5 ways to get your customers talking about you to their friends & neighbors
Word-of-mouth advertising is one of the oldest and most powerful forms of marketing there is. And it’s especially important for home remodeling contractors.
When someone is thinking about remodeling their home, where’s the first place they turn to get recommendations for contractors? Their friends and neighbors. People they know and trust.
That’s why your customers might be the best marketing resource you have.
But what makes word-of-mouth advertising so powerful is also what makes it challenging. You can’t really control what people say, or even if it happens at all. You’re at the mercy of your customers, who are going to say exactly what they think, and that’s why people trust them.
Just because you can’t control word-of-mouth advertising doesn’t mean you have to leave it to chance. There are things you can do to increase your chances of generating word-of-mouth advertising.
The first is to do great remodeling work, but we know you have that covered. Here are the rest:
1) Encourage Reviews Early
To remodeling contractors, reviews on sites like Google and Yelp are like gold. After talking with friends and neighbors, reviews are the next place people look to vet contractors. They also help people rationalize their decision to recommend you.
It’s critical to encourage your customers to leave you a review as soon as possible after the project is done. That’s when they’re excited about their newly remodeled home, and that positivity is fresh in their minds.
Ask customers for a review as soon as you close the job. Send an email with a link to review your work.
The very act of giving you a positive review will help customers remember the positive experience later, when their neighbors ask who remodeled their homes.
2) Share Photos with Customers
A few weeks ago, we encouraged you to take lots of photos to market your business. One of the ways you can use those photos is to share them with your customers throughout the project.
When people are excited about their new kitchen, bath, addition, or other remodeling project, they can’t help but share the news with friends. When you send them photos, you’re giving them content they can use to post on social media.
Inevitably, they’ll get questions from friends about their project, and who’s doing it for them.
There’s no better advertising than having customers share photos of your good work!
3) Create Micro-Moments
Another one of our recent articles advised you to create micro-moments for your customers. These are small gestures that customers will remember long after your project is complete.
And they are one of the first things your customers will mention when they tell their friends about working with you. When you delight a customer, even if it’s a little thing, word spreads fast.
4) Put On a Show
We also told you a while back about the power of putting on a show for all your customers’ neighbors to see. It works for companies like Carvana – when they deliver a customer’s shiny new car, neighbors can’t help but notice.
For home remodeling contractors, and their subcontractors, that means having nice, clean, attractive trucks with easy-to-read messaging. It can also mean yard signs, progress photos, and even an HGTV-style reveal.
5) Incentivize Referrals
While all of the above are ways to create organic word-of-mouth advertising, there’s nothing wrong with greasing the wheels a bit.
When your project is complete, let your customers know that if they send more business your way, there’s a gift card to their favorite restaurant in it for them. This may sound like cheating, but it’s not.
Customers will only refer you to friends if they believe in your work. An incentive is just a way to thank them.