How to Keep a Customer: Turn a One-Off Gig into a Lifelong Customer

February 12, 2021

One of the largest marketing expenses that field-service businesses have is customer acquisition. So when you get a new customer, it’s worth keeping them! When you increase customer retention rates by just 5%, research from Bain & Company shows it can improve your profitability from 25% to 95%. On average, it costs five times less to retain a customer than to recruit a new one.

Our goal is that by the time you're finished reading this blog, you'll be well prepared to turn a one-off gig into a lifelong customer!

Reassurance Is Key

How are customers and chihuahuas similar? They both tend to be nervous creatures.

Customers will constantly ask themselves questions like:

  • Was this service worth my hard-earned money?
  • Could I find better value for a cheaper price somewhere else?
  • Am I really in good hands?

Thankfully, there’s a simple formula for how to reassure your buyer, and it can all be done in a single email, and only 4 steps!

Step 1: Teach the customer a lesson

No, not in a malicious way. Give your customer the gift of knowledge that they would not have otherwise known or seek out on their own. This positions you as an authority and helps build trust.

Step 2: Re-sell yourself to them

Even once you’ve made the sale, reinforce your value to them. Remind customers how you deliver superior service and why they made a good choice. This helps validate their choice and reduces any feeling of buyer’s remorse.

Step 3: Offer them a bonus

Offer an additional value add to the customer, such as a discount for repeat jobs, or a discount during their birthday month. It's up to you to create the value add, but the more creative and personal it feels, the more effective it will be. You’re also setting the stage for repeat business. This will motivate the customer to engage with you on a more regular basis, increasing the odds that they'll be a customer for life.

Step 4: Set the stage for the future

Communicate to the customer how excited you are that they chose you and want the opportunity to work with them in the future. Set the stage for a long-term relationship from the first visit. Reinforce that you're there to support them for the long haul, whenever they may need you.

Provide Top-Notch Service

None of these strategies work if you don’t provide excellent customer service. It sounds so simple, but under-promising and over-delivery still make an impression.

Want to make a great impression?  Do what you say you’ll do when you say you’ll do it. Avoid these top 5 customer complaints:

  1. Long appointment windows
  2. Technicians that are unfamiliar with the problem
  3. Late or missed appointments
  4. Unfriendly or unprofessional technicians
  5. Issues not resolved on the first visit

Every interaction with a customer is a chance to demonstrate why they should do business with you or call you next time they need service. Don’t miss an opportunity to show how much you value their business. Make them feel safe (COVID compliance) and take care to manage appearance and behavior.

It pays off. 93% of customers say they’re likely to do repeat business with businesses that offer excellent customer service.

For business owners and managers, remember that your technicians and other employees are your customers, too. Treat your employees well, so they’ll treat the customer even better.

Go the Extra Mile

It’s often the little touches that help create an emotional connection for customers. Thank You notes, birthday or holiday cards, or doing something else to make your customer feel special – and remember you – can go a long way.

It can be as simple as training your employees to write down a few notes about the visit for the next call. They just got a new car?  Ask them next time how they like it. Their child plays soccer?  Ask how their team is doing. Being able to reference a past interaction helps build the relationship, especially when it’s something personal.

Anything you can do to make it easier for customers to do business with you — such as the FieldPulse app — helps with customer retention.

Follow Up

After a service call, follow up to make sure everything went well. If there’s an issue, resolve it as soon as possible. This helps reinforce that you value them and want to ensure you’re delivering the best service possible.

Follow the Formula

Customer retention is the key to growing a business. When you can keep existing customers happy — and add new ones on top of that — that’s how you grow. If you’re losing customers every month, you’re swimming upstream just to stay afloat.

To improve your customer retention, follow these four steps:

  • Teach your customer a lesson
  • Re-sell yourself
  • Offer them a bonus
  • Set the stage for the future

Always be sure to provide exceptional customer service, and go the extra mile to create a memorable experience and emotional connection with your business. Finally, always follow up with your customers to make sure they’re satisfied.

It’s a formula that works!

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