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Connecting With “The One” Customer – Part II

 
Last week we talked about how to make your customers feel more special by addressing them personally through e-mail.
Let’s talk about how to do it with new customers and AdWords. It’s not hard, but it’s effective.

“Wow… That’s Exactly What I Typed!”

Probably my favorite advertisement platform, Google AdWords allows you to use the words your customer searched with to make an ad. Crazy, right? But it’s SO effective!
Here’s why:
Google AdWords bases your costs and placement on ads primarily on how relevant your ad is to what people were searching for. Instead of creating a new ad for every permutation of what someone could possibly type in, you can create an ad using “Dynamic Keyword Insertion” (DKI). It takes whatever your customer searched for and makes that the headline on the ad. You can then create the description for the ad and everything else your own and even include a “default” headline.
Here’s an example of how that’s set up:
If Google decides to just serve up my ad, it will look like this:
But, instead of “Green Certified Carpet Cleaning”, they’ll insert whatever someone searched for like “Scott’s Chem-Dry” or any other keyword on my list.
8 out of 10 people will read a headline, but only 2 of 10 will read the rest of the ad. So, when a consumer sees a headline that’s exactly what they searched for, they’re WAY more likely to click on that ad.

Big Takeaway:

Make your marketing about your customer. They’ll respond. I promise.
  1. Dynamic search ads are incredibly effective! When your ads are more relevant to what people are searching, you get more shown and clicked on more often.
  2. Watch the list of words that get inserted into your dynamic ad headlines to know what words to add to your keyword lists.
The service industry is a very personal one. It’s a loyalty business. Encourage a personal relationship with your customer by using their name and what they’re looking for.
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Connecting With “The One” Customer – Part I

We have a pretty good idea of what our core customer is. You know them, you can probably picture them in your mind. But sometimes you have to do more than target the group as a whole. People feel important when you address them directly. They also will surprise you with the unique ways the find you. Here’s one thing you can do this week to make your customers feel more special.

Make E-mail About THEM

Consumers are automatically more interested in a message you have to share with them when they feel like it’s personalized. Luckily, that’s an easy fix.
Without getting too complicated, you can address your customers individually using a technology called “dynamic content” in e-mail.
What it does is create a salutation at the beginning of the e-mail that either defaults to something like “Hello, Valued Customer” and inserts a name into it if you provide the “input” resulting in something like “Hello, Chris.”
If you want to get really fancy, you can try putting their name in the subject line to say something like “A Deal Just for Dan”.
I wrote about this last year and showed you how to do it in Constant Contact. Take a look here.
Big Takeaway:
Make your marketing about your customer. They’ll respond. I promise.
  1. Try having an e-mail speak directly to your customer.
  2. If you can, get their name in the subject line!
The service industry is a very personal one. It’s a loyalty business. Encourage a personal relationship with your customer by using their name and what they’re looking for.
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Courting Your Customers – Part II

Last week, we talked about how getting online reviews (aka your business’ “online dating profile”) can help potential customers feel more confident calling you because they see that you’ve got a good reputation. Let’s continue down that path this week.
My kids have been on a Disney music kick lately and one of their favorite songs that comes on (though they haven’t seen the movie yet) is “That’s How You Know” from Enchanted. The first lines from the song are “How does she know you love her? How does she know she’s yours?”
This makes me think of our relationships with our customers. I’ll explain.
When you ask them for a review, you’re essentially telling them “Hey. I think we had a good time and I want to see you again.” You’re setting the stage for a long-term business relationship.

How Soon is Too Soon?

I remember after my first date with my wife I debated about when to call her again. I had a great time, but didn’t want to come off desperate. (Come on, guys. You know what I’m talking about.)
Meanwhile, she was left wondering, “I wonder when he’ll call me again.” Turns out, I could have called her when I got home and it wouldn’t have been too soon.
Here’s my recommendation for your customers: Don’t wait. Whether you got a review or not, don’t wait.
In today’s marketing/business world, you’re actually expected to “call back” within 24 hours. That could be a literal phone call, e-mail, postcard, or text message (use your best judgement based on the customer). But the key is that you need to follow up. “THAT’S how she’ll know.”
Plus, if you didn’t get the review, this is your chance to find out how they feel. You get to ask for a review, a referral, or just check in make sure everything from your “date” is still okay.

Sending Flowers

There are some things that can never go wrong when it comes to following up on a job. These are all things you should be doing. Like sending a few flowers after a date, keep it reasonable, but “that’s how [they’ll] know you love them.”
Here are some ideas:
  • A personally-signed thank-you card (all but forgotten in our day and age)
  • A short, simple e-mail
  • A phone call
  • A text message
  • Referral cards
  • A review request
  • A box of dog/cat treats on a big P.U.R.T. job. (Amazon, anyone?)
Whatever you decide to do, make it meaningful. Take some time and show you care.

Big Takeaway:

  1. Make sure they know you “love” them. Feel for it by asking for a review.
  2. Don’t wait too long to “call” after the date. Follow up quickly and show some appreciation and thought.
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Courting Your Customers – Part I

If you’ve been following my blog for the last little while, you’ve probably noticed that I’m on a bit of a reviews kick. That’s because it’s something that’s so easy to do that can have a HUGE impact on your business.
I’d like to take a different spin on it today, though. Let’s look at it from your customer’s point of view.

The No-Longer Blind Date

Remember the last blind date you went on? I do. It was… awkward. Largely because, no matter how much the people who set me up told me about my date, I still had no idea what I was getting myself into. The people who set me up are only going to say good things about my date because they want me to have a good time and make a connection. If only there were a way to find out more about my date… Oh, wait! There’s this new thing called the Internet!
That’s right. Thanks to the magic of Facebook, Google, and the like, we can hunt down just about anyone and find out more about their personality – especially the weird stuff.
So, when a potential customer gets a recommendation from a friend to call your business, you have the opportunity to have many of your past customers vouch for you. They talk about their experiences with you and set up expectations. And if you’re working on your social media presence, you can talk about things you’re going to do for your customers.

Building a Reputation

The best and easiest way for you to build a reputation online is through reviews – especially Google reviews if you can get them. But here’s the trick – you can’t expect customers to be so elated that they just can’t wait to look you up and write a glowing review. You have to ASK them.
I wrote a while back about how to create a link to send via text message for customers to leave a review. It’s not complicated and it pays off. The key is to catch your customers in the apex of their emotional satisfaction – as soon as they see how good everything looks/smells. That’s when you say, “Mrs. Jones, I’m so glad you liked what we did today. Would it be alright if I send you a text message with a link to leave us some feedback online? Would you prefer Google, Facebook, or Yelp?”
Darryl and Teresa Adcock of Northern Utah Chem-Dry started doing this in February of this year and, as of today, have TRIPLED their Google reviews. It works! Now whenever a customer is thinking of calling them, they know they can call with confidence.

Coming Next Week

We’ll continue this topic next week with what you could/should be putting out into the world on Social Media and other places online that will help to enhance the impression you have on potential customers.

Big Takeaway:

Customers hate gambling with their business. If you can do things to make them feel more confident in calling you, you’ll gain more market share and lifetime customers.
  1. Be aware of what people are saying about you.
  2. Make sure you have Google, Facebook, and Yelp listings for your business to collect reviews.
  3. Create links that can be sent via text message to take customers directly to leave a review.
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You’ve Got to Watch This!

One of the biggest trends in digital marketing for 2017 is audiovisual media. People just love watching videos online! It’s incredible! According to a recent YouTube study, the world watches over 1 BILLION HOURS of video per day.
What does that mean for you as a Chem-Dry owner? Text posts and pictures may not cut it. It’s time to invest in video.
What Videos Work?
Generally speaking, people want short (30-120 seconds), digestible videos that don’t take much time, but are full of remarkable information or entertaining antics. As a Chem-Dry franchise, you have the ability to really show off some amazing things that you can do for people.
Live video is also a big thing for your business – especially if you can capture something interesting like showcasing how you remove tough stains, or a great tile job. The big thing for videos for your business is that they need to be interesting and show your personality. Just don’t be surprised if it doesn’t go viral overnight.
What’s Available To Use?
Marketing Toolbox Button
Well, because we love our Chem-Dry franchises, we’ve made some GREAT videos that talk about the benefits of Chem-Dry cleaning services and the Healthy Home Study. You can find many of these videos in the Marketing Toolbox on the Gateway. You can download the video and upload it to your company’s YouTube channel, or just upload it directly to Facebook with a good caption.
How Do I Make a Video?
Here’s the thing you have to remember about internet videos – generally, they don’t have to be super polished. You can go through a lot of effort to modify, edit, add music, transitions, titles, etc… But at the end of the day, what matters is the content. You can probably shoot a good enough video with your smartphone that will serve you just fine.
Just make sure that you brand yourself properly (use proper colors, uniforms, and introduce yourself by your whole company name) and that you don’t misrepresent brand promises, and you’re golden!
For more tips on shooting a great video with your smartphone, I recommend this helpful tutorial.
Big Takeaway:
Videos are a great way to quickly communicate the value of your business not only by talking about it, but SHOWING it. Try doing these things:
  1. Shoot a short, easy video highlighting your service. Show results.
  2. Get in front of the camera to talk about WHY your business is the best choice.
  3. Upload a video from the Gateway to get the ball rolling and remind people about the power of Chem-Dry.
Videos are a quick, easy way to show some personality in your business and engage with customers to remind them why they chose you in the first place. It’s about time you shared some with them.
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Be a Problem Solver

 
Remember this guy? Angus MacGyver, the brilliant problem-solving genius that could take common items like paperclips and spit to make tools to disarm nuclear bombs.
Why did he become famous (at least, in his fictional world)? Because no matter what the odds or difficulty of the situation, he could come up with something to fix it with a Swiss Army knife and duct tape. He became the man you would call on when nothing else would work.
As a Chem-Dry franchise, you’re the MacGyver of carpet cleaning. If you can’t fix it, nobody can. But how many of your current or potential customers know that?

Play to Your Strengths

You make great money solving people’s problems. We can solve problems that nobody else can. That’s a MAJOR strength for you! Chem-Dry can solve problems with pet odor, re-occurring stains, heavily soiled carpet and upholstery, allergies, bacteria, and so much more!
But people don’t know you can solve their problem unless you tell them. Are you telling them? Are new customers finding you because you addressed the solution they’re looking for? Why not advertise based on what makes you stand out (and, as a result, makes you more money)?!
There’s an incredible profit opportunity available to you through selling P.U.R.T. and it solves a BIG problem for your customers. Are you advertising to be able to find the customers that are looking for that service?
Think about other services you offer that make you good money. Protectant. Sanitizer. Granite renewal. The list goes on.
Potential customers are looking for businesses that can solve the problems they’re having and they’re willing to pay good money to do it because it’s important enough to them to look for it. Plus, when they call and you’re able to confidently say “We specialize in ___________”, they can’t wait to have you come do it!

Showcase It

Here’s what I want you to do.
Make a list of the top 5 things that: a) you specialize in and nobody else can do; b) make you good money.
Now that you have your list, start brainstorming ideas of how you can market those things. Here are some suggestions:
  • Make a video of a protectant demo.
  • Use a stain removal before/after picture on a postcard.
  • Show Healthy Home statistics (98% of allergens, 89% of bacteria, etc.) in a Pay-Per-Click ad.
  • Use a picture like the one here to show before/after on granite.
  • Have your vendor prepare a PPC campaign for P.U.R.T.
While you may not be able to fill your day with “specialist” jobs, they’re often cheap to advertise for and very profitable. Make sure you aren’t inadvertently missing opportunities because you failed to show up.

Big Takeaway:

You’re a specialist. Advertise like one.
  1. Take time to analyze what makes you money and what makes you different.
  2. Create advertising campaigns around those things.
  3. Talk to each customer about how you are their MacGyver when it comes to carpet. If you can’t do it – nobody can!
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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.