3 Ways to Manage High Demand in 2022
Here’s the situation.
Demand in many markets is the highest it’s been in at least a decade—and in some cases, it’s higher than ever. Consumers in the U.S. are “spending with a vengeance,” with consumer spending surging 2.1% in January 2022 alone.
Some of the industries experiencing high demand in 2022 are:
- Automotive (new and used vehicles) – The average price of used and new cars increased 40% over the last year.
- Auto services – Repair and tire services are predicted to grow 4.7% in 2022.
- Home services – 84% of homeowners are likely to take on a remodeling project in the next 12 months.
- Real estate – Home values have skyrocketed as much as 20% over the last year.
- Retail/Apparel – More than 60% of U.S. consumers needed wardrobes refreshed, and gross merchandise value (GMV) is 31%.
- Healthcare – In 2021, clinical workers put in 50% more hours than before the pandemic.
But high demand isn’t always sunshine and lollipops
While high demand is exciting because it can lead to business growth, it can take a heavy toll on internal business operations. Local businesses even cited that managing increased demand was one of their top five business challenges in 2021. Many are—and have been—experiencing demand-induced difficulties, like:
- Increased workload, especially during a national labor shortage
- Employee burnout as a result of heavy workloads or working longer hours
- Communication chaos from influxes of inbound calls and messages
- Leads falling through the cracks because there aren’t enough resources to stay on top of them all
Local businesses are bombarded with demand from multiple directions
In our 2022 State of Local Business report, businesses reported seeing an increase in phone calls (29%) and digital inquiries (34%) in the last year—and digital inquiries can come via email, Facebook messages, text messages, website forms, and more.
In 2022, efficiency in lead management is the name of the game
It’s no surprise then, that 75% of business owners report purchasing technology in the past 12 months, specifically with the intent to help their teams work more efficiently.
Three ways your local business can manage demand more efficiently:
1. Convert your most popular lead channels into texts.
Research shows that 80% of callers would prefer to text your business rather than leave a voicemail. Text is, by far, the most convenient and speedy method of communication businesses and consumers can use today.
Thanks to SMS-based technology platforms, you can now convert your most popular communication and marketing channels like your website, your Google Business Profile, phone calls, and more into text message conversations that you can easily manage from a central inbox. It’s super convenient for your customers, but it’s even more convenient for you and your team because it enables you to:
- Spend less time on phone calls, checking and leaving voicemails, and playing phone tag
- Have more than one conversation with a lead or customer at one time
- Respond more quickly to new leads
- Get faster responses from your leads
- Make sure no leads get lost or fall through the cracks
In a high-demand market, this kind of speed, efficiency, and thoroughness can go a long way for your business.
2. Template responses to common inquiries.
When you consolidate your lead channels into text message threads, you can easily create templates for answering your frequently asked questions like, “How late are you open today?” or “What is your address?”
Inquiries like these can often eat up your team’s time—especially when demand is so high that it’s overwhelming, and the majority of those questions don’t turn into sales opportunities. By creating quick access to canned responses, you can cover more territory much faster and focus more time on the conversations that will lead to valuable business growth.
Here are some examples of common inquiry responses you can template:
→What time do you close today?
“Hi! Our business hours are:
-Monday – Friday: 9:00am – 4:00pm
-Saturday: 10:00am – 2:00pm
→ What’s your address?
“Hi! Our address is 444 Local Business Lane. Here’s a link to Google Maps: maps.google.com/yourlocation”
→ What do you typically charge for carpet cleaning?
“Hi! Here’s a link to a list of our services and pricing: www.carpetcleaners4you.com/services, but pricing depends on the number of rooms you want done. By the way, we’re running a promotion right now, buy 3 rooms, get a 4th room free! Let me know if you want to schedule an appointment.”
3. Provide more customer context to your employees.
A great way to help your team manage demand more efficiently is to equip them with easy access to important context about the lead. Imagine reading a message from a new lead and seeing their profile pop up with information like:
- Browsing history on your website
- Past purchase history
- Past reviews
- Past conversations they’ve had with your employees
Having information like this at a glance allows you and your team to provide more efficient—and personalized—service to your customers. The vast majority of consumers (89%) say they’ve had the frustrating experience of having to repeat themselves to multiple employees at a business. This wastes everyone’s time and certainly doesn’t win loyalty. The right text messaging platform can provide this context and help your team work more swiftly.
Local businesses use Podium to manage demand more efficiently
Local businesses everywhere use Podium to maximize their time, manage leads, and deliver a great customer experience.
LA Furniture saved an enormous amount of time by leveraging the Podium text message platform for lead management. Madeline Sweeten of LA Furniture said, “You’re not going to get out of a phone call with a customer in under 5, 6 minutes, at best. With Podium, our response time is less than a minute. That’s 5x less, if not more. That’s crazy time savings.”
If your local business is struggling to keep up with all the demand today, a few changes to your lead management process like those listed above will help you get more done, capitalize on opportunities, spend less time on the phone, and have meaningful and efficient conversations with your customers.
→ Want more great lead management tips? Check out the tips we shared here: 8 Lead Management Tips to Close More Sales.