Qualified Remodeler Magazine

AUG 2015

Qualified Remodeler helps independent remodeling firms to survive, become more professional and more profitable by providing must-have business information, namely best business practices, new product information and timely design ideas.

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Page 11 of 79

Here is a three-step appreciation strat- egy that any contractor can put into place tomorrow: ¡ ¡ STEP 1) Immediately following comple- tion of the job, have someone in your ofce make a "happy call" to your customer. Te point of the call is to say thank you and ensure they are thrilled with the job you did for them and there are no outstanding issues. ¡ ¡ STEP 2) After the call, prepare and send a nice handwritten thank you card — ideally from the owner of the company. ¡ ¡ STEP 3) Send them a gift. Gifting should coincide with size and scope of project. For example, if you are a large-scale remodeler and have spent a lot of one-on-one time with your customer, send them something that is unique and personal to them. If you are a replacement contractor, send a tin of cookies with a nice thank you note. If you are in a service business, like a plumber, you can send a thank you card with a "bounce back" gift card to your business or even a Starbucks gift card. I hope this strategy has your wheels turn- ing. Make no mistake — it is a powerful marketing strategy that will help grow your business . | customers for choosing to do business with us. Yet so few businesses do it. IMAGINE HOW your customers will feel when you go out of your way to demonstrate how grateful you are they chose to do business with you. I know many of you don't want to spend the money or the time on the whole appreciation process. I get it. You did your job, they got what they paid for, and you feel like you're giving up proft if you spend money after the job — but this is a mistake that could be costing you big! Let's look at appreciation as a practical, prof- it-maximizing strategy. You spent a ton of mon- ey to "buy" that customer. Average customer acquisition costs these days can reach $1,000! Don't you want to do everything you can to get that customer to come back and buy from you again? Don't you want to "stack the deck" in your favor so that customer will send their friends and family to you as referrals? Sending a gift or a thank you note — some- thing to demonstrate your appreciation — will likely set you apart from everyone else they've done business with. When they need a home improvement and the opportunity arises for them to make that referral, don't you want them to immediately think of you? SIMPLY DOING the job right and on time doesn't guarantee this will happen. You've got to go above and beyond. You want to do some- thing that will make you stand out from every - one else they can — or do — give money to. And showing appreciation accomplishes this. What's great about this strategy is that so few companies actually take advantage of it. Imagine being the one home improvement company your customer has worked with that actually went out of their way to say "Tank you!" Tat's powerful. ave you made a large purchase re- cently — something that had to be sold to you like a new car, a home improvement project or maybe gear for a hobby? If so, did you hear from the salesperson after the purchase? How about the owner of the busi- ness? Did anyone send you a "thank you" note or gift? Bottom line: Did anyone in the business demonstrate their appreciation to you for choos- ing to give your hard-earned money to them? From personal experience (and I'm guessing yours), the businesses that do this are few and far between. It constantly amazes me how few businesses take advantage of this incredibly powerful business-building opportunity. Now look, I don't need the appreciation. You probably don't either. But, imagine how much diferent you would feel about the salesperson and the business if they went out of their way to make you feel special about doing business with them? Nobody wants to be just another customer. Deep down, don't we want to feel like our decision to buy meant something to the owner and salesperson other than just another sale? So, let me ask you ... what are you doing to make your customers feel special and appreci- ated after choosing to give their hard-earned money to your company? Are you sending them a thank you gift? Are you making a "happy call" after the project has been completed? How about a handwrit- ten thank you note? From my experience, odds are good your answer is no. Businesses (likely yours and mine included) get so caught up with the day-to-day task of chasing after new leads and running their business they lose sight of their company's most important asset — the customer. One of the simplest, easiest, cheapest busi- ness-building strategies is simply to thank our Make the right choices and encourage referrals BRIAN KASKAVALCIYAN is a marketing strategist and an expert on relationship marketing in the home improvement industry. From start-ups to $50 million enterprises, his company g|Four Marketing Group — gFourMarketing.com — works with hundreds of contractors each year in the areas of lead generation and profit growth. By Brian Kaskavalciyan H 12 August 2015 QR QualifiedRemodeler.com PROFITS: Marketing

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