5 tips to earn repeat business as a contractor
Contractors find themselves constantly investing time and money in finding new customers.
While retaining existing customers can be more cost-effective than finding new ones, the sporadic nature of electrical installation and maintenance can make it difficult to keep repeat customers. This doesn’t mean it’s impossible, though. Here are five tips to help keep customers coming back to you the next time they need to call on an electrician.
1. Build customer trust
Electrical work can be risky, so customers are going to be more inclined to hire a contractor they know and trust for delicate work. Building trust should be at the forefront of everything you do in your business. What kind of reputation do you have online and off? Do you follow through on all your promises? Do you arrive on time and meet your deadlines? Do you clean up after yourself? Do you offer consistent communication and respond to your customers’ emails or calls quickly? Do you provide professional quotes and estimates that are easy to understand? Showing you are reliable and trustworthy will not only get you the job in the first place, but keep customers coming back and referring you on.
2. Give them something to come back for
Being a small service-based business as opposed to a larger company gives you the chance to offer a more personal experience. You have the opportunity to invest in getting to know your clients while sharing your expertise along the way, so take advantage. In maintaining a friendly, personalised service, your customer will feel more valued and be more likely to come back to you for all their electrical needs in the future. To encourage repeat business, you can offer discounts like “15% off your next booking” or value-adds like free child-proofing electrical sockets for clients with young children.
3. Keep in touch with email marketing
How can you stay on top of mind with clients long after the job is completed? Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways to maintain a positive relationship with your customer after you’ve completed a service. Occasional emails will serve as a reminder of your exceptional service, and demonstrate that you care about the customer’s ongoing electrical needs and safety. You can use email marketing to offer follow-up support, test-and-tag reminders, discounts and special offers, and tips for DIY electrical safety, to keep you top of mind when they next need your services or when referring a friend.
4. Acknowledge your most valuable customers
Customers who spread positive word of mouth are invaluable to any small business. Seeking feedback from these customers will allow you to better understand what drives them to your business, so you can be sure to consistently deliver what they value. Identify these customers and reach out to them on a regular basis, particularly if you haven’t heard from them in a while. Put out an invitation to come back or check in to see if they require any other services from you so you can maintain that rapport and positive sentiment.
Attracting new customers is always important, but finding ways to retain your existing customers will bring you value for years to come. While it may take some time to develop repeat business in what can be a sporadic industry, adding an increased level of convenience and personalisation to your services will keep you top of mind for the next time clients require electrical servicing.
5. Offer a convenient service
A difficult payment process at the end of a project is often the last impression clients have, and the part they remember the most, no matter how smooth the project was. Offering a wide range of payment options helps ensure you can accept every way customers expect to pay. This will not only remove friction but can also help you get your invoices settled faster. Providing convenience is key to giving customers a positive experience and making sure they come back to you. Mobile invoicing apps like Invoice2go make it easy to send professional estimates and invoices from anywhere, and accept multiple forms of online payment.
Chris Strode is the founder of Invoice2go, the mobile invoicing app for small businesses and contractors. As a small business owner from a family of tradespeople, Strode created Invoice2go out of frustration with the lack of simple invoicing options available.
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