I have been around the industry now for more than 20 years and one of the many lessons I have learned is on customer follow-up – specifically, a returned phone call or just a personal contact to “check-in.” Over the years I have tried many ideas I came up with or learned about and there are a few points which have worked for me…maybe they can work for you.
So much of the pool business, being service or construction, is by word of mouth. People refer you because of the quality of your service or product, but also because they like YOU and/or your employees and how you interact with them and visibly go that extra mile. Building a relationship with your customer/clients is a key to future success. Here are a few ideas:
- Return phone calls, text messages and emails to people who contact you as quickly as possible. This is a “now” society and they called to talk to you at the time and date they called, not a week from now.
- Don’t ask yes or no questions. Ask who, what, when or how questions, anything to get the client talking. You will be amazed at how easy the rest of the conversation flows.
- Practice a “pre-emptive strike.” There are many stages in construction or times of year when customers can experience problems with their pool – don’t wait for them to call you, get on the phone or talk to them face-to-face.
- Give them a small client gift from time to time – a nice pen or key fob with a light, a bottle of wine or even a nice shirt – all custom with your logo. It is the thought that counts and they will be promoting your company with a smile.
- Go the extra mile. Look for something small that won’t take much time that you can offer to do – water the yard or plants, look after something while they are up north or on vacation. Reach out with special offers with no strings attached to your current customers.
There are many ways to communicate in a personal way with your clients. It has been my experience that if you follow some of these basic ideas you can easily differentiate yourself by showing that you care about them by making the effort to follow up with your prospects and clients.
By Jerry “Splashman” Scott, Splash Man Pool Service