Last night was one of the first times I’ve heard frogs croaking in my yard since last Autumn. It’s a good reminder that Spring, if not totally here, is definitely on its way. As irrigation workers and backflow technicians, it’s the time of year when things really start ramping up. At the end of a ten-hour day of manual labor, it can be hard to remember that there are days of calm – but now is the time to capture work for the slower season. How? By creating repeat customers for the year ahead.
There are a few difficulties of the business aspect in irrigation work. One is that the work, if not completed halted, slows considerably during months when it freezes. (Some areas of the country are lucky enough to have warm weather year-round, but that’s true for most of us.) A second difficulty is that it’s not uncommon for customers to take advantage of various deals with other companies; there’s no real drive for customers to be loyal to their irrigation company aside from convenience, especially when they use them for a day each year.
Don’t let ’em get away
How do you change this latter fact? I know, I know. I preach customer service constantly. But it matters! Providing great customer service is enough for many customers to come back year in and year out.
But bad customer service…? That’s enough for many customers to leave you, especially if someone offers decent service and better deals. You might not want to hear this, but if your customer base has shrunk in the past 5 years you are doing something wrong. Look at your customer service to see if this is the culprit.
Take advantage of the cold
You may be used to closing up shop for a few months every winter. Have you considered staying open full-time? No, not to water frozen lawns! What are other services that you could offer to homeowners? Brainstorm some ideas as a company, and see what your employees would be interested in doing. Hanging Christmas lights or Snow-blowing driveways and walk-ways are some of the more obvious options. Think creatively to see what else you can come up with!
You already have a customer base – use them! Combine those wintery chores with the warm-weather ones.
One way to make sure that these customers turn to you for those is to create packages that they’ll take advantage of later on in the year. You’ve certainly already realized that packaging backflow testing with winterizing is a smart idea. Typically, you charge for both upfront with a slight discount. It’s repeat customers without much effort.
What about mixing it up though? Something like, Backflow tested in April, Winterizing in October, and Christmas Lights hung in December! Make sure you know the costs associated with all these to insure that it is cost-effective for you to stay open. Otherwise, you might as well close up shop and warm your feet by the fire.
It can be difficult to be proactive during these super busy months. However, you’re setting yourself up for success if you can be proactive. Establish those repeat customers during the busy months, and be surprised at how busy you stay during those winter months!