As a trade service professional, it’s incredibly important to keep your customer base strong. One of the best methods for doing so is investing in a strong sales follow up marketing campaign. Knowing how to market your HVAC business isn’t always simple, but taking an extra step to follow up with a prospect can be the difference between a sale and empty pockets.
But follow up marketing isn’t just limited to that first contact with a prospect. Another follow up marketing opportunity happens after you’ve provided a service to a customer. How do you keep that customer in the marketing loop to avoid never seeing them again? The key – again – is to rely on timely follow up marketing.
At its most basic definition, follow up marketing means that you – wait for it – follow up after an initial communication to stay in contact with a prospective customer who may convert into a first-time customer or turn into a return customer, if you play your marketing cards right that is.
What is follow up marketing and how does it work for home business?
Follow up marketing simply means that you are reconnecting with a prospective customer after your initial contact. That could mean it’s the very first contact you’ve ever had with a customer before any service has been provided or, it may mean that you’re reconnecting after you’ve delivered a particular service or product.
In the context of a home business, this follow up could involve reaching out to customers you’ve met at trade shows or responding to messages sent to your company about your services. By sending prompt replies to customer inquiries, you can ensure that a customer doesn’t go to another competitor because you responded too slowly.
For many home service businesses, a customer might reach out for an estimate for a particular service or ask about the services you provide. Make sure that you and the rest of the sales team are ready to respond to these customers and that everyone has the right information for customers on hand.
Which techniques work best for home service follow up marketing?
There are many different methods you can rely on for your sales follow up. Don’t feel like you need to limit yourself to just one. Instead, you should consider combining them to get the most bang for your buck.
- HVAC marketing postcards: Postcards are an excellent choice for home service professionals looking for an old-school way to capture the attention of modern consumers. Why? It’s hard to ignore a paper postcard with a coupon attached compared to an email that might be automatically sent to a “junk” folder. It’s also a great way to build up brand awareness and encourage brand loyalty in your customer base.
- Make sure you keep the design of your postcard clean and simple. Employ smart calls-to-action rather than overloading your customer with an onslaught of words.
- Keep a list of addresses from postcards that get returned to you so you can keep an updated list of customers and don’t waste money on irrelevant leads.
- Email marketing: Okay, we know we just said that postcards might be a better system, but if you don’t have the budget for postcards, email marketing is still a great way to reach out to customers. Remember to keep the subject line short and pithy in order to encourage your customer to open the email. At the end of the day, sending an email is the most unobtrusive way to reach out to a customer, and it’s definitely a method you should try out to keep customers informed.
- Phone calls: Cold calls are a staple of the sales industry – but do they really work? After all, many people these days screen calls and won’t pick up an unrecognizable number. You’ll have much more success with a phone call if you’ve already interacted with a customer. Nobody enjoys constant marketing calls, after all.
- Automation: You’re a busy professional. Writing personalized notes to reach out to each and every prospect and customer would involve hours of your time that you may simply not have. Automated marketing is the answer. All of the techniques above are viable options for you to try out as a business owner, but it’s important that these sales techniques don’t eat into your profits by forcing you to spend too much time behind a computer rather than growing your business. Automating these techniques is a great way to make the most of your sales follow up system. Whether you’re looking to enhance your electrician marketing or plumbing marketing, your niche home service company can benefit from an automated follow up marketing.
What is a good follow up marketing system and how do you streamline the process?
One of the best automated marketing follow up systems is Housecall Pro, which provides you with an easy way to attract the attention of your customers. This convenient automation allows you to send both emails and postcards after a specific number of days after a job is recorded as “complete.” You can use automated emails to remind customers of upcoming appointments and send them a “thank you” for their business after without needing to think about it.
By using Housecall Pro’s automated services, you’re also set up with an automated postcard marketing. What better way to advertise for your home service company than to show up on the front door of your potential customers?
Business.org has some suggestions and guidelines for best practices when it comes to your lead follow up approach.
Don’t lag on your leads
In order to get the most out of your potential customer, it’s important to not allow too much time to elapse before contacting your lead. Harvard Business Review research suggests that businesses that respond to questions within 60 minutes of a customer asking are seven times more likely to qualify a lead than companies that go beyond those 60 minutes.
Not following up on every lead
If you were panning for gold, would you let the smaller nuggets drift away back into the water or would you make sure that each and every glittering piece made it into your hands? The same rule applies to leads. Sure, a lead may not seem that promising at the outset, but you may be surprised by what happens when you actually follow up.
A customer who seems ready to commit could back out at the last minute. And likewise, a customer who is more wishy-washy in the beginning could turn into a huge sale. You’ll never know until you actually follow up. It’s important to treat each lead as if he or she will lead to sales.
Not staying true to your word
Customers like consistency and reliability. If you’re the salesperson in charge of following up with customers, are you meeting their needs? Nothing says, “Don’t trust me,” like not keeping your promises. Instead, follow up and make good on your promises! Deliver that e-pamphlet you told a customer you would send. Give out that link to the free trial. You always want to establish a chain of trust – because at the end of the day, no matter your business, that’s what companies and customer relationships depend on. You’re promising a service or product to a customer when you’re trying to convert a lead. But if you can’t even deliver on the preliminary steps before the sale, why would the customer trust you with their hard-earned money?
What to include in follow up marketing?
If you’ve met a potential customer out in the field or at a trade show, etc…
Ideally, you can provide an estimate to a customer or whatever material the customer asked for via email or follow up with a phone call to discuss their specific needs. Your communication, regardless of what method, should be polite and concise. Direct them to the right point of contact or link to set up an appointment. Essentially, you want your follow up to make it as easy as possible for customers to buy your services.
If you’ve provided a service to a customer…
After you have a happy customer who is satisfied with your work, it’s time to follow up. As we’ve already mentioned, it’s incredibly important to retain as many loyal customers as you can. Building a happy network of customers can help your business grow via word-of-mouth and happy reviews.
After a service is complete, this is your golden opportunity to entice that customer to come back. You can offer them a discount on their next service or otherwise provide a deal or coupon. Not only does it help keep a customer in your orbit, but it also establishes you as a company that rewards loyalty.
Takeaways: follow up and reap the benefits
Following up with leads is a great way to grow your business. Take the time to invest in an automated system and you might be surprised by the results.
Housecall Pro is rated the #1 software to run your HVAC, Plumbing, Electrical, Carpet Cleaning and other home service businesses. Our features allow you to schedule and dispatch jobs, get booked online, send invoice and receive payment within minutes whether if you are in the office or out in the field. This comprehensive software can help you grow revenue by 30% in one year and save up to 500 hours a year. Join all the other successful home service businesses who have already started and try Housecall Pro for 14 days free today.