With labor shortages making it hard to find great employees, and merger and acquisition (M&A) activity causing restoration companies to run leaner, not leveraging technology is no longer an option. As restorers, we need to constantly be on the lookout for methods to lean our overhead and become more efficient. It’s shocking to me how few restoration companies actually automate their customer journey. 

This practice is very common in many industries. Remember when you booked a plane ticket and were kept in the loop with little to no human interaction about everything from gate changes to check-in reminders to delays? What about the time you scheduled the cable guy to come out for an internet outage, and received automated texts and emails with updates? 

In most restoration companies, I’ve seen one of two things:

  1. Overhead-heavy positions like “team coordinators” responsible for keeping all parties in the loop on what’s going on.
  2. Lack of customer communication overall (typically in smaller companies). 

In fact, I remember within our own restoration company having our office admin make “24-hour calls” to customers. Most of the time, voicemail or the, “Sorry, I can’t talk right now,” text was received. 

Technology has made the modern-day human demand fast, concise, accurate information with as little interaction as possible. Even my grandma tracks her Amazon packages and receives delivery notifications! 

So why doesn’t the restoration industry adopt automation? Unfortunately, it hasn’t been simple and accessible! The status quo of restoration job management systems has been “closed off” and not integrated with automation tools. 

The Benefits of Automating Your Customer Journey

  1. Your customers, referrers and employees can be kept in the loop every step of the way. As your projects hit different milestones within your process, different actions can occur. A welcome text to a client when new project is received, an automated handwritten thank you card to a referral party when a project is received, an automated plumber gift card when a project is completed, and an automated survey to a customer when a job ends are all examples.
  2. You have an open line of communication with the customer, encouraging them to reach out to you throughout the process instead of complaining about your services 15 days later when the bill comes. Throughout your automated emails and texts, you clearly encourage the customer to reach out to your team should anything arise. These are documented within your job file and help facilitate a proactive approach to customer issues.
  3. You can gather consistent feedback from customers and referrers about their experience in a standardized way. By automatically texting all referrers and customers the same survey, you can start narrowing down your strengths and weaknesses in the eyes of the customer.
  4. You can eliminate the burden of having to utilize people for administrative tasks. Within a couple of hours of setup time, you can completely eliminate the need for outreach from your team’s end, saving you hours each week and allowing your employees to do more important tasks.

What You Need To Automate Your Customer Journey

  • “Buy-in” to automating the customer journey
  • A job management system that supports automation
  • A couple of hours of creative time to set up all of your templates 

I have spent some time putting together an automated customer journey guide, which you can download for free here. This will give you a basic framework to start with.

I look forward to seeing more restorers challenge the status quo and automate their customer journeys! As they say, “You can either evolve or dissolve.” If anyone needs help with automating their customer journey, they can reach out to me directly on social media or alex@albiware.com.