Custom Install 2.0: Knowing Your Customer and Turning That Knowledge into Opportunity
Integrators are evolving. Over the last few years, integrators have expanded into new solution categories (commercial/pro AV, networking, surveillance and security, etc.) and are very capable of advising their customers on home automation, energy efficiency and control, shading, and other solutions that were not frequently part of the conversation even a few years ago.
Even calling residential and commercial professionals “integrators” rather than “dealers” reflects this evolution. It is not simply about selling clients products anymore. It is about creating and delivering solutions that integrate with customers’ lives.
There are a couple of areas where this evolution seems to have passed by a number of integrators—the creation and maintenance of customer profiles and re-engaging customers for additional opportunities.
Think of it as customer life-cycle management: Are you thinking about your customers as individual jobs, or as relationships you can actively manage to drive multiple jobs over the years? If you answered the latter, you are in the minority. Here are some things to think about if you want to start managing your customers over the longer term.
It all starts with building customer profiles that contain useful information to engage with your clients multiple times over a single year. There are plenty of customer relationship management (CRM) software packages and services you can use to build and maintain these profiles, but Microsoft Excel works just as effectively. You should already have customer contact data and information on the job or jobs you have done for them in your records: bid presentations, products you installed, and other data. Capturing information that is outside of the job you are working on with the customer is equally as important.
Here are some things to consider; you will undoubtedly think of additional data that you would also find useful:
• What the customer does for a living
• The characteristics of the home or office you are working on for the job: Does it have outdoor living spaces, a pool, finished garage, reception area or employee kitchen that are not part of your job today?
• Who else lives in the home: their ages, occupations and other details
• Basic information on the likes and hobbies of the customer
• Any other information you gather from your conversations with the customer.