Small Gestures Can Make A Big Difference
In any relationship, whether it’s between spouses, siblings, or friends, it’s the little things that make them special. Those small moments when someone does something nice tend to live on in memories longer than the grand gestures.
It may sound funny, but it’s also true in the relationship between a contractor and a homeowner. While building and remodeling contractors usually work with projects like new kitchens, additions, or even entire homes – projects that carry big price tags – it may be surprising to know how much their customers appreciate the little things. It’s known as relationship marketing and it works.
Of course, it’s critical for contractors to get the big things right. Nothing will anger a homeowner like going over budget, extending timelines, and major mistakes. Completing jobs on time and on budget, and delivering beautiful new living spaces, will make your customers happy.
But those things are expected.
If you really want to delight your customers, you need to be unexpected. Surprise them with small gestures that they will remember and share with their friends.
What exactly are these gestures? They could be anything, but there are two main criteria that make them an effective tool for building your brand reputation. They should not be anything your customers expect, and they should be easy and/or inexpensive for you to provide.
Some examples could be:
- Bringing coffee on mornings your crew starts early
- Sharing pictures of a project’s progress by email or text, reassuring customers that it’s on schedule
- Have pizza delivered on an evening when a customer’s kitchen is out of commission
Plan to Be Spontaneous
The beauty of micro-moments is that they are, in the eyes of your customer, a surprise. When you do something small and nice for a customer, they see it as a spur-of-the-moment gesture, which makes it more meaningful.
They don’t have to know that you planned it all along.
The home building and remodeling process is predictably stressful for homeowners. You probably know when those stressful times are. Use that knowledge to your advantage so you can “spontaneously” surprise customers with a nice gesture.
You can be sure they’ll remember.
Empower Your People
Planning to be spontaneous is great, but sometimes the situation calls for actual spontaneity. Sometimes the best moment to surprise and delight your customers can’t be predicted. And when they do happen, you might not be around.
That’s when it’s best to empower your people to do little things for your customers. For example, you might arm them with stacks of Starbucks or other gift cards to give customers when they seem like they’re on edge.
Something like that will more often than not turn their moods around and help maintain a positive customer experience.
Make ‘Surprise and Delight’ Part of Your Marketing
Relationship marketing may not sound like a bona-fide marketing tactic, like social media advertising or content marketing, but Surprise and Delight can be every bit as effective.
But it only works if you plan for it. Build relationship marketing into your overall marketing plan and budget. Start simple and small, and continually evolve your approach into something that works for you and reflects your brand. Then execute your plan consistently. Over time, these small gestures will start to yield big benefits, like happy customers, positive reviews, repeat business, and referrals.