If you have been in the home remodeling or improvement business, then you might be aware of the power of referral marketing.
In the present era, there is so much noise in the market with advertisements or marketing gimmicks all around that it is hard for the salesperson to locate potential customers for their business. However, there is one compelling tool that is helping marketers for the longest duration in terms of both customer acquisition and brand awareness: referrals.
According to a report from FinancesOnline, 92% of customers choose to go with the referrals or recommendations coming from their circle.
Practically speaking, going forward based on real-life recommendations is not even news. You might have experienced it all by yourself.
Think back to a period when someone called you and requested the same house remodeling services that you had before delivered to one of their neighbors or a member of their group. This happens naturally and starts a domino effect from one house to the next, increasing the amount of business that comes to your company’s doorstep.
Moreover, the whole impact of the referral model has drastically changed before, during, or post-Covid. As per a 2020 report by Statista, 49% of B2B vendors agreed with the fact that referrals have been proven to be the most powerful tactic during the pandemic.
Traditionally, it was called word-of-mouth marketing, but with the advancement of technology and robust applications these days, the term has changed to referral marketing. Call it whatever suits you, but the one thing that we can assure you of is that putting referral marketing into practice will help you attract high-quality home improvement leads and close more sales.
Here at Solar Dynamite, we understand the importance of every single potential lead, and thus we will be sharing the well-researched and tried-and-tested tips that will aid you in elevating your referral marketing strategy.
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How do I get more homeowner leads With Referral Marketing?
Give homeowners a reason to drool
With the digital revolution, taking your business to a wider audience has become easier than ever. However, everything comes at a price, and here for the home improvement contractors, there is increased and intensified competition.
This is why being good at referral marketing won’t be sufficient. You need to give your customers a strong reason that will take them on the journey from the good to the greatest home improvement services they have experienced so far so that they cannot resist spreading the word about your brand among their friends.
But how would you persuade them? How would you make them drool all over your products or services?
The simple answer is: Serve your customers beyond their expectations.
This will help your business gain countless 5-star Google reviews or website testimonials from your loyal customers.
Always remember that the true test begins when it comes to building a harmonious relationship with your customers. Let them be your best friends. Make them feel like they know who to contact whenever it comes to any requirements for home renovation.
How do you serve your customers beyond their expectations?
Here is how you, as a home contractor, can get the wow factor from your customers in return for your services:
Sell the vision, not the product
Let’s say you are designing a living room for your client. For you, it might be just a bunch of furniture with some sophisticated decor, but for your client, it is beyond words. It is a feeling, not just a place, where their loved ones will share their everyday little things while at the same time having a comforting feeling of warmth and a welcoming yet functional space in their home.
So you need to sell this vision to your client. Keep in mind that the narrative is everything when it comes to home improvement projects. Listen and understand what they are expecting from this arrangement.
Furthermore, add extra value for homeowners by offering them personalized and customized designs to cater to their goals. And they will be grateful for your services for a lifetime.
As a result, they will become enthusiastic supporters of your brand and spread the word about it to others in their community, which will generate more referral leads and bring more business to your company.
Set up an automated referral management system
Work smart, not hard!
Incorporating an automated referral management system into your home remodeling business is a worthy investment. It not only reminds your customers to leave a review but also assists you in managing all the referrals in one place so that you never miss one.
According to a Think Impact report, 86% of businesses that have followed a structured referral system as part of their marketing strategy have experienced a significant new customer base within just 2 years.
Persuading customers to leave reviews or referrals for your services works differently for each of them. At times, some customers do not feel comfortable leaving reviews until the job is done, while others choose to go the other way around. And you can keep track of all of them with the help of a high-tech and reliable referral management system, which will allow you to adjust your marketing plan accordingly.
However, this is just the tip of the iceberg!
Here is how you can make the most of your dedicated and sought-after referral system for your home improvement business:
- Let homeowners seamlessly refer your services to others across all platforms, and likewise accept the referrals.
- Keep track of who has left the reviews and who hasn’t. For those who didn’t, remind them with an email or phone call.
- Always engage with customers who are content with your services. And for those who have left negative reviews, resolve their issues.
- Protect your referral programs and customers from any kind of phishing or fraud.
- Track the referral metrics consistently for optimal results.
Keep your homeowners thrilled beyond closing
Earning money is not the same as earning a customer’s loyalty.
Research shows 96% of customers are ready to leave your business if they are not treated well during the whole service period.
And this is why it is crucial to nurture your homeowners even after closing the deal. Be in regular contact with your clients; send an email or just make a call to ensure that everything is going well, or just simply let them know that you are available in case of any future home improvement service requirements.
Offering after-sales service not only helps you retain your existing customers but also lands you new clients through word-of-mouth referrals. It is true!
According to a marketing survey, 65% of referral leads come from happy and satisfied customers. Not just that, the referrals are four times more likely to convert into final sales as compared to the prospects coming from different sources.
Thus, always try to be in the good books of your customers so that the next time anyone in their vicinity is looking for a home contractor, they know who to recommend.
Following are the ways to delight your customers after-sale
Take an on-call follow-up:
An on-call follow-up after a sale is a great way to show that you care about your customer. On-call, assure them that they have made the right decision by taking home services from your company and that you are just a call away to get the most out of their investment.
Send automatic occasion-specific e-mails:
Birthdays or purchase anniversaries hold a special place in a customer’s heart and are a perfect time to let them know that they are valuable to you. This data can be easily collected with the help of referral programs. So, to make them more special, you can set automatic wish emails for these special events. Additionally, you can send discounts on your products or services. Who knows, they might go for it.
Send a handwritten thank-you note:
These little handwritten thank-you notes represent a sense of appreciation for your customers. This old yet effective method lets them know that you acknowledge them and helps build a harmonious relationship for a lifetime.
Build relationships with subcontractors
In the commercial home remodeling or improvement servicing sector, while you may be able to design the nicest living room for homeowners, chances are you might not be able to do everything under one roof.
Acknowledging this step helps you build a successful business model for the future while at the same time leaving room for building strong connections with other contractors.
Let’s say homeowners are going through a couple of home renovation projects, and you seem to land on some of them as per your expertise but not the entire ones. In such cases, with a big professional heart, you can come forward and recommend your customers to other subcontractors who are good at it.
Doing so will not only help you gain your customers’ trust but also help you make new connections in your industry.
And we live in an era where real networking can turn your world upside down. So, if you suggest their services to your customers, chances are they are going to pay you back with the same. Thus, resulting in the establishment of a credible referral network for your home improvement services.
But how will you find them?
Well, the following is how you can spot like-minded home contractors and build and maintain harmonious relationships with them:
- Search for Facebook groups and see if there are any.
- Use industry-related Instagram hashtags. For instance, #homeremodelingcontractorCA, #homerennovationTX, #roofremodeling, and more
- Take advantage of industry-specific events or webinars.
- Connect with them on professional networking platforms like LinkedIn. If all goes well, you might even end up collaborating with them.
- Last but not least, do some deep research on Google and check if there are any local listing results or home service provider listing websites.
Take it easy and slow
What makes referral marketing different from the rest of the strategies, including search engine advertisements and social media campaigns, is that you can’t be pushy about it.
You are asking for a customer’s time in exchange for a referral or review. So, you need to make sure it is worth their time and effort.
As mentioned earlier, always strive to serve your customers beyond their expectations. Focus on offering a high-quality experience to customers at every stage of their journey rather than just up until the point of purchase. By doing this, you instantly instill a positive, trustworthy impression of your brand in their minds, and they’ll be delighted to take part in your referral programs on their own.
Moreover, it is important to show your gratitude and be generous towards the customers who take valuable time out of their lives to refer your services to their friends or family members.
But how would you express your thankfulness?
Effective communication is key!
This means if customers experience poor communication at any point in the business relationship, they are more likely to opt for another home contractor’s services and will also take their referrals along with them. So, save your business from such occurrences and be in constant touch with your clients.
Take consistent follow-ups if there is any potential issue or problem and resolve it as soon as possible.
Additionally, don’t hold out too much hope for immediate recommendations or testimonials from your clientele. To clear up any potential miscommunication and gain their trust, be patient and engage in excellent communication.
Doing it right will instantly start a flood of referrals for you, instead of you running after home leads!
Referral marketing is the trickiest yet most rewarding strategy for home contractors. It helps you land the most loyal customers in your sales funnel.
Because word-of-mouth marketing is the primary method used to generate leads, it is crucial to recognize that every client represents a potential source of high-quality leads in and of itself.
To make your referral game strong, prioritize your homeowners before yourself.
Rest, the aforementioned referral marketing techniques will help you in connecting with more inside homeowners and thus assist you in closing more deals.