3 Marketing Lessons From Building a Pool
They just started up my new pool for the first time today. And before anyone asks, it is actually cold even in Florida right now, but it is supposed to be back up in the 60′s and low 70′s the next few days. So I’m NOT going in it right now.
Whenever I make any big purchase I always think back over the buying process – and what felt right or wrong about everything.
It’s good practice because all of us like to think we’re such “logical” buyers, but we rarely are. We’re emotional…and emotions influence every buying decision, large or small. I suggest you do the same. Examine during and after buying how you felt each step in the process.
Lesson #1: Trust and Credibility is Key
We were new to the area when buying our pool and no one we knew had a pool built recently. So direct referrals weren’t possible. How did we choose a pool company?
We collected all the possible companies in the area. Step one was to do my online research looking for complaints. It’s surprising just how many there were against some companies. Very quick way to eliminate the majority of possibilities.
Next step – I eliminated every single company that “hid” their prices. My feeling was anyone who would be price competitive at all would have at least a basic price list to start from. Without fail in my past experience, contractors who said they only did “custom work” with no starting points were overpriced.
At this point there were only a couple left to choose from. They each came out, gave quotes, and we choose one. At this point it was almost all based on the emotions of knowing, liking, and trusting them. Of course we looked at the other work they had done, but as much people don’t want to admit it, it was about who “seemed like they would do the best job.”
The question for us is how well are we managing our online credibility. Before someone buys from you, it’s likely they’re searching your name and company name. What are they finding out? Is it good? And then do you also make it easy to buy from you or is a complicated process?
Lesson #2: Every Customer Contact is Important.
It’s interesting, but I’ve noticed in comments my wife and I have made to others about the builders that the comment we most often make is about the workers. All the workers have been polite in every contact. Any of them has been willing to answer questions…not just the ones in charge. And I imagine I’m a little of a pest because I’m almost always here when they’re working so I do “bug” them at times.
My one complaint about them is they’ve been a little slow at times (they’re working on a lot of jobs at once). But they’ve always communicated well so it is the customer contact that is going to cause me to recommend them to others. Look at how I wrote that “complaint” sentence. I immediately gave them an excuse and reason why they were slow, because I was happy with them personally.
How can you apply the personal touch in your business? And how can you make that memorable even if there are problems somewhere (and there will be problems at times in your business – nothing is perfect)? Personally I can’t think of any company I have an attitude against who didn’t show a customer service problem. Other problems are resolved, but bad contact with the company is remembered.
Lesson #3: Figure out what else your customers want to buy.
The pool builders don’t do solar, but I want solar heat. They should have had a company ready to go that they get a commission or perhaps just cross referrals on. Since they didn’t, I found my own.
It’s the same with the landscaping. The grass needs to be sod and the sprinklers need to be fixed. They suggested a sprinkler company, but that company doesn’t do the rest (sprinklers, sod, landscaping around the pool). So they will lose out here also.
The lesson for us is to make a list of EVERYTHING your customer may buy right before and right after the purchase with you. If you can’t service those needs, then JV with other companies who can. Whether it’s a referral fee or trading referrals, this is a way to expand on your business.
For example, let’s say you do dog training in your local area, you should hook up with pet food companies, pet supplies, vets, dog sitters, and maybe even pooper scooper companies. For your blog, what all are your customers’ buying, and how can you make that buying experience easier and safer for them by helping them select the right choices?
By the way, here’s a quick video of the pool (look at that dirt the line spit out when it started up).
- 5 Ways to Increase Your Income
- Does Customer Service Matter?
- Selling Satellite Dishes to the Amish
- 20 Ways to Add Value to Your Products and Services
- 18 Possibilities to Build Your Unique Selling Position