As a roofer, you spend lots of time and energy identifying potential customers, making a pitch for their business, and providing great service to these customers. But what happens after you’ve finished the work? For some roofing contractors, the effort shifts back to identifying new potential customers, and the old customers are forgotten. While it’s important to always have a steady pipeline of new customers, you also shouldn’t let the work you did to get the previous customers go to waste. A key strategy for roofing marketing is to re-engage and reconnect with past customers to see if they can become customers once again.
How can you bring former customers back and stay in touch with customers once you’ve finished their work? Here are a few strategies.
Take Good Notes
The process of retaining and re-engaging a past customer starts when you’re still doing work for them. As you communicate with them, take notes on what’s important to them, the questions and concerns they had throughout the process, and the challenges that arose during the work. If you’re fixing an issue that could recur again, like a leak or storm damage, make sure to note that as well. (It’s helpful to have a central database, like roofing customer relationship management software, to keep all of these notes in one place, associate them with the right customer, and make it easy to find them months or even years later.)
These notes serve a few purposes. First of all, when you reach out to a customer again, it will help you remember who they are and what you did for them. You do so many jobs each year, it’s easy to have a customer slip your mind, so these notes will help you keep each of your past customers straight. Second, these notes give you conversational starters. You can reconnect with a former customer based on the work you did for them in the past or the questions they once had. And finally, the notes help you determine what you can offer them in the future, whether it’s an upgrade, an add-on, or maintenance.
One of the easiest ways to re-establish a connection with a former customer is to reach out and request a review of your services. This technique is frequently used in many industries that rely on customer reviews, and it’s something that many roofers should consider adopting. Most customers are more than happy to give reviews and share their opinions about your work.
Asking former customers to leave a review on Yelp or HomeAdvisor benefits your business in a few ways. First, it’s an easy way to generate more buzz on your review page if you find that you don’t have many customer reviews. According to market research from BrightLocal, a positive online reputation is one of the strongest assets a business can have for continued growth, and your customers can help you cultivate that reputation. But beyond that, it also brings your work to the top of a past customer’s mind. In the process of writing the review, your customer will remember what you did for them, how it went, and how it benefited them. Customers are more likely to use your roofing business again if they’re actively thinking about your company and the good service you provided—and reviewing your business is a great way for them to do this.
What if the customer leaves a negative review or has complaints you didn’t hear about when you did the work? This provides an opportunity of a different kind—a chance to address concerns and show that your business learns from mistakes and challenges. If a customer wasn’t satisfied, leaving a response to their negative review that shows you understand what went wrong can go a long way to improving your relationship with that customer and increasing the likelihood that a negative review won’t negatively impact your business.
Market Additional Services
You want to take advantage of the customer base you already built, and re-engage people who have used your roofing business before, but you’re not sure what those past customers need from you now. This might be especially true if you’re in the insurance restoration business, where your work is dependent on weather events. You don’t want to wait until the customer’s roof falls apart again, but you aren’t sure what else to do.
One solution is to offer some additional services to help your customers. For instance, you could create a helpline where current and former customers could call with any questions they have about their roofs and get smaller problems taken care of more immediately. This establishes your business as the roofing experts and provides a way to stay connected to customers. In addition, if you give customers a way to have their concerns addressed more immediately, you will often hear from past customers that might have waited much longer to contact you otherwise. The more opportunities you can provide for a customer to utilize your services, the easier it is to re-engage former customers, who may not be ready for more major work to be done.
Don’t let the effort you put into gaining customers go to waste. There are many ways to stay connected to former customers, remind them of your services, and encourage them to buy again. When you plan ahead, offer a variety of options, and ask customers to leave reviews, you can keep past customers in the loop and turn them into current customers once again.