We all know that every business owner has a desire to grow. But with the daily grind never ending, it may feel impossible to devote any brain space to creating a plan for that growth. We’ll outline three ways to grow your residential plumbing business that focus on embracing the customer experience.
With these tips, you’ll be able to take your business from surviving to quickly thriving – without much initial effort.
We’ll focus on three customer-driven areas:
After reading this article, you’ll be ready to act TODAY on these three easy-to-implement growth opportunities.
Referrals Benefit Your Residential Plumbing Business AND Customers
It’s proven that people talk more frequently about bad experiences they’ve had with businesses. In fact, some estimates suggest that customers are 50% more likely to share a negative experience than a positive one.
So, how do you adjust your approach to shift that conversation to a positive note? Quite simply, create a referral program that benefits everybody.
Sure, you’ll want the new customer to feel like they got a deal, and you certainly don’t want to lose money on the transaction. However, don’t forget about the referrer. They need to feel like that recommendation is worth their while.
For example, a good referral program might give 25% off a service for both the referrer and referee. Of course, the specifics are up to your business. Make sure you keep your services profitable even when giving a small discount as a thank you for the reference.
Software Solutions to Track Referrals
Not long ago, it wasn’t easy to track who referred who. Applying discounts and deals to referrals could get tricky when including the referrer as well.
But now, with great field service software, your residential plumbing business can track and automate referral programs with ease. For example, you could automate a trackable email that provides a unique link to refer a friend to your business.
See how FieldEdge can streamline your referral program and boost positive chatter about your brand. Book your FREE personalized demo today!
Gathering and Responding to Reviews Requires an Online Presence
These days the average consumer has immediate access to nearly endless amounts of information. This includes anything – positive or negative – written by your customers.
This is why customer satisfaction and loyalty is so important – it can make all the difference in how often new customers come calling.
To get started, your business needs a presence where people are looking.
First, you’ll need to create and claim the business listings required to accept reviews on two of the largest review platforms.
Google Business Profile
In order to receive business reviews on Google, you must create a Google Business Profile.
This business profile will also give your residential plumbing business a rich sidebar snippet when anyone searches your business name on Google. This sidebar snippet includes:
- Website Link
- Contact Information
- Your Company Logo
- Additional Optional Business Information
For example, here’s ours:
If your residential plumbing business doesn’t yet have a physical location, that’s quite alright. Google requires declaring a physical address when creating a Business Profile. However, you are able to suppress that information from appearing in customer-facing searches.
This means that you can declare a home address, or a P.O. Box, as a business contact address for Google’s purposes. Though you are able to keep that information from the general public.
So even if you’re just starting out and working from the kitchen table when not fielding calls from customers, you can benefit from a Google Business Profile.
Claim Your Yelp Business Profile
If your residential plumbing business has operated for any stretch of time, there’s likely already a listing on Yelp for your business.
You can claim that listing as the business owner to unlock a suite of free tools to help you manage your presence on Yelp.
This includes the ability to:
- Add a company logo and photos of your business
- Respond to reviews left on your Yelp business listing
- Create a contact form to filter leads directly to your inbox
- Maintain up-to-date contact information like phone and email
And remember, even if you don’t claim your business listing on Yelp, it’ll still be there. Thankfully, the process of claiming it is free and takes just a few minutes.
The Subtle Art of Review Responses
Receiving reviews on your business creates the social proof many use to make their purchase decisions. Surely, you’ll strive to collect as many five-star reviews as possible. Though, don’t shrug off those occasional critical reviews.
Respond to critical reviews with honesty and transparency to turn those lower star ratings into showcases of your customer service. Remember, it’s important to respond to any and all reviews to show your business is attentive and responsive.
Responding to critical reviews is absolutely imperative. You’ll not only be able to provide context and resolution to the critical individual’s grievances, but you’ll also show prospective customers how you make things right.
Aim to respond to all reviews in less than 48 hours, and try to formulate a professional response to critical reviews within 24 hours. The reason for such a fast turnaround is you want your response to appear alongside any critique of your business as quickly as possible.
Publicly showing that you’ll make things right when a situation goes wrong can be the differentiator that makes someone choose your residential plumbing business over a competitor.
And while your initial response to a critical review should be public, follow up or drive the conversation offline for full resolution with the concerned party. This way, you can avoid creating a long back-and-forth thread on the review itself.
Maintain Social Media Profiles for Your Residential Plumbing Business
Even if you don’t intend to post regularly, it’s still important to maintain a presence on major social media platforms. Have a business profile on sites like:
Facebook allows users to leave reviews about your business, so keep that page up to date with your current logo and contact info.
Twitter’s unique usernames mean it’s possible someone could take your business name – so secure your Twitter handle and be as active or inactive as you wish. This way, you’ll be discoverable, and you’ll be able to directly respond to any requests or criticism that pops up in the Twitterverse.
Instagram is becoming a multi-purpose communication tool that is wildly popular with younger homeowners. Again, searchability and discoverability is key on this platform.
And LinkedIn is ideal for connecting with third-party vendors, competitor research and recruiting great talent for field and office staff.
Download our FREE Plumber Hiring Guide to SUPERCHARGE recruitment for your plumbing business!
Customer Retention Is Earned, Not Guaranteed
As we said before, every consumer is constantly considering and reconsidering each purchase decision. With a near endless ocean of information and options at everyone’s fingertips, it can be quite difficult to build any amount of brand loyalty.
This is why the road to customer retention starts with a shift in mindset. It’s not a given that an existing customer will continue to ring you up every time they need a residential plumbing business.
Now this doesn’t mean you need to constantly grovel at the feet of each customer, but a genuine sense of gratitude goes a long way in reinforcing a customer’s decision to continue their relationship with you.
That groundwork is what makes selling service maintenance agreements a breeze. Once your customer feels appreciated, they’re far more likely to take the plunge on a more long-term relationship with your residential plumbing business.
Leverage Field Service Software
When building these genuine relationships with customers, field service software can greatly improve your ability to maintain contact. In fact, the best field service software can help automate:
Build that bridge of solid contact and communication with your customers. Once you do, you’ll find service maintenance agreements become almost an afterthought. Your customers might even bring it up first!
That’s the power of putting the customer experience first. When your customers feel well taken care of, your job becomes so much more straightforward.
You provide the service and your customers will keep your residential plumbing business on the tip of their tongue. You’ll see referrals, reviews and repeat business pouring in.
Lead With Customer Experience to Grow Your Residential Plumbing Business
Growing a business doesn’t just happen. It takes intentional steps from the business owner to create the structure that allows growth. When you focus on the customer experience and perception of your brand, you’ll help:
- Humanize your business with transparency and accountability when responding to reviews.
- Build on the basics, and double down on the fundamentals of what’s made you great.
- Create brand advocates out of your existing customers to attract new business.
If you truly cater to your customers, you’ll begin to see an influx of new business as well as an increase in repeat business. And that’s the closest thing to loyalty any business can find these days.