We all know the value of word-of-mouth advertising—there’s nothing more powerful than a personal recommendation from a friend or family member. But have you ever considered "mining" your past customers to grow your business? Your filing cabinets are filled with satisfied homeowners who would love to refer you to their family and friends; but you can’t mobilize them if you don’t have an easy way to get in touch with them.
If you don’t have a digital list of your customers, it’s time to get your records digitized and organized, because with Enertech’s Geothermal Friends & Family program you have a chance to put them to work!
It may seem daunting to think about taking all of your records and inputting them to your computer, but getting a digital customer list together is easier than it sounds. After all, how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time! You don’t need fancy equipment, expensive software or specialized expertise. All it takes is a basic Excel document with names, addresses and installation dates of your previous geothermal customers. We’ve even created a template that you can start using right away – download it below!
Don’t feel like you have to do all the data entry yourself. Often times the best way to accomplish a short term project like this is to hire some temporary help. You could have a family member, a trustworthy friend or a local high school or college student pitch in for a few weeks until the project is complete. If you aren’t sure where to look, ask your employees if they know anyone looking to make some extra money or contact the guidance counselor at the local high school if the school has a jobs posting bulletin board. Keep in mind that a list with mistyped addresses or misspelled names doesn’t have much value, so make sure the help you find is able to input your data with accuracy. Also be aware of the sensitive nature of the information you have.
There could also be local temp agencies and employment offices that could assist you in hiring someone for the short term. Newspaper ads and online job posting boards might also be an option. For the amount of business your customer list will generate for you, it’s worth spending some money to get the job done quickly.
Depending on the size of your list and your staff, you might be able to get the project done in-house by taking a working lunch a few days a week until the list is complete. Each person could work on inputting a specific set of years, and the files could be compiled into a master list at the end of the project. Make it fun by ordering pizza or having a potluck.
This year has some of the strongest sales opportunities that the geothermal industry has ever seen. Take advantage of the expiring 30% U.S. Federal Tax credit for geothermal systems while you can, and make 2016 your best year yet. And whether you've installed four geothermal systems or 4,000, put those homeowners to work for you–get your customer list organized today!
And remember, the best offense is a good defense. Keep a digital record of every job you do going forward. You’ll save yourself the time and expense of having to go through this process again, and you’ll be able to put your customers to work for you right away after every installation!