What We Do To Ensure Phone Lead Quality Blog Header
June 15, 2023 by Molly Weybright

What We Do To Ensure Phone Lead Quality

For over 15 years, Service Direct has provided lead generation services to businesses of all types and sizes across the United States and Canada. Our top priority is and always has been driving the best quality calls we can to our customers. 

At Service Direct, we offer pay per call (PPCall) phone leads designed to connect your business directly with people who are actively seeking your services. With this model, you only pay for calls that are from potential customers in your area who need the services you offer. 

This lead generation model capitalizes on the fact that people who are willing to pick up the phone and call your business are primed to convert and book your services. 

Pros and cons of pay per call lead generation

As with any type of business strategy, there are some noteworthy positives and negatives to pay per call. It’s important that you know these so that you can take them into consideration when determining if PPCall lead generation is right for you. 

Pros and Cons of Pay Per Call Lead Generation

The purpose of this blog is to address one specific “con”: some noise—spam calls, wrong numbers, and similar low-quality leads—will inevitably get through in your pay per call experience. 

This is unsurprising when you consider that spam and robocalls are overwhelming the call-sphere with an estimated 55% of all calls made being phone scams. But our job as your lead generation company is to do everything we can to reduce the amount of noise you experience with pay per call.

Service Direct Lead sources

Before we dive into what we do at Service Direct to reduce the number of bad leads you receive, let’s look a bit closer at where we get our leads from.

Understanding the source of qualified leads is vital to assessing their value and the probability of conversion.

Service Direct leads come from 2 sources:

  • In-House Leads: "In-house" refers to the web properties owned and operated by Service Direct. This means that Service Direct takes full responsibility for the advertising methods employed and the messaging homeowners encounter when searching for your services.
  • 3rd-Party Leads: Service Direct collaborates with a number of meticulously evaluated 3rd-party traffic sources, often referred to as "publishing partners," or "affiliate marketers." These companies possess and manage diverse assets that generate qualified traffic, which they direct to our clients.

Service Direct Lead Sources Graph

Being able to conceptualize where the leads you are receiving come from is an important step in understanding the call qualification process, which we will discuss next. 

See How Many Leads We Have in Your Area

Service Direct Call Qualification

Before a lead reaches a client, there are processes in place to attempt to ensure that the lead is a real person seeking a company’s services. This is a process known as call qualification and is an important part of our goal to deliver the best possible quality leads. 

We aim to have 70% of the leads that are delivered to clients be opportunities from new potential customers, and call qualification helps us get as close to that number or higher as possible.

IVR Qualification

The primary type of lead qualification that we use is known as interactive voice response, commonly referred to as IVR. This is a type of technology that asks callers key questions in order to determine that they are potential customers before they are connected to the right service provider. 

The types of questions a caller may be asked are to input their zip code and/or state their service category. Although these questions are brief, they help qualify about 85% of the calls that we receive.

Call Center Qualification

The other type of lead qualification that we use at Service Direct is through a call center, where a call center representative (CSR) will speak directly to the caller. This type of qualification is used in the other 15% of calls we receive. 

In these instances, the caller will be routed to the CSR who will ask the essential questions to ensure that the lead is legitimate and help that caller get connected to the right service provider in their area. 

Call Qualification Sources Graph

What We Are Doing to Improve Lead QUALITY

As we’ve mentioned, providing the best lead quality possible for our clients has been a top priority from the very beginning at Service Direct. Over the last decade and a half, we have implemented some new tools, technology, and techniques to continue to improve lead quality and reduce noise. 

Spam Blocker

In 2022, the average American received 28.4 spam calls a month, which is over 10 calls higher than the previous year. That’s why one of our top priorities for improving phone lead quality was reducing spam. 

We have built a robust Spam Blocker that already blocks hundreds of calls per month from known solicitors and we are adding hundreds of numbers to our Spam Blocker each month, all working to reduce the number of spam calls that get through to our clients. 

We’ve even added an enhancement that requires callers to “press 1” to speak to a company, which helps further to reduce spam by eliminating bots.

Lead Review and Management

As much as we strive for perfection when it comes to sending you the right calls and getting ahead of the non-billable leads, we’re only human. Things are going to slip through the cracks, and when they do, it’s important that we provide a contingency plan for our clients. 

Enter lead review and management

When we send a lead your way that is marked in our system as a billable lead (meaning it is from a potential customer in your area actively seeking your services) but you feel as though the lead should not be billable, you can submit it for review


Then, one of our expert Quality Assurance team members will carefully review the lead to determine whether or not it is billable. This extra step helps our customers feel especially secure in our promise that you only pay for calls that could lead to new jobs for your business. 

Quality Check

Quality Check is a feature designed to detect low-quality leads that we launched at the beginning of 2022. Using machine learning, Quality Check flags noise calls like spam and wrong numbers and automatically submits them for review. 

Example Note From Quality Check in mySD Leads Manager V2

In the first month, Quality Check was able to flag almost half of all spam calls with 80% accuracy and about 40% of wrong number calls with nearly 90% accuracy. It was able to flag over 4,000 calls, which amounted to 72 hours of call time that our clients didn’t have to waste. 

The best part about this feature? It’s only getting smarter. Even within the first month, Quality Check drastically improved by learning what it needed to look for and it’s continued to get better from there.

Call Insights Free Trial

We’ve already mentioned that tracking is key when it comes to seeing success with pay per call lead generation. Whether or not you have to move mountains to find the data you’re looking for or if it’s easily accessible depends on the company you decide to partner with. 

At Service Direct, we want to enable our customers to make critical changes as quickly and easily as possible, which means arming them with key data in an accessible format. 

Our Call Insights service captures important data points on your PPCall campaigns, which helps you make actionable changes to see more success. With this service, you’ll receive monthly reports generated from data collected by our Quality Assurance team who has listened to your calls and captured key insights on your campaigns. 

Call Insights Example Water Damage Restoration

We even offer a free trial of this service so that you can see how impactful it is before spending an extra penny on it!

How Good Are Service Direct Leads?

So how good are Service Direct leads really? Of course, the answer to that is not as simple as it may seem. The leads you receive will depend on your location, your industry, and your ability to close deals at every possible opportunity. 

But we are able to give you an idea of what you might expect when buying leads from Service Direct based on the tens of thousands of small businesses in various service industries that we work with.

Industry Percentage of calls from potential customers Average first-call booking rate
HVAC 49% 59%
Plumbing 51% 53%
Appliance Repair 66% 53%
Electrician 63% 53%
Locksmith 81% 34%
Mold Removal 32% 65%
Pest Control 36% 25%
Roofing 41% 54%
Water Damage 49% 54%
Towing 70% 19%


While it's important to remember that these numbers are national averages and may vary a bit from state to state, these figures should give you an idea of the quality leads you might receive in various industries from Service Direct. 

What's Next for Service Direct Lead Quality?

Because we’re always working to improve lead quality, we wanted to give you a sneak peek at some of the things we have in the works to make our services even better for our customers. 

We have expanded our Quality Assurance team to 14 people, which is allowing us to be more proactive and provide quicker responses regarding your leads. That team is able to use human-collected data from the last 5+ years to continue gaining insights on lead quality. 

Using that data, we are training machine learning models (AI) to be able to provide immediate, actionable insights to our clients on every single lead that comes through our system.

“Imagine being a business owner and knowing immediately that a representative was talking to a potentially valuable customer who had a service need but wasn't able to close it right then. We are investigating ways to provide real time alerts to our clients for those types of scenarios.”

- Alycia Cameron, Quality Assurance Manager

We are planning to use artificial intelligence for even more lead quality management:

  • Train AI to quickly and accurately identify how often calls are service needs as opposed to other poor quality interactions like wrong numbers.
  • Having AI identify potentially low-quality calls much faster than our human team can.
  • Train AI on key spam call phrases so that it can flag those before they ever get to our customers. 

Using AI, we are able to free up our team to focus on in-depth analyses to support our customers with information that can help them not just survive, but thrive. 

For example, by analyzing the large quantity of data we have, we can identify that November is the best time of year for oven repairs. We can share that info with our appliance repair clients so that they can plan accordingly.

In Conclusion

Hopefully, you now know that the answer to the question, “What does Service Direct do to ensure phone lead quality?” is a whole lot. We are always working to improve and are looking forward to using machine learning to boost quality even further. 

Thanks to services like Call Insights and key features like Quality Check, we can continue to reduce the noise you experience with pay per call. Plus, we will never ask our clients to pay for a low-quality lead—a standard that we have set from the beginning and will never waver on. 

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