Appointment card ideas?

Anyone have an effective marketing idea for appointment cards? I’m looking for an incentive to put on my appointment cards. One that would encourage them to refer their friends or especially their neighbors to us the next time we are out in the area servicing their homes. I’m trying to get our customers to hook us up with their neighbors especially. This way we can schedule at least 2 homes in the same neighborhood as opposed to one then having to drive somewhere else to the next home. Thanks in advance for lending your genius to me.

Damian Casillas
A.B. Window Cleaning
San Diego, CA
1-800-388-0880

Hey Damian,
Nothing jumps off the page for me except the same response you most likely already have in your thoughts. To offer the referral bonus that has cash value to the customer.
My referral statement along with my actual referral bonus particulars are on my “how did we do?” critique cards, the back of my business cards and on my invoices.
I can attribute much success to pushing the referral response, whether it be neighbors, friends or family of the current customer.

Dwight, Could you post your “how did we do?” critique card. I’m looking to start doing those this year.

You are getting to what I was thinking Dwight. But if you don’t mind what in particular do you offer? Is it a gift certificate to a restaraunt or somewhere? A discount off a future cleaning? What has been the most effective for you?

We collect emails and send this link out to each job afterward. It makes data collection easy:

http://5starwindowcare.com/Survey

Actually Linda I’ve got a proof I’m waiting on that upgrades my present ones. I’ll post it when Linda (oddly enough) sends me an e-mail.

I offer my humble slogan and a $30 off their next cleaning for a referral of $200 or more. I’ve attached my invoices that shows it.

Very efficient Curt. I may model something along those lines in the future.

I like that Curt, I would change it to a blind survey. Meaning they do not tell you who they are. They are WAY more likey to respond and to respond honestly. They can’t be tied to hurt feelings or possible bitterness.

The who is never as important as the why.

I was really torn there… There are 2 reasons I opted to not leave it anonomyous.

First, I want to be able to credit any testimonials.

Second, I want to be able to correct any problems that may be festering with the customer.

Can I have my cake and eat it too?

Are you?

I see the conundrum with the situation, but you are going to get far less useful feedback. It kinda makes the whole thing a waste

Create a different web address to send them to for testimonials.

You are trying to trap them by finding out their problems. Most will not answer.

What than is the true purpose of the questions?

To only get feel good responses. You even say to get testimonials, so you are assuming the up-side. You don’t really want to see mediocre ratings do you? A lot easier to do when asking them to out themselves. Most of us would feel better with no response. Then we could be doing great.

If you do a true blind rating, you can see what % of your customers REALLY feel about your service. You can’t systematically adjust to every customer, something is usually broke or there is a lack of continuity across the board.

Big companies hire 3rd party customer research firms because they are likely to get the answers because they are not the company. They eliminate the guilt factor. The real answers will improve your service and customer retention and stimulate more referrals.

When people are ticked off, we are likely to hear about it. However, if they are indifferent they will say nothing or feel your service is “fine” or “ok” and be gone to the next guy who comes along with a better deal.

More people stop doing business with companies in the US due to indifference. 68% of lost customers are traced to indifference. That can’t be ignored.

Unless you treat customers and/or service customers differently from one another- go blind.

What’s the best way for a service provider to correct a specific issue when blind feedback is provided?

You are looking at this in micro and not macro. It is not to indendently solve each customers little problems. Keep in mind this is a rating system, it is not personal. We are trying to find correlation within the parameters of the questions.

It is FAR more important to find out if we are rating low or mid-range in something across the board.

There will be very few answers if not blind. You tell me how to find out and fix problems that are effecting the majority of the customers if they say nothing.

There need to be answers to keep our company’s future on track and in the black.

Again WE think that we have awesome services and can’t believe it can be bad or mediocre. It must be just a few radical customers right? Do it blind and find out.

Agreed.

How does one think macro, but act micro?

For example, on a residential account that one only services yearly. Is there a risk in losing the business? During that gap in F2F time, how can one address an issue that might have been communicated during a blind survey?
Part of the survey analysis must be an action plan.

the survey shown is not a help line, it is not the complaint department. It is an overview.

You are back to micro again. Who cares about acting micro? We are on a fact finding mission here. Are we trying to do a aim small miss small thing here? How about aim big and miss nothing.

This survey in and of itself will not solve problems on the fly, it is not even designed to do that. It has a rating system.

Asking them “What can we do to improve” will likely draw out a specific problem without sounding like we might have sucked.

How do we address every persons problem? (if they have them) Not on this feedback device. It is all of our duty as business owners to keep a line of contact open to our customers. Send them special announcements, deals, how you doin’ cards, whatever else you can think of. Keep a relationship with them and know that the next time we come back we will be an even better service. People are forgiving if they feel special.

Since they will likely never tell us openly about the little things, we need to get them to tell us something.

I think that is the pertinent question each window cleaning company must ask themselves prior to acquiring customer reviews. For my company, I ask via 4.25 x 6 cards that ask 7 quick questions and have space for comments. What I am searching for is ways to enhance my service within the home. Because I view this work as the most critical to the way most customers will view my services because it is their living quarters.

Through places like this forum and other ones, I have a sound base as to what is good practice and bad practice.

Example: Recently one of my customers commented on a card that she appreciated that we make it a practice to not carry our buckets throughout the home, we leave them at the door on a towel and simply make a trip back to re-wet when necessary. She said a previous company had splashed a bucket while in transit from room-to-room and while the company did take care of the stain, it meant another trip on another day. Prior to that comment I had never really thought about how that practice could effect my service, now it is standard for us to wet at the door and use the boab as effectively as possible until you need to wet & rinse again.

In other words, I’m willing to look at the way that we do things through the input of my customers. In my case I want to know who is saying what so I can recall specific incidents.

While anonymous ratings may reveal some truths, they are also a haven for the bitter to reveal their truths. That is not the truth I am searching for.

I feel at this time I must divulge that I did not look at the survey.