Why Relationship Marketing is a Must For Any Business

The past year has proven that home improvement companies need to think outside the box and begin aligning their sales and marketing strategies in order to thrive. An essential part of any marketing strategy must include relationship marketing which helps companies build lasting customer relationships. We sat down with gFour Marketing’s Co-Founder and marketing guru, Adi Kaskavalciyan, to find out how relationship marketing can make a real impact. 

Ingage: Tell us about gFour Marketing and how you work in the home improvement space. 

Adi: In a nutshell, gFour Marketing helps home improvement professionals create long lasting relationships with homeowners by creating “wow” experiences at the end of a job. We’ve found that when you make a homeowner feel valued, they’re more likely to write positive reviews, use your business again and refer your business to friends and family. Many contractors and home improvement companies are not taking advantage of the opportunity to create this exceptional experience which means they are likely losing out on a lot of business. 

Ingage: What made you want to create gFour Marketing? 

Adi: My husband, Brian Kaskavalciyan, and I started it in 2009 after years of working together at our own handyman company and later our handyman franchise business. Prior to the 2008 recession, we were already working on building lasting relationships with customers by connecting with them after the job was finished. Just by making that one last touch, we saw our referral rate go from about 15% to over 50%. We ended up selling Handyman Network and started consulting in the industry. We quickly found that there was a huge need for relationship marketing and that’s when gFour Marketing was born. 

We saw that home improvement professionals were missing out on these incredible opportunities to ensure homeowners would be repeat or referral customers. We took inspiration from a friend of ours whose company sends surveys and thank you cookies to customers and adapted that for the home improvement industry. 

Ingage: Can you walk us through exactly how gFour Marketing works?

Adi: We found our niche in relationship marketing, which is a long-game type of marketing but in the end, has an immense payoff. Because of our strong background in the home improvement industry, we know the tricks of the trade and the best ways to connect with customers to get the desired results. It starts with us walking through the company’s goals and their current lead generation plan. 

What most companies don’t realize with relationship marketing is that no matter what, there will always be a cost per lead. But, when you look at cold leads who close at an average of 30% versus referral or repeat leads that close anywhere from 50-80% of the time, you’re spending far less in the long run while also creating a stronger brand position in the local market. Plus, we’ve found that not only do referrals and repeat customers have higher close rates, they also have higher tickets, which means even more income at a lower lead cost.

Once we’ve determined their goals, we create a customized plan that allows the company to decide how they want to connect with the homeowner after the work is finished. That includes everything from sending thank you notes, to email campaigns or even physical gifts. No matter what the company chooses, we’ve found immense success in helping them get more 5-star reviews and increase their referral and repeat business. 

Ingage: Switching gears, you mentioned a high close rate for referral and repeat leads, do you think that will be impacted in the next year considering current trends in the home improvement industry?

Adi: Right now, everyone is overwhelmed with incredible demand, supply chain shortages and people shortages, but these are just standard aspects of the business cycle. That’s why home improvement leaders need to be prepared to deal with the next part of the cycle, which includes a potential drop in leads. The best way to do that is to build up your referral pipeline. When you have a cluster of customers you know you can rely on, it makes doing business easier. 

At the end of the day, our goal is to help home improvement professionals achieve more success, wealth and freedom through relationship marketing because it provides stability so you can self-generate leads in a more productive and powerful way. When a company can take advantage of all of the opportunities to build stronger relationships with customers, they can trust that as the company grows they’ll continue to find success. We see it all the time. A company will start working with gFour and over the course of a few years, as they build up their referral and repeat business bases, they get more business and deals that are easier to close. 

Ingage: What do you say to business owners or home improvement professionals who are skeptical of getting on board with relationship marketing?

Adi: Obviously, there’s a lot of hesitancy when it comes to adopting relationship marketing, mostly because it doesn’t necessarily have an immediate ROI. But we’ve seen impressive results, including one company who went from a 7% closing rate to 70% from repeat and referral customers during their tenure with us. That’s because they built strong relationships with their customers and were able to push through all the normal marketing noise and be remembered by those customers when their homes needed a new update. Think of it this way: your roofing company completes Margie’s roof and 3 years later, her friend asks if Margie has recommendations for local roofers. If she didn’t have a good experience with your company, or maybe it was so unremarkable that she doesn’t even remember your name, then you’re missing out on a lot of money. That’s why relationship marketing is worth the time and financial investment. 

Ingage: Finally, what are you looking forward to in the future with gFour Marketing and Ingage?

Adi: We know from experience that once you start improving the customer experience, you get better reviews and more loyal customers. That’s why we wanted to work with Ingage. We saw the pandemic hit the home improvement market in such a way that they needed to adapt quickly and we knew Ingage and gFour would be able to help them do that. As we approach the new year, I’m really looking forward to seeing gFour and Ingage grow even more together and build strong relationships. 

For more information about gFour Marketing, click here

To schedule a personalized demo of Ingage with one of our experts, click here.

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