That’s the dream, isn’t it? To not only have some great clients, but clients who recognize your worth and value your relationship so much that even when you’re apart, they sing your praises.
It’s easier to do this with your team — and not just because you pay their salaries. But clients can be tricky. They may work with you because it makes sense for their business, but it doesn’t mean they have to truly enjoy the relationship.
But you can change that.
In my business, our clients are service professionals working in the home improvement and repair space. We are fortunate that as a company we are at a point now where our clients have become some of our best and strongest ambassadors. This wasn’t a process that happened overnight. But now, over a decade later, we are proud to see the HomeStars brand frequently being broadcast by our clients — from social media, to company vehicles, websites and more. Today I want to share with you how we gradually transitioned our clients into brand ambassadors.
Provide ongoing benefits
When I started HomeStars, we were the only home improvement marketplace in Canada. While that is no longer the case, we have always found ways to stand apart from the crowd and provide value to our clients. For example, we have a Star Score where contractors are ranked based on a set of criteria important to their customers. We also celebrate our top home professionals in major markets across the country with the annual Best Of HomeStars awards, which includes well-deserved recognition for their hard work, digital badges that winners can display on their own websites and more.
One-on-one customer service
Our customers have a HomeStars coach assigned to them, to handle any inquiries or issues that they encounter. We have a dedicated phone line available to support our contractors during business hours and our staff receive extensive training on our systems, analytics, and business solutions.
More importantly than that, we make every effort to get to know our customers…as much as possible. Beyond whatever their work with us requires, we learn about their challenges, stories behind their business and future plans. I make it a priority to talk to customers regularly, host events and travel to the different cities we operate in at least once a year. Our senior leaders in engineering, product, finance, HR and marketing do the same.
Always let your customers know about changes to your business: big or small. As HomeStars has evolved over the years, we’ve made adjustments to our platform that have affected our professionals. Our goal was always to be transparent with users about changes we make to the site over the years, which sometimes affects home professionals’ rankings. The intent is always to protect homeowners and make it easier for them to make decisions. Sometimes customers get upset with change — but we make every effort to keep the lines of communication open. Even if we know they don’t always agree with our rationale.
Show gratitude every day
At the end of the day, no successful business would be where it is without its customers. We have always felt it important to let them know how grateful we are for their support and endorsement of our services. Whether it’s responding to a tweet or taking the time to make a quick call — those little things don’t go unnoticed and we make it our mission to recognize these words of support.