Posts tagged #Word of Mouth

The Invaluable Insight From Customers That Care

One of the best things about having good relationships with customers is the feedback you gather on a daily basis. This can be invaluable when you take big steps that benefit you, your company and your customers.

The last few months, putting everything together for our new investment took a lot of time and effort. Mine and my fathers minds have been fixated on making sure we had t's crossed and i's dotted for the purchase and installation of our new CNC plasma machine. As of today, the battle continues for the next few weeks until the machine is completely setup and calibrated with our perfect settings, ready to use.

During this time we have had many customers in and out of the shop to see the new addition and discuss what has been going on with the company in the fourth quarter of last year and into the new year. All of them have been fantastic. They genuinely care, wanting us to succeed and wish us luck with anything that pertains to our new investment.

The best part of our interactions are the questions about minute details pertaining to the machine. Things I haven't even thought of over the course of the process. Great inquiries which I lock into the mind vault, adding to my growing list of questions for the techs.

It's amazing what you completely overlook when you're focused on other things. Even when you feel like you're totally focused, you're not. My customers have saved me the time of sitting, racking my brain to list questions for the techs when they come to finish the installation process. Questions that seem so obvious when I hear them out loud. I think to myself, "How could that completely obvious and logical question totally escape me?"

They will never know how grateful I am for these insights. Everything going on these days is new and scary (good scary) territory for our company. The process has been exhausting, but beyond enjoyable because it's exciting to know that you are taking steps forward instead of sideways.

The adventure continues...

 

Fabricating Custom Ductwork in Glens Falls NY For Over 20 Years

K & E Sheet Metal has been fabricating custom ductwork in Glens Falls NY for over 20 years and we are doing our best to grow the business into the future, providing even better service to new and existing customers. We are a father and son business focusing on residential HVAC sheet metal fabrication along with residential heating and air conditioning installations. Our goal has and will forever be providing customers with quality, affordable duct fabrication and installation service. Helping home owners who need custom sheet metal fabrication with the products that will help them finish their ductwork installation properly. No job is too small for our shop when it comes to providing quality custom ductwork fittings for each and every one of our customers. We fabricate everything from standard custom ductwork to the smallest of sheet metal boxes or flat sheet metal for the everyday walk-in customer.

Because we have been fabricating custom ductwork in Glens Falls NY for so many years we have built a nice following of happy customers and relationships with area vendors. Our business was built on word of mouth advertising and customer recommendations are the catalyst to gaining an evolving local customer base. Our product speaks for itself locally and we work hard daily to continue the service that has kept the company alive over the last 20 years.

If you are looking for custom ductwork fittings or custom ductwork in Glens Falls NY, we are the place to call. We work with our customers to make sure they get the duct needed to finish the job properly.

Replacing your old furnace?

Are you replacing an old broken down furnace and need some custom transitions to fit the new furnace unit to the old duct? We can work with you to provide the custom transition needed to finish the job right, going over measurements and drawings or coming out to take measurements ourselves.

Need a custom supply air plenum or return air plenum?

These are our specialty and can fabricate your new supply air plenum in less than 24 hours from the time you place your order. Return air plenums take a bit longer but we will do our best to finish your order as soon as possible for an affordable price, helping you get the job done right.

Not sure what custom ductwork you need?

Do you live in and need custom ductwork in Glens Falls NY and your not sure what you need? Shoot us an email or give a call to see if we can help with your custom ductwork fabrication needs.

 

To Market or Not To Market?

That is the question. What do you do when your budget is consistently prefaced with the same moniker as your category of business...micro.

For 20 years our company has been void of any kind of marketing with the exception of the age old, word of mouth. Where satisfied customers roar from the hilltops of the family barbecue, regaling their guests with stories of how great an experience they had with K & E Sheet Metal.

O.k...enough with the melodrama. However, word of mouth can be that powerful if your work ethic and quality of product can back it up.

Sometimes though, like the last few years has taught us, things can slow down very fast and like African Elephants in drought, we search the desolate lands to quench our growing thirst. That's when smaller companies like ours can suffer a slow and painful death, lacking the working capital to increase things like a marketing budget to help us find those stingy springs of profitable water.

So today when I received a call from a nice, well spoken young gentlemen I withdrew from my usual speech of no thank you and listened. He was looking for the marketing department of our little company and with a chuckle I remarked that he must have found them because I'm the only one here; the other possible choice was on a job site. He got to the point, explaining his general company function, words meandering through very professional--but unnecessary--sounding lines of this and that. All he really needed to say was niche SEO.

Not surprisingly, these are the majority of sales calls that get thrown our way recently. The days of trying to sell me the commodity or equipment I use to make a living seems to have gone by the wayside, online is king. That doesn't mean I don't receive calls from the former, they're just the minority in the monthly phone log.

My problem and dilemma is focused on the immense scope of online marketing, when K & E Sheet Metal can only realistically serve a 50 mile radius. This doesn't mean we don't understand the importance of a web presence, but is it the best choice for us. We love technology and the ease it brings to everyday life and business, but can our micro business thrive by focusing marketing dollars on the web.

In regards to this blog and getting the word out about what we do, the answer would probably be yes. Who doesn't love traffic to their website? However, this isn't exactly saucy women in thongs, posing erotically with sheet metal tools--although maybe it should be--so clicks will be at a premium.

When it comes to gaining and keeping new local customers, I'm not exactly sure which would be the best avenue. Newspapers, especially in this town, have drastically declined in readership, putting a big dent into who's eyeballs will see what services we can provide. Young people read the web, searching for what they need when renovating a house or office building, not the newspaper. Hence my dilemma. For now, I'm not sure how many of these iPhone wielding youngsters are searching in the Glens Falls, NY area for HVAC sheet metal fabricators. This is where I start to lean toward no when thinking of an online marketing budget.

Nevertheless, I will meet with this particular marketing company and see what they have to offer. They are local and willing to make the trip up this way to visit the fabrication shop. That says something and is a giant step up from most of the cold calls we receive on a weekly basis. Can they convince me that slapping down cash for online SEO marketing is the way to go? That is the ultimate question.

 

Posted on September 20, 2012 and filed under Marketing, Micro-Business.

3 Methods We Use to Increase Word of Mouth Exposure

Word of mouth has been the cornerstone of our business for over 20 years. My father and I have never advertised locally for the company, and until this year, never advertised ever before. (This year I decided to try some economical advertising online) So why have we been able to keep the business alive without any kind of print, radio or TV advertising? It's lost on many businesses these days, but quality of work and caring about ALL your customers is something that goes a long way to keeping people coming back and telling others about your business.

Here are a three tips to keeping customers happy and coming back for more, so they tell their friends and family to use your services.

Under promise, over deliver

Now I'm not saying lie to people to make yourself look good. I'm saying don't short change or put yourself in a position to fail. Make sure you have enough time to finish the job and keep the customer as happy as possible.

In our case, fabricating sheet metal takes time to complete. When an order comes in, I figure a time that it will take for me to finish the fabrication and maybe add some time for complications or delays. Most items are small and easy to finish quickly. However, there are many times when certain fabrication takes a considerable amount of man hours to complete. This is where over estimating can be your best friend.

When I tell a customer the item will be completed in five days and I call them in four, they are thrilled. First off, they have what they needed in plenty of time for installation and they now know I cared enough to make sure they got their order as soon as possible. These are the types of things they tell their friends when they're looking for some custom sheet metal fabrication in the future.

Accommodate when you have the chance

Often times a customer will have trouble getting to our fabrication shop before closing time and they really need the item that they ordered. Granted, they should make the necessary changes if they are having trouble getting to the shop for something they need, but that isn't always doable for many of our clientele.

Just waiting a few extra minutes until they show up or even leaving items outside so they can pick them up at their convenience goes a long way to showing that I care about them and their business. (payment would be taken over the phone or in some cases invoiced).

Many of our customers have stayed for this courtesy alone and know this is something that we can offer them. We do not have the time or resources for delivery, so anything we can do to help them with picking up fabrication is a help to our business and theirs. And, on a job site, they may be that little birdie that whispers in another contractors ear when some custom duct work is needed on another job.

Do a quality job for everybody

No matter how small the customer may be or how much they may not care about quality (believe me they are out there). Always do the best job you can for each and every customer that comes into your shop.

In my line of work that means every plenum, box, or fitting that leaves my shop is done to the best of my ability. Most likely that same section of duct work or custom sheet metal will never be seen by anyone. It will be installed in an attic or basement and forgotten about.

However, I know it's there and for that reason alone I want that fabrication to be perfect and fit like it was meant to be there. Because of my attention to detail, my customer will be happy and in turn, his or her customer is happy. More often than not a word of mouth recommendation will be soon to follow and the process begins again.

Conclusion

Many times we forget that it's the actual customer that keeps our businesses running. We tend to focus on the profit and loss statement and leave the quality of work and customer appreciation behind.

When you take care of your customers and show that you care, they will show you that they care in return. The first dinner party they attend and a conversation about needing some metal work is brought up, our name is soon to follow. Everyone in town that has used our services has told a friend or family member about our work. This is what has kept us alive over the years and there is no reason for that to change in the future.

Word of mouth is the cheapest advertising you will every need and it will keep customers and their families coming back for years and years down the road.

Posted on September 8, 2011 and filed under Micro-Business.