There’s nothing like a recognizable face, particularly when it comes to your business. And there are a lot of reasons to appreciate your existing customers to grow your home improvement business.
For one thing, they’re crucial to your bottom line. Studies show that growing customer retention rates by just five percent can increase profits anywhere from 25 percent to 95 percent. And that’s because existing customers are also a prized source of unpaid advertising.
Create a “WOW” customer experience, and they’ll not only contact you again when they need the services you offer, but they’ll also recommend you to friends and family.
Nielsen surveys name word-of-mouth as the most trustworthy source of brand endorsements. And 83 percent of people surveyed said they trust personal reviews - both online and offline - more than any other form of recommendation.
- Deliver a stellar customer experience. Any repeat business begins with a remarkable customer service. For contractors, that means establishing expectations before customer misunderstandings and assumptions can ruin your project.
To grow your home improvement business, you must maintain communication with regular check-ins. With texting, it’s incredibly easy to catch up with homeowners regularly, report issues promptly and keep your work unobtrusive to customers’ everyday lives. Take an opportunity to talk with customers one-on-one, when possible, because nothing beats face-to-face communication.
It may seem simple, but these are the basics of customer relationship building, and building trust is integral for capturing referrals and repeat business.
- Follow up when the project is complete. As a matter of procedure, most home improvement contractors follow up with customers after projects are completed. And if you’re not doing that with every job, it’s time to start.
A follow-up phone call and/or email provides a great opportunity to discuss any issues that might have arisen after the job was completed, allowing you to reinforce your reputation for outstanding service. It’s also a chance to talk about future projects they may be planning, and to remind them about your referral program (if you have one, and you should!).
- If you don’t have one, create a Referral Program. Who doesn’t love a good discount? Putting a referral program in place is a win-win – it provides an opportunity to close the deal with a current prospect while enjoying free advertising in exchange.
Some home improvement contractors provide maintenance or free upgrades if a referral makes a purchase. Others offer discounts on an upcoming project or even cash or gift cards to popular local retailers. However you decide to reward your customers for their referrals, be sure to remind them of that fact at various times throughout the project.
- Offer discounts on additional projects. Offering customers a discount if they agree to additional work is a sales strategy that’s about as old as it is effective. But you can increase your retention rates if you put a formal discount program in place to grow your home improvement business. Many homeowners are considering additional projects when they get in touch with a contractor, so even taking a small percentage off another job may be enough motivation to begin a second project.
You can even create discount packages for follow-up work to grow your home improvement business. Research your customers to uncover trends in the buying process. Homeowners who have a new roof installed may be thinking about new siding for their home as well. Consider these types of pairings when creating your discount strategy.
- Be consistent with communication. The more you’re in front of your customers, the more likely that they’ll contact you when they need more work done on their home. A quarterly newsletter that contains discounts or seasonal sales is a great way to make sure you remain top-of-mind.
Another strategy would be sending personalized holiday, birthday, or project anniversary cards, particularly if they include a gift card or special offer.
- Create relationships with other contractors. Because homeowners seek recommendations for other contractors, it makes sense to create relationships with your peers.
You probably work with many different tradesmen daily. A bathroom remodeling business, for instance, may regularly subcontract out to plumbers, HVAC technicians, or electricians and probably also collaborates closely with interior designers, architects, and perhaps even realtors. Interacting with these people can reap big profits.
But if you don’t usually interact with other professionals, it’s time to begin developing these types of relationships. Think about attending an event at your local chamber or connecting with a professional trade organization. You can also find valuable contacts by attending local seminars. And these connections can lead to more referrals if you leverage them correctly.
The bottom line is that tapping past customers is all about customer service. Work toward 100 percent transparency and friendly, frequent communication. Refine these abilities and you’ll find yourself booked out for months on end.
Need more referrals and repeat customers for your business but don’t know where to start? Learn more about how gFour Marketing can help you get more 5-star reviews, repeat business, and referrals to grow your home improvement business, request a demo today!
- FREE 10-Minute Discovery Call with gFour Marketing to find out if we can help you discover hidden profits in your business.
- Brian’s new book, The 7 Secrets To Becoming A Wealthy Contractor, is now available. Visit TheWealthyContractor.com for a free copy (just pay shipping).