One of the most important aspects of running a successful company is maintaining your current customer base, especially in an industry like plumbing where people will need repeat service throughout a lifetime. A loyalty program is a great way to thank customers for their business, while simultaneously ensuring that they will continue to work with you and refer you to their friends. A loyalty program is a way to reward returning customers with discounts and incentives for using your company.
Don’t know where to start? We looked at plumbing rewards programs across the nation, and, also using our own experience with SUPPLY.com PRO accounts, wrote this guide to get you going on your customer satisfaction venture. Below are some ideas to make your program the best it can be.
There are many ways you can incorporate customer loyalty and rewards into your business model. Below we go over three of the most popular and effective methods.
A referral system will help get you more customers, so it’s really a win-win for the both of you. Rewarding a loyal customer for referring your company to a friend is a great idea, because their friends are likely to become loyal customers as well. Referrals will lead to reviews as well, which will help boost your business. (Plus, if no one is willing to simply refer your company for money, that will clue you into some issues that you can fix).
Best Heating & Plumbing in Poughkeepsie, New York, offers this coupon for anyone who refers a new customer. Plus, they offer another discount to the new customer.
Points are simple and easy to implement, and most people are used to using some sort of accumulating points system at retail stores or restaurants (10 coffee card punches equal a free latte). A customer calls you for a service, and they are awarded points. As their points accumulate, they can cash in on coupons. A points system is great because the customer can keep their points as long as they want. If they only have one service call a year, they won’t feel cheated by annual fees (though there are benefits to that system as well – see below) because they’ll still have their points to spend whenever they need another service.
While a fee may not sound like much of a reward, a small annual membership can pay off in the long run for your customers. If you offer all of the complementary services and discounts we mention below, some payment for loyalty benefits is actually a pretty sweet deal. When calculating how much the fee should be, make sure it covers any necessary costs that you have without being too expensive for anyone to want to pay.
S&D Plumbing in Austin, Texas, charges a fee of only $9.95 a year. They make an exceptional case for why their “VIP Loyalty Club” is worth it.
Now that we’ve gone over the different ways you can operate a rewards system, we’ll go over some of the actual benefits worth including. You can factor in all of these options, or just a few that you think are best for your customers. Another method is to offer more and more perks based on a certain fee amount, level of loyalty (a customer who has been with you for ten years versus one), number of referrals, or points accumulated.
We really like the way Robin’s Plumbing in Phoenix, Arizona, runs their loyalty program. They have different tiers for different loyalty groups based on how much service the customer wants. The more they’re willing to pay, the more benefits they’ll get, while there’s also a minimum option that’s free to anyone who signs up. Check out our recommendations for reward service options below!
Annual Service Call
The idea behind an annual inspection is to get ahead of any plumbing issues. While a homeowner will notice a leaking faucet or a faulty showerhead, they aren’t able to check all of their systems the way a plumber can with professional equipment. In most cases, catching a problem before it becomes a bigger fiasco will save your customer money, so they’ll be grateful for the service.
Annual Water Heater Flush
Another yearly service you can throw into your package is a water heater flush. It’s good to wash out water heaters once a year to reduce sediment build-up and keep hot water flowing. While some homeowners may feel comfortable doing this themselves, many won’t and will appreciate the complimentary service.
Kitchen Sink Line Jetting
As you know, many people aren’t aware that pouring oil or grease down the kitchen sink is a bad move. Even if someone isn’t intentionally filling their drain with oil, cooking will naturally cause blockage over time. So many problems can arise if the sink goes too long without being jetted, especially if there’s a lot of buildup, and getting it cleaned out as a perk will make many a customer happy.
Annual Camera Inspection
A camera inspection will be one of the main ways you can reassure your customers that you are getting ahead of any future damage. By checking the main line, you’ll notice anything strange early on and be more likely to clear it out. Adding this is as part of your annual inspection will boost your rewards program even more.
Continental Plumbing in New Port Richey, Florida, offers a camera inspection for their membership program, along with the other benefits listed below. They charge $79 for an annual membership, or $149 for a lifetime membership.
Above everything else, discounts will likely be the main pull for people to join your rewards program. No matter which type of system you use, discounts come into play. With a points system, more points will earn more dollars off, or people can “buy” different services with their points. With a referral program, the original customer will get a discount for referring. With a fee or other type of program, the customer can receive discounts as part of their package. There are countless ways to incorporate special promotions for loyal customers.
Cut Dispatch Fee
Offering to cut out dispatch fees will entice loyalty members to choose you over a competitor. You’ll still get paid in full amount for your service after having someone come out and check the issue. Customers will appreciate the deal and be more likely to respond well to your service price.
Extended Warranties on Repairs
While most states require varying warranty times on plumbing work, offering an extended warranty beyond your requirements is a great perk. After all, what better way to prove your loyalty to a customer than by saying you’ll come back year after year to check on a system you installed?
Much like revenue in the first year of owning a business, you may not immediately reap the rewards of customer loyalty program. After time, though, as your customer base expands and remains with your company, you’ll see the value in the golden rule of the industry: “treat a customer as you would want to be treated.”
At SUPPLY.com, we’re always working to help our customers! See what we’re all about and explore rough to finish plumbing products below!