VIEWS: 13 PAGES: 5 CATEGORY: Engineering & Energy POSTED ON: 6/13/2010
"There's business out there, but it doesn't come to you like it used to; you've got to aggressively go out and get it," [Cunningham] says. "The mother lode is your past clients," he adds.
R E MODE L E R SU RV E Y SE R I E S Getting it Right “We start every development meeting and every production meeting by asking how we are doing and inviting customers’ candor so that we can learn from and can head issues off at the pass,” he explains. “It keeps very much alive the idea that we’re Cultivating repeat and referral business is best not left to chance trying to do well by them in order that they would help us with a referral,” he says. By K e n ne t h W. B e t z Allen doesn’t have an incentive program, but instead acknowledges referrals with a hand- written note and a personal gift. “These are our emodelers swear by repeat and referral leveraged and there is no dishonor in doing so customers and we know them. We try to send R business. For most, it’s their lifeblood, with nearly half reporting that repeat honestly. Most remodelers accept that passively wait- a very specific and personal gift that they’d appreciate,” he says. business constitutes more 40 to 60 percent of ing for repeat and referral business may be a Allen will sometimes ask customers to hold their business. A slightly smaller percentage (44 luxury whose time has passed. At the very least, an open house or party to showcase a finished percent) holds true for referrals. communicating in a variety of ways and on a job to friends and neighbors. In fact, he recently A third of those responding report that regular basis with past customers is an essential Has your percentage of repeat business both repeat and referral business has increased ingredient to many of their business plans. increased or decreased in the last 12 months? 5 to 10 percent in the last 12 months, while another third report that it has increased more Referrals shouldn’t be an afterthought 35 32.4% than that, according to a survey conducted by For Charlie Allen of Charlie Allen 30 Qualified Remodeler. Restorations in Cambridge, Mass., referrals are Increased For all of its importance, more than 50 per- a priority, not an afterthought. “We approach 25 Decreased cent of those surveyed say they have no formal it differently,” he says. “The world referral is 20 program in place to cultivate repeat and referral in our vocabulary all the way from potential 15.5% business. customers through design and development 15 13.5% 12.4% For many, their repeat and referral numbers through construction and forevermore. 10 9.5% 8.7% are a point of pride tied directly to quality work “I am very likely to say that even after I 5.1% 5 2.9% and customer satisfaction. In fact, comments have collected considerable sums of money to from a number of respondents indicate a belief remodel your home that I am actually not done; 0 5-10 10-15 15-20 >20 that repeat business flows naturally from satis- what I really want is a referral,” he says. fied customers and word-of-mouth without Source: Qualiﬁed Remodeler, 2009 ext
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