Flawless Finish is a 5-year-old exterior cleaning company based out of South Bend, IN. Their business consists primarily of residential pressure washing but they also service commercial clients. Their core offerings are house washing, concrete cleaning, deck cleaning, and gutter clean-outs.
Over the past three years, their deal flow has increased steadily, to the point where they were answering the phone a lot. They came to Rein Agency for help in streamlining their customer intake process. Flawless Finish were aquiring customers primarily through paid(SEM) and organic(SERP) search on Google and other search engines. Ultimately, finding the company phone number and giving them a call.
This became time-consuming as deal flow frequency increased. They were taking calls and disrupting other important work. Sometimes they would opt to let the calls go to voicemail to maintain focus on improving other aspects of the business. It was manageable, but with a lean team it was difficult for Flawless Finish to break through this bottleneck of having to answer the phone to get information from customers. The website had a contact form, but people were not using it (probably because the phone number was right next to the contact form). Their standard contact form funnel was flawed. Even when prospective clients used it, answers were vague and a phone call had to be made anyways.
Flawless came to Rein for help with improving their user experience and to figure out a way to separate the team from the client intake process. This case study assesses Flawless’ problem, points out the things that we set out to achieve, touches on the thought process behind the solution to the problem, and discusses results after one year of data collected. Read on!
With Flawless’ client intake process, multiple problems needed addressed. The following were the most apparent:
- Always on the Phone: This was a good problem to have, but Flawless was spending a lot of time on calls, asking the same questions to each customer (i.e. “Is your house 1 or 2 stories? Do you have vinyl or aluminum siding?)
- No Standard Customer Experience: The questions Flawless was asking were not standardized. A full list of service offerings wasn’t always made available on every call, causing the company to lose out on potential upsells.
- Misplaced Info: Since Flawless was on the phone, they were writing down the project details which later needed to be manually transfered into the CRM. Oftentimes, they would lose valuable information pertaining to the job (addition of having their deck cleaned, etc…). In worst-case scenarios, they would regrettably misplace customer contact information.
- Vague Form Submissions: Flawless’ original contact form contained contact info and a long text field that asked for “Project Description”, which resulted in a lot of ambiguous answers such as “estimate for power washing house”.
- Non-Trackable Lead Attribution: Thier current lead attribution structure wasnt letting the comapny know if this phone call came from organic or paid search, their Facebook page, ect…
At the beginning of 2019, Flawless decided that enough was enough. The team came to Rein Agency with the challenge of solving their pain points. They wanted to be less client facing and wanted to streamline their customer intake process. We helped Flawless outline some of the goals they wanted to accomplish with their new system. Those goals are listed below:
- Reduce the number of quote requests by phone without reducing the total number of quote requests. Accomplishing this would limit the disruption of other important tasks and having to break work-flow.
- Gather relevant and complete project & lead details. Accomplishing this would limit the number of back-and-forths to clarify customer expectations, attribute more marketing budget to the top-performing channels. This would also limit the need for in-person quotes, which adds up to a lot of time and puts a ceiling on overall capacity.
- Standardize the quoting process. Accomplishing this would ensure each customer experience is the same. Also, customers would become aware of all service offerings to help boost upsells (i.e. gutter cleaning, concrete cleaning, etc…).
These three things appeared the most important to Flawless. In short, they wanted to improve the customer experience while simultaneously removing people (i.e. their team) from the customer intake process. It is important to recognize how vital customer experience is. Removing people from the process with disregard to customer experience will inevitably end in disaster. We wanted to make sure that whatever solution we created, that it would not result in the customer becoming frustrated. The customer intake process is usually the customer’s first impression of the business. It needs to be great.
If people landed on Flawless’ website, it hopefully means that they were looking to get a quote for one or more of Flawless’ services. If Flawless wanted to give them a quote, specific information was required that was normally received over the phone. We decided that we could collect ALL of that information through an online form. It was ambitious to think we could get people to get all the way through a 32-field form, but we had a plan. When going about designing Flawless’ new form, we had a few assumptions about their customers that influenced our decisions:
- Customers would be willing to provide more information as long as it the prompts remained relevant to what they wanted to have completed.
- A form with specific and targeted questions related to a project would make customers feel as if they are being delivered a customized experience, which would result in a high-value and accurate estimate. This would also help build trust in Flawless’ brand and capabilities.
The solution we arrived at was to change the standard contact form to a form that is mobile-friendly, operated with conditional logic, and contained multiple pages. We also chose to optimizing the user interface of the website to get the customer navigating toward the contact form and nowhere else.
It’s vital to approach our form design with customer experience in mind. We knew that 44% of Flawless Finish’s site visitors came from a mobile device so we needed to keep that top of mind when developing the form.
Also, we wanted to avoid prompting customers with questions that did not apply to their project request (i.e. don’t ask the customer if their deck is wood or vinyl if they don’t want their deck cleaned). Therefore, we needed the form to operate with conditional logic. With the form containing conditional logic, we could ask the customer if they wanted their house washed, and if the answer is yes, it would trigger a series of detailed questions about the house. However, if the answer is no, the form would move on to the appropriate line of questioning.
Lastly, if we want the customer to complete the form, we couldn’t put 32 fields on one page. If I were looking for Flawless’ services and I got to their form and saw 32 fields on one page, I’d press back in my browser and call the next pressure washing company on the list. Especially if I were on a mobile device. A multi-page form would solve that problem by breaking up the questions and giving customers just one, or a few questions at a time.
2019 was the first year with the multi-page conditional online form. As you can see from the table below, the number of quote requests that came through online as opposed through phone or a direct email increased dramatically. In 2017 and 2018 alike, less than 93% of all quote requests came via phone call. In 2019, after implementing the new form, only about 23% of all quote requests came via phone call.
One of the main goals of implementing a new form was for Flawless to be on the phone less & gather more lead attribution data. If we analyze the numbers, in 2018 Flawless handled 93 leads via phone and was able to drop that number to 35 in 2019 with overall increased deal flow. The bottom line is, Flawless had more time for other important tasks and was interrupted less frequently.
Aside from answering the phone less, the real time-savings comes in when we integrate our form with our CRM to avoid manual data entry. In 2017 and 2018, FF was manually entering 7 data points per customer on average. With that said, Flawless’ standard contact form was collecting 4 data points at best for each form completion. With the new form in 2019, FF was collecting on average 23 data points per form completion, all of which was integrated and automatically updated into their CRM. In total, over the course of 2019, 2240 data points were added to the CRM without having to do anything. Once that data was in Flawless’ CRM, they were able to leverage it to provide more accurate and expedited quotes.
The data that was collected can also be summarized. Flawless now has data that they can use in their ongoing marketing efforts. For instance, Flawless knows that 88% of respondents wanted their house washed. Also, Flawless knows that more customers wanted their gutters cleaned out than their concrete cleaned, and more customers wanted their concrete cleaned than their deck cleaned. Flawless also has the scalable data on which paid attribution channel to allocate the lions share of the budget to.
In conclusion, we were able to help Flawless accomplish what they set out to do. The mobile friendly, conditional, multi-page form helped transform the way their business operates. Customers use it, and their information goes straight to Flawless’ CRM without any human interaction.
The benefits stretch beyond the added time of not being on the phone as much. With the form integrated with their CRM they no longer do data entry, which results in better record keeping…and more time. Along with this, there is more potential for back-office automtion. They are collecting more data points so they can provide better estimates and could even automate their estimates if they wanted to. Maybe that’s their plan for next year.
The primary problem that Flawless wanted solved was to spend less time on the phone and more time focusing on other important tasks. Rein Agency helped them accomplish that, and more!