Your past customers can be incredible sources of value for your contracting business, but especially so during challenging times like the kind we’re in right now.
People everywhere are spending more time at home than ever before, and their attention is turning to home maintenance, whether it’s replacing their siding, repairing that leaky roof, or installing new windows – and they need someone to do it.
You have an immediate advantage because your past customers already know, and trust, you and your business. To unlock new opportunities and expand your business, all you need to do is reach out.
It will be easier for you this time because you already have all their information – you just need to dig into your database and customer files to retrieve it.
What do you do once you have your list? Try these 6 ways to get more value from past customers, curated by the experts at MarketSharp:
1. Special Offers
Some of your past customers are just waiting for the right time or opportunity to get that patio door installed or that window replaced. All it may take is an enticing offer to seal the deal. Try using tactics like direct mail or email to begin your special offer outreach campaign.
2. Flexible Financing
You may be able to get more customers to say “yes” by offering flexible financing such as deferred interest promotions or low monthly payment plans. Try homeowner financing solutions from GreenSky or Mosiac to win more jobs and potentially get more out of those jobs than you would have otherwise.
3. Targeted Campaigns
Use your CRM to deploy email or direct mail to target past customers with a special offer they can’t refuse. For example, try emailing your previous roofing customers with a message about siding – or vice versa. For a winning strategy, create quality, eye-catching content and combine it with an incentive.
4. Online Reviews
Establishing a positive web presence and reputation is invaluable to your business. Use your CRM to contact your happy customers from the past year to assemble as many online reviews as possible. Your note to customers should include:
- You appreciate their previous business;
- You look forward to a long-term relationship;
- One way you stay in business is with positive stories from satisfied customers.
Aim to make it as easy as possible for them to leave a review by linking to the specific site. Be sure to also include social media. In many cases your social media presence will be the first interaction a potential customer has with your brand. You may consider asking happy customers to tag your social accounts with a short, positive testimonial about the work you did for them.
5. Referral Marketing
Referrals are perhaps the lowest cost, highest quality leads. But to be truly effective, your company should implement a “referral program” to standardize how to approach and maximize these opportunities. Your program should include when to ask a customer for referrals, what messaging you use, whether you offer incentives (and what they are), and how you make your referrals available (e.g. word-of-mouth, a shareable link, or other means). The more detailed the plan, the easier it will be to repeat it and scale it.
6. Success Stories
“Show, don’t tell,” is your new mantra. Exterior home improvement is a highly visual business, so photos of your ability to transform homes can be very persuasive. Use before and after photos from previous jobs to help generate more leads and convert more sales. Beyond photos, consider assembling a list of addresses so potential customers can see your work in the real world (be sure to get permission from your real-world example homeowners).
At the end of the day, data will be your business’s best friend and something to be leveraged. Create your list of past customers by using filters in your CRM, and precisely segment your data so you can develop targeted messages. With these tactics you can get more value from past customers to keep your business humming in lean times and good times.
For more guidance from the small business experts at MarketSharp, visit their COVID-19 Business Resource Center, which has tools and templates to help your business now and thrive later.