July 2013 Issue
Reconnect Your HVAC Business With Past Customers Using These 5 Tips
Past customers are those you haven’t heard from or sold to in awhile. Maybe you did a repair to their furnace or installed a new cooling system and let the relationship end right there. Bad idea! Don’t neglect these crucial individuals who already trusted your company. They can be big assets to your business. Even when time’s short and your days are already full running your HVAC business, you must reconnect with past customers. Doing so is much easier and cost-effective than continually attracting new customers from scratch. What’s more, past clients can help you bring in new customers with referrals.
Reactivating past customer relationships
To reap the benefits of consistent, two-way customer communication and reconnect with past customers, try the following five tips:
- Refresh your social media – If you don’t have a social media presence on Facebook, Twitter and other appropriate networks, get set up! If you’ve allowed these customer connection points to grow stale, update your pages and renew your efforts. Consistently provide practical, problem-solving advice and interesting observations. Share info relevant to your business, as well as offers, discounts and occasional fun stuff to brighten your followers’ day.
- Send some snail mail – Reconnecting with past customers via multiple channels increases your chance of getting their attention. Postal mail can work wonders as an HVAC reconnection strategy. It can also reinforce recent email communications or social media updates. When gathering info or conducting a survey, include postage-paid, pre-addressed response mechanisms to make responding easy. Send a birthday card, seasonal discount flyer, or a handy postcard reminder to schedule an HVAC checkup or home energy evaluation.
- Email – If it’s been awhile since you have been in contact, an email shows you remember them and reintroduces your business! Start a regularly scheduled and informative newsletter to keep in touch. Remember to include a lead generating online response form and personalization.
- Make a call – If you don’t have a system in place to phone your customers to schedule appointments or ask them how their service call went (how satisfied they are), consider hiring an onshore call center to do it for you. Also, follow-up on new referral and website leads ASAP. The quicker you follow-up, the better your chances of making a sale. Prioritize to use time effectively by pre-qualifying leads and contacting only the hottest leads via phone. Stay organized with lead tracking software to manage customer contacts and data. A good HVAC marketing services firm can help you maximize your time and make lead generation and follow-up easy.
- Introduce a new customer loyalty program – Announcing a new program is a great excuse to reconnect and re-energize old customers. Brainstorm some special deals for customers who join your email list. Consider adding VIP status to your preventive maintenance program, giving perks and discounts to those who sign annual contracts. Keeping in touch with your past customer database is most effective with intelligent marketing campaigns.
Once you reconnect with past customers, be sure not to lose touch again. If you let this valuable connection die, competitors can walk right in and steal your customer. Keep your name and image visible and build a friendly relationship, positioning yourself as a resource for HVAC advice. This way, when the furnace goes out or starts making funny noises, you’ll be the one that gets the call.
Sounds like a lot of work, right? Marketing, relationship building and maintenance does take time and effort, but it’s worth it. If you don’t have time to dedicate to the task, hire a consultant offering HVAC-industry specific programs for customer contact. Choose a company offering guidance, turn-key marketing tools and valuable data tracking to make managing past customers easy. Whatever you do, make sure you get the most out of your valuable past customers — don’t let relationships lapse.
For experienced help reconnecting with past HVAC customers, contact Continuity Programs.