4 Approaches to Building Your Customer Base

New customers are the lifeblood of all businesses, but they can sometimes be challenging and expensive to acquire. When you’re running an HVAC business, it’s easy to get caught up in the rush of day-to-day services you’re providing. It’s important, however, to make time to build your customer base to meet your business goals. Don’t despair, just get back to basics and grow your customer base with these thoughtful marketing approaches that offer you long term business growth:

Be Social

Social media is important, but you should break out of the work day routine and attend in-person industry conferences and community affairs or business-networking events. Not only will you begin to have a bigger impact in the HVAC industry as a whole, but networking helps you to make new contacts and collect business cards.
Send follow-up emails to new (or renewed) contacts to say, “I enjoyed meeting you at the ____ and discussing ____.” Offer yourself as a resource for HVAC information, for example, to help continue the relationship you’ve established. You’ll be surprised how much real-world networking can reenergize you, help you learn what’s going on in the industry and help you attract new clients and business opportunities.

Get Help from Happy Customers

Existing customers provide the hottest leads and best referrals. Build up a detailed database on your clients and capture everything you know about them: track your sales history, contacts and conversations. This helps you to:

  • Form a list of preferred clients that you can call on for product and service insight and testimonials.
  • Send surveys to your whole client base, or certain segments, asking for their opinion on their experience with you, and ask for referrals. (If you don’t ask, you won’t receive.) You can phrase your request in a constructive way by saying something like, “Do you know someone else who could use our services?”
  • Build a typical customer profile from your data so you can better identify your target audience.
  • Promote to specific audience segments, by offering tailored services, for instance, senior discounts. As another example, you could create a new targeted service like the “new home HVAC service checkup” directed at new homeowners in your service area.
  • Provide better, more personalized customer service to inspire loyalty. Use your customer profile information to trigger stay-in-touch communications. Examples include: greetings or discounts during their birthday month, or “getting back in touch” mailers, to clients who haven’t purchased recently. Retained customers provide repeat business – and referrals.

Partner with Noncompeting Businesses

Reach out to companies that your services will complement and work together to co-promote. This method helps to grow your customer database and mailing list, and generate leads. Partnerships with realtors or other home service providers can work well, like pool maintenance businesses, landscaping, plumbing or handyman services. Get creative and add mutual value to your businesses with special offers or combination discounts. Cooperative marketing helps you reach a wider customer base in a more personal way than placing an ad might.

Audit your Website Content

Categorize, analyze and improve the depth of content resources you provide. When creating future content, try to repeat the type (subject and/or format) of content that has received the most traffic or conversions according to your Google Analytics.

  • Make your website material more valuable by targeting some of your downloadable content, blog posts, videos, etc., to various interest levels and important audience segments.
  • Ensure that the HVAC information you provide is problem-solving and helpful.
  • Include content and offers that spur interaction, like a form your website visitors can fill out to receive a free energy efficiency evaluation or duct inspection. You can also offer an information-packed newsletter subscription.