The last few months, I’ve been focusing on Amazon Home Services. I drafted an article earlier on The Ins and Outs of Amazon Home Services for Local Businesses. Thanks Local Visibility System for publishing! It’s a guide based on my personal observations, struggles and success with the platform.
To add to this coverage, let’s check out an interview with Scott Johnson, Director of Operations at Bell Hops, a national moving company with a local focus! The perfect case study for Amazon Home Services.
1. What paid services do you use to generate leads to your website?
Scott: We’ve used HomeAdvisor, Amazon Home Services, Moving Company Reviews, and Thumbtack.
2. Which has been most effective to date?
Scott: Thumbtack, to date, has been most effective for our business.
3. Are all of your locations, nationwide using Amazon Home Services?
Scott: Yes, for continuity and to maximize our reach.
4. How do the quality of the leads differ on Amazon from other paid services?
Scott: They’re high quality because the lead is approaching the company directly for information.
5. Do you like the percentage model? What about the total fees Amazon charges?
The pros: We can quote as many leads as we want and the percentage Amazon takes still gives us a decent Cost Per Acquisition. So we’re not wasting money chasing bad leads. There are currently no fees to sell services on Amazon. Though they hand select what providers are on the platform through an application process.
The cons: Bellhops has a unique funnel that customers go through. It’s quite different from the rest of the industry and involves constant, clear communication throughout the moving process. Amazon’s model severely restricts the flow of communication both ways between Bellhops and the customer. As a tech-based company, Amazon’s model and dashboard neutralizes a lot of the value and differentiation Bellhops brings to the table.
6. Amazon Home Services vs. Thumbtack – Different or Similar?
Scott: Amazon and Thumbtack’s models could not be more different. Amazon’s model is essentially a lockdown
on the sales funnel. They control the money throughout the entire process. They only give
you an anonymized email to speak to the customer with initially and don’t let you share any contact information. You only get access to the customer’s phone number 24 hours before the move date, and that’s a very tight lead time for moving.
Moving is often a complicated and stressful time and clear communication with the customer is essential to providing peace of mind. The model they are using feels quite restrictive in the realm of moving. Maybe it works better in other parts of the service industry. But I can’t help but feel if Amazon’s goal is to serve the customer with a better experience then they would come up with a friendlier model than what they’re using currently.
Thumbtack lets us buy a batch of credits and pay upfront for the leads we want. After we purchase the lead Thumbtack leaves us free to communicate with the customer as we see fit. The similarity is that they provide a text based communication channel with the customer. Though Thumbtack lets you give out contact info since Thumbtack has already been paid for the lead. The pricing is nice too!
7. How valuable is Amazon as a lead source to your business?
Scott: It has potential to be valuable because of the quantity of people who use Amazon and the innovation Amazon is known for. But until the interface and communication with the customer improves, it’s hard to predict its future as a lead source for us. Amazon Home Services has been a struggle but we’ve maneuvered to adapt to Amazon’s requirements. It would be fantastic if they added flexibility to their model to free up communication.