“I’m always asking questions. If something is working for somebody else, I’ll test it.”
Josh Crouch found his way from the world of accounting to the home services trades. Marketing became his jam, and he founded Relentless Digital, based in Port Washington, Wisc., to help other trade companies put their best foot forward.
In “Toolbox for the Trades,” Crouch discusses critical marketing tactics, nurture campaigns, and using video to create awareness and boost sales.
Here are Josh Crouch’s top tips for marketing any home services company:
Key TakeawaysExcellent customer service includes year-round communication.Ideas for nurture campaigns are all around you.Use Facebook to network with fellow contractors. Do more videos. Pick the best personality on your team to do videos. Get your sales and marketing teams on the same page. Hire people for their personalities. Check out training in virtual reality.Recommended research and reading
Excellent customer service includes year-round communication.
Crouch notes that most people have a negative opinion about cable TV companies.
“Those companies are great at giving the best deals to new customers instead of taking care of and keeping in touch with existing customers,” he says. “I’m a big proponent of staying in front of customers and marketing to them in multiple ways. Email, direct mail or sometimes it’s a phone call.”
Ideas for nurture campaigns are all around you.
Generating ideas for nurture campaigns can come by trial and error—but Crouch says the best way to stay timely is to keep your ear to the ground.
“I’m very active in a lot of groups,” he says. “I’m always asking questions. If something is working for somebody else, I’ll test it. You’ve always got to be aware of new tactics. Things change a lot with Google—sometimes on a weekly basis.
“It’s super important to not think you know everything.”
Use Facebook to network with fellow contractors.
Yes, you can use Facebook to attract customers, but don’t forget to use the platform to connect with peers, Crouch says.
“A lot of contractors are on Facebook because of groups like the ServiceTitan Mastermind Group,” he says. “And other service-related groups are on there, too. It’s fun to see how these guys are scaling at such a rate, see their stories and pick their brains when they let you.”
Do more videos.
Doing videos about your company can be daunting—but it’s worth it, Crouch says. He knows a lot of contractors who are getting tens of thousands of subscribers with video on social media platforms, including Facebook, YouTube, and others.
“Some people just don’t want to do them,” Crouch says. “Yes, it can be a time thing. And some people are nervous about being on camera. But if you can get into the process of doing them regularly, you’re going to get back value.”
Pick the best personality on your team to do videos.
Crouch points out that the owner of the company doesn’t have to be the on-camera person for your videos.
“Maybe you have a technician who has a little bit of a personality or is funny,” he says. “As long as the messaging comes from the owner, if you trust the tech, let him run with it. Or, have your service manager do the videos.”
Bottom line: An owner doesn’t have to invest all his time in the production, but videos are important enough to have somebody do them.
Get your sales and marketing teams on the same page.
Sales teams and marketing teams often need help from each other, so the ideal relationship is one of give-and-take, Crouch says.
“With any good relationship, you need to have meetings and talk,” he says. “If they’re fighting, you’re not going to get good results. If you’re communicating, you’re going to sell higher-end systems and make more commission.”
Hire people for their personalities.
Crouch wishes he’d learned sooner to hire people for their personalities instead of just for experience and technical ability.
“We’ve gone away from bringing on people just for experience to hiring them for their attitude, workability, and just being great people,” he says.
On the one hand, he’s benefitting from dealing with fewer interpersonal headaches. And, he’s discovered that people who are team players help each other out and generally wind up doing more calls—which benefits the bottom line.
Check out training in virtual reality.
Crouch has been finding success with Interplay Learning, a virtual-reality system of online training.
“You do have to buy a special gaming laptop,” he says. “But you can put on those Oculus goggles and fix a furnace. And all kinds of things for different trades—plumbers, electricians, HVAC, geothermal stuff, and full appliance repair.
“It’s structured in a way that I can create a curriculum. We can split it into heating and cooling seasons. It’s allowed us to foster a culture of weekly training.”