- THE MAGAZINE
Many cleaners struggle to stay busy. Training, customer service and quality work are super important in our line of work. But you can excel at giving the best service in the world and still fail to keep steady business coming in. Our business relies on repeat clients calling us back and referring us to their friends. So if you want a reliable cleaning business, you must keep in constant contact with your clients.
If you spend any money on marketing, I strongly suggest you spend your first marketing dollars on client communication. Your biggest asset in your cleaning business is your client list. Nurture them - you’ll be able to charge higher prices, get more frequent cleaning and get more referrals.
Here are some online and offline ways to keep in contact with clients:
Newsletters Sent Via Postal Service
This is my top recommendation because all of the other strategies below have the potential to be ignored. But people can’t ignore their mail. This is the only sure way to make sure your message gets at least a glance from your client. If you decide to only do the bare minimum to market your business, send out a client newsletter through good old-fashioned mail. Contacting your clients with a newsletter is a great way to get higher job tickets and more referrals. These newsletters can be tri-folded and sent as a self-mailer or they can be sent as an oversized postcard up to 6” x 11”. Your newsletter can give the benefits of your services, stories from happy clients, company news, employee profiles, educational articles or cleaning tips. Additionally, use it to advertise a client-only special offer. I suggest you send a newsletter or educational postcard in the mail to your entire client list every one or two months.
E-mail is a great marketing source because it’s nearly free. However, don’t let this be a replacement for sending postcards and newsletters in the mail. Many of your clients don’t want to receive email broadcasts from you. But if you make your message compelling, you can keep enough clients on your e-mail newsletter list to make it very profitable. You can use e-mail services such as www.Aweber.com, www.Constantcontact.com or www.Mailchimp.com to mail your e-mail newsletter every one or two weeks.
Send regular reminders for cleaning after six months or one year. Most clients appreciate the notifications similar to dental and automotive reminders. Make it something memorable and educational while giving the benefits of frequent cleaning. These reminders can be super profitable.
In conjunction to a reminder postcard, you can send a reminder e-mail. This can be done manually or set up on an auto-responder with the e-mail services mentioned above. Simply add your client’s name and e-mail address. The system can automatically e-mail your client a reminder at six months, nine months and one year.
Most of your clients use Facebook regularly. In fact, Facebook claims they have more prime time viewers than all of the major television networks combined. This makes Facebook the best possible media to reach your clients. And the great thing is, you can advertise to them very inexpensively through a targeted ad campaign in the ads manager. The first thing you’ll want to do is create a Facebook business page and get as many clients as possible to “like” your page. When they “like” your page, they will automatically get your Facebook business page updates. And if you decide to create a Facebook ad for the people who like your page, the ad cost will be minimal.
SMS Text Messages
Text messages can be used to remind clients of appointments or for yearly reminders. Text messages have nearly a 100% deliverability and readership rate. Your client will see your message. But be warned: Only send text messages when a client clearly wants them or asks for them. Most clients don’t want you to text them just because you happen to have their cell phone number. But if you get permission to text them for reminders, it’s a great form of marketing. Don’t abuse the privilege and keep texts to a bare minimum. For two great services, see www.Getclearstream.com and www.Eztexting.com
Don’t do just one of these strategies, do them all. Your client base is too important to ignore. And if you don’t keep in contact with your clients, you run a strong chance that they’ll forget your company name and accidentally call your competitor. This happens more often than you think.
Don’t rely on your business card, refrigerator magnet or leave-behind spot remover to remind your clients. Yes, those things work. But those items get lost. Your client list is vital to the success of your business, so you should do everything possible to keep your clients coming back and referring you.
One thing every marketer agrees on is that marketing to your current clients is the best advertising money a company can spend. This is especially true in the cleaning business. I urge you to make client marketing a strong part of your marketing plan. If you start now, you can easily add 10-20% sales or more in the next year. Start with at least one of the strategies above and keep adding more. You’ll be surprised at how reliable your cleaning company’s schedule will become.