writer and publication manager who has worked in construction publishing for 30 years. Dimeo was managing editor of Construction Dive, our sister publication about commercial construction, and the editor in chief of Builder, EcoHome and Building Products, all about residential building and remodeling. She also worked as an editor for a Spanish-language construction publication and as a building products expert for consumer magazines including Better Homes & Gardens SIPs.

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