Creating Raving Fans through the Ultimate Client Experience
Little Things Make for Big Differentiators in Growing Your Local Business
While working with many of our clients who are home contractors in creating their 2013 marketing plans, we learned several trends that are continuing to develop and evolve just as we had expected. Most of the trends revolve around creating loyal clients through processes of communicating effectively and efficiently using well-defined process integrated into client management systems. So we thought this would be a good topic to share our learning in order to help others as we all embark on exceeding our goals in 2013.
Now more than ever, we are seeing the issue of price shopping in the local marketing arena where homeowners struggle to see the difference in one plumbing company in Colleyville and the other. When these homeowners cannot see the difference, they are forced to buy based upon price. However, what we are hearing more and more from our clients and listening to recorded customer calls is that people are willing to pay for value – specifically in the home services area.
Many local companies come to us when they are looking to create unique offers to effectively engage their ideal clientele because they get too many people calling to shop product and service prices. While these unique offers are critical, so are the processes employed to help throughout the client experience. Specifically for home contractors, the landscape has changed where it is too easy for “Pete in a Pickup” can start any business he wants with a new set of business cards and a new magnetic sign for his pickup. We have all seen this happen when a hail storm comes through out neighborhood and every contract worker within 150 miles shows up for our roof replacement.
So what makes a client experience phenomenal and results in gaining raving fans? It starts with communication. While we often take this one for granted, it is more critical now than ever before. From the time the local consumer sees your advertisement, website or other local marketing collateral until they become a multi-year client and referral source, communication throughout the experience is important. Below are some basic actions your local business can take to help implement effective communication strategies for your local business.
- Make sure your Brand is impeccable
Even though many small local business owners may think branding is either too costly or not that important, it will make a huge difference in how your local business is perceived by local consumers. Branding standards should not be overly complicated if you have a good Style Guide for your brand and make sure that everyone uses the correct logo in the correct plans with the correct tag lines and messaging.
- Everyone should consider themselves the Director of First Impressions
Although this might sound a little silly, it is important that EVERYONE on your team understands the importance of how their actions, dress, smile, helpfulness and serving attitude impacts the success of your local business and ultimately everyone’s paychecks. When clients are happy, bills are paid and employees are happy. To get the clients happy, they must feel served very well and happy with their experience.
- Communicate Often
Many local service providers believe they are being intrusive by calling, emailing or texting local consumers who have expressed an interest in their service. The fact is… most local service providers under-communicate. So it is important to communicate well and communicate often.
- Determine What, How and How Often your client prefers communication
Many local business leaders think about communication as face-to-face at the home or office, yet there are now many more ways to communicate and to schedule this communication including phone (mobile, home or office), voice mail, email, text, social media, Instant Messaging and more. What many local marketing firms have found is that the local consumers want to have communication and want to be able to share what kind of communication (not your traditional newsletters), how and how often.
These four areas of understanding will help you and your local business in 2013 and beyond. For more on local marketing and creating the ultimate client experience, connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Linked or Twitter. You can also always Call Us at 469-420-0180.