You want customers to remember your Painting Services. Mainstream marketing methods and advertising is getting to be very expensive. If your website is on the first page of Google, you are likely spending a lot of money on Pay Per Click or Search Engine Optimization. Old style advertising is still expensive and mostly ineffective. So keeping your existing customers becomes even more important now. Ecopainting has been painting in Toronto for many years. Not many companies can be successful without a good number of regular customers. Getting a new customer is difficult, losing one is very easy. Let me share some of our experience on how to not lose customers and make them remember your painting services in a good way instead.
Don’t do a bad paint job.
- The cutting lines have to look sharp.
- The colours have to be perfect.
- Quality paints should be used and applied over prepared surfaces.
- Floors and furniture need to be protected.
This is all very basic information of course, but why do we see so many bad paint jobs every week? Despite what the review sites would have you believe, customer Satisfaction rate is not 99.9%. We see it all the time: splashes of old paint on floors, wavy cutting lines, patches that are painted over without sanding, roller lint on painted surfaces… this can go on forever. These are not DIY jobs, they are done by “painters” according to the customer. What exactly is a properly painted surface? The PDCA and other groups have written standards available. Lastly, your customer knows very well what looks good and what does not.
Lose the excuses. Be open with the customer.
- If you are running behind on your scheduling let them know. Starting too many jobs and spreading yourself too thin is a recipe for disaster. Most customers will understand this as they all heard the horror stories about contractors.
- Be fully transparent. Encourage the customer to ask questions and answer them to their satisfaction.
- If your lead painter quit Monday morning, this is your human resources problem, not your customer’s. Let them know and have them on your side.
- If there is pink paint on the floor and you are using pink paint, it is likely yours. Be accountable and clean it. If it isn’t yours, help them clean it if possible.
- The scratches on the floor could be yours. There is no point hiding this, they live there and they look at their floor all the time.
Mistakes happen by all of us. Take responsibility and offer ways to fix it.
Service but DO NOT serve.
A contract is a great tool in the hands of the customer and the contractor alike. In a way it makes us equal through the duration of the project. We promise the customer our labour to apply some materials, in exchange for money. And yet I have witnessed a ton of subservient behaviour by painters and other trades people. This is mostly in higher end homes and very expensive Toronto neighbourhoods. Maybe it’s the fear of the review for the painters but there is no need for that and it makes your customer uncomfortable. In our Painting Company we foster a culture of professionalism and self respect. We are all equally important and we expect and get respect from our customers. Painters are not the help, they are contractors or the contractor’s representatives at the job site.
Don’t be too pushy for future work, reviews, etc.
Your customer is now happy. You assessed their needs, provided them your services and an amazing decorating experience. It would be nice if they thought of you next time they need a painting job. Maybe their neighbours or friends will ask them about you. Thank them and really show your appreciation. Get a nice testimonial, even go as far as to ask them for any future business. Go easy on Christmas and Thanksgiving cards, and “cheesy” newsletters. Don’t keep asking them to write reviews all over the internet. This is Google’s and the review sites agenda and it is not yours. Let them find the ways to find you when they need your painting services. Engaging with them in social media is an idea. Maybe offer to service their warranty or be visible in their neighbourhood. Be present and yet tactful, do not overdo it.
Ecopainting is a Painting Contractor servicing the painting needs of GTA residents.