Didn't read part I Yet?
In Part I of our home improvement business growth guide, we discussed the first two important areas that your business can focus on to see measured growth in 2020 and beyond.
For this second installment, I want to dive into two areas that I personally believe are the two most important for your company to change.
Enable Customer Conversations
When a customer reaches out to your business, you've got 48 hours to engage them before they become a lost opportunity.
Once your customer passes that threshold, you should define them as a rehash opportunity in your CRM. The question is this - how do you truly enable customer conversations?
4 out of 5 home improvement companies use phone calling as their primary method to get in touch with customers. But in an age of robocalls and fake IRS scams, it just isn't as effective as it was 10 years ago.
I'm not suggesting you eliminate phone calling entirely - I'm saying you need to start complimenting this with other high-touch tools. Specifically business texting.
I may sound like a broken record on SMS, but I truly cannot overstate how important it is that your reps have a way to talk to customers where they want to talk - including texting.
If you haven't implemented texting in your sales process, it's time to start the consideration process - if you wait another year, you're going to be way behind the curve.
We recently chatted with Michael Flores, Chief Operating Officer at Bath and Window Expo about his thoughts on why texting has been so effective at enabling customer conversations for his company.
Customers prefer informal messages when communicating with companies - seems counter-intuitive to everything we've learned in business, doesn't it?
Truth is, communicating with customers should be like texting with your family.
Change Your Mindset
Ten years ago, sales was a numbers game. As long as you sold in bulk, you met your bottom line.
Today, it's getting harder to grow with this mentality.
Getting more leads and business means investing more in marketing, which creates a vicious cycle of spending money to keep your head above water, barely getting a positive ROI.
Over the last few years, what we found is one statistic everyone overlooks that can make a major impact on your bottom-line - close rate.
The problem is that trying to get owners and executives to change their way of thinking from "we need to generate more leads" to "we need to spend more time closing those leads."
More often than not, staying ahead of the curve means forgetting everything you thought you knew about your business.
The entire B2C sales process is seeing a massive shift.
Case in point - the car buying process. Recently, I went through this process and I wanted to share my perspective here to illustrate this point.
- I showed up at the dealership to check out what I wanted in person and test drive.
- Once I found what I wanted, I exchanged information with the sales rep and went about my day.
- Over the next week or so, I conducted the entire car buying process through text - price negotiations, trim level decisions, and so on.
- My sales rep called me three times, and I ignored each one because I was too busy to talk.
- After coming to an agreement, I went back to the dealership, signed the paperwork, and drove off the lot.
It was a great experience for me because I didn't have to put my life on pause to make a high-consideration purchase. Anytime I felt stressed, I just put my phone on silent.
That's the mindset that home business owners and senior-level leaders need in today's sales environment - gathering and responding to leads is important, but your close rate is entirely dependent on how you make the customer feel.
How Do I Grow My Home Improvement Business?
There's really no one-size-fits-all answer to this, but these trends are hard to ignore.
- Map out your entire customer journey. From beginning to end, it is about how your customers experience your business.
- Focus on sales close rate. Close more of the people who are raising their hands showing interest in your product in the first place - your business will grow by 10% or more.
- Enable customer conversations. Give your customers an easy way to communicate authentically back and forth with your company - this transparency is KEY to closing more business in 2020 and beyond.
- Shift the mindset for leadership. Your mind set has to shift to change your business. At the end of the day - business processes change businesses - period. No amount of best practices, podcasts, or YouTube videos will make an impact for your business unless your leadership team is onboard to explore new strategies and technologies.
Interested in learning more about how Hatch and our Customer Success team can help you hit your goals?
Check out our solutions for home improvement and feel free to text us at (804) 294-3041. We'd love to chat about your business goals, offer insights, or just have a conversation about what's keeping you up at night.