Maintaining steady business for your rental company takes hard work and persistence. However, blood, sweat, and tears don't need to be a thing if you choose to work smarter, not harder.
According to this article on The Groove Blog, statistics show that it costs five times more to get a new customer than to get repeat business from a previous customer. If you've got a tight budget, especially if you're a new company, it's worth exploring options that help new customers keep coming back to you when they need reliable, affordable rental equipment.
So, how do you make that happen?
Check out these five ideas for getting repeat business for your rental company.
Engage and stay active on social media.
Find your voice and stay active on social media to help your current customers stay engaged with your company. It helps them stay up to date on new equipment you provide or discounts you're offering. If you stay tuned in, you'll also find out what they're looking for, giving you the opportunity to provide it.
How do you start sharing on social media? Here are a few ideas:
- Share services you offer
Social media is a great place to let people know what you offer. You can share details and pictures of the newest editions to your rental fleet, like the self-propelled equipment by Equipter for roofers, contractors, and restoration professionals.
- Post employee bios
Consider highlighting one employee a month on your Facebook or LinkedIn page. A simple picture and a few of their likes and dislikes instantly make your company more than just another business. It lets customers get to know the people on the phone, the delivery driver, even the in-house mechanic. This instantly makes your rental company more personable and relatable.
- Share the benefits of your equipment
Feature a different piece of equipment every week, sharing what it does and how it can eliminate contractors' pain points.
Offer customer-exclusive discounts.
It's generally understood that customer-exclusive discounts increase repeat business. While you may not be selling your equipment, it's still beneficial to consider offering repeat customers exclusive deals.
Try seasonal discounts and let your customers know about them through email marketing. You could use catchy subject lines like, "Spring Has Sprung: [Your Company Name] Get 10% Off Your Next Rental!"
Another way to offer discounts is through a customer loyalty program. Here are two methods to consider:
- Punch card system
This basic but popular system is used by many small businesses. In this system, each rental gets your customer closer to a reward or discount, such as a free rental for a day.
- VIP tier program
In a tiered customer loyalty program, each tier has its own rewards. The higher up the tier, the more benefits your customer receives. For example, a contractor who rents equipment regularly could be offered to join your VIP rental rewards program that provides free delivery, and a Premier tier customer could get free delivery and pick-up as well as exclusive access to new additions to your rental fleet.
Need more ideas? Take a look at Clarus Commerce's helpful article on the topic.
Keep your rental equipment in tip-top shape.
One of the best and most obvious things you can do to get repeat customers for your rental company is to give your customers a profitable experience, from when they first get the equipment to when it's returned.
Do you service your equipment every time it comes back? The best way to ensure your equipment runs smoothly, providing a positive experience on virtually every job, is to perform a basic inspection and necessary maintenance. From chainsaws to boom lifts, well-maintained equipment boosts your reliability and, in turn, can increase your customer retention rate.
Low-maintenance equipment, like Equipter's dump trailers, is ideal for rental companies and contractors looking to reduce downtime and increase reliability. These self-propelled dump containers and material lifts are multi-industry pieces of equipment that have been transforming debris management across the United States since 2004.
Send thank-you gifts.
Quality and practical thank-you gifts that your customers will actually use keep your company in front of them, literally. If you're fresh on their minds, they're more likely to turn to you when they need the services you offer.
Not sure which thank-you gifts will be valued the most by your customers? Here are a few ideas:
- Company swag
Send your customer a branded sweatshirt or hat they can throw on while working outside during their chilly early morning jobs.
- Gift cards
Send a thank-you card with a gift card for a local restaurant, coffee house, or ice cream shop to encourage spending time with family.
- Gift baskets
If you serve the construction industry, you know your customers work hard. Consider giving them a gift basket with quality coffee to alleviate their early morning headaches. Add a leak-proof travel mug they can use on the job.
The options are endless for showing your customers how much you appreciate their business and care about their lives outside of work.
Turn negative reviews into business opportunities.
Have you ever looked a company up online and realized they had multiple negative reviews that were never addressed? A bad review here and there won't harm a company, but bad reviews with no responses could easily damage your rental customer retention rate.
If you get a negative review from a customer, hear them out. Consider their feedback, and address them appropriately. Publicly apologizing is actually more beneficial than leaving the issue go unresolved. When you're able to stay calm and have grace in your response if you're falsely accused, you can build better relationships and increase interest for potential customers.
According to Small Business Trends, "60 to 70 percent of customers will do business with a company again if it deals with a customer service issue fairly even if the result is not in their favor." So, there's a greater likelihood people will give you that second chance if you respond in ways they feel heard or validated.
Getting repeat business for your rental company doesn't have to be a huge mountain to climb. It's simply making one choice at a time to give your customers quality service, alleviate their pain points, and make them feel valued.
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