Targeting new leads and retaining existing customers in today’s digital landscape can be challenging for many home services brands. But with a few changes in your marketing strategy, your business can stay ahead of the competition, meet growing customer demands, and save your team time as you both attract potential customers and work to retain loyal customers.
A quick note before we dive into the list, efforts to improve your customer lead experience will also improve your existing customer experience. And with just a 5% increase in customer retention, many businesses see an increase in profits by at least 25%. Working to streamline the customer experience, add convenience and speed, and provide a truly customer-focused journey will pay off for your home services business.
Here are three tips to teach you how to attract new home services customers (and retain current clients for future business!):
1. Know your ideal customer
In order to improve your overall customer retention rate, you need to consistently meet the needs and expectations of your clients. It’s critical that you know their challenges, top pain points, and how you can solve those problems with your service. If you don’t have a fully documented target persona already, consider building out a clear customer profile.
Not sure where to start? Take a look at past customers or those who follow you on social media. Get an idea of what clients your business attracts and best serves.
After you have an idea of who your ideal client might be, get to work on a detailed customer profile. As you build it be sure to include answers to the following questions:
Who is your ideal customer?
Give your target customer a name and a general background story that describes their marital status, if they have kids, if they own their home, who they follow on social media, what they care about, etc.
Where does your ideal customer live?
If your services are location-based, as most home services businesses are, be clear about the radius where your ideal customer likely lives. What cities could he/she be in?
Where does your ideal customer typically consume information?
For your advertising efforts to pan out, it’s critical that you understand where you can find your customers online. Depending on the age of your ideal customer, the social media platforms you focus on will likely be different (for home services businesses, Facebook is a good start if you’re not sure which platform to prioritize). Understanding where to spend both your organic efforts and paid advertising budget starts with knowing where your customers are right now.
It also might be a good idea to take a look at where you get the most engagement now. Where do your current followers like to interact with you on social media? That might be a good indicator of where to focus your efforts moving forward.
What are your ideal customer’s top challenges?
Be clear about what your ideal customer is likely struggling with without your services. What problems are they trying to solve? What are they doing right now that isn’t working (DIYing the problem, watching YouTube videos instead of calling a professional, working with another home services brand that isn’t reliable, etc.).
What solutions can you offer to your ideal customer?
Document how your services can help your ideal customer. Be sure to include both the value they will receive (saved time, peace of mind, etc.) and the specifics of your services (on call 24/7, lifetime guarantee, etc.).
Once you have a clear picture of your target customer, update your brand messaging to reflect how your business can solve the specific challenges of your ideal customer. Prioritize the right watering holes online (Facebook, Instagram, Google Ads, etc.) and update your website to speak directly to your target customer.
2. Upgrade your customer service experience
The customer service experience for your customer starts at the discovery phase of their journey. As customers research home services brands online, it’s crucial that your brand shows up, is accessible, and showcases that other customers have found value from you as well.
To improve the customer experience from the beginning of your customer journey, follow these critical steps:
Show up higher in search results.
Home services customers are searching online before they select a home services brand. In fact, nearly every category of home services offering showcases more than 60% of customers are searching for a solution online—64% of appliance repair customers, 75% of pest control customers, 65% of carpet cleaning customers, 62% of roofing customers, and 62% of HVAC repair customers all search online before they select a home services brand.
In order to show up higher in search results, your brand needs to meet the requirements of Google: more reviews, higher review count, location, and keywords. Implement a review request program to boost your reviews and average star rating and make sure your location is accurate (for every location of your brand) on each of your Google My Business listings. To capitalize on keywords, include keywords your customers might be searching for in your business description, customer reviews, and on your website.
Make it easy to connect with your business from search results.
90% of customers would prefer to communicate with a business via text. If your Google My Business listing only offers a phone number and your website, you’re missing an opportunity to connect quickly with customers searching for you. Convert your landline into a textable number or add a textable number to your listing.
Because most home service customers don’t have a specific brand in mind when they are searching online, you can outshine the competition with an easy-to-connect option like texting. Consider also the benefits of texting vs. phone calls and emails. Follow up conversations via phone calls are difficult—customers prefer texting to talking on the phone and only 67% of customers are happy with the response time they receive when they speak with a business on the phone and less than one-third of homeowners will actually pick up the phone when you call them. And email open rates are as low as 20%. Texting boasts open rates of 99% and higher overall satisfaction from customers as they reach out to and respond to businesses.
Increase your review count and average star rating with more reviews.
Implement a review request program to improve the third-party support new customers will see on your Google My Business listing. Higher reviews and higher review ratings prove your business has helped other customers, and they’re more likely to help new customers convert.
On average, consumers read 10 online reviews before they trust a local business and nearly 60% of consumers will only engage with a local business if it has four or more stars. By implementing a review request program, you can ask every customer for a review—elevating the typical customer experience with your brand (instead of leaving reviews for only disgruntled customers). Ask for the review via text and you’ll have a better response rate (in fact, 72% of people will write a review when asked). And when a negative review does surface, take it as an opportunity to respond publicly and then follow up privately to correct the problem.
3. Create more opportunities for conversation
Conversations create conversions and with more opportunities to convert, you create more opportunities for loyal customers. In order to build new opportunities for conversation, you have to think through the entire customer journey and make it easier to connect at every touch point. Consider the following tips and how they relate to specific stages of the customer journey:
Offer web chat on your website
More than 40% of website visitors expect you to offer a live web chat option on your website. And when visitors are searching on their mobile device, 50% expect a webchat option. Customers want to connect with you! And with web chat, you can make starting that conversation easier and faster.
Plus, website visitors that use webchat are nearly 3x as likely to convert than the leads that don’t use webchat. Implement a webchat option to answer questions about appointment scheduling, services, pricing, and more.
Continue the conversation with feedback requests
After an appointment or a final invoice send, create an opportunity for feedback delivery. Net Promoter Score surveys, review requests, and even simple feedback surveys with a scaled one through five satisfaction rating can open the door to critical conversations with your customers.
By continuing the conversation and asking for feedback, you can create opportunities to fix customer issues, adjust internal processes to create a better customer experience, and build a stronger relationship to increase repeat business. Send feedback requests via text for faster replies and increased engagement.
Send personalized offers and discounts
For most Americans (four out of five), finding a great discount or deal is an important part of their customer journey and they think about finding that deal or discount during the entire purchase experience. Create another opportunity for conversation by sending personalized offers and discounts to both leads and existing customers.
And don’t forget to send those offers on a channel that converts—texting. 75% of consumers say they want to receive personalized offers and upsells directly on their mobile devices. Consider sending offers as part of your quarterly or monthly customer communication plans. Analyze customer data and promote engagement and adjust your process with the feedback.
The home services market is expected to grow by nearly 19% in the next five years. As more and more consumers enter into homeownership and the customer experience across all industries relies more heavily on communication, convenience, and speed, follow these best practices to stand out and beat the competition. You’ll enhance your current customer experience and attract more of the right customers to your brand.
To learn more about how texting can help your business grow, check out this free eBook: The Enterprise Guide to Business Text Messaging: Growth Strategies for Multi-location Brands.