Tips for Home Service Companies to Win Leads & Keep Customers
Being a homeowner can be exhausting. When I need help, it’s nice to know I can turn to home service professionals. The problem is, finding the right company to hire is very frustrating. Over the years, I have received more estimates than I’d like to admit. Most companies are quickly bypassed during the review process, and many that get chosen blow it within the first year.
I know what you are going to say: “You get what you pay for.” However, most of the time, price has little to do with why I eliminate or fire a company. Pricing typically is competitive, and I’ve hired many companies with above-average rates. The good news is, the issues that cause companies to lose consumers like me are not that difficult to fix. From my perspective as a customer, I have identified ways your business can rise above your competitors and set a new standard within your industry.
Problem: Your company looks amateurish.
Your company needs to look professional, not like a side gig. If your marketing and branding look amateurish, prospective customers will think your services are amateurish. Like most homeowners, I am very particular about whom I welcome onto our property.
Solution: Portraying a professional image sends a message that your company is credible, reliable, high quality and trustworthy. You can achieve this with a strong logo, a functional user-friendly website, a business card, a clean truck designed with a wrap, branded uniforms and well-kept equipment. Your proposals and invoices also should look professional.
Problem: I couldn’t remember your company.
I saw your truck or heard about you from someone, but I could not remember your company name.
Solution: It’s important to create a memorable brand that will be easy for people to remember. Use an interesting name, a memorable logo, a fun mascot in your logo, or a cool truck wrap that draws attention and is easy to remember. When you meet someone or give an estimate, leave behind something to help them remember you, like a business card, brochure or sell sheet describing your services.
Problem: My friend recommended someone else.
I trust my friends over any marketing or search engine. So, when I ask them who they use, I will always call those companies first.
Solution: It doesn’t take much effort to get more referrals. First, go above and beyond for your clients and prove that you are reliable, consistent and trustworthy. Second, when you complete the job, don’t be afraid to ask your customers to spread the word. They may not even think to do so until you give them permission or remind them. Third, if I see your company name at my neighbor’s or friend’s home, I might reach out on my own to ask about their experience. So, consider getting an impactful vehicle wrap or yard signs designed.
Problem: You didn’t respond to my call quickly enough.
I can’t believe how many times I call a company and a live person does not answer, I don’t get a return phone call, the callback comes days later or the voicemail box is full. How do you expect to get new business if you make it impossible to get in touch with you? When I’m in the market for a new home services professional, it’s usually pretty urgent. I try to make a decision within the first day or two.
Solution: I know you are busy, so it may be a good idea to hire someone else to answer your phones, even if it’s to take messages. If you have a website, which you should, put a prominent contact form on it so we can easily contact you. Then, be sure to respond promptly.
Problem: I couldn’t find you.
I heard about your company, but now I want to check out your company online. If I can’t find your website, you don’t exist. I’ll move on to the next company, regardless of how much you came recommended.
Solution: Your website is your storefront, and it is a clear representation of your company, so make sure it’s professional and works. Invest in digital marketing such as search engine optimization and pay-per-click advertising to improve your online visibility and outrank your competitors among the search results. Also, list your business everywhere you can for free. It’s simple to get your business listed on Angie’s List, Yelp, Google and many other sites.
Problem: I read your reviews.
I skip over companies that have no reviews, since there are so many other companies that have many. If you have bad reviews, that’s an obvious red flag. However, it’s ok to have a few bad reviews among many good reviews.
Solution: The best thing you can do is to ask every customer to provide a review. Make it a regular part of your communication, such as when you send an invoice. It’s best to get the reviews written in trusted review sites like Yelp, Google, Angie’s List, Review Buzz and HomeAdvisor.
Problem: You were too late.
Many people, like me, will forget to schedule seasonal service or will procrastinate until it’s too late, and then we won’t even bother any more. Don’t assume your customers are loyal and will remember to reach out to you.
Solution: Reach out early to your customers, before the start of your season. You will avoid losing customers and can also start your season earlier. Take a lesson from your dentist: send out reminder postcards every six months or annually to stay on your customers’ minds. This works great for pool openings, HVAC maintenance, cleaning up leaves, cutting grass, spring cleanings, chimney cleaning and many more seasonal services.
Problem: You didn’t do what you said you would.
This should be a no-brainer, yet so many companies are unreliable. Your customers are very busy people. If you don’t respect our time or do what you said you would, we get annoyed.
Solution: Show up on time, and complete what you said you would. If you need to provide a range of time when you will arrive, keep it as small as possible. We don’t have all day to sit around waiting for you to show up. Set realistic expectations for the work you are going to do and don’t disappoint us. This does not apply only to the first day of work. Be reliable and on time for everything, even invoicing. Reliability massively impacts your reputation and if you don’t take it seriously, you may be out of business soon.
Get Expert Assistance
There’s a good chance that your business does not suffer most of these shortcomings, but perhaps there are a few tips here about ways you can improve. It will only help to bolster your reputation, get you more customers and make your business stronger.
If you need help with your branding, marketing, website, signage or truck wrap, KickCharge® Creative can help. Give me a call at 800-836-4666 x132 or email me at [email protected] and I’ll be happy to talk to you about it.
KickCharge Creative is a full-service marketing agency that specializes in working with home service professionals. We know what works, because we’ve been doing it for over 22 years. Check out the case studies, portfolio and testimonials on our website to hear stories about other companies like yours.