Do You Know Where Your Customers Are?

Remember 20-30 years ago when they used to broadcast on TV and say “It’s 10:00 pm. Do you know where your kids are?”
My parents were talking about that a few days ago and it got me thinking – in the most important time of the year, do my franchisees know where their customers are? Are they able to confidently market to them?

Your Database

I’ve said many times that a business’s most valuable asset is their customer database. For some owners, it’s THOUSANDS of names, addresses, and phone numbers for past customers. How much is that information worth to you as a business?
Let’s put it this way – if you have 1,500 customers in your database, and you an get 80% of them to do business with you annually, that’s 1,200 customers in a year. At 100 customers a month. 4 -5 customers per day (if you’re cleaning the usual 22 days a month).
At a job average of $250 per job, that’s $1,000 per day. $22,000 – 25,000 per month. $264,000 – 300,000 per year!
BUT… Your database needs some love. If you think that you’ll get 80% of them to book a job with you annually without any effort on your part, you’re nuts.
Have It All Together
I love hearing that people are marketing to their past customer databases regularly. It makes my heart sing, actually. But one of the differences between those that do and those that don’t is having their customer list collected together. It’s all in one place.
Your life as a business owner becomes infinitely easier when you have your customers all collected in one place. Personally, I would love for you to be using onTrack because it’s custom-built for Chem-Dry. However, if you decide on another software, I’m just happy you’re moving in that direction.
Most of these software programs will offer marketing integration options to mail, e-mail, or otherwise contact your customers to make additional offers to them. USE THEM!

Don’t Have Time?

I totally understand. You’re busy. You’ve got a lot going on. You probably feel like that rabbit from Alice in Wonderland at times.
Here’s what you should do:
Mail it to HRI and we’ll digitize the customer list for you and e-mail you the file.
We see enough value in it that we’ll take the invoices you mail us and put them all into a nice, neat file so you can upload it to a Database Management System like onTrack. This can make a HUGE difference in your business and make it far easier to market to past customers that need to hear from you.

Big Takeaway:

Your database is full of great customers. But if you can’t easily access their information, it’s unlikely that they’ll ever hear from you.
  1. Market to your database. Whether it’s postcards, e-mail, whatever. I don’t really care. Just do it.
  2. Collect your customer invoices for the past few years.
  3. Get the list digitized to upload to a management system.
Repeat customers should be the lifeblood of your business. Get yourself ready to communicate with them by collecting them together in a database.

Reviews are Reviews are Reviews

I’ve had a lot of people ask me over the past few weeks what they can do with reviews or feedback they’ve received over the years that didn’t “qualify” as official Google or Facebook reviews.
They’re not useless. Here’s what you can do with them!

Quote Them!

If you’re like many business owners, you’ve gotten comments, thank-you cards, e-mails, and text messages in the past years that have told you how much they appreciated your service. And, while they don’t count as official reviews unless the customer logs into their account and leaves it on your Facebook or Google profile, you can still use them (with their permission, of course!). 
Say Mrs. Smith responded to a follow-up e-mail where you just checked in after the job to make sure that everything ran smoothly. If her response says something like:
“Joe did a fantastic job. I’ve never seen my carpets look this clean. I’m going to tell all my friends and neighbors about you guys!”
Do you think that’s worth sharing? Absolutely! Quickly reply back to her and ask if you quote her on your website or on Facebook using only her first name, last initial, and city. Chances are, she’ll be fine with it. Hey, she may be willing to even go there and write it herself!

Snap It!

There’s a fair chance you’re reading this on a device that can help you here – your smartphone. If you received some feedback from a customer – especially hand-written – you can take a quick snapshot of that feedback and share it on Facebook, Google, Instagram, anywhere! A hand-written note is SO much more credible to the viewer.
If you decide to post it to social media, quote the note in the caption for it in case the handwriting may be difficult to read. Once again, cite the person’s first name, last initial, and city.
Big Takeaway:
You work hard to make your customers happy, so you should absolutely use every bit they give you back to its fullest potential. If you can’t get an official online review, you can still use what they give you.
  1. Always invite customers to leave you reviews and feedback on Google, Facebook, and Yelp.
  2. Quote your satisfied customers on social media to add credibility to your work.
  3. Use visual media to enhance your results by sharing pictures of handwritten reviews and feedback.
To stay relevant in the online business world, you need reviews. You should do everything you can to get them – in whatever form they may take.