Who needs marketing? Everyone.
There are so many reasons why you should be giving your marketing some serious thought. So, is it part of your shop’s process and where does it fit in to your business plan? Let’s discuss!
Free marketing can be your best tactic
I don’t need to tell you how vital referrals are to your business. But just for fun, I’ll drive the point home with a statistic – 92% of customers trust word of mouth over any other form of advertising. That’s essentially free marketing, hooray! But how are you maximizing this?
Your customer’s journey should be as enjoyable as possible from start to finish. Whatever obstacles or errors occur, handling it with understanding and a solution are key to a turning your customers into evangelists. A simple “I hear you” can go a long way during a tough situation. If you make their experience a great one, they’ll be excited to tell their friends, family, coworkers, and anyone in their network. Basically, make sure your customers end up with a big smile and their version of a perfect countertop.
Inserting your marketing process into your shop’s system
You’re a fancy countertop fabricator and that means you’ve got a pretty great system in place for your workflows in the shop. Now, where can we insert some marketing tactics to enhance your countertop customer’s journey and get the word out about your fab skills?
Check out some examples of what other shops are doing:
After the first in-person meeting
Send the potential customer an email thanking them for their time with their quote attached as a pdf. This will show them you are professional and considerate of their time – two important assurances during a stressful remodel!
After first encounter
Keeping track of your customer from the moment they show interest to the end of time allows you to manage the relationship successfully. We use our own scheduling software, Systemize, as our Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool. You’ll be able to avoid miscommunication with your customer which causes frustration. And, by creating dates in the calendar for follow-ups or marketing strategies, you’ll know when to make a move that will impress them consistently.
Your CRM will come into play here as well. Email the customer a survey. Or assign a time to call after every install for feedback. Not only will this give you feedback on your shop’s process but this will also let your customer know that their feedback is important and they will feel empowered to keep sharing it with their network.
Create a referral program by partnering up with local businesses where for every referral your customer sends to you, they will receive a reward of your choosing.
Offer to sponsor a wine and cheese party…or any party that utilizes your customer’s new countertops. Have them invite a group of their neighbors, friends, family and keep some of your cards or brochures on the counter.
Encourage your customers to post a picture of their new countertops on their social media for a reward. This is an especially great idea as it backs up their testimony with visual proof and you can repost to reach an even larger audience… aka more customers, hooray!
We’re all in this together
I’ve been really impressed at what a close and supportive network this industry can be. There are groups like the Artisan Group that are dedicated to sharing best practices across companies and the Stone Fabricator’s Alliance for posting any questions you have. Attending events like the Stone World Magazine and Natural Stone Institute’s Stone Industry Education Summits or Park Industries’ Digital Stone Expos can also be a great way to learn some new tactics and see how other shops are implementing marketing strategies into their shop for greater success.
Plus, we’re usually there so you can say “hi” and ask us questions face-to-face!