How Home Services Companies Can Support Customers During Social Distancing
Apr 22, 2020Cox Media
3 minute read
As consumers spend their free time at home in accordance with local stay-at-home orders, those individuals and families are looking for new projects and activities to help them pass the time. Not surprisingly, home services businesses have seen heightened demand for their services.
With spring in full bloom, consumers are eager to clean up their yards, trim their bushes, tune up the air conditioner, clean out the pool, and make other home improvements while they’re being forced to isolate at home. As essential businesses in their communities, home services companies are able to stay active to support their customers and help them tackle these home projects.
Looking for ways to support your customers and strengthen those relationships during a challenging time? Here are some steps you can take to demonstrate your commitment to serving your community.
1. USE VIDEOS AND SOCIAL MEDIA TO INCREASE ENGAGEMENT
You want to alert customers that you’re available to help them right now. To do that, you need to target your engagement efforts to the channels where they’re spending most of their time. Nielsen estimates that today’s consumers will be watching 60 percent more content than normal as a result of the current public health crisis. Creating and publishing video across TV advertising, digital video streaming, YouTube and social media is a great way to maintain a dialogue and connect with your customers where they’re consuming a lot of content.
Similarly, social media is expected to see a huge upswing in engagement: 66 percent of social media users expect their social media time to increase during this crisis. Publishing content to social media, including any videos you produce, and offering regular updates about your service offerings can help maintain visibility and keep your customers in-the-know about your business.
2. OFFER NO-CONTACT SERVICE AND DELIVERY TO EASE CUSTOMER CONCERNS
Even if your business is open, and even if your customers have a need for your services, many of those customers will still have reservations about working with your business—especially if you need to enter their home, or meet with them in-person to discuss service options. Home services companies should be proactive in developing and promoting new policies and procedures aimed at mitigating these public health risks and keeping your customers, and your employees, safe.
The most obvious step in this process is offering no-contact service whenever possible. If you need to have sit-down meetings with your customers, conduct them over video conferencing or the telephone. Landscaping and outdoor home care companies should implement a policy not to knock on the door, enter a home, or interact in close contact with customers.
If you’re delivering new appliances, equipment, or even materials such as fresh mulch to your customers, offer no-contact drop-off whenever possible. And if you do have to go into the home—which is likely for plumbers, electricians, HVAC and other in-home services—outline the precautions your service workers will be taking, such as wearing gloves, foot coverings and face masks, washing their hands before and after service, and minimizing contact with any residents of the home.
3. CREATE DIY CONTENT AND RESOURCES FOR YOUR CUSTOMERS
While businesses obviously want customers to hire their services, they should also recognize the long-term benefits of offering support and value during a difficult time for their local communities. With that in mind, your business could offer a lot of value to your customers by offering quick guidance on how to handle basic at-home maintenance tasks. Electricians could demonstrate how to troubleshoot a blown fuse in the breaker box, while lawn care companies could offer tips on how to improve your lawn’s health during the spring.
As you create this DIY content, be sure to publish this information to your business blog. Many home services industries are seeing dramatic gains in search volume for their services—plumbers alone have seen search queries jump by 376 percent—so staying active on your blog and sticking to SEO strategy is a great way to maintain visibility among your local audience.
You could even run paid search advertising that emphasizes that you’re open for business and taking extra precautions to keep customers safe. With public health concerns top-of-mind, your customers will be juggling the risk of working with a home services business alongside their need for immediate service. Effective ad messaging can quickly address those fears and instill confidence in your business.
With customers stuck at home, your home services business has an opportunity to stay busy and engaged with your local customer base. But if you take extra steps to offer more value to customers at a time when it’s needed most, that commitment to excellence won’t be forgotten—even after the current public health crisis is over.
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