The service industry has always been competitive. Whether you’re a plumber, HVAC, or carpet cleaning company, there are likely dozens of competitors within your local area. This can make it very difficult to get customers, especially if you are a small or new company. If you don’t have a large marketing budget to keep up with the big companies, you may have found it difficult to stay afloat.
Getting new customers is always important but when you are still a small company with a limited budget, gaining recurring customers will be the most important thing you can do. So first, we will discuss a couple ways to gain new customers with a small budget and then how to turn those customers into repeat customers.
Gaining New Customers with Limited Funds
Obtaining new customers in a competitive service field is definitely challenging but not impossible. You will need to take advantage of every resource you have at your disposal. The following are simple and inexpensive ways to get found in your local area:
- Create a Website – This should be obvious but many new companies fail to set one up. You can find inexpensive hosting usually for less than $100/year and use a website building tool like WordPress or Weebly to create a website.
- Set Up Business Profiles – There are hundreds of free business listing sites that you can use to attract more customers. The most popular sites are Google, Yelp, Facebook, Merchant Circle, and others.
- Create a Blog – Set up a blog on your website with helpful information that answers questions that your potential customers may have. You want to avoid only posting about your company, products or services and focus on creating content that truly helps people. This will make your website an industry authority which will help your site rank higher and attract more customers. Here is an example of a blog for a plumbing company.
Once you’ve attracted new customers you can then focus on the most important step: turning them into repeat customers.
Turning Your Customers into Repeat Customers
Now, when it comes to creating repeat customers there are the obvious things to do such as being polite, respectful and providing the best service possible but there are also a few areas that many people miss. Here are a few ways to get repeat customers:
- Obtain an Email Address – You will want to ensure you have your customers’ permission to use their email address to contact them but this is a great way to stay in the forefront of your customers’ minds. Try to get a contact email address from every customer you service. You will want to use this to send a request for feedback following the job and to also request that they review your company on Google, Yelp, Facebook etc. You can also send occasional emails when you have specials or during peak seasons (e.g. A/C service at the start of summer).
- Leave Behind Your Business Info – Make sure your customers know how to reach you in the future by leaving behind your contact information where it can be easily found. Business cards are often lost or thrown away so you may want to invest in some custom business magnets that contain your business information. Magnets are great because they’re useful and will be seen on a regular basis. You could try other gift items like custom water bottles or pen holders that contain your business info on them for easy access.
Hopefully this article will help you find new customers and expand your service business while also creating loyal, repeat customers.