|We are going to show you how a paint shop went from being a subcontractor to a prime contractor.
This paint shop is not a marketing pro.
Time to read: about 9mins
The paint shop was not a web marketing pro but was aiming to move beyond just being a subcontractor to other companies.
They did tailored their website contents and did targeted marketing keeping in customers point of view and they changed from a paint shop which had a web inquiry once every three months to one that now has inquirers every day. In this case study we will show you how they did it.
In this article, the owner of an Osaka paint shop “Eiken industry” renewed their website contents and they went from being a subcontractor to getting customer inquiries every day.
Painting company specializing in the of repainting of detached houses in Osaka “Eiken industrial”
They had had their web site since 2006 but it only generated customer inquiries once every three months so was not contributing satisfactorily to their business. Since they changed their web site contents, they are now getting about 20~30 inquiry through their web site.
Since they renewed their web site contents, they doubled their sales volume and it led to more stability by providing quality service to the customers and keeping them happy.
Paint shop background
Before I show you the kind of changes the paint shop made to their web site, I will explain the situation before hand and why they wanted to move away from being a subcontracting paint shop.
Being a subcontractor isn’t all bad. Some of the good points are;
- no need to do any operating activity
- because plans are predetermined by the principle contractor meetings can be held over the phone in a short time
- You have a fixed budget
On the other hand there are negative aspects of being a subcontractor, for example;
- Because they depend on having business from a prime contractors management is not stable and profits cannot increase.
- they have to accommodate any to unreasonable requests from the prime contractors
The biggest disadvantage is breaks in the subcontractors operating business when there are no jobs.
In order to get a contract with a customer a company must carry out marketing to attract the client.
They are skilled tradespeople but marketing and business management is not so familiar with.
Even though they wanted to move beyond being subcontractors but they couldn’t because they couldn’t do the marketing and sales by themselves. This was a big issue for them.
By studying the other web sites from the customer point of view, they accumulated ideas.
Aiken industry was also having challenges in terms of sales.
Then they put a lot of effort into making their website, but didn’t direct mail or use flyers.
As long as they make good website contents, it gives all the correct information to the person who has accessed in the same way as last time. For the small company, if all the staff are out, it’s not always easy to respond to customer inquiries but a website is always open and gives potential customers all the correct information every time.
To make a good contents on their website, in first the owner researched other company web site from a customer’s point of view.
From the study of other websites, we noted;
- Any sites they spent more than 3 minute at, these were placed in “Favorites”s, regardless of the industry. We then dissected the site to find why they caught their attention.
- From the results of studying other website, we thought about how to incorporate the positive aspects into their own web site.
- They read as many books as possible about create attractive websites.
They researched what attracts people to websites and what content gives people the right message on a website from the customer’s point of view.
The important point is to do the research. These days there are lot of information available so people are likely to take these actions; Try to run to incorporate only the expertise based solely on net information, randomly try only what can be done easily, attend seminars for a short while then try to do what you learnt at the seminar only to discover little can be done by without expert help.
It is also important to check the feedback as you go, take it on board, and make any changes necessary to reflect that. A lot of information on the internet has been changed so it is easy to understand but if you are only getting that information, you can find you are unfamiliar with the more detailed and complete information.
Incorporating the 3 points of attractive contents that are common to those attractive web sites.
- The boss searched more than 100 website and noted the common points on the attractive web sites.
- He felt that they “they have sense of trust” “they see it from the customer point of view” “It is easy to understand”.
- He then, incorporated these three points into their own website design.
How he incorporated them specifically?
As I show you Eiken Industry’s actual contents, I will explain.
1.The feeling of trusting is conveyed in their contents.
To get the feeling of trusting from people who accessed their web site, he wrote about himself and put up the right photos.
To get the trust of people is important and the most effective way to do this is show people a human touch so he put up a photo of himself to let customers see the human face behind the company.
The Eiken Industry website has a profile page of company president Eihama. It has story of his thoughts about the work his company does and there is a smiley photo of him on the side bar. By having this photo, it gives warmth to the whole site.
This in turn puts the customer at ease and more likely to make an inquiry. Showing this kind of warmth is very effective in any kind of work. Even if it’s not hugely effective In terms of securing customers, it’s still not bad thing to have.
When considering the service, if you are concern about what kind of people are coming, it is effective to removes their insecurity so we recommend to put up photos of the person in charge and any other company representatives.
It is very affective to B2C, especially in industries like construction, real estate, esthetic salons, massage, acupuncture, the souvenir industry, and waste recovery.
Making customer voice contents
The function of a ‘customer’s voice’ section for people who visit the site to see positive customer feedback about company and their service, this is very effective for any business. This company now has four pages of customer feedback on their web site.
It is important to note is you cannot gather this feedback without doing anything. You have to make the mechanism with makes it easy for customers to give feedback.
One thing you have to remember is that, even though you make a good website, if the company doesn’t have any attractive points for customers, it won’t lead to good business. It is important to have a good relationship with the people you provide your product or services too.But one thing you have to remember is even though you make a good website if the company doesn’t have any attractive point to customers, it wouldn’t lead to a good business. It is important to have a good relationship with people.
2．Contents from another party’s point of view
It is important that website contents are all written with the customer’s point of view in mind and shows them of benefit of using your product or service.
Therefor the website has to be made for what customer wants to know, not what company wants to tell.
When creating the contents internally, often is comes across as or self promotion or bragging. How can you tell the customer will read the contents as bragging? As long as you are not focusing on the benefit for the customers, you will sympathy.
- ‘our technique is awesome’
→ they will think ‘you may have an awesome technique, but what benefit can I get from it?
- ‘we have a great history’
→ok, you have a good history, so what is your strong points?
- ‘our company is so big and we have many staff.’
→what is so good about having many staff for me?
- ‘we have great business partners.’
→ok, you have a big business partner but what is good about it for me?
For the customers, they are interested in what they are good for them.
On the top page of Eiken Industry website there are four easy to understand advantages of their company. These advantages are all aimed at the benefits for the customers.
3rd merit is a bit different but It has become a benefit for our customers.
This is how to make the website contents from third party’s point of view. Throughout the entire site, this third person point of view has been used.
It is effective to make the contents from other people’s point of view because it is as if the customers the saying the information.
This is effective for any business website. But this requires customer research and it needs to relate to the customers well. It needs to come from talking with customers and listening to what they are saying.
When customers empathize with other customer’s voice, inquiries are bound to increase rapidly as customers are always looking for someone who can understand their feeling.
3．Making it easy to understand the contents
Making contents that customers can understand is very important. If you are writing information that people want but customers can’t understand, there is no point writing it. People stop reading on the Internet very quickly when they aren’t interested compare to the real world. The reason for this is there are so many websites to compare.
So making the website with clear and easy sentences that put the information the customers want into people’s head is important.
Please try looking at your website with the following things in mind.
- Are you not using many specialized words and the words that only the staff know?
- Are you not using ambiguous expression?
- Is the flow of the sentence easy to read?
It is unlikely to happen that commonsense of the seller is entirely consistent with the commonsense of the buyer.
It is important to think from the customer’s point of view. Whether or not the content is really being conveyed to people can be seen by searching on analytics access, heatmap, and microstatistic data.
If you ask a third person to check your website from time to time, you will find out some new things. It is useful for remote user tests. You can do an effective user test while keeping down the cost. From that point of view, if you look at Eiken Industry website again, you will make some new discovery.
The result of improving the website, by having “customer perspective” apart from short term sale.
One result of improving the contents of the website was that it became an “Operating assets”.
Also the contents that is not soliciting and uses a customer point of view gathers natural links, so they could keep No.1~3 on the result of searching the keywords like “Regional keyword + exterior wall paint”.
They put in a content maintenance system to renew their website by themselves.
Doing this, they became being able to add pages and modify by themselves.
Inquiries increased because of “no advertising, including such listing” “No outbound sales pitch” approach.
Also, inquiries started coming straight to them instead of via a principle contractor. They moved from being a subcontractor to a prime contractor , this means the management of their company no longer depends on other companies. They grew their website carefully and they became no longer reliant on other companies for their business.
Customer quality has been greatly improved
As long as you are a small company, there is a very important pinot to consider. That is a quality of the customer. Sadly there are some customers you want to avoid as a company for example “they are high-handed and they try to push their own way”, “they are continuing to cut the price down.” “they insist that you said something you didn’t say.”
But if you present your company on the website properly, naturally those kind of customers will disappear. An effective way to bring your customer quality up is to use your website to clearly describe what jobs are not suitable for your company.
Negotiation goes more smoothly
Here is an entry on a blog called 「月々雑感 – Tsukidukizakkan」written on the Eiken Industry website that talks about negotiations proceeding very smoothly.
Eiken Industory 「月々雑感Tsukidukigekkan」（2014/2/8）
Actually exterior wall painting is pretty expensive. For example, painting exterior wall of a 30 square meter 2 story house is a minimum of about ¥ 700,000. But for a good job it will exceed well over 1 million yen. That’s 1 million yen of product sold instantly. That goes over 1% of taking the order from phone or form. That means they are already have a trusting relationship coming from the website.
Lastly：good contents support your company future.
This example is a story from 2009.
The paint shop from this era,
Attract customers from the Website → Prospect development in the site → Inquiry
Just like they were practicing inbound marketing. They were not doing Interrupt type marketing at all. Therefor they attracted customers both from real life and their website and made the customers read the contents of their website which gave the customers a feeling of understanding and trust of the company. The result was they got inquiry phone calls and e-mails from customers.
Since this structure completed, there was no need for them to keep doing sales activities like calling random people or visiting homes looking for work, and they could move away from being a subcontract.
To bring success from a website(CVR), there are may ways other than renewing contents or making a good contents, like we showed you this time. Among them, you need experience and to put effort and time into is making contents. But content is a bit different from other factors because once you make good content it exerts a long-term effect. The ability to be able to make good content that lead to sale is a very big asset for the company.
The company that found that improved sales to customers was not the only positive outcome from improving their web presence. In the painting industry there are companies who promote each other, they hold the Japanese painting expert meeting, and they disseminate industry information. They are support revitalization of the entire industry and provide customer support. They provide information so customers can find companies that match their needs.
Based on this content, how about starting renewing your website from a customer perspective? How about putting ideas out at your company and doing some brain storming? You will surely find problems that you wouldn’t find from access analytics.
We hold web analytics courses to grow the number of web consultant and web analytics. We are sure that there are still many good companies and services out there that would benefit greatly from our small business professional consulting. This works for all industries so we would like them to take the first step to start using the web.
Author for this article
Born in 1981 and grew up in Fukushima.
A representative for Raundnap consulting, a small business specializing in web consulting.
Track record of 470 companies and 49 industries.
Supporting small business in the development of human resources and expertise accumulation, and creating mechanisms using websites .
Marketing consultant is my main role; I am constantly working for 10 to 15 companies as an adviser, and am in a position to continue receiving orders from 2-3 more companies.
I attracted inquiries within two weeks, without advertising, to a stage where the company was getting more than 20 inquiries every month on average, this grew sales by about 200 million yen just through the improving website.