It’s smart business to take the necessary steps to ensure your company is doing all it can for its female customers. After all, women initiate 80% of home improvement purchases.*
Below are some tips and guidelines to help you market your business to women in order to stand above the competition, grow your sales, and increase your referrals.
Your website: Women do most of their pre-puchase research online, so it’s imperative that your company’s website must be accessible, easy to find, and easy to navigate. Be sure to have a clean, professional-looking website that makes it easy for prospective customers to contact you. Include before-and–after images, testimonials, and an “About Us” page that speaks to your expertise, diligence, and pride in a stellar reputation. In many cases, your website is your opportunity to give a first impression — so make it a great one!
Your first phone call: More than likely, the first human point of contact a customer will have with your company will be on the phone. If you have someone answering the phone, make sure he or she is professional and friendly. If you’re answering a call or contacting a customer for the first time, begin by thanking them for reaching out and express that you look forward to having the opportunity to serve them. A warm welcome and sincere enthusiasm for serving them and getting started goes a long way.
Leverage the power of social media. Your business should have a strong presence on social media, where women dominate the population. For example, you can create a Facebook page and encourage customers to connect with you for special offers, news, and tips. Your presence should have purpose, but your purpose cannot have a linear focus. You must develop content that will be meaningful to current customers, former customers, and potential customers. Home improvement tips, blog posts, giveaways, discounts, and before-and–after imagery are just a few examples. Be sure to encourage customers to write a testimonial that you can use on many platforms — from your website to social media, print ads, etc.
Take family into consideration: When meeting with a female (or couple) customer for the first time, pay attention to details. Are they new parents or do they have several young kids at home? If so, be sure to take into consideration certain factors that may affect their lifestyle. The simple act of asking which days or times work best to call or arrive at a job site because you can relate to having kids (or because you want to be courteous of their busy schedule), for example, will give them a sense of comfort and appreciation. This is an easy way to make a good first impression and connect with a customer on a deeper level. Be sure to remember to follow through with any promises you make and adhere to any special considerations you’ve discussed.
Communication is paramount to success. Be courteous and respectful. Give her a firm handshake, keep eye contact with her during your conversation, and listen to her when she speaks and expresses concerns. Let her know upfront that your reputation is important to you and that you take pride in your ability to exceed her expectations. Encourage her to communicate openly with you. Check in with her during the process (before, during, and after the work is done), which will allow you to manage expectations and make adjustments if anything is less than stellar. Even if there has been a bump in the road (i.e., you couldn’t finish the job because of a rainstorm), reaching out to reassure your customer will ease concerns and defuse a potentially disappointing outcome — an unhappy customer. The goal is to provide your customer with peace of mind and ensure you’re not only meeting her expectations but exceeding them!
Pay attention to details. Wipe your feet before entering her home. Clean up any mess or materials at the end of each workday. Pick up any hardware that may have fallen into the driveway or the yard where kids and dogs might play. Inform your customer when you expect to arrive and leave each day. Here are some things to avoid: leaving a ladder behind, blasting loud music on the job, and chewing gum when meeting with a potential customer. All of these details will speak volumes about your respect for her home and her family, and will communicate how much pride you take in the home improvement job at hand.
Ask questions. It’s your responsibility to know your customer. You should be aware of the challenges for female customers in your industry, as well as what their expectations are when they come to you for an estimate or a job. After a job, ask her questions. It’ll keep you knowledgeable and allow you to make adjustments within your business so you can become (or remain) a female-friendly company. Plus, it’ll go a long way in building your reputation (and hopefully referrals) for customers to know that you not only cared enough to ask — but actually listened.
Sell to women. Making a connection is important. Don’t go right for the selling point, and certainly don’t tell women what they want. Instead, listen to what the female buyer’s challenges are and find a way to connect and engage with her on that level. Once she’s engaged and connected to your brand or company, you can start “selling.” Just know that the process of connecting and selling to women takes patience and time. While they may not jump at the chance to hire you for their home improvement task right away, if you’re doing a good job of keeping them connected and engaged, you’ll be top of mind when it comes time for a home repair job. So, how can you connect with women in a female-friendly way? Here are some simple guidelines to follow:
- Follow the 80/20 rule: listen to her 80% of the time, talk 20% of the time.
- Connect with women emotionally.
- Demonstrate value, like how your brand or business can benefit her life and family.
- Follow up shortly after the initial meeting to see if you can answer any additional questions they may have for you.
- Stay away from advertisements that are pink and “girly.”
- Avoid being patronizing and condescending.
* According to the Chicago Sun Times