Grow Your Business Referrals
As a home builder or remodeler, you know that getting referrals from your clients is one of the best ways to market and grow your business. Referrals are your most powerful form of marketing because they bring with them the trust factor — people trust people they know, and so a referral carries with it a tremendous amount of credibility. So how do you get more referrals from your customers? And when is the best time to ask for a referral?
Getting referrals from your clients will depend largely on three factors: the quality of your workmanship, the quality of the products you use, and the level of customer service you provide.
- Listen to your clients. Right from the start of the relationship, ask them about what they are looking to achieve, what are their likes and dislikes.
- Show up on time and ready to work. Your clients have expectations that you’re going to get the job done when you say you will do it.
- Always conduct yourself professionally. Be polite and friendly. Respect the homeowner’s property and leave work areas as clean as possible.
- Hire good people. Make sure you hold your employees to the same high standards. Train new employees on what you expect of them.
- Ask your clients how you did and be prepared to listen. Is there anything they’d suggest improving? Be open to suggestions and even the possibility of some constructive criticism. Accept it gracefully, even if you don’t agree.
The best time to ask for a referral is right after you’ve completed the job and your customer is happy. After you have done the final inspection with your client, take time to ask them about their experience with you. Ask them if they would be willing to refer family and friends. You’ll find most happy clients are more than willing to share their positive experiences with others.
While referrals are the most powerful form of marketing, the internet has changed the way that people shop for services. Even if someone does hear about you from a referral, there is a high probability they are still going to do their due diligence and search for online reviews about your company.
Did you know that a whopping 97 percent of people say they research businesses online? And 85 percent of those people trust online reviews as much as they do personal recommendations. Customers are likely to do a search in Google for something like “home remodelers near me” and read the Google reviews, and even Facebook buy and sell groups are an increasingly popular place for customers to search for reviews or poll members about recommended businesses. Additionally, sites such as HomeAdvisor.com are another very popular stop for customers looking to read reviews about businesses they are looking to hire.
Clients leave reviews because they genuinely want to encourage or discourage others from doing business with you, so ask you’re satisfied clients if they would take time to leave a positive online review for you.
Even if you do receive a negative review, how you respond can actually help you generate positive exposure and counteract the effects of a bad review. A diplomatic and professional response to a negative review can be very effective in getting you positive publicity.
Another way to get referrals is by asking your clients for testimonials. Happy clients are often more than happy to show off the fantastic job they just had done on their home.
Platforms like Facebook and even local Buy and Sell sites now play a significant role in where people go to look for referrals and recommendations. Ask your clients to post testimonials on your Facebook page and then use those testimonials on your website. You may even want to offer them an incentive such as gift cards to a local restaurant or store in exchange for their testimonial.
Remember, focus on top quality workmanship combined with top quality products to get more referrals from your clients.