I am trying to get opinions about online booking services. I currently have the ISN (Inspection Support Network) on my site. The idea of the program is great, the communication that is afforded is great. There are a few guys that use it here and I know that they like it and the ISN as a company.
Where I am going as a topic is, is it worth it? All of the things the ISN does can be done by the inspector. The ISN has auto-responders, will send out your agreements, keeps statistics, and many other tasks. The problem is, if clients don’t log on to use it, what good is it? You would also have to post a price list for it to work. Who is going to log on and book an inspection, if they don’t know what they are getting into price-wise. This also removes some of the salesmanship from the deal, but that’s what an auto-scheduler does.
Do you guys see any value to the inspector with a program like this? I must admit, I don’t really put much effort into marketing the ISN. The one thing is that I am the only guy in the area using something like this, so there is an angle if I need it. There may be a reason why I am the only guy though.
Personally I wouldn’t care for it, my own sales ability is what I consider the best part of my business knowledge, especially in the commercial inspection business, where it takes a LOT of DIRECT communication with the client, no company or person I know could do this for me the way I would need it done.
Even Home Inspections, NOT posting my fees is one reason people call, it is the ONLY chance I have to sell myself and services…I couldn’t depend on any company to do that for me…never, ever…!!
I have yet for a client to schedual an inspection online. What if you are booked for that day or hour? You really need to talk to the client and “SELL” yourself. I have been slow so I need to talk to potential clients about the benefits my HI company can provide.
As some may know I am one of the principals at ISN. So obviously I am biased.
My first point is the Inspection Support Network helps run your whole business. Online scheduling is just one of hundreds of things it does for your business.
If you don’t want people ordering inspections from your website that is great, but please don’t put ISN in a category of just an online scheduler. It is WAY more than that.
We do have inspection companies who do not use the online ordering part of the ISN and find great value in the ISN. BTW-Your calendar syncs with your ISN calendar and your Outlook or Gmail calendar so double booking is not an issue.
I have owned Home Pride Inspections in Las Vegas for 15 years. Currently we have 5 inspectors and have a full-time office manager who takes orders over the phone. I agree there is no better way than a friendly voice to create relationships and be able to “up sell” however we still book about 6-7 inspections per week from our website because many people/agents prefer it.
Most of us in this business want to grow and that means being versatile just like the ISN. If an agent gets an offer accepted and wants to get the inspection ordered in the evening or weekend they might just go to the inspector who has online order capability.
The ISN has great people and great service. I would recommend them for any inspectors who look for this service. I do think the value varies with the geographic area. The same could be said for call centers.
Drew, I talked to Chris about this for awhile today and made the suggestion that they add in a price quote feature to the scheduling online. That way you have the benefit of online form request (which you already have via your site with us), but it also pulls all the information directly into the ISN if the client books (saves time). Now you’re not giving out your prices if you don’t want to. I think this offers the best of both words and like usual Chris said he’d be right on it and get it done asap.
Sounds like a great service if you are not good with people,otherwise why would anyone wish to go through a third party or third party app and feel like they are dealing with some large ,cold corporation ?
Answer your phone yourself is the best way .
Just get that number where they can see it.
Nope, but I’ve worked closely with Chris on a few projects, integrated ISN into HIP and know quite a few guys who are. You’ll also notice on our site you can contact us via phone, email, live chat, help desk, the message boards, facebook and a few other chat programs. I make sure we’re accessible as that’s what it’s all about! How many software companies out there only give support via email? Same thing with inspection companies.
I know you talk a lot on site, which means you’re not answering your phone. Best solution is to hire someone knowledgeable to answer the phones, then to use a service like America’s Call Center that knows inspections, next best is a form sent to your phone.
I never answer my phone. I have a dedicated office manager that answers the phone, schedules appointments and answers most questions. This leave me and my inspectors to do the inspections. If something needs my attention, I get a call from the office. This also allows us make better decisions, because my office can always tell the client they need to discuss with the inspector. My office also does a better job of keeping track of my inspections and appointments, this makes for the most efficient schedule. I have a hard time telling clients no and always committing things I do not really want to do. When my office sells my services, it is not me bragging about how great I am:p. Just some thoughts.
Negative ,I always answer my phone and agree with Dale 100% .
I somehow doubt a stranger no matter how skilled could possibly have a higher conversion rate than I do.
They have no idea what I do or how I do it and even a close relative could not possibly sell your self better than you could.
I do not sell Porterhouse by letting them taste ground beef.
But as I stated if you are not good on the phone then it may be for you.
When you get 4-5 calls during an inspection it can really start to irritate people. How many calls will you answer and ask the client to hold on? I guess it depends on how busy you are. If you average on call per inspection it’s not a problem. If you’re in the attic it’s not a problem. But if you’re walking around it can start to get annoying or rude to the client.
I only answer calls from potential clients which is easy to figure out on ID and if I start getting 4 or 5 calls during inspections for more then I must be blessed.LOL.
It only takes one minute to get what I need for a return call.
Granted not everyone can do that .
Too busy is never a problem if one can multi-task right Dom.:twisted:
I know you have a high conversion rate to people you talk to. I’m curious to what it is with people you have to call back. In other words, how many have already found another inspector by the time you get back to them. That’s one of the biggest complaints I see on this and other message boards and hear from guys on the phone.
I know quite a few guys like John that have hired someone to at least help answer the phone.