We scratch our heads over paint customer retention.
Customers disappear sometimes – they become unresponsive and fall off the radar. We thought everything went well.
The paint job looked good.
Customer seemed happy and PAID fast.
They even gave a testimonial.
It’s reality, though. Anything can happen. We have to be students of human behavior to understand customers.
Here are the stats on where customers go, according to Ken Dooley at Business Brief Sales and Marketing:
- 1% pass away (die)
- 3% move
- 14% go to a competitor
- 14% were dissatisfied with product or service
- 68% leave because of poor attitude or indifference
Those last two reasons mean the same thing – 82% leave because they aren’t happy with the experience they had with the company they chose. You don’t even get a chance to retain a customer that is done in the first round.
Sometimes customers will act happy, pay fast AND give a testimonial just because they are simply glad its over. Like a bad date. They can’t forget your company soon enough.
They aren’t mad, they are just disappointed – which is worse, it causes indifference. They aren’t going to go online and trash you, they just want to forget the experience and move forward.
Now, the above stats are a reflection of businesses in general. Paint customer retention is different. In fact, it is more challenging because it is a service based business, rather than product based.
At worst, we are inside people’s homes for days. At best, we are on the outside of their properties and they can see us through the windows.
[Survey: How do YOU get Customers?]
Either way, customers are experiencing…us.
Talk about first hand service and “in your face” customer experience. And, it only takes one bad moment – a painter urinating in the bushes or stomping out smokes in the driveway – to turn a customer sour.
If you have been concerned that maybe you are losing customers because you don’t have the best Customer Retention (CRM) software, maybe step back and look closer to home – what is happening on the job?
Your production IS your service. Your crew out in the field, working on people’s homes, may be the strongest indicator of success or failure in your retention efforts.
How well do you know what is happening on your projects?
There’s more to managing than TELLING employees what you expect and calling that the “system.”
HOW your service is delivered IS your customer experience, after all.
How Much are You Losing when the Customer Forgets You?
In some cases, you may be losing a headache. You may also be losing a lifelong relationship of interior and exterior sales and services.
Let’s look at the numbers…
Depending on the industry you are in, the Harvard Business Review says replacing a customer is anywhere from 5 to 25 times more expensive than keeping the customer you have.
And, retaining just 5% more of your lost customers can impact profits by 25 to 95%. That’s a better return than most forms of marketing that we use in the paint industry.
This certainly creates some urgency and incentive to keep the customers we have, but HOW?
Paint Customer Retention: Make it Personal, because IT IS
“It’s not personal, it’s just business…”
This old piece of advice has always been used to remind business people to not take things personally – to soften the blow of a lost sale or customer.
That mindset can cause contractors to market and sell impersonally, which is a big mistake. Paint contracting companies are small, service oriented businesses. People have higher expectations of us, because we are in their homes. Its not like an Amazon order that just has to show up fast at a good price.
Customers become confused when paint contractors try to market like corporate giants, and that’s not a good way to start a relationship.
At the end of the day, every day, look at what was promised (estimate/sale), what was delivered (quality, production, customer experience) and all the little things that happened in between.
If this post has made you think, our recent video on Customer Communication and Listening drills deeper.
Will you share your thoughts on customer retention with us in the comments below?