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Choosing Quality Over Quantity: Why the Right Customers Matter

Molly McCormick
May 10, 2024

For commercial service contractors, it’s essential to find ways to improve efficiency and profits during this time of economic uncertainty and labor shortages. Drawing from ServiceTrade CEO Billy Marshall’s presentation at the 2024 Digital Wrap Conference, this article explores one key strategy for reducing risk, maximizing efficiency, and growing your profits: selling to the best customers.

It starts with selling to better customers

“Better customers will invest in better systems and better maintenance routines that deliver better outcomes while using less labor and eliminating unplanned service calls.” – ServiceTrade CEO Billy Marshall, from his DWC presentation, “Terminate Risk: Your New Sales Mission in an AI World”

Who are “the best” customers?

It’s likely that at some point you’ve dealt with customers who cut corners, avoid your recommended maintenance programs, and ultimately pull you into emergency situations. This disrupts planned workflows and creates operational chaos. These types of customers usually require more resources and attention, reducing overall efficiency and increasing costs due to the unplanned nature of the work.

By contrast, better customers are those who:

The benefits of selling to better customers

Premium customers often lead to repeat business and referrals, which are key drivers of growth. They are also more likely to invest in higher-quality services and products, which can help maintain high standards in your offerings. Most importantly, working with the right customers will result in steadier revenue streams and less operational chaos, allowing you to minimize on-demand work and maximize planned work.

Benefits of this include:

More efficiency,

Selling and Retaining the Best Customers

This all sounds great. But how do you close these premium customers and, beyond that, how do you keep them?

Understanding what customers fundamentally desire and how to continuously engage them are crucial in selling and retaining the best customers. At the heart of a successful customer relationship is the delivery of seamless, disruption-free services. As highlighted by Billy in his DWC presentation, customers primarily want “nothing” in terms of disruptions — no breakdowns, no malfunctions, just smooth operations. This simple understanding forms the basis of what it means to sell to and retain valuable customers.

To effectively sell to the best customers, businesses must utilize Marketing Impressions Per Service (MIPS). This strategy involves using digital touchpoints such as appointment reminders, enroute notifications, work acknowledgements, and online quotes to build a compelling online narrative.

Billy explained, “Once your current customers experience your Digital Wrap through your MIPS and the story of how you are taking care of them, they can’t leave you. They can’t go back to just invoices and emails and PDFs.”

This approach not only enhances customer retention but also significantly elevates the perceived value of your services compared to competitors who may offer lower prices but less transparency and reliability.

Further refining the strategy to attract and keep premium customers involves categorizing service features into Attractive, Performance, and Required. By understanding which features elevate customer satisfaction and loyalty — from the must-haves to the delightful extras — businesses can tailor their offerings to meet and exceed the expectations of the best customers. Focusing on performance features that influence initial purchase decisions and attractive features that enhance customer loyalty, ensures that your service stands out in a competitive market.

In essence, selling to and retaining the best customers involves not just meeting their basic expectations but consistently exceeding them through strategic use of digital interactions and a deep understanding of their needs and preferences.

Here are some additional resources:

Focusing on better customers builds a more sustainable and profitable business. By aligning your service offerings with the needs of high-quality customers, you can transform your operational model to be more efficient and less chaotic. Set the stage for future growth and stability.

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