Whenever a prospect called our office for an estimate, we always tracked their reason for contacting us. We wanted to know what drove customers to our doors in the hope that we could leverage it to grow our business. To capture this information, we never asked the question, “Can you please tell us your reason for calling?” because they might say, “No.” Instead, we used a subtler question and said, “I’m just curious, did someone recommend us, or have we moved you before? We’re asking because if someone referred you, we’d like to send them a thank you note.” This worked 100% of the time—we got the information we sought. To our surprise, 71% of our business came from referrals and repeat customers. Apparently, we had a lot of loyal customers who liked to recommend us. We never asked them for referrals because I personally believe that’s a turnoff.
Before I sold my company, I asked several of our loyal customers to please tell me their reasons for using us again and again. I knew it wasn’t price because we were the highest priced mover in our market. Most replied they were loyal primarily because we consistently rendered a premium service and that we rarely had a service failure. Many said they knew if our service were not up to par and they complained, Ed Katz, owner, would try to identify the cause and try to prevent the problems from happening again. In their minds, we wrote the book on being accountable.
When we made a sales presentation, we never overpromised anything. Instead of telling a prospect how wonderful and easy their move would be if they hired us, we pointed out how disruptive, unsettling, and traumatic an office move could be. We warned them hiring the wrong mover at a lower price might prevent them from opening for business the next working day if their mover underestimated the job. We minimized this risk because our estimate was based upon our proprietary man-hour formula that was uncannily accurate. Our competition on the other hand, relied on their household cube and pounds “guestimates” that had no relevance to office moves. Where the household movers might say, “8 men and 2 trucks should be able to do your move in 6 hours,” the word “should” was never in our vocabulary. Instead, we gave the number of men and trucks for how long and guaranteed they’d be open for business the next working day providing there were no unforeseen contingencies.
Unlike our competition, we never hinted or guaranteed there would be no damage. Instead, we promised to minimize the risk of damage by using Comp-U-Wraps to protect their computers, the floating method to lessen the chance of crushing damage to their furniture on the moving van, and extensive building protection including Mat-A-Doors® to protect their elevator entrances, main building doors, walls, and carpet.
The bottom line was that by consistently rendering a premium service, we built a loyal customer base that gladly referred us.
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For more information on our online office moving training, please visit
http://www.officemoves.com/training/index.html or call Ed Katz at 404.358.2172.