One of the best ways that I know of to build a successful contracting business is to keep your customers coming back to you again and again. So many times we just try to get a job and don’t really concentrate on getting and keeping a customer. However, if we want to build a business that doesn’t rely on heavily investing in marketing to keep it going at the same or greater volume, then we have to get our current customers to buy from us again. Doing this can be one of the most effective forms of marketing we can do. Getting our customers to hire us again and not go to another contractor is not that difficult. Many of my customers do not even get a second estimate for jobs that they need done
There are several things that you can do to make sure that your customers come back to you again and again. The first thing you need to do is to show up when you say you will. This also means that you need to respond to your customers when you said you would. If you tell them that you will get your estimate to them within a week, then do it. I just heard from a customer this week that he tried to get a heating contractor to give him an estimate and one contractor took about a month and the other one never did get back with him. I will tell you that he is not likely to ever do business with them. Another job we are doing, I was actually the high bid on, but he told me he wanted me to do the job because I communicated with him when I said I would.
The second thing you can do to make sure that your customers do business with you again is to do an excellent job. This should be self explanatory, but it seems to be overlooked much of the time. I’ve seen so many contractors that try to do an O. K. job. I have guys that work for me that try to get by with an O. K. job. They think that if they just do it good enough, that will be all that is necessary. The truth is that if we just do a job good enough, the customer may not complain, but if they need another job done, we will not have any advantage over any other contractor that they may get to bid on the job. We also will not get a lot of referrals from a job that is just good enough.
The third thing that you need to do to get customers to come back to you over and over again, is to keep in touch with your customers on a regular basis. You see, after you have been on time and done an excellent job for your customer, they will still forget you after a few months. It is important to have a good way to stay foremost in your customers mind every month. I’ve heard that every month you are not in touch with your customer, you lose 10% of them.
If you excel in these three things, your business will be a very stable business. You will be surprised at how much work your customers will have for you to do. They will also be referring you to their friends. The other big advantage is that when the economy turns bad, you will not have to lower your rates to have work and you will make more money.