Customer Appreciation: Loyalty Incentives
Many contractors I know spend lots of money on advertising for their services. Advertising money is usually spent on things like; newspaper ads, mailings, telephone listings, job signs and truck lettering. Many contractors ignore spending money on customer appreciation.
I firmly believe that it is super important to advertise and market yourself to generate new business but go about it differently. I’ve decided to pursue different approach in stead of spending money to advertising I am going to try advertising thru customer appreciation .
A contractor friend I know spends anywhere from $ 1500.00 to $ 2500.00 for advertising. He tells me that he gets a lot of calls but few jobs from these efforts. In fact, most of the calls he gets are what I like to call, “tire kickers.”
Avoid Tire Kickers
The Urban Dictionary defines a tire kicker as; someone who is indecisive about purchasing a product or service, and never feels satisfied with what they are offered. In the end a tire kicker may or may not buy. The term comes from sales people at car dealerships.
Focus on Existing Customers:
Every contractor I know says that word of mouth is the best form of advertising and getting jobs. So why don’t we focus our advertising efforts on developing word of mouth advertising?
I have several really great customers. These are my satisfied customers who call me and say, “Please come do X-Y and Z.” They want me, no estimate, no haggle, and no hassle. I’ve proven myself to them and that’s all they need. These people are not interested in three bids, lowest bidder, or other issues. They just want the job done, and they want me to do it!
Customer Appreciation Voucher:
My approach is simple. . . Focus on getting face time with these people. What I mean by this is; my advertising efforts need to focus on giving back to my “BEST” customers.
To do this, I’ve designed a “Customer Appreciation Voucher.” This “professionally printed” voucher is valid for two or four FREE hours of carpentry / repair / handyman type services.
My theory of giving back free services to my customers is that it gives me face time with them and may lead to other / larger jobs.
A few hours spread out over ten customers probably amounts to the same money I would have spent on a newspaper ad, but that’s just the beginning. Every “newspaper ad call” leads to at least an hour visiting them at the job site, and another 1, 2 up to 8 hours researching and preparing a proposal for the work. Then there’s a real chance that I won’t even get the job. Compare every newspaper call with 2 hours up to 8 hours of my labor cost . . . What’s that worth?????
A second part of my customer appreciation approach is to give this same customer a “give away voucher” or “gift voucher” This voucher is an opportunity to gift free carpentry repairs to one of their friends or neighbors.
This approach is an awesome opportunity to get an instant referral from your satisfied customer and face time with a new, potential customer. I look at this idea as a great opportunity to develop a new referral, and to meet, impress and establish a potential new customer.
It’s my plan to try advertising thru customer appreciation and implement this voucher system this winter.