Better Together: 5 Ways Marketing & Service Can Boost Sales
There are several different key departments within an HVAC company. One is never more important than the other, because they all serve a very specific role. Customer service is the first point of contact for customers and needs to be friendly and knowledgeable. However, technicians are the ones whose advice most customers will most listen to, because they are the professionals and know the most about the heating and cooling systems in each individual customer’s home or business.
When you throw marketing into this mix, it can seem almost impossible to get every faction of your business working together seamlessly. Fortunately, there are a number of ways that marketing, service, and sales can all work together to increase sales and keep customers loyal to your company.
Get Everyone on the Same Page
The first thing you need to do to get everyone working together efficiently is to come up with a basic marketing plan and make sure everyone is fully trained in the goals and methods of that plan. It is probably best to have your marketing person head up this training.
Jason Weamer, Founder, Creative & Technical Director of Visual Identity Group in Aliso Viejo, California works with many service-based businesses. He shared, “Nothing makes a brand stand out like unique marketing or a unique product and service. If you don’t have this, how are you going to compete with dozens of local competitors aiming for the same goal? The customer ends up deciding based on price, which then turns your business into a commodity.”
If you’re going to use a unique approach, you must train all your employees in the best methods to back up those marketing efforts.
Keep Accurate Records
It is important to have a database that everyone updates. If the technician shares info on a new product, he records it in the database. Then, when the customer phones in to the service line and says, “I want that furnace your tech told me about, the sales person will know exactly which furnace and can easily confirm.”
It is also important to keep a record of the price offered, any specials or discounts mentioned, etc. Don’t tell customers different things every time they call. It is frustrating for customers and it can make your company look shady.
Assign Specific Tasks
Both the marketing people and the technicians should have specific roles to play in sales. Don’t overlap and make customers feel you’re spamming them because you are stating the exact same info over and over.
Instead, you can utilize something like direct mail, which your marketing department would be in charge of, follow up with a sales call, and finally let the technician share additional details and answer questions about the topic.
Weamer added, “Direct Mailers can still be an effective marketing tool especially when announcing a discount or coupon. Give them a reason to not chuck that mailer into the trash. You can also target specific demographics such as income, gender, and home owner vs. renter, to make sure you’re getting in front of the right person.”
If you’re offering a coupon, be sure everyone from the phone operator to the technicians know exactly what is on that coupon, how much it is worth, and any limitations.
Coordinate Special Offers
At the same time, each level of interaction a customer has with anyone in your company should help them understand the bargains and offers you have available. For example, the secretary will let them know that there is a special and the technician should mention it while he’s there and offer more details. The customer may have already seen a postcard from the marketing department.
Don’t just assume that your service technicians know how to sell your products. Instead, offer in-house workshops where the marketing department and the technicians can interact and brainstorm on the best ways to reach out to customers and match each with the best equipment for their particular needs. Try different methods until you find what works best for your target audience.
As Weamer said, “Whether you are doing your own DIY marketing or working with a marketing professional or agency, my advice is to stick with it. Even failures have a lesson to teach. Try to come up with ways to measure success from campaign to campaign to see what works and what doesn’t. Evaluate your target market, your offering, the creative, and even the wording. You’ll be surprised at how little tweaks can make a difference.”
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