Doing Research on Customers Can Help Plumbers Attract More Work

Doing Research on Customers Can Help Plumbers Attract More Work

Anthony Pacilla

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Collecting consumer data can decrease costs and gain new customers in a lightning-fast way. With the undeniable power of the internet and use of data apps, companies are able to gather input and engage customers directly in remarkable detail and personalization.

Top companies are collecting data on consumers from the walking path through their store to the internet search bar. This system provides unprecedented access to the minds, habits, and needs of the end consumer.

Data mining on an international level for companies that have a physical and online presence is an extremely expensive and cumbersome process but worth every penny. So why then do we, as plumbing outfits, not take a more serious look at our own efforts in the data-mining department?


We may not have a billion-dollar budget to hire an outside data-mining firm, but we do have the advantage of being able to access home-system information while in a customer’s house.

Your plumber has visual access to witness most system faults and future failures. That plumber can ask how a customer was referred to them to help gauge advertising dollars spent. A good plumber can also figure out water quality and many other things in normal conversation with the customer. Once that plumber thinks the customer can benefit from additional services, they can quickly mark it on the back of an invoice.

Start by putting a small space on the back of your invoices that have check boxes for “marketing” that include items like water heater, drain cleaner, jetter service, furnace tuneup, AC tuneup, etc. Instruct your plumbers to mark off anything that they think the customer will need in the next few months or years. Pay them a bonus for any services sold because of their mark.

As an example, a technician could notice that a customer’s water heater is in poor condition while servicing the furnace. He marks off the water heater section on the back of the invoice. The office manager sees this and emails a premade water heater special “just for the customer.” Think of how laser-focused that strategy is compared to a billboard or radio advertisement. This strategy gets straight to the people who already know you, are willing to spend money, and will need additional services.


We can play a similar game that corporate America does using free apps provided by companies like Google. You can have your web developer add the Google Analytics Beta App to your current website, which will provide you with a wealth of information on your online presence — its effectiveness and what people are looking for.

This program can tell you about your audience’s age, gender, location, interests, language, behavior, engagement, browsers, operating systems, network, devices used, traffic sources, landing pages, network referrals, as well as what they typed in to find you and what they are looking for. In the right developer’s hands, this information can be converted into accurate sales.


Data mining is only the first step of effective marketing. The second step is what do you do once you have the information.

The information you acquired from the apps can be used for target marketing. You should share this information with your web developer and have a professional rewrite the pages to reflect the “AdWords” that are most commonly used.

You should also consider getting into the YouTube commercial world. Now that you have information on what exactly your customers are looking for, YouTube will play your specific ads, in your specific market, for the people locally who are looking up something specific.

For example, if you find that 40 percent of people who visit your website are looking for drain cleaning services, and out of those, the majority of them are typing in the phrase “drain cleaning (your ZIP code),” then you create an advertisement made for drain cleaning with those tag words. When customers eventually go online to find a video on how to open the drain themselves, your advertisement for drain clearing will show up first. You cannot ask for a more precise marketing tool than that.

It is best practice to have a technical developer do this type of work for you, as it is so different from traditional advertising that it can make your head spin. If you don’t understand the ins and the outs, don’t worry; all you need to know is that it is an available tool for unbelievably precise, cost-effective marketing.


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