Collecting Customer E-mail Addreses

July 8, 2011

By Matt Michel

Roy Hauser asked, "Any ideas on how to obtain email address' from our customers? Service Techs say customers don't want to share their address' because of spam."

First, collecting email addresses needs to become as routine as getting a phone number. It should not be an option. Include it on the invoice and every other form where an address is requested from the customer. Otherwise, technicians will use the slightest hesitation from the homeowner as a reason not collect the emails.

If the tech is afraid of asking the customer for an email address, instruct him to present the invoice to the customer to complete name and address information and authorization (i.e., signature). People are so used to providing email now that many will simply fill in the blank.

If homeowner fails to provide a phone number, address, or email address, ask for the missing information. If the homeowner demands to know why an email address is needed, explain...

"We're trying to reduce our impact on the environment and to keep our prices low by communicating with our customers by email rather than postal mail. Would you rather we communicate with you by email or postal mail?"

Some may say neither, but that's not being offered as a choice. If the customer is insistent on remaining incommunicado, there's nothing you can do but these customers will be exceptions.

You're giving the customer a choice. The choice is between email and postal mail. Most people will choose email. Pressing "delete" is easier than opening and throwing mail away.

You might add a third option, which is phone calls. Given the choice between email, regular mail, or phone calls, email clearly wins.

However, you should collect email addresses before the technician is dispatched. Some will hesitate to give the call taker an email address. You must give a reason to get an email address. So create one!

Approach #1: The call taker tells the customer he/she wants to send the customer a photo and bio of the technician being dispatched and asks for an email to send it. We have a template for this on the Service Roundtable.

Approach #2: The call taker informs the customer there's $5 or $10 internet coupon available and will be happy to email it. On the website, require the customer to enter an email address to receive the coupon.

Approach #3: The call taker asks for an email address to send the homeowner a service call warranty.

Do you have a better approach? If so, let me know!

Source: Comanche Marketing. Reprinted by permission.
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Copyright © 2011 Matt Michel

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