August is Cleaning Services Month here on the Signpost Local Marketing Blog! We’ll be surfacing insights and strategies specifically for marketing your cleaning service and driving more new and repeat business.
Not a cleaning professional? Don’t worry, we’ll still be sharing insights that will help you to promote your local business, acquire new customers, and encourage loyalty. Want your industry to be the next featured month? Drop us a line, and let us know!
Letting strangers into your home can be daunting, so put yourself in your customers’ shoes when advertising your cleaning business. Oftentimes, consumers want to find a cleaning service that comes recommended by a friend or trusted source, which makes referrals especially important in this line of work. According to the New York Times, 65% of all new business comes from referrals, but as we learned in our referral marketing series, it’s not enough to sit and wait for them to come to you. You must create a comprehensive strategy, cultivate a “referrals mindset”, and start implementing procedures that can be put into place in order to drive more new business.
First, you need to decide on the type of offer you want to use. It’s important that you do the math to ensure that it’s compelling enough to keep customers motivated to send referrals your way, without causing you to lose money on the deal. Depending on your audience, business model and target you might want to extend a special offer to the referrer, referee, or both. We’ve seen the most success when both the referring customer and new customer are rewarded, because customers view it as a “win-win” for both themselves and their friend, without feeling selfish.
You should package the offer in a way that will get your customers excited and eager to participate in the program. You can try giving them a finite number of “coupons” that ask, “Want your next cleaning to be free? Get 25% off your next cleaning appointment for each friend that uses one of these 4 coupons.” Or, you can split it up and instead of getting one free session, they can get 50% off their next, two home cleanings. This will help encourage repeat business on both ends. If you do use coupons, experiment with putting an expiration or “must use by” date that gives interested parties enough time to make their appointments, but still elicits prompt action.
Advertise your referral program
First and foremost, be sure to advertise your referral program on your website. Make it as easy as possible for current clients to refer online, with a dedicated page to collect them through a form. Make sure you clearly state what your ideal customer is, so that people will know whether or not your business will be the right fit. Include testimonials from a variety of happy customers, to demonstrate the breadth of your service and dependability.
Use your social media accounts to advertise your referral program. You can even set up custom links that can be tracked when new customers book online. Similarly, you should send out reminders about your referral program to clients, at least once a quarter. Even if your timing is off the first time you discuss it with them, you never know when they might encounter someone in need of quality home cleaners. Make it easy for them to forward, retweet, and share your exclusive, referral offer with others, in whatever format they prefer!
In addition to email reminders, you can add a link to your referral page in your email signature, so whenever you communicate with anyone on official business, they’ll get a subconscious reminder to refer others. You can also have referral offers roll up into a larger loyalty or VIP program. Whether it’s a specific number of appointments before they get one free, a tiered approach, or a points system, make sure that referrals are weighted accordingly, as they have a monumental impact on your business, and should reflect that so customers will remain motivated.
Partner with other professionals in your community
Don’t forget about other businesses and professionals in the community with similar audiences. Get involved and join different community groups, such as your local Chamber of Commerce. Offer to donate services to any events or fundraisers, and be sure to network with other professionals, especially those with similar audiences. Introduce yourself to realtors, as you can find some mutually beneficial ways to work together.
Try offering a special package, for pre-showing home cleanings, so they know that when they’re showing off their properties, they’ll be looking their best. You can then also provide them with coupons, business cards, or codes for new customers, or “welcome to the neighborhood” specials. People new to town are a great way to grow your business, especially if you have a trusted professional vouching for the quality of service you deliver.
The same can be true with furniture cleaners/conservators, doormen, or building property managers at condos or luxury buildings. Try to work with them to reach an agreement that will work for you both, but again don’t allow yourself to be undersold, either.
Whenever you have a new customer make an appointment, whether over the phone or online, be sure to ask how they found out about your business, so you can give credit where applicable to any referrers. Being bonded and insured is very important to a lot of potential customers, so be sure to advertise this on your site and referral materials, to ease any doubts they might have. Finally, remember to provide gentle reminders, both in person while you’re on the job, and via email and SMS, regularly, to keep referrals on your customers’ mind.