If you want to determine the exact cost for your business, click to see this Forbes article. Their formula can help you calculate the cost of a new customer.
Making more money doesn’t have to (and shouldn’t) come from the result of the hard sell. Nor sneaky tactics, like dragging out a job, or convincing a customer to spend more than is necessary. If you want to specifically target customers you’ve worked with before, then using your customer database is essential.
By using your customer database, you can easily strategise on ways to approach customers and encourage them to use your services again.
With it, you can see which customers are best suited to your targeting efforts—such as sending a service reminder query for a yearly check-up. You might also want to consider reaching out to recent customers to request reviews and collect feedback. You can even use this as an opportunity to subtly prompt them to consider looking at other services on offer!
Whether you choose to incentivise customers as well, is up to you. But by offering a reward for completing a review, for example, you’re more likely to get their attention.
Of course, giving a minor incentive, like a 10% discount on their next service, has the potential to reward you. Not only have you secured another job, but you stand to get a great review.
2. Create lifetime value with better customer database management
We all get a little lazy sometimes; it’s why we can often be tempted to go for a quick win over long term gains. While £1000 as a one-off today sounds great, £500 a year for the next ten years is certainly better.
This is especially true if you secure repeat business from multiple customers: your potential to earn increases exponentially. As such, you need to make sure you’re establishing Lifetime Value (LTV) for your business.
LTV is especially important as you continue to expand. It should definitely have been on your mind when you first started out, but long-term profitability must be placed ahead of short term wins. Whether you’re in plumbing & heating, HVAC, electrical, security, or something else, it’s this focus that will keep you afloat and thriving.
The LTV is the amount of revenue your business will generate from a customer over the lifespan of them working with you. This could start with a simple boiler service. However, depending on how you nurture your relationship, that could turn into a new boiler installation, or even a whole bathroom!
Maximising the LTV might seem like a lot of effort, but it really doesn’t have to be, not if you’ve developed good practices and are taking advantage of a range of automated processes that help save you time. With efficient processes and a reliable CRM, you’ll be prepared to take care of your customers. That’s whether you have 10, 1000, or shoot for even more!
Part of this success will still depend on how well you market your value to customers. We mentioned automation, and one particularly useful automated process is the use of service reminders. They will provide a touch-point with customers; even just once a year, it can be enough to trigger a result.
3. Retaining customers will help you attract new customers
By collecting reviews and incentivising customers with simple but effective marketing, you’ll inevitably find more customers who want to work with you again. At the same time, you can use these reviews to attract new business and track it all within your customer database.
In fact, you might even find customers have already started to spread the good word, as SuperOffice reports:
“According to Esteban Kolsky, “72% of customers will share a positive experience with 6 or more people.”
A significant part of retaining customers has to do with referrals, so if you’re already doing a lot to create happy customers, good news may already be spreading. But the same goes for bad news, so you need to be careful! The same report suggests that:
“If a customer is not happy, 13% of them will share their [negative] experience with 15 or even more”
Doing some damage control can help here, too, and it’s as simple as asking a customer to get in touch! Make sure you say something like: ”If you’re dissatisfied with our service, please tell us. We’re eager to deliver a great service, every time.”
Something as simple as that can save you a lot of hassle, and even turn a customer who had negative comments into one who’s happy to share their experience of how you helped them!
With your database, your staff can see and share information, so they’re better informed and can deliver more appropriate responses (with improved customer service) to help keep customers happy.
Of course, if you don’t ask, you don’t get.
Whether you ask online, over the phone, or even at the end of the job, reviews are critical to all field service businesses. This is especially true as more and more consumers are making purchasing decisions based on reviews. It’s becoming increasingly important to have an online presence to showcase reviews and help show off the work you do.
4. Don’t rush to improve customer database management
The instant reward of booking a new customer can be great, but sustained, incremental benefits will certainly be more worthwhile.
“Patience,” they say, “is a virtue.”
And while retaining customers can be easy with improved customer database management—you need to think long term and be patient.
We’ll admit that this isn’t always easy. After all, it’s easy to grow tired of a customer who only seems to engage your services for simple, low-margin jobs. However, if you do these smaller jobs well, the customer is likely to put you at the top of their list when the time comes to install a new boiler or refit an entire bathroom.
Time is often just as significant an investment as your money. So, make sure you’re continuing to invest your time wisely and build on your relationships to become stronger. If you do, you and your customers will come to see the benefits.
You’ll find that customer database management gets easier because even though the data you have grows, it’s collected and shared in a much more organised way—especially when using great job management software. As such, the quality of that data and the things you can achieve by using it will improve, too!
A more proficient database will help with everything from improved communications, automated interactions, and even customer self-service as well, especially if you’re using additional tools like a customer log-in portal. This can link directly with your customer database and give customers the ability to access their data and save you time.
“Today, 67% of customers prefer self-service over speaking to a company representative [that’s because] when a customer has a problem [they can solve it themselves]. In the long-term, it’s this sort of technological investment that will help you improve customer experience.”
People are smart; they won’t go blindly with any old business. They want a good reason to use your services (and it needs to be something more than “because they know you” or “because you’re just around the corner”). By using your database, you can make sure you’re acting on accurate information that gives them good reason to stay.
Work on your relationships, trust in your workforce to deliver consistent quality, and your customers will keep coming back to you.
Combined with essential admin tasks that can be automated through your job management software, these comms can help transform the customer journeys you take them on and unlock even greater potential for your business.
Hi! I'm Rhys Pattimore
I'm eager to share great stories, advice, and tips that can help inspire and motivate field service businesses to find success. It's that, or I'm hunting down the best bagel recipe I can get my hands on!