When you think of plumbing, you probably don’t think of customer loyalty. Plumbers are like dentists. We get lumped in the ‘I need you in a crisis, but I wish it wasn’t the case’ pile.
But what if I told you when our customers think of us, they immediately think of reliability, trust and rapport? That they are loyal, and recommend us not only to friends, but also for awards? And that despite usually being a local service, will often keep us for years to come, no matter where they live?
If plumbing can make itself one of the popular kids, your certainly business can too. The magic is in the details. Here’s how you can build stellar loyalty with your customers and create a profitable business through a focus on detail.
Your customer can be just as busy as you are. Your response times matter.
That’s why we endeavour to answer all calls within 3 rings when we are in the office. Calls to the answering service are responded to by the next day, if not sooner. Emails also receive the same level of commitment. And immediate contact can be made online with our website’s chat service.
Be the wonderful business your customers can rely on rather than the one that leaves them hanging, and enjoy the word of mouth rewards.
When a customer wants to purchase goods or services from you, they are asking for help. Time deprivation, the lack of skills or simply having other things to attend to means they want you to take the load off.
That’s why listening and working with your customer makes a huge difference.
For example, if a customer calls we take detailed notes. Not just to get a proper brief for the work, but to also give that much needed catharsis from any stress they may be facing.
Emergency jobs become a priority, and we keep the customer informed every step of the way until we reach a successful resolution.
Even outside of emergency situations, we know plumbing is an unknown quantity where a lack of knowledge might see you saddled with a big bill.
That’s why we offer a quotation that includes a high level of detail and has a fixed price that doesn’t change, regardless of what happens once the job has started.
Customers call you because they see you as the light at the end of the tunnel. Make sure that light is welcoming and helpful. Not only to secure the work available, but to make your customer feel back in control and able to offer a solution to friends who face similar issues in the future.
Show you care
When someone goes out of their way to show they care, we come back to that person again and again. In business, showing you care builds trust, which in turn translates into repeat business. Show you care by:
- Promoting pro-activity. To minimise the potential of unexpected issues arising, we offer a free Home Maintenance Health Check to nip problems in the bud.
- Being mindful of people’s time. We offer 1 or 2 hour call out windows instead of the usual 4 hours (or worse). We keep our customers in the loop with any late arrivals. And we offer calls outside business hours for people who can’t spare time away from work.
- Staying open to feedback. Customers want to be involved and share opinions. After a job is complete, we ask for honest feedback in exchange for coffee vouchers.
- Appreciating the business. We follow that up with a thank you letter and a small gift for the customer, and a dinner competition mail out to a happy customer’s neighbourhood.
Offering ways for people to avoid future issues, respecting their time, listening and being thankful aren’t hard to translate into customer care ideas that work.
Use details to your advantage
Don’t ignore the objections your customer may have to your business. Embrace them as a source of inspiration for your marketing and turn your customer’s fears into business benefits.
Put yourself in the shoes of your customer and ask, “What are the things that make me choose a product like this?”
And aim to build a community around your business based on how valued your customers feel.
Laney Clancy is the Marketing and Finance Manager at Pipe Perfection Plumbers in Sydney. The business is based on three principles: professionalism, expertise and reliability. She is married to Darren, the owner of the business, which has a team that includes specialist Enviroplumbers and more, servicing the Inner West and Eastern Suburbs of Sydney.