One of the biggest challenges any business faces is finding customers and keeping them. Engagement is a kind of relationship, and it must be carefully cultivated if anyone is going to benefit from it — whether it’s your customers or your company’s bottom line.
The pool business isn’t that unique, even if it is seasonal. You still need to observe and abide by the basic principles of what it means to offer fantastic customer service while keeping your expenditures as low as possible.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could discover ways to gain and keep more happy customers without spending lots of money to do it? Well, read on because Quality Pool Supply has a few tips on customer engagement that only require a little extra thoughtfulness.
1. Know Your Customers
One of the most important things you can do in business is to know your customers. Who are they? Why did they choose you? What are their pain points, and how can your business alleviate them?
However, it’s not enough to just know this. Consider organizing the information you have so it becomes both useful and usable. Once you’re organized, you can focus on what’s really going to make an impact — not just for your business but for your customers.
If you want great customer engagement, you have to give your customers a personalized experience. Hint: it helps if a customer-centric vision guides your pool service business.
Most sales experts abide by the general principle that the only way to sell anything properly is by discovering what the customer needs and — above all else — serving them. You must offer solutions that solve your customer’s needs. Knowing them is the starting line for success in that race.
2. Value Your Customers’ Time
As a veteran of the pool service industry, you know that one of the simplest and most effective ways you can serve your customers is by showing up when you said you would. The flip side to that kind of service is to maximize your efficiency while you’re on their property.
Another way you can ensure this gets done — and this dovetails back into point #1 — is to gather customer feedback.
This is easily done with a contact card or an email survey delivered to the customer at the time of service. Listen carefully to what they tell you because this kind of feedback is like gold. It will allow you to reasonably predict what they might need and how you can offer more in terms of product delivery or service.
Think of it as an opportunity to gain an advantage over your competitors by offering services ahead of time. Your customers will feel valued and won’t want to get their products and services anywhere else.
3. Allow Your Customers to Help Themselves
Self-service is a big deal, especially these days. People have become so accustomed to managing their business online that when they encounter any experience that doesn’t allow them to do it, they think it’s slow, backward, or even untrustworthy.
Companies like Wix have available apps that allow your customers to pick a time and date you’re available for a free consult, a pool service, or a product delivery, all on your website. There’s usually an eCommerce solution bundled with these apps, which means your customers can also pay for what they need right when they schedule it.
If you’re not taking advantage of this, you should! It’s literally like earning money while you sleep. Either that, or it’s like finding the perfect personal assistant and hiring them to work for next to nothing.
You’ll find that allowing your customers to navigate your product and service mix on their own time and on their terms is today’s version of going the extra mile. Anything that makes it easier is a bonus, right? They’ll probably appreciate it enough to give you their business.
4. Educate and Advise
Okay, so this one is huge. If you’re a source of good, trustworthy information first, it’s a win in business. Why? Because the first thing you have to do is earn trust. These days, that’s a challenge.
We recommend you try this. First, educate, then advise. You don’t want to put the cart before the horse. Advising before educating makes you appear pushy or obsessed with profit. People generally hate that. Customers who enjoy pushiness are usually the types who expect to be able to haggle. Is that the kind of customer relationship you want?
It’s good to set a goal for your pool service business to be the go-to source, whether in person or online, for the best and most up-to-date information in the industry.
This allows you to establish authority in your sector, and if you do that, people will turn to you for answers before consulting with anyone else. It goes without saying that this is an enormous benefit for your business.
5. Sell the Schedule
This final pointer might be a little outside the box, and it goes back to point #3 — allowing your customers to help themselves. Imagine how it might impact your business if you could reduce the number of touches required to gain a sale.
You’ll have to shift your perspective on your whole business for a moment, but imagine you don’t sell products and services anymore. Imagine instead that you sell a schedule for products and services. It’s a little like a membership or a subscription, but it’s not monthly — it’s seasonal.
You might offer your customers a discount on their pool service needs if they sign up for regularly scheduled maintenance. You might offer installments or a payment plan. You could offer a larger discount — or throw in the first dose of pool chemicals for free — if they pay for an entire year upfront.
If you could convince customers to pay for products or services in the offseason, that could help the cash flow for your business.
Hopefully, these tips inspire you to get out there and
make a difference for your customers. If you do that, you won’t have any
problems with customer engagement.