5 home service business trends that are shaping the industry
Despite the challenges experienced at the start of the pandemic, the home services industry is growing fast. According to information from Verified Market Research, the industry is predicted to reach 1.13 trillion USD in five years’ time.
Demand for home service contractors remained high throughout 2020 and shows no signs of slowing down. But what does this mean for home service businesses?
We've identified five trends that emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic that have affected home service contractors. Here's how to make sure your business is best prepared to make the most of this growing demand.
Trend 1: Increase in calls
Demand for home service businesses has remained high since the start of the pandemic. By June 2021, the home service industry was receiving 60% more calls than at the start of 2020.
There are several reasons these businesses may be experiencing an increase in call volume.
For example, if contractors had to cancel or delay projects due to national or local lockdowns, you’re likely seeing pent-up demand for your services. And with the housing market currently booming, more homeowners are looking for contractors to help with upgrades and home improvement projects – either before or after a sale.
Finally, COVID-19 has caused significant disruption to the global supply chain, meaning many contractors are facing delays getting hold of necessary materials, so you’ll be receiving more calls from customers wanting updates on their projects.
If this trend continues, home service contractors will remain very busy in 2021 and beyond.
Trend 2: Increased online search volumes
Several home service categories saw increased search traffic in the months following stay-at-home orders. Statista found that residential cleaning services saw the biggest increase in search volume, up 70% from pre-pandemic levels. Home improvement and landscaping services both saw search volumes increase by at least 20%.
Research by Statista shows home services categories that have seen the biggest online search growth during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The increased interest in residential cleaning services reflects a renewed focus on cleanliness and hygiene, with public health guidance stressing the importance of cleaning frequently-touched surfaces regularly to stop the spread of the virus.
But the increased interest in home improvement and landscaping services is more likely a reflection of people spending more time at home.
Trend 3: Customers use Google My Business to find and contact home service providers
In 2019, BrightLocal found that companies received just over an average of 1,000 customer searches a month from Google My Business, and 16% of companies got more than 100 calls each month through their listings.
Since then, GMB accounts have become even more important for home service businesses. Our data show that home services companies have seen almost 400% growth in calls from GMB between January 2019 and June 2021.
If you don’t already have a GMB account, it’s now more important than ever for home service providers to get one to help your site show up in local search results and make it easy for customers to contact you.
Trend 4: Customers contact home service companies via multiple channels
Today, customers use many different channels to contact home service businesses:
- Social media (Facebook, Instagram)
- Messaging services (WhatsApp)
Think with Google found that 60% of smartphone users have contacted a business directly from Google search results, and a 2020 study by Localogy found that 62% of respondents contacted, visited, or purchased from a company after a social media search.
Customers are looking for the easiest way to contact home service contractors, in as few clicks or taps as possible. So you should double-check all your social media accounts, Google listings, and review sites like Yelp and Angi. Make sure all your contact information is visible and up to date, and if there’s an option to do so, turn on “click-to-call” or similar functionality to eliminate the need for customers to copy and paste your number into their phone.
Trend 5: Reviews and recommendations remain crucial for home service businesses
Online reviews and recommendations are among the most trusted resources for consumers. In 2020, BrightLocal found that 87% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses. The same study found that 79% of consumers trust online reviews as much as recommendations from friends and family.
With customer reviews so important to potential customers, should you ask for reviews on every channel or just focus on one or two?
We recommend focusing on a couple of channels. Google My Business reviews show up in search results, so they are one place you should focus. Then you should look at which sites are bringing in the most customer calls or inquiries, and focus on getting more reviews to boost your ratings there.
Get the tools you need to manage increased inquiries
BrightLocal found that businesses receive the majority of their calls from Google My Business listings during business hours, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m, so it’s likely most of your calls come through when you’re working on other jobs.
If you're missing calls from new customers, use a product like CallRail’s Automated Responses. These responses let callers know you've seen their message or phone call and will get back to them soon, keeping them engaged while they wait for you to follow up and discuss their inquiry.
But calls aren’t the only way customers want to contact you — you’re also juggling texts, social media inquiries, and live chats. CallRail’s Lead Center brings all your customer communications together into a single inbox. This means you'll never miss a call or message, and you can reply to customer queries faster, even when you're out working on-site all day.
The trends above are here to stay. By utilizing CallRail’s innovative products, you can stay in touch with potential and current customers to meet all their home service needs.