There’s a truth to the contracting business. It doesn’t matter if you’re a builder, a remodeler, or a sub. Here’s the truth: If you do a good job and solve your customer’s problems, they will shout it from the rooftops.
Everyone in the industry knows the issues with bad contractors. I can write a 100,000-word blog highlighting the problems with contractors. I don’t have time for that, but the takeaway is this: reliability and capability are rare. Your customers know that, too.
Regardless of the size of the crew or the work you do, if you show up when you’re supposed to, communicate with the property owner, and complete the job in the time frame allowed, you’ll win a customer for life.
More importantly, you’ll win a lead-generating spokesperson, if you leverage them correctly.
Are Bandit Signs Worth It?
You complete the job. It looks great. Stonewall, crown molding, or an addition— it doesn’t matter. If your customer gives you permission to put a bandit (or yard sign) in the front yard, should you do it?
Absolutely. It’s low-cost marketing. If graffiti wasn’t illegal, I’d tell you to spray your company name on an overpass, too. But the reality is this: Yard signs can’t tell a story.
There are other things to consider, though. When you leave the site, it might look great. Manicured, cleaned, with the homeowners standing on the front porch. They’ve got one arm around Junior as he wriggles to get away, and the other arm waving to the friendly builder like a Norman Rockwell painting. Blue skies and birds singing. Truly idyllic. Take a picture now. Like, right now.
Let a week go by, and your prospective customer drives by. The grass is so tall it’s blocking your sign. Junior shot a window out with his slingshot. Dad was out too late the night before, and now his clothes are in the front yard. Mom’s outside painting curse words on the side of their Buick.
You can’t control what your job site looks like in a week. Also, homeowners hate having those signs in their front yard, so who knows if they’re going to put it back after the first time they mow the grass.
Bandit signs, yard signs, lawn signs—whatever you call them. They’re great, but they aren’t the whole story.
Online Review Sites: Good Enough, Right?
Maybe you’ve got a customer that loved your work so much that they need to spread the word. How should they do it? Forums? Review sites? Facebook? These are all excellent mediums for your customer to say:
“Bill did great.” “Bill was on time.” “Bill made my dreams come true.”
But what the heck did Bill do? What job did Bill complete for you? Is Bill a carpenter? Is Bill an electrician? Is Bill your masseuse? Thanks for the five-star review, Felicia. How about one more time, with feeling?
Customer reviews are excellent. They show you have a customer base. They show people trust you. They show that you’re someone they’d consider hiring again—all great things.
What they don’t do is tell the story. Unless Felicia is a writer with an eye for marketing, she has no idea how to tell your story. She can’t tell it in such a way that it’ll be engaging, fun, informative, and (most importantly) easy to find in the ocean of contractors on the internet.
She also might not be able to spell or use punctuation correctly.
Thanks. Bye, Felicia.
Tell the Story: Customer Success Stories
Word of mouth has been the contractor’s bread and butter since the dawn of the hammer. Word of mouth works so well because your customer can share the story. They can express their pain. They can celebrate the victory. These stories can paint you as the hero in a renovation adventure.
That’s why word of mouth is so effective. To truly utilize word of mouth marketing, you need customer success stories on your website. They need to be easy to find, entertaining, and relatable.
A customer success story brings the reader through the angst, pain, and concern. There’s a conflict, there’s a hero, there’s a damsel in distress. Your reader or customer is invested in the tale. Can you write that story?
Your prospective customer wants to know there are other folks out there with rotting porch posts, children fighting over a bathroom in the morning, or that there are other struggling professionals attempting to work from a home office that leans more towards a utility closet than Superman’s Fortress of Solitude. They want to identify and relate to the damsel in distress and the conflict that threatens their lifestyle.
They need to know that there’s a hero to this story: The knight in shining armor that saves the day. Here’s a hint: That’s you. They want to know that you’ll be on time and reliable, like the superhero in a children’s storybook.
No one will get that from a review on a website. Your lawn sign can’t tell a story, just a name and a number.
Reach Out to SCC for Help With Your Customer Success Stories.
Nothing sells like a good story. If you need help putting together interesting, engaging, and sales-creating Customer Success Stories, reach out to me through the contact link above, or click the link below. By interviewing recently-satisfied customers, I can create Customer Success Stories that turn clicks into sales.
And as always, Our Work Inspires Confidence In Your Work.