To protect your business and provide assurance to your customers, it’s critical that you take the necessary precautions to ensure you’re able to weather the storm (no pun intended). When faced with an influx, at least offer your customers the guarantee that their house is hurricane-proof and their response team is fast, efficient, and calm when necessary.
In this blog post, we will discuss some tips on how to prepare for the upcoming hurricane season. Here are some tips on how to do just that, starting with the baseline of explaining what a hurricane is.
What is a hurricane, and why is the U.S. so frequently affected by it?
A hurricane is a tropical cyclone that typically forms in the Atlantic Ocean and consists of a low-pressure system with thunderstorms that produce strong winds and heavy rain. The hurricane season in the Atlantic Basin (which includes the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean Sea) officially runs from June through November, with the peak period from mid-August to late October.
While hurricanes can form and affect areas outside the Atlantic Basin, they are most common in this region. The United States is particularly vulnerable to hurricanes due to its long coastline along the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. In fact, according to the National Hurricane Center, the Gulf Coast is hit by a hurricane every three years on average, and the Atlantic Coast gets hit every two years.
Why should you prepare for a hurricane (even if you live in a hurricane-free zone)?
When a hurricane hits, your business will likely see a rush of incoming calls as people scramble to prepare their homes and property. If you’re not prepared, you could end up overbooked and overwhelmed, which can lead to unhappy customers. Customer experience is the last thing you want to be damaged when so many new customers are using your services for the first time.
Plus, even if a hurricane doesn’t directly affect your area, the aftermath can still disrupt your business. For example, gas prices may rise due to fuel shortages, making it difficult for you to get to your bookings. Additionally, gear supply might run short when roads are blocked, and factories are shut down, which is why you better gear up when the tools you need for the job are still easy to come by.
How should you stay up to date?
Keeping up with the latest weather forecasts will allow you to plan in case a hurricane is coming your way. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) is a great resource for this; they provide free regular updates on developing storms, as well as helpful tips on what to do before, during, and after a hurricane.
If you live in an area that is prone to hurricanes, it’s also recommended that you develop a hurricane plan. This should include an evacuation route as well as where you will go if your home or office is damaged. Furthermore, you should reinforce the construction of your home and wherever you keep your inventory and trucks or vans in case of a hurricane.
This is also a good opportunity to make sure you’re covered and get insured. Make sure you have the proper insurance coverage in place in case of damage to your property or equipment due to a natural disaster or extreme weather conditions. By “proper,” we also mean that the insurance policy should cover most costs required to get your business back together in case damages are severe.
What should you do to prepare for the storm itself?
Stock up whatever you may need
If you live in an area prone to hurricanes, it’s important to have an emergency kit in place for when one hits. This should include having supplies on hand, such as food, water, batteries, anda backup generator in case of power outages. Make sure to also have one in your trucks or vans should your techs run into extreme weather conditions while they’re on the road where they could be stranded.
Show that you care by offering preparation services
If a hurricane has hit your service area more than once, then your customers are well aware of the importance of having their homes as safe and secured as possible. As a service pro, you can help by offering preparing services – such as boarding up windows, bringing in patio furniture, and helping to clean gutters – before the hurricane season officially begins. This will give your customers peace of mind and make them more likely to use your services again in the future.
Beat the competition by creating a Hurricane Service Package
Consider creating a package specifically for the hurricane season that includes a discount on your services. This will incentivize customers to book with you in advance and help you generate revenue during what is typically a slow season.
Make it easy for clients to book your services online
When hurricane season hits, your customers will appreciate being able to schedule appointments online. Besides saving them time and hassle, it will also free up your phone lines, allowing you to serve other customers more efficiently. If you’re a Workiz user, simply enable Online Booking using the Integration Center to have jobs booked on your website and any time of day or night.
Become more available by hiring a call center
You shouldn’t hire more dispatchers or ask them to work overtime just to let them go once the season is over. A more cost-effective solution is to outsource some of your calls to a call center, where calls are routed to reps who can take a message for you. By doing this, no call will go unanswered, and your customers will always be taken care of. Better yet, if you’re a Workiz user, you can use the Nexa integration to outsource calls. Nexa’s reps are trained to book jobs for Workiz users and can take your calls 24/7 at a discounted rate.
The home preparation checklist:
Conclusion: Don’t let the storm catch you off-guard
As the hurricane season approaches, start to think about how you can streamline your operations to make sure that everything runs smoothly, even during a crisis. This may include having a plan in place for dealing with influxes of calls, as well as putting together emergency kits for your techs that they can take with them on service calls. By following these tips, you can help ensure that your business is prepared for whatever the hurricane season throws your way.
By enabling Workiz’s booking feature, your team should be able to save the time they need to handle customers and get the job done. Our team is also here for you, and we have your back 24/7, even as the storm hits. Click here to start a free 7-day or book a free 15-minute demo to learn more about how Workiz can streamline your business when it’s needed the most.