Whether your focus is on soil stabilization, leak seal, or slab lifting, it’s a known fact that growing your contracting business is hard work. As an experienced consultant and advisor, I am aware that many contractors focus so much time on generating new leads that they may overlook another great source of new revenue: re-engaging past customers.
It costs about five times more money to attract a new customer than to sell to an existing customer. And it's 50% easier to sell to an existing customer than to a new customer. It has also been said that 80% of most business revenue comes from just 20% of its existing customers. (Source: Forbes Magazine's "Five Customer Retention Tips for Entrepreneurs".)
Owners and managers of these types of properties are likely to provide repeat business...
- Commercial properties
- Multi-unit residential properties
- Schools, universities, education departments/districts
- Municipalities/government agencies
If you put your mind to it, I'm sure you can think of a few more. You can also reach out to previous individual residential and small business customers occasionally.
Customer Retention Tips
Remember, customers do not owe you their loyalty, it has to be earned. You may be the most qualified and diversified contractor in the area, but if you want to get that repeat business you have to implement a retention program. Here are a few suggestions...
- Create an email newsletter. Send out tips and advice that your customer base may find helpful. You can also include case studies or success stories from recent jobs. Holiday greetings are always good as well. Throw in a promotion or discounted service offer every now and then, but make sure your communications are always primarily focused on useful content.
- Gifts, holiday cards, and birthday cards are a nice way to express customer appreciation. Sending items like this via traditional mail will help you stand out from the crowd a bit, as more and more people are moving towards a "digital only" approach.
- Take a moment on a regular basis to check up on your past customers' social media accounts. Like, favorite, and share anything you find relevant or interesting. This is just another way to remind them that you're interested in how they're doing and that you're available should they need any further assistance.
Take some time to brainstorm and I bet you'll come up with some unique approaches of your own. If you're too busy to do this kind of stuff, hire a part-time assistant. The jobs you get as a result of these activities may pay for the assistant, and then some. Give it a shot and find out.
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