Business Hints & Tips: Customers

Ways to keep customers coming back for more

Any business will tell you winning customers is hard, but keeping them can be even harder.

Any business will tell you winning customers is hard, but keeping them can be even harder.

With 120,000 Gas Safe registered in the UK, heating installers have a lot of competition.  But some simple and effective marketing tactics can ensure you remain top of mind when customers are on the look-out for heating system assistance.

Brand to impress

There is a reason why famous businesses continually invest in their brand.  They spend fortunes protecting it and ensuring it portrays a consistent image to the outside world.  Coca-Cola is known across the globe, but still focuses everyday on its brand as a critical element of its enduring success.  Indeed, it could be argued the brand is just as important as its highly secretive recipe.

So strong branding works.  And it can also work for heating installers.

By investing in branded work wear and van livery, installers can look smart and communicate a professional image to customers.  Aligning with prominent and trusted heating brands – such as Vaillant – and proudly displaying industry accreditations, will also provide essential reassurance for clients.

Give added value and exceed expectations

Providing things like energy-saving tips during installation reinforces a professional and caring impression.  It helps create a positive interaction with clients who will then be more pre-disposed to renew business contact in the future.  Customers can check out social media pages such as Vaillant’s Facebook page which gives hints and tips about energy saving measures consumers can take. Why not use Vaillant’s energy saving tips video in front of your customers?

The digital world

There is a general expectation that in 2016 every reputable business has some form of on-line presence.  With internet access now widespread, customers can easily scour information on-line and in a few simple clicks  compare companies, and even read reviews of work standards.

From an installer perspective, the digital world opens up endless possibilities to keep customers within reach. Free or low-cost tools such as Twitter are increasingly influencing consumer purchasing decisions.   Installers who proactively engage with customers through social media platforms can build positive relationships that are more likely to result in repeat business.

Establishing a Twitter presence is easy and there is lots of help and tips available to do so.  Read Vaillant’s quick start Twitter guide http://www.vaillant.co.uk/installers/news/vaillant-advance-twitter/index.en_gb.html.

Think long term

While the initial business relationship often starts with a distress purchase – a customer is without hot water or heating – once the original situation is sorted this need not be the end of any future interaction.  Keeping conversations going by promoting your broader service offering will help secure more business in the future.

You can share product information, send reminders for servicing, and issue updates on new technologies on the market such as smart internet connected controls.

Taking this further, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) can support direct marketing initiatives.  There are a number of tools on the market to suit all business sizes,  allowing installers to store critical customer information such as name, address, phone numbers and e-mail addresses, as well as information on current heating systems and service due dates.  CRM can provide an essential data platform on which to base ongoing engagement activity.

Installer companies, whatever their size, can adopt some of the marketing principles used by some of the world’s best known businesses.   Focussing on a strong brand presence, embracing today’s digital world and proactively engaging with customers, will go a long way to optimising business building potential.

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