Text-in hotline helps tradies reduce lead costs by 35%

Image for Text-in hotline helps tradies reduce lead costs by 35%
4 min read | July 21, 2020

Heard of i4Tradies? If you’ve ever needed a plumber, roofer or any other tradie, the answer is probably, “yes”. They make it easy to connect with good tradespeople, whether you’re a home or business owner, head up a trade association or manage property.

It also has some massive trade associations on board, like the National Electrical and Communications Association (NECA) and Master Plumbers and Master Painters Association (MPA) – that rubber stamp any tradespeople before they make it onto the site.

i4T’s job management software makes things faster at the tradies’ end too. They can manage leads, create quotes, track time and send invoices, all from the one place. So easy.

The challenge

Whether it was COVID, a DIY boom or some other mysterious force, in 2020, i4Tradies noticed a big slump in the number of job requests coming through. Something needed to be done – and fast. 

The company saw something it could use. Industry-wide, finding a tradesperson was a really big hassle.

People spent hours researching online, and then months sifting through multiple quotes before finally, ages later, booking the work. Sounds… exhausting. 

It meant people were simply putting non-urgent upgrades and repairs on the back burner or doing it themselves.

The solution

While i4Tradies has always been about making it easy to find good tradespeople, it knew it had to go further. The answer?

The Emergency Response Centre (ERC), that lets people text-to-book trustworthy tradies. The ERC hotline uses bulk SMS services and automation from MessageMedia. 

With cybercrime on the rise customers are understandably suspicious, but MessageMedia had the answer there, too.

By setting up a dedicated number for the service, instead of texting from a bunch of numbers, ERC could make it clear it was legit.

Within the i4T’s business platform, tradies can also use MessageMedia to set up automated SMS for super slick workflow. They can remind clients about scheduled work, nudge them to pay their invoices or automatically respond to new leads. 

Booking a tradesperson – how it works

1. Text in

Customers flick a text to the hotline with their postcode and the issue they need help with. 

2. Add optional information

They then get a reply with a short link where they can add more detail.

“This is entirely optional and gives people another route to escalate their issue,” says i4Tradies CCO Sachi Wickramage.

3. Get a phone call 

Everything is sent straight to an ERC agent who gets on the phone with the texter to gather any more detail. 

4. Get a text confirmation

As soon as the dispatcher sorts out a suitable tradie, the customer gets another text, letting them know that the tradesperson will contact them to set up a meeting time. The entire process takes about two hours at most.

How it works for tradies

1. Sign up to get free leads 

First, tradies sign up to the i4T leads platform – it’s free to register, even if they’re not using i4T’s job management platform. 

2. Bid on a job

When a new job comes through the platform, tradies can throw their hat in the ring by bidding for the work.

3. Schedule the work

The winning tradie gets a SMS prompt to call the client and schedule the work.

Since we have started using i4Tradies SMS generation module, we have gained a lot more leads for new jobs which would have been otherwise impossible to obtain.

Donatella Zatta, Emergency Trade Services BD

The results

Talk to any tradies signed up to the ERC, and you’ll hear the
same story: easy wins, more business and cash in the bank.

Take Emergency Trade Services as just one example – it saw an immediate 35% drop in lead acquisition costs. 

Customers like Marcel Caldow love it too. He says it’s been a “fantastic” initiative – he gets a response from a trusted tradesperson within a couple of hours, and finds he can often get things sorted within 24 hours. He thinks it’s a great shortcut for people. 

“Our time is precious,” Marcel said. “I can’t recommend it enough.”

Want to use SMS to grow your trade services business?

Image for Want to use SMS to grow your trade services business?

Ready to roll?

Image for Ready to roll?