The home or its owner: who’s your customer?

hvac grow your customer list

It’s a distinction that matters when marketing

That Mr. Thorpe was a nice homeowner and one of your favorite sales successes. He even encouraged you to put your phone number sticker where it was visible, so he’d remember to call you if he needed service. Three years later, he sold the house and moved to a new location near the park.

So who’s your customer of record? Is it Mr. Thorpe, even though he no longer lives there? Or is it the house itself?

You need to decide

This isn’t an exercise in arguments or theories. It’s a practical, important distinction to people who do business in your industry. We all know that strategies targeting existing customers can help you gain repeat business. But before you can create those strategies, you have to be able to define (and classify) who is and isn’t a customer.

You might still consider Mr. Thorpe to be a customer and hope he’ll call you with work at his new location. But maybe that location is a senior living community, where he’ll never need your services again.

We believe the most prudent approach is that the customer relationship exists with the person who purchased your services, and not with the physical address. That applies no matter how many stickers you placed on your work.

When customers search

Suppose you did work for Ms. Morgan five years ago. This morning, she needed to find someone to do similar work in her home. She didn’t remember who helped her last time and turned to Google for names near her. Your business ranked highly, so she called you. She was surprised your CSR remembered her, because she didn’t remember your company.

In your mind, you probably still considered her to be your customer. We respectfully disagree. As soon as a homeowner begins the process of searching for a contractor, they’re essentially starting from scratch. If your PPC advertising produces a lead from a familiar name, we classify that as a new customer, no matter how much business they’ve done with you in the past. The search may have jogged their memory of working with you, but it meant they went back to the marketplace instead of calling you first.

What about existing customers?

Even if a homeowner hasn’t had a reason to call you in the past decade, you probably still consider them to be a customer. Unfortunately, they’re rarely as loyal as business owners assume. If you don’t have them on some kind of ongoing maintenance agreement, you can only hope they’ll remember you when that need arises. Whether you get that next call depends largely upon the steps you’ve taken to remind them that they like you.

Stickers aren’t relationships

Stickers on equipment don’t build relationships. Theat’s why we’ve developed (and constantly refine) a proven process that increases the likelihood customers will call you again when they have a new need for a product or service. It’s a formal process that involves multiple non-pushy contacts over the course of every year, and in addition to increasing the number of repeat sales, it can even shorten the interval between customer calls.

Want to know more?

Learn more about Cornerstone and how your outsourced marketing department will grow your business by contacting or (317) 804-5640 #108.

Scroll to Top