There are many benefits of building customer relationships for tradies in business, and building those relationships involves satisfying your current customers to help create repeat business. Research shows acquiring a new customer can cost five times more than retaining an existing customer.
As higher retention rates are connected with higher profits, you could be leaving money on the table if your time, energy and marketing resources are focused on getting leads in the door. Have you considered the importance of building relationships with your existing customers?
Benefits of building customer relationships
According to business.gov.au, building customer relationships has the following benefits:
- You’ll build goodwill and increase the value of your business
- Your customers will remain loyal to your business
- You’ll attract new customers with good word of mouth
- Information customers provide will help you plan for long-term success.
So, now you know why building customer relationships is important. The question is, how do you keep customers coming back? Your best customers may be sitting right in front of you. What are you doing to provide them with a positive customer experience?
The Customer Experience Maximiser
Our partners, Andy and Angela Smith, who are trade business owners and co-founders of Lifestyle Tradie, have developed The Customer Experience Maximiser model to illustrate the relationship between customer experience and customer satisfaction and loyalty.
There are four levels in the hierarchy. This hierarchy represents the level of satisfaction a customer feels after making a purchase.
The four levels are as follows:
Level 1 – Basic
The Basic level refers to all the requirements of doing business. For example, operating a plumbing business requires a suitable business location, licenced employees, and plumbing equipment/supplies. You’re run-of-the-mill. You’re doing an adequate job.
Level 2 – Expected
The Expected level is what your customers regard as normal in your industry. For example, an engineering supplies business would be expected to have brand-name merchandise at competitive prices, knowledgeable staff and next-day deliveries. You’re ticking all the boxes.
Level 3 – Desired
The Desired level means you’re providing services and features that your clients know are available in your industry and would like to use or have.
Level 4 – Unexpected
The Unexpected level means you’re providing services and features that surpass reasonable industry expectations. You’re going above and beyond by wowing existing customers with worthwhile warranties, and by personal touches such as sending a card on their birthday.
Every tradie in business should be aiming for the Unexpected level. However, there seems to be a widespread perception in society that engaging a tradie will result in service that sits somewhere between the Basic and Expected levels.
If you were to rate your trade business, where would you currently sit in this hierarchy?
Customer relationship management (CRM)
For your trade business to stay above the line in the Customer Experience Maximiser, every touch point will involve building trust. Customer relationship management (CRM) is a set of processes, as well as the technology that supports the processes, that facilitate these trust-building touch points and interactions with customers.
AroFlo’s job management software features CRM capabilities, where the right customer data is captured and recorded in one location. This will include data such as the customer’s name, email, address and phone number, which you can use to deliver an Unexpected level of service.
For trade business owners like Andy and Angela, this CRM capability means customers receive an SMS half an hour before a tradie arrives as a heads up. If a customer’s dog’s name is Fido, or they mention they enjoy camping, it gets recorded in the centralised system.
The data you enter into your CRM allows you to build customer relationships. It’s only when you understand your customers that you can provide a great customer experience. When these customers become loyal fans, you’ll be in the hot seat to make more profit.
Want to learn more profit-making strategies? Visit Lifestyle Tradie Live for information on a new national series of live events.
Written by Lifestyle Tradie
Lifestyle Tradie is an education hub and community of tradies in business, co-founded by award-winning educators, Andy and Angela Smith, who own a trade business based in Sydney, Australia.