Delighting homeowners and trying to see things from the homeowner’s perspective is central to winning their business and loyalty. As a home improvement business owner your focus should always be on the customers wants and needs and solving their problems, not on what you have to offer. Most successful business owners of course have tuned their products and services to customer needs. Successful business owners also know that homeowners look for good value that need not be synonymous with cheap prices.
Good value in the eyes of today’s homeowners is found in a relationship worthy of trust. From start to finish, every interaction you have with a customer must tell them that that they matter and enable trust.
4 key steps to a Customer-Driven Sales Process:
1. Inspire, Don’t Sell
Traditional marketing of home improvement services focuses on just that—the services. When you shift the emphasis away from what you do and put it onto what the homeowner will ultimately be enjoying, you engage in true customer-driven marketing.
2. Be Visual
Create a strong presence on both Houzz and Pinterest and make sure that your boards aim to guide homeowners through the process of selecting their designs, colors and other elements important for their job. By doing this, you become trusted not only for your contracting skills but for your ability to advise clients in the concept and design phase as well.
Resource: Master Houzz Marketing
3. Be Open in Bids
Do not be ashamed of wanting to make a profit. Today’s consumers understand that you run a business and they are not put off by this. However, they can be put off by bids or invoices that are confusing or attempt to bury some costs along the way.
A good bid can be broken out to include line items for concepting, project management, materials, labor and profit. This way you acknowledge markups on materials and also show customers the value they get on all areas of your service.
4. Let Customers Know They Matter
The sales process does not end once you win a bid. At every customer touchpoint along the journey from initial request to completed job and beyond, you have an opportunity to show customers that they matter to you. This is where the little details come into play in very big ways.
Always arrive to appointments on time. Never answer other calls or texts when meeting with customers. Communicate any project delays or changes in advance or as soon as you learn about them. Keep your work areas clean, especially for jobs that extend over multiple days or weeks.
Online customer reviews offer additional ways for you to show not just those who comment but all who read the reviews just how you interact with your customers. Make a point to thank people who leave positive reviews. For negative reviews, you may want to take the conversation offline eventually but it is also wise to post polite, professional responses online as well. Show people you can accept your mistakes and offer to make good where appropriate.
Resource: 5 Easy (and Affordable) Ways to Show Customer Appreciation
Without Customers, There are No Profits
If you want profits—and you must—you need customers. It only stands to reason, therefore, that you should take good care of those customers. Make them the star of your show and you will be rewarded.
*The views of the author may not reflect the views of Surefire Local or its partners