Communicating with customers throughout the entirety of the contractor-client relationship effectively propels growth for your roofing and exteriors business. Part one of the Keys to Customer Communication series discussed how to convey your services even before a prospect reaches out and the job starts. In part two, we tackled how to communicate with customers during the project's life. And now, in the third and final installment, we'll cover what needs to be done after the job is complete. (Hint: it's probably different from what you're doing now.)
For some time, the traditional business mindset has always been, "Once the final invoice has been paid, that's it." Of course, there's always the possibility that the client may get back in touch with you down the line to request a repair or replacement, but banking on this is an unreliable way to sustain a contracting business.
It's much easier to reach customers who know and love your work than to bring in entirely new customers who don't know anything about you. Investing time into communicating with customers after every job will build a loyal customer base willing to bolster your online presence, refer your services to friends and family, and ultimately help you drum up new business.
Ask yourself two questions: How many leads do you go through before getting a new job, and how much more revenue do you earn from existing customers?
We've summed up post-job communications into three buckets well known to contractors:
Making the most of reviews for your home improvement contracting business
Reviews drive a large portion of online word-of-mouth and let your customers do the marketing for you. Obtaining reviews from happy customers increases your company's online visibility on Google, Yelp and elsewhere—leading to a more substantial, proven reputation and thus making you an appealing option for new prospects. In fact, studies have shown that 93% of consumers check reviews before choosing a business.
If your business lacks reviews or doesn't have a great rating, prospective customers will breeze right past you. But how do you go about asking for a review after a successful job without it feeling forced or inauthentic?
Here are a few options for making the ask:
- Via text campaign
- Via email campaign
- Via social media
- Via direct mail
Take it to the next level by automating the process. You can save time while watching the number of customer reviews for your business skyrocket—ultimately cementing you as a reliable option for home and business owners looking for a contractor.
Don't discount the impact of word-of-mouth referrals on your roofing and exteriors business
That homeowner you just completed a job for successfully who can't stop singing your praises? They are an incredible referral opportunity.
Often an overlooked method for getting new business in the door, customer referrals hold a lot of influence with prospects. They've seen your work and can easily inform others—even in passing conversation—of how fantastic your services are. In addition, their referral can encourage a new set of homeowners who need replacements or repairs and who may not yet have even begun their search. But now, when they do, your business is top of mind.
A great way to encourage referrals is to create a referral incentive program for your customers.
Here are three steps to get you started:
- Identify advocates for your business. These are people who have previously left highly rated online reviews or customers you know had a pleasant experience.
- Provide a referral incentive. These can include discounts, service credits, free products, cash rewards or whatever your company is comfortable offering. This is an excellent opportunity to get creative!
- Track your sources. Ask current clients how they found your business, so you know who to thank and where to express your gratitude.
Once you've identified great candidates, you can employ similar tactics (including automation via powerful software) mentioned earlier for gaining online reviews to ask for referrals.
Get creative when using remarketing to drum up new repair or replacement jobs
Remarketing is a common way to reconnect with past customers and get them to hire you again. You also don't have to wait until after the job is finished to get started with remarketing!
The process includes identifying past customers you've done business with and reminding them who you are and the incredible work you completed for them. Research has proven the probability of converting a new customer has a 60%–70% success rate; converting new customers has a much lower 5%–20% success rate.
When reconnecting with past customers, consider implementing these three tactics:
- Send seasonal messages promoting services such as gutter cleaning or a common seasonal replacement.
- Promote your services, including roofing improvements or upgrades.
- Create promotions offering discounts on services such as decks, fences or any related exterior projects your business offers.
Don't forget about the importance of marketing automation here, too, via which you can automatically send pre-drafted messages to previous customers. You get your message to the right people without spending extra time marketing your business to new customers.
Finally—and most importantly—when in doubt, reach out
With the end of our series, it's evident how crucial it is to keep the line of communication open from beginning to end of every customer or prospect interaction. If you remain focused on producing great work and on how well and how often you communicate, growing your business, finding reliable prospects and keeping things running smoothly becomes much easier