Loyal customers are every field service business’ bread and butter. They’re easier to get along with, tend to spend more than new customers, and won’t hesitate to recommend you to their friends. So how do you keep re-booking customers when you’re also trying to reach new ones?
Let’s find out!
Re-booking customers isn’t just about convincing people to hire you again. As you grow your service business, whether you’re working in plumbing, HVAC, electrical, fire & security or offer a little bit of each, you’ll find that you don’t have nearly enough time to spend chasing customers to re-book. At the same time, we’ve covered every detail of why maintenance work can earn you a profitable source of recurring income, especially why the appointment reminder message is essential in this situation.
1. Stand out from the crowd with the smoothest customer journey.
This goes without saying but if you want to re-book customers a second time (or third!), it’s pretty important that you do a good job the first time around. Even so, many field service managers have asked themselves “I put in that pressure booster flawlessly. Why didn’t they ever call me back to check on it or install something else?”.
The answer is pretty hard to take for any technician or business owner who is proud of their work: it’s hardly ever about the quality of the work. That doesn’t mean that shoddy workmanship will get you re-hired, but that exceptional work doesn’t stand out to a customer as much as you might be tempted to think. Sure, your fellow plumbers and specialists will be able to tell that an expert put inthe pressure booster, but all the customer cares about is having a nice shower.
Jake Gibson, a field service business growth expert and founder of Phyxter, agrees that many customers can’t even tell when an installation is just ok versus when it’s exceptional, but they can definitely remember a company that went the extra mile for their peace of mind.
That extra mile doesn’t have to be some costly loyalty scheme, where you’re obliged to discount services you can’t really afford to discount. If you’ve made an impression on a customer the first time around, they won’t be tempted to check out your competitors because it’s always easier to go with the option you know works. In simple terms, getting customers to re-book for service is about having the smoothest customer journey, which you can do by:
Using an online booking portal in case a customer contacts you outside office hours
Sending email and text message notifications to update customers on the progress of their appointment
Now that your customers are thoroughly impressed and trust you enough to recommend you left and right, your next step should be to remain relevant to them. The easiest (not to mention cheapest!) is to go the digital marketing way. Train your technicians to be good salesmen and to sign customers up to company news. This way, you can send them regular newsletters, company updates, offers, and more.
You could even start a blog or a video series to help them soft-fix common issues. You might think this is a job that you could’ve gotten paid for but the fact of the matter is that the easier you can make a customer’s life, the more they’ll trust you and come back to you again and again. After all, do you really want to be wasting tech time and fuel on jobs that are the equivalent of changing a lightbulb?
Additionally, if you’ve got cash to spare, you can always sprinkle in some traditional advertising, especially if you pride yourself on having a long business history and bringing together old school values with modern tools.
Print out some field service marketing brochures for commercial customers or personalize some household goodies for residential ones (mugs, coasters, and the likes are always useful) so that your name is always front and center if they ever find themselves in need of a plumber, electrician, or any other kind of job. This is a great way to book more customers in for service!
But the best way to re-book customers? That’s always going to be with a service reminder. Maintenance work is the easiest way to engage repeat customers. Send reminders on a schedule that works for you (since not all services are annual) and use different email and letter templates for landlords and agents. Don’t forget to customize the communications so the customer feels valued.
All this can easily be done using software but if you want to book as many customers as you can handle, combine this tip with the next one!
3. Make service booking as easy as possible.
You know what really drives customers up the wall? It’s not the obvious things like prices or workmanship, but rather lack of convenience. They’re used to businesses going to the end of the world in order to make things easy and quick. Just think of how you started creating a lot more accounts when websites offered the option to log in with Facebook.
According to research, one-click logins can increase registration rates by 50% and, whilst a service business might not find much use in supporting social logins, the underlying idea is clear: convenience pays. If you can reduce the amount of actions your customer needs to make in order to book a service with you, you effectively reduce the number of opportunities they have to turn around and say “I’ll do this some other time”. In this situation, you go straight from having a job in the bag to square one: how to stay relevant.
If you want to book more customers for service, sit down and count how many clicks it takes for a customer to reach the point of receiving an email confirmation for their appointment. Are you wondering how many clicks is a phone call? Let’s just call that the final nail in the coffin of convenience – and your hope to increase the number of booked customers.
In an ideal situation, your booking process would be as cohesive as possible with the experiences your customer is already accustomed to. This means that you shouldn’t look just to your competition, but to websites like Booking.com, which means that a service booking portal is paramount.
And this is where we go back to service reminders! With a simple link added to your service reminder text, you can take customers to an online booking form, where all they have to do is fill in their information (although, if they’re repeat customers, the solution managing your reminders will take care of this too!) and the software generates available appointments for them to choose.
A service reminder booking portal implies that the software you employ uses an intelligent scheduling feature to deduce the right time and date, but, since service work is a fairly routine job, it can easily reconcile the booking with your existing schedule and technicians’ skills. All in all, there’s no need for your admin to waste any time on booking it in.
This is how you make a reliable source of recurring income even more efficiency, by eliminating the manual admin costs associated! Customers are, therefore, thankful for the convenience, admin is happy to have fewer repetitive tasks on their hands, and you’re laughing all the way to the bank! And speaking of making bank…
The takeaway on booking more customers
And there you have it! 3 easy steps to help you book more customers in for service. There’s hardly any way around it: automation will make this much easier for your business, as well as help in many other areas.
If you’re still wondering whether it’s worth the leap of investing in better, more advanced software than your current solution, just check out our free calculator, put in your numbers, and see how much profit you could be earning just from sending out better service reminders:
Hi! I'm Cristina Maria
And I want to bring next-level strategies to the field service industry. When I'm not working on the best tips to grow your business, I'm on the lookout for a sci-fi novel to beat The Foundation.