Timing is everything, particularly when it comes to responding to leads.
As waste collectors know, it’s important to complete jobs when you say will, rather than emptying a bin days later. Yet when responding to leads, too many marketers wait too long, which is part of why 71% of online leads are wasted, according to Ken Krogue, co-founder, InsideSales.com.
And this isn’t a problem limited to the waste management industry. Research published in Harvard Business Review found that U.S. companies take an average of 42 hours to respond to online leads. And that’s of companies that even bothered to respond within 30 days; 24% of companies never responded at all.
The research was conducted by James Oldroyd, assistant professor at the SKK Graduate School of Business at Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul; Kristina McElheran, assistant professor of strategic management at the University of Toronto; and David Elkington, chairman and CEO of InsideSales.com.
Additionally, in a separate study, the researchers found that companies that tried to contact leads within an hour after hearing from them were over 60 times more likely to qualify the lead compared to those that waited 24 hours or more. These quick responders were also almost seven times more likely to qualify the lead than those that waited between 1-2 hours to respond, showing that even a small difference in response time makes a big difference.
In all, the research found that only 37% of companies responded to their lead within an hour, highlighting a gap in companies taking advantage of the efficacy of prompt responses.
For waste collectors, there’s clearly a strong need to respond to leads as soon as possible, since many haulers offer similar services. If potential customers can’t get a price quote quickly, it’s easy for them to move on to another waste management company that can start helping them right away. In that case, all the effort that you might have put into your differentiators in order to attract potential clients to your website in the first place could go out the window.
So what’s a hauler to do?
A little bit of technology can go a long way. Personal relationships are still an important part of the business, but if you can reel in leads with an automated response or price quote as soon as they submit their info on your website, then you can increase your chances of having the opportunity to start that personal relationship with them. Without technology, it might not be practical to respond right away, considering that you’d have to have staff around the clock.
And if you don’t have an option for potential customers to generate a quote online, you can sign up with Grid Waste to give you that ability so that you can give customers what they’re looking for right away.
Don’t wait for your leads to get frustrated while waiting for a response. Contact them as soon as possible and see how that can help you win more business.