Building relationships is tough when you’re trying to keep up with production. But when a worldwide epidemic like COVID-19 hits, it’s wise to take advantage of the opportunity to strengthen your connections and strengthen the bridge between you and your prospects.
Here are a few simple ways to develop stronger relationships with your roofing customers and prospects when the economy’s down.
Now is the time to get busy building stronger internal processes and organizational systems. First and foremost, make sure your roofing database is up to date.
Group your contacts by lead status.
If you have one giant database that encompasses all of your contacts, it’s time to break that database into more targeted lists:
- Former customers
- Current customers
Clearly labeling and organizing your roofing prospects and customers helps better refine your company’s communications with them.
Identify age groups.
COVID-19 has a different level of impact on each generation. The New York Times reports that while nearly 40% of people hospitalized as a result of the coronavirus are aged 20-54, older adults are more at risk of more serious complications. Children 5 years old and younger can also be more greatly affected.
Knowing your prospects’ and customers’ age groups can help you determine whether to proceed with their roof repairs or replacements during this time. Be sure to make note of each resident’s age in your prospects’ and customers’ profiles–millennials may have young children while members of Gen X may be caring for their elderly parents. If you’re not sure, do some research and estimate ages when necessary.
Stay up to date with your state government’s mandates.
If you’ve developed professional relationships and friendships with your customers and prospects, you likely know their occupations. Not only do you need to keep an eye on your government’s mandates for your own business and family operations, but staying informed lets you know which of your prospects and customers are still in the workforce and who may be temporarily unemployed.
Being aware of your contacts’ situations allows you to predict how their situations may affect your business.
Know how to communicate with your roofing customers and prospects.
Everyone’s situation is different. Some people are able to work from home. Some adults are out of work with no income due to temporary business shutdowns. Many people are trying to balance everyday life while their kids are stuck at home with no school or childcare. Here’s a breakdown of just a few of people’s current scenarios:
One of the generations most susceptible to the current epidemic, the elderly are forced to stay indoors unless absolutely necessary. Many grocery stores across America have reserved the first one or two early morning hours strictly to provide a safer environment in which the elderly may complete their shopping.
These people are the least likely to pursue or accept any services that require interaction with others at this time. The best way to respect elderly contacts’ situations is by giving them a call to explain that your company has their best interests at heart.
Let them know if nearby grocery stores offer online ordering and pickup, you're willing to deliver their orders. You can also assure them they can leave payment outside and since you don’t want to put them at greater risk, you’ll ring the doorbell and leave their groceries on the porch.
Parents with young children
As state governments roll out new mandates on a daily basis, childcare is becoming more difficult to find. If you know your customers have young children, touch base with a phone call. They’ll likely welcome the adult interaction, even if it is just over the phone.
The temporarily unemployed
Once you’ve identified your contacts’ occupations, note who is likely unemployed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
One way to ease their anxiety during this tough time is by sending them an email of available resources to keep themselves and their families occupied while building relationships with one another. From a list of card games to limited-time offers, any little thing that can provide a positive distraction is helpful. It’s important that they know they’re not alone and that they will get through this.
Avoid sales pitches.
Communication is key to building any lasting relationship. But in the midst of a pandemic, people are not looking to be sold. They want to know that others care about their well-being, not their financial status.
When communicating in any way with prospects during this time, keep the conversation casual. Focus on the person’s family. Share a bit about your personal situation and how you’re remaining optimistic. Bridging that gap, building that connection speaks volumes to the person on the other end of the line.
By connecting with contacts on a more personal level, you’re instantly placing your company above the rest. They’ll remember the good you’re doing, not the business you’re trying to generate. Be a light of hope, their silver lining in these cloudy times.
Check out this article for more ways to improve customer relationships in the roofing industry.