Four Deadly Mistakes in Home Services Marketing
Businesses that serve customers in their homes rely on both digital and traditional marketing in order to attract leads and convert them into paying customers. These businesses are usually focused on specific geographic areas, and go to great lengths to stay competitive in those areas. Unfortunately, even an incredibly well-executed marketing strategy can be quickly undone by some simple mistakes.
As a both a homeowner and a marketer I’ve identified a few common mistakes that home services providers make when it comes to their marketing efforts both on and off the web. I’m going to share those mistakes with you and discuss how your business can avoid them.
1. Slow Response Times or Not Answering the
Phone at All
This is the number one mistake I see home service companies make. I've experienced it both as a customer myself and as a marketer working on clients’ marketing campaigns
To share a personal story, my wife and I just spent over $2,500 on new shades for our home. We wanted to upgrade from those boring, white “builder blinds” to something much higher quality.
We researched the products that are out there, found the fabric and style we thought worked best for our home, and consulted with friends who recently bought a similar product.
After all this we knew exactly what we wanted and just needed a dealer to come by, take measurements, schedule the installation, and take our payment.
We did a quick Google search for dealers in our city and started making phone calls. The first didn’t answer their phone and never even responded to our voicemail message.
The second company didn’t answer the phone, but did reach out to us eventually - after we’d already purchased our shades.
The third picked up the phone immediately, scheduled an appointment with us for that weekend, and is ultimately who we did business with. Not because they had a cooler website, a better deal, or better reviews than their competition, but simply because they bothered to answer the phone.
The reason I’m sharing this story is to highlight that no matter how much you spend on digital or traditional marketing or how hard you work on building a great reputation in your community, you are always going to lose easy sales if you don’t answer your phone.
It’s essential that you have someone who is available to answer the phone during business hours or call potential customers back quickly. The same is true if you use lead capture forms, make sure someone is monitoring those form fills and getting in touch with those customers ASAP.
2. Inconsistent Citations
This is probably the most common mistake I’ve noticed among home services providers as a marketer myself. Often when a small, locally-focused business is having a hard time competing with their competitors online, the first thing we’ll look at is their citations.
For those of you who don’t know, Google pulls information from more than five dozen trusted business directories in order to determine who you are, where you are, and what you do. This way it knows what searches you should appear in and at what position. Google has an incredibly difficult time doing this if your business has conflicting or outdated information out there on the web.
If your business has moved in the past, or your phone number has changed, you need to make sure that this information is up to date across the web. It can be extremely difficult to find every single directory where your business is listed and update that information, however. Luckily, there are professionals who specialize in this area of digital marketing and can help you for pretty affordable rates.
Another issue that I often see is businesses not being listed at all. If you’ve never bothered to list your business information on Google My Business, Yelp, Home Advisor, the Better Business Bureau, and other platforms, you might want to get started. It really helps Google verify that you are relevant, trustworthy, and ready to serve your customers.
3. Old, Ugly, and Poorly-Written Websites
As a professional copywriter, the number of outdated, shoddily-built, and barely readable web sites I see in the home services field is really incredible. Some business owners seem to think that they can whip up a quick Squarespace website with their phone number, address, and a few rambly paragraphs about how awesome they are and that will be enough to earn customers’ trust.
Nothing turns potential customers off faster than an awful website. If your site is slow, poorly constructed, or includes terrible writing full of spelling and grammar mistakes, it's time to invest in a new one. Hire a reputable web design company to create a platform that is stable, looks great, and has everything it needs to succeed in Google search. Even more importantly, hire a professional copywriter to help you communicate the value you can offer your customers without coming off as a braggart or boring them to death.
4. Ignoring Remarketing
Many of the home services providers I’ve worked with over-emphasize attracting new customers. Often times, your former customers who were satisfied with your work are the easiest to convert.
Remarketing takes many different shapes depending on your niche and overall marketing strategy. You might use direct mail or email campaigns to keep your former customers in the loop about your latest deals and promotions, or you might call customers directly to remind them of an upcoming service.
When I first bought my home I added a wooden deck to the back. After a few months, the wood had attracted a small colony of termites. I called a company that specializes in termite removal and they got rid of them for me. I recently received an email from them reminding me that I’m due for another service. Termites are no joke and the service is incredibly affordable, so I’ll definitely be calling them. I probably would have forgotten all about it if not for the email, though.
Focus your marketing efforts on a combination of attracting new customers and bringing back old ones.
Avoid These Common Home Services Marketing Mistakes
That wraps up the four most common mistakes I see in home services companies as both a marketer and a customer of these types of businesses. Each of these are incredibly easy or affordable to avoid. There’s really no reason to be losing business over not answering your phone, refusing to update your business information, neglecting your website, or failing to bring in repeat customers.
If you avoid these common traps, you’ll be doing better than the vast majority of home marketing companies out there, and you’ll be sure to earn more business as a result.