It’s officially April, so you know what time it is - Customer Loyalty Month! Customer Loyalty Month is observed throughout April, which creates the perfect time to show appreciation for your HVAC and plumbing customers. In an industry so reliant on customer loyalty, contractors must understand the importance of recognizing customer loyalty and how to do it properly.
While customer appreciation should be demonstrated year-round — to support customer retention and positive customer sentiment — taking the time throughout April to assess and enhance your ongoing efforts is a must. Keep reading to learn more about the impact of customer loyalty and the top four customer appreciation tactics trade businesses should know.
What is Customer Loyalty Month?
Back in 1984, the International Customer Service Association declared the first week of October as National Customer Service Week, which later went on to be officially proclaimed by President George Bush in 1992. While this week was used to celebrate the loyalty and hard work of employees, various industries realized that actual customer loyalty was left in the dark.
That's where the concept of Customer Loyalty Month came in! Each April, Customer Loyalty Month recognizes the importance of a loyal customer base and the high value it provides businesses. With loyal customers comes ongoing business support and growth, demonstrating why companies must take April as a time to address their ongoing customer appreciation efforts.
Impacts of Customer Loyalty on HVAC and Plumbing Businesses
With roughly 59% of American consumers claiming that once they're loyal to a brand or company, they’ll be loyal to it for life, why would you not want to strategize customer appreciation tactics for your business? Working to build consistent and long-term customer loyalty can benefit an HVAC and plumbing business in many different ways, including but certainly not limited to the following:
- Loyal customers refer your company to others to drive increased service calls.
- Loyal customers become recurring customers, which equals recurring revenue.
- Loyal customers help business owners save on pricy customer acquisition costs.
- Loyal customers enable positive company reviews to improve brand reputation.
Building a loyal customer base can be extremely rewarding for long-term business support. In fact, that’s why 69% of brand executives have claimed that they’ve increased company investments targeted at enhancing customer loyalty efforts over the past two years. Just keep reading for some of the top ways to show customer appreciation and encourage loyalty.
Top 4 Tactics to Show Customer Appreciation
While customer appreciation tactics should be leveraged all year long to reap the maximum benefits, April is an excellent time to assess current efforts (and add new ones where you can). Below are the top four customer appreciation methods HVAC and plumbing companies should consider.
1. Loyalty Programs
A customer loyalty program is an excellent way to show customer appreciation, as it incentivizes repeat purchases with your business — this can explain why the typical consumer belongs to 16.7 customer loyalty programs.
From new equipment installations to ongoing maintenance needs, consider developing a program where customers can gain loyalty points each time they use your services in exchange for product or discount rewards. This demonstrates customer appreciation and motivates constant spending with your business to support consistent revenue.
2. Promotions and Discounts
In addition to loyalty programs, promotions, and discounts are a fantastic way to demonstrate appreciation for return customers. Upon completing a work order, you’ll likely collect contact information, including email and phone number, which can be helpful for sharing promotional details.
To thank customers for their business, consider following up via text or email to provide exclusive discounts on future work or products. Those who regularly update their company’s social media pages should also consider sharing details on promotions and discounts with loyal followers.
3. Referral Bonuses
One of the top benefits of loyal customers is their ability to encourage new customers to seek your HVAC or plumbing services. Providing top-tier customer service and quality fieldwork to customers can help leave a lasting impression that results in them using your services again or, even better, recommending your services to others.
To show appreciation, a customer should be rewarded every time a referral successfully converts into a sale. Consider setting up a referral program that provides those who refer customers to your business with incentives, such as company discounts or gift cards. Be sure to highlight this program each visit to encourage ongoing referrals.
4. Host a Customer Appreciation Event
While the above mentions are great for showing customer appreciation all year, hosting an event is a great way to recognize customer loyalty, specifically during Customer Appreciation Month. Consider hosting an annual customer appreciation event and sending out invites via email or text to customers you supplied services to over the past year.
From private dinner parties at a local restaurant to family movie nights at the local theater, customer appreciation events can be used to gather loyal customers and thank them for their consistent business. These events are also great for sharing details regarding your businesses, including new services, promotions, and general recommendations.
Take Customer Appreciation Month Head On for Year-Long Success
Without loyal customers, HVAC and plumbing businesses would struggle to stay afloat. During Customer Appreciation Month, take the time to nail down your methods of showing customers gratitude and remain consistent with them in the months ahead. To support the overall customer experience, don’t forget to offer a JB Warranties Premium Protection Plan after each new system installation to help give customers that coveted peace of mind.
Vice President - Claims, JB Warranties