The two types of customers that are most important to businesses are:
- Repeat customers
- New customers
You want repeat customers because they already have experience with your business. That means they know what you’re capable of, making them more likely to buy your solutions again. Repeat customers can also provide you with valuable feedback on how to improve your offerings. Plus, customer retention costs significantly less compared to customer acquisition.
However, despite the higher cost of acquiring customers, there is merit in attracting new customers. This is especially true in residential home services, where the competition is tighter. Cornering the repeat and new customers market helps keep your business afloat, operational, profitable, and successful.
After all, attracting new customers is more accessible than trying to proselytize or transfer their allegiance from other home service businesses. New customers open the door to increased revenue and expanding your customer base or network.
The question is: how exactly do you find new customers for your business?
This article will share ideas for finding new customers for your residential home service business. Keep reading.
Why are new customers important?
Repair services are more challenging to market than retail business models. People are interested in something different than what you’re trying to sell. Whether that’s plumbing, HVAC, masonry, or landscaping, customers are not thrilled to have to pay for them.
The truth is that residential home services sell an externally triggered, grudge purchase. It means people buy your products not out of WANT but out of NEED.
Getting a drain line repaired does not appeal to our sense of gratification. Our customers want to gratify themselves through their purchases. Customers are never happy when forced to deal with an external, uncontrollable, and undesirable event, like an HVAC breakdown. This aggravation naturally extends to the businesses trying to sell them repair services.
Given that premise, customer acquisition can be a daunting and challenging task for residential home services, making customers more valuable.
Below, we’ll look at some benefits of having new customers under your wing:
- Increased revenue and profitability. Adding new customers under your care means increasing sales beyond your current revenue ceiling. Moreover, having new customers indirectly boosts profitability through improved word-of-mouth marketing and positive reviews.
- Raised brand awareness. Attracting new customers is only possible with any form of marketing or advertising. While they may not convert, your marketing campaigns serve as a tool to introduce your business through referrals. In that way, they may recognize or recall your brand should they encounter them eventually.
- Better business operations. New customers play a significant role in improving your marketing efficiency and strategies. More buyers come better customer demographics that refine the feedback and data for relevant business insights. This can help you streamline processes that significantly improve your business operations.
- Boost competitiveness. So many residential home services compete for new customers in the market. Competition breeds creativity, enabling you to create better offers and value to win undecided customers. Ultimately, this leads to brand awareness, influence and customer loyalty.
The benefits of having new customers far outweigh the costs of customer acquisition. Your business must be satisfied with your current customers and club members. Achieving new growth and maximizing revenue will only be possible by reaching new audiences.
Finding new customers is difficult, but an expert business strategist and consultant like Wizard of Sales® can help you. For many years, we have helped home service contractors improve their culture, sales and strategy, leading to new customers. If you want the same results for your business, book a call.
Stories of New Customer Acquisition — From Terry O’Reilly’s Podcast
Customer acquisition has been a widely discussed topic across various industries. Countless thought leaders have also discussed time and time again how you can fish new clients. Running a business of my own, some of their recommendations are sound advice and help. However, there are other takes that I disagree with, and I’ll tell you which below.
Let’s look at some of the conventional tactics that modern marketers suggest to attract new customers and increase sales:
Embrace the competitive online landscape
The primary strategy that modern-day business leaders suggest is adjusting the brick-and-mortar approach and transitioning at least partially online. Your online lead generation should be on point to reach new audiences. From display to social media ads, down to pay-per-click campaigns must be spot on. You should also invest in building your online presence and authority through search engine optimization (SEO). If your SEO solutions are one of a kind, preach that.
I agree with these new-age approaches; after all, businesses that don’t go with the times eventually die out. However, focusing primarily online could be better advice. You make the most of building your brand presence by perfecting offline and online marketing ends. Offline marketing includes print advertising, radio, and television commercials.
Focused or narrow ad targeting
Narrow targeting is a big deal in today’s advertising age. According to the experts, narrowing your focus allows you to spend less on ads while reaching the right people. But who are the right people in residential home services?
Everyone with drain pipes and water fixtures is the target market of plumbers. All people with heaters or AC units are within the scope of HVAC contractors. Essentially, every people who live under a roof is the target audience of roofing contractors.
So long as people live within the service area of residential home service providers, they are the right people. Unit breakdowns, drain problems and leaking roofs can happen at any moment. Limiting your reach only limits your potential to acquire new customers. For this reason, broadcast advertising works better for residential home service industries like yours.
“You’re fishing with a hook. I’m using a net.”
— Roy H. Williams
Apart from today’s modern and flawed marketing strategies, there are far more tactics for acquiring new customers. In Terry O’Reilly’s Podcast, Under the Influence, he shared several stories about hunting for new customers. Some are bizarre tales and out-of-the-ordinary takes, but we can learn a thing or two from his novels.
Let’s explore them below:
The Watergate Hotel scandal refers to the infamous break-in at the Washington, DC, hotel in 1972. It led to one of the biggest political scandals in US history. Here’s a quick trip down memory lane:
In June 1972, a group of burglars associated with the Nixon administration broke into the Watergate Hotel. They attempted to wiretap and stole sensitive documents from the Democratic National Committee. While many details remain unclear, it’s a known fact that it eventually led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon. Moreover, it increased scrutiny of his administration’s unethical activities.
Sadly, the Watergate Hotel was the unfortunate victim of this political crossfire. Since the incident, the hotel fell into disrepair and closed in 2007. Only in 2016 was it reopened under new management, where the interior underwent a $200 million renovation. But how does a tainted and scandalous enterprise get back on?
Learn from the new owners. What they did was embrace their unique identity. How?
- Their room key’s plastic fob says, “no need to break in.”
- The thick bathrobes have two words written on them, “cover-up.”
- Room 214 was decorated by the costume designer of the show “Scandal.”
- The room is designed with 70s decor.
- Walls are lined with 70s magazine posters related to the Watergate Hotel scandal.
- There’s a copy of Richard Nixon’s resignation letter.
- Moreover, there are framed famous quotes from Nixon, like “I’m not a crook.”
… The list goes on!
The point is that, despite the scandalous history of the Watergate Hotel, new owners are successfully rebranding it. Using the hotel’s new identity as a marketing tool, they generate free press and online buzz. This leads to an active stream of new customers who want to immerse themselves in the unique Watergate Hotel experience.
How is this relevant to the residential home service industry?
Do you create a scandal and capitalize on it through creative marketing and tasteful advertising? No, unless you have $200 million to rebrand your company.
The principle here is embracing your most vital attributes and spreading the message through effective advertising and marketing.
If your solutions are one of a kind, preach that. If you deliver speedy results, tell that to the world. If you have customer service like no other, make everyone know. When you become the best in one area unrivaled by no other competitor — use that in your messaging.
KFC’s “Finger-Lickin’ Good”
KFC is one of the most popular fast foods on earth, known for its chicken and other classic comfort foods. Undoubtedly, their strong focus on marketing is a reason behind their popularity and competitiveness against other chains. Their slogan, “finger-lickin’ good,” is a study pillar behind their strong branding. The tagline has stood the test of time for 70 years and has not been replaced since.
There’s just one problem: the slogan could have been more famous a quote in Hong Kong. Particularly, it does not appeal to younger demographics, who should be their intended target market. The advertising landscape is constantly evolving, and its marketers are looking for ways to capture the attention of new consumers. So they did.
Enter: KFC’s infamous chicken-flavored nail polish.
The purpose? To capture the attention of young new customers and introduce the idea of finger-lickin’ good. This attention-grabbing idea came full circle during the launch of the nail polish. Celebrities, foodies, and fashion bloggers attended the event to experience KFC’s absurd invention.
Long story short, it became a viral sensation garnering 200 million views and creating a Twitter buzz. While nail polish was never made public, KFC successfully targeted and attracted new customers. Moreover, they redeemed their old slogan in Hong Kong.
So, what thought nuggets can HVAC businesses and other residential home services get from this?
Well, the lesson is that you must think outside of the box to attract new customers and boost sales.
This means developing new and creative marketing strategies tailor-made for your target audience. Like KFC, going against the grain while maintaining strong messaging might work for your business. You will only find out if you take the leap of faith.
The question is, what can you offer? The better question is, what can you offer that other businesses don’t or can’t?
As for one of my clients, he promises a 50-year non-prorated no-bullshit warranty for every roof he replaces. How about you? What offensively good value can you offer that far outstrips your competition? That’s called your perfectly fair competitive advantage.
Spotify and Ancestry Collaboration
In 2018, Spotify and Ancestry.com collaborated to help listeners discover their “musical DNA.” This new gimmick uses a person’s DNA data to uncover their musical heritage and suggest song preferences that hit home.
For many music lovers, discovering one’s “musical DNA” is an exciting new way to explore their love for music. It was made possible by combining Spotify’s vast library of songs with Ancestry’s cutting-edge DNA technology. This collaboration gives listeners an in-depth look at how their tastes and genetic makeup are intertwined.
You only need to buy Ancestry’s $99 swab test kit, and they’ll interpret your genetic data through the swab you send back. This gives you a choice to listen to songs based on your country of origin, as your genetic code suggests.
Here’s the thing: 10,000 people signed up in the first week. In other words, it was a success, and the offer continues to this day.
For Ancestry, they managed to land new customers for their business. On the other hand, Spotify gained more data and insights into the listener demographics. Allowing them to optimize their music streaming services going forward.
The principle is simple. Effective collaboration captures new customers.
You can collaborate with other service providers in the residential home services industry to expand your business reach. For example, drain repair businesses can partner with landscape contractors. During sewer repairs that require professional landscape expertise to cut off trees or restore lawns, landscape partners can help. Conversely, landscape contractors can refer their partner drain business when clients need plumbing and pipe repair services.
It’s all about finding fruitful partners to facilitate successful collaborations.
Sometimes New Ideas = New Customers
When we restrict ourselves to old ideas and conventional strategies, we limit our ability to attract new customers. Why? Because everyone else is already doing the same things.
To find new customers, we need new ideas. Like KFC thinking outside the bucket, we, too, must think outside the box. Only then do we create enough buzz that makes our business irresistible to new customers.
Apart from what we discussed above, take a look at these other examples:
Phil Mutz and the Moncrief Heating & Air Conditioning
In one of The NEWSMakers’ podcasts, host Hannah Belloli chats with Moncrief Heating & Air Conditioning’s VP, Phil Mutz. The 30-minute conversation revealed insights built on the idea that new ideas breed new customers.
Phil Mutz shared that shifting online was not their most confident decision. However, it was a leap they felt they had to take to remain competitive. While a foreign concept to them at the time, they embraced the online scheme and found success.
Shifting online is not a new gig, especially post-pandemic. If you see an opportunity and have done enough research to know it’s profitable, take the leap. But some have yet to take the leap, which could cost your business in the long run.
Another nugget he shared that I found interesting was their hiring process. He says they’re not necessarily looking for HVAC experts because they can teach the skill. What matters is that people are honest, ethical, organized, and willing to learn. As a result, his employees don’t need micromanaging because their sincerity is enough for the management and clients to trust them.
Today they boast 1,700 Google reviews with a 4.9 rating.
New Customer Acquisition from 80s WWE
If you’ve been a professional wrestling fan, you know that WWE has been through significant changes. It’s debatable, but the most notable is acquiring Cindy Lauper as a WWE diva in the 80s. While short-lived, it allowed the show to connect with new customers who love pop culture.
If it were a different actress or singer, things might have turned out differently. Cindy Lauper had the right amount of eccentricity that blew fans off their feet.
Collaborating and partnering with influencers is prevalent in today’s business landscape. Your business is also ripe for influencer marketing, and you don’t know yet. If you take the leap, you will only know how well it works in attracting new customers.
The world of business is all about growth. Growth builds companies, and growth attracts investors. To stimulate that growth, you need new customers. Companies need to take a chance and think outside the box to make it happen.
Attracting new customers is not easy, but a business strategist may point you in the right direction. That’s what Wizard of Sales® offers. Book a call if you need help with strategies that cast a net over new waters.