In a highly competitive sales landscape, home services marketing is important if you want your business to succeed. You might perform an important service, but that doesn’t matter if customers can’t find you. Whether you’re an independent local handyman or a national home services provider, you need to stand out to gain customers.
If you only rely on family and friends to spread the word, it’s time to start using some modern digital marketing strategies. Don’t worry: it’s not as overwhelming as it seems. When done right, marketing helps even small businesses compete.
Gaining customers is as simple as knowing who you’re marketing to and how to reach them. If you’re good at what you do—and of course you are—and keep in touch with your clients, you’ll earn repeat business. And when you harness the power of reviews and feedback, your clients will help you earn the business of other local customers. Here’s how to market your home service company.
Hone Your Audience
If you’re unsure where to start marketing your company, keep it simple. Remember that the focus of your marketing efforts is to reach past and potential customers to maintain and develop relationships.
Think about who you’re marketing to. While your audience is probably broad, you need to think about who is actually purchasing your services. It’s likely not every homeowner. It might be mostly women or a certain age demographic. Similarly, if you’re skilled at installing historically accurate windows, you want to focus on people who have historical homes.
Narrowing your target audience doesn’t cut down on potential customers. Instead, it makes sure you focus on what the majority of your customers actually need. Invest in some market research and analysis to make sure who you’re targeting with your website copy, ads, and other marketing promotions is the right audience. And look for ways to hone in on any niche’s that exist for your business.
Focus on SEO and Customer Communication
Now that you know who your ideal customer is, you need to make sure they can find you. That’s where SEO, or search engine optimization, comes in. Make SEO a priority in your yearly marketing strategy. Incorporating keywords on your website and social media profiles makes you easy to find on the internet. Reviews can greatly improve your SEO, so focus on gaining reviews on Google, Yelp, and home services specific sites, like Thumbtack.
After your customers find you, you need to be easy to contact. Make sure your contact page is up to snuff and that your business listings on Google and other search engines and directories are updated. This not only makes it easier for customers to reach you, it also signals to Google that you are a reputable business. Make sure to respond to messages promptly—using an automatic response, if necessary—to let them know their message is received and when you’ll respond.
Many home services businesses have found that adding an online Chat function to their website is also super helpful in converting new customers and assisting busy clients who need fast, reliable customer service. Consider adding automated customer service features like this to your site for better customer retention.
Use Digital Marketing Tools for Better Customer Service
Now that you have your customers’ attention, you need to seal the deal and keep them coming back. You can achieve this not only by providing prompt customer service, but also by educating your customers about their home maintenance needs.
Publish relevant and timely posts on home maintenance topics on your website’s blog. Send a newsletter each season with ways your customers can keep up their homes. Send automated home maintenance reminders or ask for customer feedback via text. Provide answers to common questions through online chat and FAQ’s. When your clients need help in your area of expertise, you’ll be the first business they think of.
You can also use Podium to help ensure customer interactions don’t slip through the cracks. The interaction platform helps you keep tabs on your customers every step of the way. It’s the place where you can schedule all your appointments, answer questions, respond to concerns, and more. With this kind of help, you’ll never forget about a customer’s text message again. That means better customer service and happier customers.
Collect Customer Feedback and Reviews
Personal referrals are important, but they shouldn’t be the primary focus of your business plan. Your marketing strategy must include online reviews, testimonials, and customer feedback. How are you currently collecting reviews and customer feedback? Is it difficult or time consuming for your staff? These are a few things to think about.
Potential clients will undoubtedly read reviews before hiring you. They want to know if you show up on time, do good work, are honest, and clean up after yourself. What will they find when they search for reviews? Make sure that there are plenty of customer testimonials for them to browse by requesting reviews and feedback from your customers promptly after you interact with them. This is much easier with an automated system in place, like Podium.
Aside from maintaining your online reputation, reviews and feedback also helps you run your business smarter, with a better grasp of real, current customer experiences. Gathering the information you need becomes much easier with an automated system in place, like Podium. You can have a birdseye view of employee performance, customer satisfaction, and general business processes. This allows you to have context for improving your overall marketing strategy.
Streamline Cross-platform Communications
Interacting with customers online is easy…right? It seems like it, until you take into account that your employees must track messages on various communications platforms, and must keep customer information and past interaction in mind. This customer data (if it even exists) could span back years. Unless you have an online database that is easily accessible and a communications software solution that brings all communications platforms together, your staff and customers will likely be frustrated.
Incorporate as much automation and cross-platform communications as you can in your marketing plan. This ensures that your staff can provide top-notch customer service at all times, and from all locations—very important for home services teams that may be working remotely.
You can also streamline communications between managers and service technicians, as this is just as important as customer communication. Using modern software solutions helps your management team deploy employees in a timely and organized way. It also allows employees to give customers live updates when their arrival time changes or when they must reschedule.
Remember: the goal of your home services marketing is to win new customers and keep the ones you’ve already earned. Your customers want to know who you are and how you run your business. And they’ll look you up online to find out. If you’re nowhere to be found, they’ll likely keep moving and choose another provider.
Help your online reputation shine with reviews, testimonials, online educational resources, and an updated, fresh website and business profiles. Once you make the initial connection with customers, it’s only a matter of maintaining relationships with them.
You’ll find this much easier to do if you stay organized and touch base when they might need your help through text messaging, online chat, and other marketing technologies. Simplify your marketing by bringing all of these business goals together, on a software platform like Podium.