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Tactics for Increasing Customer Retention & Acquisition to Maximize Profits for Plumbing & HVAC Contractors

March 31, 2015

As a plumbing or HVAC business owner, it is natural for most of your days to be consumed by the daily routines and operations of your company, but it is absolutely imperative that you find the time to review your profits and customer retention levels. If your customer retention rate is less than 75%, you’re missing out on repeat business which is some of the easiest and cheapest to come by.

Remember, customer retention is NOT the percent of customers that are repeat who purchased from you, rather it is the percentage of customers that have used you in the past 2 years that would want to use your services again!

At Contractor 20/20, we’re experienced in providing plumber marketing or HVAC marketing services to help companies improve customer retention and acquire new customers to boost growth and increase overall profits. Our marketing experts can help you determine which of the following strategies will be most beneficial for your company.

Tactics for Improving Customer Retention

  • Mail Coupons to 1/3 of Your Customer Base Each Month – Nothing shatters customer loyalty like a good coupon from one of your competitors. Your customers will be reminded of the excellent service they received from you when they see your coupon. They’ll choose to use your company over a competitor because they’re comfortable with you already. Mailing coupons can increase your customer retention rate by 10%, while at the same time getting you back between $8 and $16 for every $1 you invest in plumbing or HVAC contractor advertising.
  • Place Thermometers with Your Company Name & Contact Information outside Your Customers’ Kitchen Windows – A thermometer won’t cost you a lot of money, but it is a plumbing and HVAC contractor advertising method that continues to work long after the original investment. A customer might not need your service for quite some time, so it is a great idea to have a reminder of your company that will last!
  • Adhere Equipment Stickers – When your company services or installs a piece of equipment, simply place a sticker with your company name and contact information on it. Weeks, months, or years down the line when the equipment requires service, the owner will be highly likely to call you. Your sticker will save your customer from having to search the phonebook or web for a service provider, and they’ll feel comfortable knowing that they’ve used your company before, even if they don’t actually remember you! A future owner of the home will be more likely to call you for service as well. There aren’t many plumbing and HVAC advertising methods easier and simpler than this one!
  • Send Newsletters – Newsletters serve as a natural way for you to stay in touch with your customers. You provide a bit of informative or entertaining information and in doing so keep your company in the spotlight. When your customer needs service, the company that has stayed in touch will be the obvious choice. Newsletters are a plumbing and HVAC advertising method that has been proven to be extremely valuable.
  • Call HVAC Customers Who Haven’t Had Service Done in 13 Months – Whether you call to check in on how equipment is functioning or to remind your customer of needed maintenance, most customers will appreciate the courtesy.
  • Advertise in the White Pages or Yellow Pages – These types of ads can be very successful, but you’ll want to discuss ad placement with one of our marketing experts to make sure you don’t get sucked into a fruitless plumbing or HVAC advertising effort.
  • Bid on Your Company Name with Pay Per Click Advertising – When potential customers try to search for your HVAC or plumbing company online, you want to make sure that ads for your company come up, not ads for your competitors. We can make sure that your ads come up even when people spell your company name incorrectly.

Tactics for Increasing Customer Acquisition

  • Internet Marketing – This is one of our specialties because, let’s face it, the internet is where most people find the products and services they’re looking for these days. For every plumbing or HVAC marketing and advertising $1 you invest in an internet marketing campaign, you should get back $4 to $11 from new customers and $8 to $22 from repeat customers.
  • Send Direct Mail to Highly Targeted Potential New Customers Using an Evaluation of Credit Card Company Collected Personality Data – This may sound like a complicated task, but it’s actually quite simple. We narrow down a large pool of people into a much smaller group that we think would be most likely to purchase your products and services. This way you save on your plumbing or HVAC marketing and advertising investment by not mailing to households that are not as likely to respond or take action.
  • Mail the Neighbors of Your Customers – Neighbors of your current customers are fairly easy to convert to new customers. By notifying them that you’ve been doing work in their area, they’ll be more likely to choose your company for their next project or needed service.
  • Display Yard Signs – Placing a yard sign with your company information on the front lawn of a satisfied customer is another proven HVAC and plumbing marketing tactic sure to attract new customers. Neighbors and passersby will see the sign as a personal recommendation from that household.
  • Give a Yard Sign Discount to Secure a Job – If you’re about to lose work because a potential customer believes your price is too high, offer a discount for displaying a yard sign. This is a great tactic to use on a slow week when you’ve got time to sell!
  • Radio and Television Advertising – You can create a positive image of your company that will quickly come to your potential customers’ minds when they need your service. This is one of the best methods for improving brand awareness and it increases the ROI of your other marketing efforts as well.
  • Review Your ROI for Current Plumber Internet Marketing Campaigns or HVAC Internet Marketing Campaigns – You can use dynamic phone tracking to determine which search terms, ads, and traffic sources are bringing you in the most new customers. With this information you can alter your internet marketing strategies to drive down the cost of acquiring new customers online.
  • Advertise on Internet Radio – For a small investment, you can generate a ton of impressions and website visits from potential customers.
  • Create a Billboard – Billboards are big, bold attention-grabbers. When placed in the correct spot, a billboard can exclaim your company’s existence and worthiness to thousands of people.
  • Local Church Directory Ads – For many people a church directory is a trusted source of information. Our marketing experts can help you to determine if it would be worthwhile for your company to advertise here.
  • Community Promotions – People are drawn to companies who participate in or sponsor something within the community. Getting involved within the community is a great way to make your company known and to create a positive image. Try sponsoring a little league team, volunteering, or handing out water bottles at a run for a charity.
  • Yellow Page Stickers – The great thing about yellow page stickers is that they are prominently displayed—potential customers don’t even have to open the book to learn about your company!
  • Advertise in the Newspaper – While many people are getting their news from the television or internet, there are still plenty of people reading the newspaper regularly.
  • Show an Ad at Your Local Movie Theater – As soon as people sit down inside the movie theater, they can’t help but look at the oversized screen. An ad that comes on before the movie begins is sure to be seen.
  • Hero Branding – Go the extra mile for your customers and community. You have a unique opportunity to truly help people and to be a “hero” to them. When your HVAC or plumbing business commits to going above and beyond every day, your efforts will be rewarded. Being a well-known and respected member of a community will greatly help any plumber marketing or HVAC marketing campaign.

In almost all cases, a company won’t use all of the plumber and HVAC advertising methods above to attain and retain customers, and these are certainly only some of the many options available. Contractor 20/20 looks at each company individually to determine which methods will be the most successful and the most cost-effective. In one community, television advertising might cost a small fortune; in another it might be a relatively inexpensive, worthwhile venture. Our marketing professionals do the work for you; we map out the most efficient route to finding your company new customers and keeping your current customers loyal. At Contractor 20/20, we have a proven record for attaining customer acquisition and retention goals for HVAC and plumbing companies and other businesses in the service industry. If you’re ready to maximize profits and improve stability at your company, give Mike Morosi, president of Contractor 20/20, a call today! (607) 770-8933

Michael Morosi