I have been spending a lot of time lately with online AV and home automation owners forums, be they Facebook groups, dealer-specific sites, blogs, etc. I also go to a lot of roadshows, manufacturer trainings, and business webinars to keep up to date with new developments, but even more so to network with other business owners. A recurring theme in many of these rooms (virtual and IRL) is to maintain communication with your clients through regular outreach and marketing.
In the comments online or around the coffee during a break, I hear others saying that they are almost afraid to reach out to clients with marketing emails or follow-up phone calls because it ends up resulting in a lot of service calls for minor issues from which most of us do not derive a lot of profit.
Rather than have that mindset, however, I believe that we cannot afford to hide from our clients. Yes, it may be frustrating to send out a marketing email and get one or two percent of recipients responding with, “Hi, I’ve been meaning to call you, we’ve been having trouble with XYZ for months. Can you take a look?” But, do not look at this response as a negative. Turn it into an opportunity. You have another shot at being in the home and discussing upgrade or expansion opportunities. Do they have voice control? Maybe now they are ready for lighting control? Or a network upgrade? Or a maintenance agreement?
You do not want them unhappy with their system. You spent all of that time and effort to win the client and do a great install. Do you really want them complaining to friends and family about the one thing that is not working right? You, your company, the control system manufacturer (because let’s face it, everyone blames “the remote you sold me”), and our industry in general cannot afford the bad mouthing. Wouldn’t you rather they were raving to friends and family about how you came back and took care of an issue that was installed one or two years earlier? Or better yet, you solved it without even having to make a service call?
This is also a great way to keep your techs busy when things are slow. If the client has waited months to tell you about the issue, then they will likely wait for a week or two until there is a hole in the schedule. So instead of struggling to fill time in the schedule, you can squeeze in a service call and generate at least a little revenue
And that is not even taking into account all of the benefits you can gain from sending out a marketing email and all of those who are not experiencing current issues—expansions and upgrades of existing systems and increased referrals because now you are top of mind.
So get your MailChimp or Constant Contact account revved up and start sending out those Spring marketing emails!