You’ve done your inspection and sent the report. The relationship you’ve established with your client while working has been an excellent one. So when the inspection is complete, what happens next? It is a good practice to keep in touch with clients after your work for them is “finished.” This particular client might use your services again or have the opportunity to tell others about you.
No matter the reason, if the client is one in which you share a good rapport with, staying in touch can be beneficial on both sides. You’ll have referrals and/or repeat business from them and they’ll have someone whose work they are pleased with that they can refer and/or hire again. Not having to search for another professional and hoping they’ll do a good job is a big deal for any client. So while you’re thinking of all the ways it might be advantageous for you, consider what it means to your client to have a reliable professional resource in you. Realizing why it is a win-win situation will assist you in inquiring about the future and staying in-touch.
Yes, before that inspection is completely finished you’ll want to ask if it is okay to keep in touch. If they’re giving you an email address (or that’s the method you used most with them) assure them you won’t be sending regular notices. But if they’d be interested in receiving your newsletter or ‘Tip of The Week’ be sure to add them to the list. Since this isn’t a stranger or a potential client you’re “trying” to get don’t address them in the same manner as those you’ve never worked for. When corresponding, address them directly in a similar manner as when you were working on a project for them.
Another method is to be sure to know all of the important dates in their life. Obtaining this information without being obvious about it while on the project itself will be the most impressive way. The simple when is your birthday can lead to an answer and additional imperative information. Some will say how they’re “looking forward to it” or they “never celebrate it” or maybe they’re having a huge bash that you should attend! You’ll need to repeat the date in your head and jot it down the moment you get a chance because you’re asking so you (from your company) can send them a birthday card on their special day. Facebook also has birthday reminders which are very handy.
Depending on how big the client is, your birthday wishes might be more appropriate as a gift basket or tickets to some event you know they’ll love based on your conversations with them. Anniversaries are also celebratory as well as holidays and births of children. Letting them know that you remember, you’re thinking of them and you care is a simple way for you to stay in the forefront of their mind. When someone asks them if they can recommend an inspector you want your name to come to mind immediately.
This is also a simple way to advertise your business. In addition to “word of mouth” that doing a great job provides, sending a gift basket to their company will generate inquires from those they work with. You will be the considerate inspector who took the time to remember their day. Don’t just rely on appearances be sure to actually do a great inspection! While supplying the services and/or products, they need be sure that you and anyone else on your team does a superb inspection and is personable.
Sending employees and/or contractors under your employ is fine as long as you are also connected to the client. Be certain that whoever works on the job has business cards with the company’s name, and contact information. Being hands-on throughout the project is something most clients like to see. Confirm that all is going well and that the client is happy with the work performed. Make sure you or your employee involves those clients who are curious about what is or has happened. Give them thorough explanations that aren’t boring, but instead insightful and engaging.
If you send someone on your team to do the inspection let the initial face-to-face be with you. Introduce the inspector who will perform the work and be the ending face they see when the inspection is over. If you’re too busy for this process, call or email if they’re more of an “online” type client. The point is to establish a direct rapport because the inspector you send might not be with your company forever. You’ll want it to be your business they refer or call again for services, so it is imperative that they remember your name and not just the person you send to inspect.
Remember that any and all personal information supplied to you by the client can assist you with keeping in touch. If their sibling or child is getting married you can note the date and send a gift (mentioning you’re the inspector for whomever your client and their relative is). If they tell you of their retirement day or any celebration be sure to acknowledge it with a card or gift, maybe they’re going on their first cruise or trip outside the country? Send them a bon voyage! Wish them a wonderful trip, you would remember if the vendors you hire did these things and so will those who hire you!
Another great way to stay in touch is to send a monthly newsletter to past clients about home maintenance tips. It will provide them with useful information and also keep your company name on their mind.
No matter which method you use to stay in touch with past clients, you can be certain that keeping in contact with them will benefit your business. Just remember to provide them with good information and be thoughtful and it will pay off.