We can broadly classify customers into 2 groups – one is the recurring or repeat customers and then the other group is the new customers. Now arises the question of why one needs to focus on getting repeat customers. In fact, the cost of retaining a customer is less than acquiring a new customer. Let me pull up some statistics which will give you a clear picture about the statement:
• The probability or chances of selling your services to an existing customer is 60-70% whereas the probability of selling the services to a new customer is 5% – 20%.
• It costs 5 times as much to get a new customer as compared to retaining an existing one.
There are 2 benefits of offering them rewards if they book in advance.
You can plan your schedule properly well in advance. It becomes a lot easier to manage your technicians and the schedule during the peak seasons when you would probably be receiving multiple calls throughout the day.
The second benefit is quite obvious – the customer would be happy to receive a discount and would keep that in mind and if the service that you are providing is up to the mark then probably he will keep calling in the future too and that’s one way of how you build a relationship with the customers and convert them into repeat customers.
When you have completed a job for a new customer. Do you follow them up? If yes then how often?
Let me take an example to make you understand why following up a customer after a job plays a great deal in customer retention.
Suppose a customer got his HVAC unit repaired from you recently and then the office manager makes a call asking them “How is it working? Is everything alright?“ that small call creates a big impact on how your customers view your business. It makes them realize that you take your job seriously and care for the customer. It need not necessarily be a call. A customized email would be good enough. It is also important to follow up with another email after a month and then do it again after 3 months. You can automize the email workflow according to your plan. This is how you do not just retain a customer but create an impression in their minds which later on translates into the word of mouth reviews.
This simple step can help you score repeat customers. The customer is most likely to recognize the technician when he gets to the job location and it becomes easier for the customer during the communication process, the technician can easily build a good rapport with the customer and in case the job is for the same issue, he will be able to resolve the issue quickly as he has worked on it before.
Homeowners prefer the same technician to visit again. It actually creates a trust bond which leads to more bookings.
Note – This might not be quite possible in the peak seasons as the service calls are quite high and it is more important to focus on booking the calls but do try your best to follow it when the call volume is not so high.
There are many advantages of having a CRM software and one of them is marketing. Good CRM software will help you in storing the customer information right from contact information to invoices, the nature of the job that was done at the location.
• Marketing during dull periods becomes easier as you just need to run an email campaign to the list of customer email databases that you have.
• Consider an HVAC company – You have access to the notes and documents made at job locations so you have an idea about when it would require maintenance, so accordingly, you can make calls to the customers during the dull seasons asking about the condition of the equipment and try to book appointments that way.
• It becomes easier for the technicians and office managers to track down any customer information anytime.
This is something which you must have heard numerous times, but I would like you to answer this question to yourself – “ Are you really trying to put customer satisfaction on top ?”
“2 + 2 = 4“ this logic is going to remain the same even ages later and the same goes with customer experience. You need to believe in providing a great customer experience. It is all the simple things that you can offer to the customer:
• Providing good repair/maintenance.
• The technician is polite to the customer.
• The way the technician is dressed up when he arrives at the location.
• The follow-up calls on how the service was.
Try to understand the various parameters on what is causing them to leave your business services. As I mentioned, in the beginning, it requires more effort and money in bringing a new customer than keeping an existing customer.
• Was the repair service poor which caused the problem to repeat?
• Was the team member rude during the service?
• Was it a pricing issue?
Just try to think of all the pointers which led to the customer leaving because it should not be repeating again with the other customers. This is also what helps in building a winning culture for the company.
Sending out feedback forms in the mails is an important thing that can help you out in understanding how the customer felt about the service and where exactly you need to improve.