You are ready to expand your field service, but recognize that new customers are expensive. In fact, according to business analysts, a new account costs four to 15 times as much as retaining a current customer. Have you considered leveraging your current customer base as a source of new business? Here are five strategies to consider:
Reward customers for referrals. This can be a cash reward, a rebate on service, or a toaster. (Well, maybe an iPad.) Make it easy for customers to take credit for a referral, and promote your referral program.
Solicit reviews and put them to work. Begin with your #1 retention strategy—follow up the first service call to every new customer with a phone call (first) and email (after resolving any problem).
In your email, ask for feedback, and include a link to Yelp. There are review management systems—before signing up, see 10 Questions to Ask. Now put positive reviews to work. Sprinkle them everywhere—throughout your website, on estimate sheets, on your trucks, and on brochures.
Publish case studies. In a case study, you tell the entire customer story. Include brief descriptions of the customer’s business, problems the customer hoped to solve, why your company was chosen, your solution, and results. Publish the studies on your website, linking from related topics. Use paper copies when presenting bids. Post case studies on your office walls (your staff should learn these by heart).
Touch base. Periodically contact former and repeat customers, keeping it low key and friendly. Call or email the customer to mention services the customer may not know about, mention your referral incentive, and offer to schedule the next service. Keep an eye on your map-view scheduling screen. If a field unit has some bandwidth, text, email or call nearby customers to see if they would like any service.
Upsell. Train and incentivize your field technicians to suggest obvious upsells. This is a new business without the cost of acquiring a new account. And the customer gets a beneficial service without the stress of acquiring a new vendor.