Which one do you think it is?
- Advertising in High-End Home Magazines
- Having The Best Showroom
- High Commission Sales People
- Internet Advertising
- Newspaper Advertising
- Referrals By Current Customers
- Sales Calls to Architects and G.C.s
- Sales Calls to Insurance Companies
- TV Spots
- Yellow Pages Advertising
- None Of The Above
And the answer is: (Do you hear the drum roll and the cymbals crashing?)
Referrals from present customers.
Yes, this is the winner. Nothing beats a happy cutomer telling another person how great the glass or metal work was done at their home or business. How do you get this referal? Well, don’t count on it just happening. Sure it will happen occaisonally, but your goal is to have it happen after each and every successful installation. A person who owns a store where you have just finished upgrading their store front, knows other store owners and his referral is worth its weight in gold.
First Step–Do great work. If you don’t, stop reading this now.
Second Step–At the final walkthrough of the job, whether it is just a screen replacement, a windshield, or a whole bathroom or storefront, ask the customer if they are happy. If they are not, stay at the job site until they can answer yes. (There are 2% of the customers you will never please, okay.) After that ‘yes’, hand them a survey form to fill out and send back to your office. Keep it short, with no more than ten questions.
Third Step–Include questions about the services you performed; were we on-time; did we leave your location cleaner than we found it; were we easy to work with, etc. The ‘etc.’ comes from all of the questions that you get following web purchases, hotel stays or travel. One of the questions should be “May we use your name as a reference for similar type work?” Also, “Is there anyone that you reccomend we call that may be interested in our services?” If your team did a super job, you will get answers to this. If you did a so-so job, no references. Have a stamp on the return enevlope or get a business reply permit from the Post Office.
Fourth Step–Along with the survey letter, give each customer a sheet with four coupons on it. The coupon is good for a service or product at your shop that they can give to their friends. Make it worthwhile. $10 doesn’t get someone’s attention. $25 or $50 can start the ball rolling.
Fifth Step–Did I mention do a good job in the first place?
Sixth Step–Look at each survey that comes in and take the comments seriously. If a customer is satisfied overall, but has a problem with waiting on hold too long, or not being able to clearly read your web site, act on it. Here is a satisfied customer explaining how they could be even more satisfied. If you change something based on their response send a letter thanking them. This will gain you further referrals–I promise.
Other things include giving an atta-boy to every employee who handled a customer who gives a glowing review. Sometimes a $10 gas card to your team after a good review works wonders. They will really strive to earn these on future jobs.
Also, it is a good idea to send your favorite blogger the same gas card for each job where you get a good review. Now, isn’t that the best idea on the page?