Account customers should be the bread and butter of your business. If treated well you can keep them spending consistently for years and years with minimal maintenance.

I’m the owner of Multiplumb in Dartford, Kent, and I’ve had my ups and downs with the local plumbing merchants in the area over the years. In this blog post I’m going to share with you four tips on how you can keep your account customers happy.

Creating a personalised experience

Deliver great customer service by creating a personalised experience. People buy from people and us plumbers are no different.

We want and crave that personalised experience more so because we have such stressful jobs. We like banter and a sense of humour. Sometimes it’s great to talk to someone to complain and let off a bit of steam. This will go a long way trust me. We’re more likely to buy from someone who we like and get on with (even if the price is slightly more expensive) then buy from the internet or from someone who provides a boring robotic service.

Always give us your best price straight away

There’s nothing worse then feeling like you’re being taken advantage of just because you’re an account customer. Just because we pay on a monthly based account that doesn’t mean that we don’t want the best prices and believe me we do check our invoices (eventually!).

We want to be able to trust that we’re getting the best deal. If your price is out slightly but you’re cheaper on most of the products we buy then we’ll stick with you for the convenience. But the moment we find a significant price saving from another competitor is the moment we scrutinise all our invoices and start making noise.

Make us feel special

Make us feel special by offering us ‘exclusive unique discounts’ and ‘only because it’s you’ prices. I’m not suggesting that you lie to us but really look at what you can do to help us and want trade discounts you can apply which will be useful for us. A lot of manufacturers offer special training courses so if you think something would help us then call us up and let us know. This really will make us appreciate your company.

Tell us the truth (always!)

Always, always, always be open and honest with us. Even if it’s bad news.

We organise our working day around materials and we understand that there can be problems and delays in deliveries. This isn’t ideal but if we know the truth then we can plan accordingly. If a boiler is meant to be delivered in the morning but there’s an issue and it can’t be delivered until the afternoon then tell us exactly that.

Don’t make up excuses and keep us hanging and waiting for a delivery that’s not going to be with us for a few hours still. Tell us the truth so that we can at least go to another job and then come back later when the materials show up. We’re on the same team so tell us the truth so that we can tell our customers whatever we need to keep them happy.

Richard Costello is the owner of MultiPlumb and has been involved in the plumbing industry for over 15 years.