Living in South Africa is both a blessing and somewhat of a challenge. We are one of the most resilient countries in the world. During the COVID pandemic we were united in various aspects and from various walks of life – not only did we come together to survive but we helped each other survive. One important lesson I learned from the pandemic was to educate and maintain constant support for your clients.
We all faced the challenge of not being able to afford certain simple basic needs. But what we realised during the “essential services” phase of the pandemic was that individuals started looking at alternative solutions to plumbing issues. Now, I do not agree that a consumer should install their own geyser after watching a YouTube video, but we noticed that customer retention, after the strict COVID regulations were lifted, seemed to increase by at least 75%. The why behind the how, is simple – we started consulting clients via various online platforms, and rather than charging for a simple fix, we educated our clients and helped them save on unnecessary costs.
The question, however, is “how did we continue to make money?” Well, have you ever received a gift or won a prize and realised the true value of what you just bought or won? And have you become so hooked on that specific brand that you stuck to it ever since? Be that “brand” to your clients. When you are a plumbing partner indeed, you will always be a plumber in need. The rest is up to your standard of work and your desire to be the best in the industry – your name is your reputation.
Let’s get back to the subject of this message. My wife does the marketing for our company, and she used a simple, self-explanatory image that explains how a thermal blanket in winter helps to reduce a geyser’s negative impact on a client’s electricity bill, when the blanket is used as a cloth to snuggle the geyser under. As plumbers, we all know that the water-temperature of a geyser decreases by 1ºC every hour, but consumers do not necessarily know that. With that small gesture, that simple educational image, our clients learned how to preserve the heat in their geysers. It was by no means a fancy marketing image, but none the less made an impact on our client’s finances and served an educational purpose. Simultaneously it strengthened the existing trust that our clients already had in us.
Remember that something that may seem insignificant or common knowledge to you, may be a huge learning experience for someone else. Knowledge is power. Empower your clients by educating and helping them wherever you can. Lastly, what you give in good faith will always be a return on investment.
Written by article competition winner from Plumbing 4U (Pty) Ltd, Marc McRae