Are your customers telling you the whole truth?
Do customers care about community involvement? [2019 Update]May 29th, 2019 by
When you want to reach out to your customers, you think first about an email campaign or a social media post, right? That’s how most businesses work these days. Technological advancements have made relating to and staying in touch with clients so much easier, but there are two sides to every story.
As much as we love to engage online, personal touch still matters. How your company fits in to the community is crucial to the success of your business, especially for contractors and home service providers who keep their reach local or regional. In fact, with hands-off, electronic means of communication becoming more and more the norm, personal interactions play a vital part in setting your company apart from the crowd.
Studies, including the 2019 Community Involvement Study from the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship, show that when your company gets involved in giving back—whether it’s through a small, local organization or a nationally recognized group—your team members benefit and potential customers take notice.
If you’re ready to start a community involvement initiative or strengthen your existing corporate social responsibility program, keep reading for some great inspiration!
4 reasons to get involved in your community
1. It’s the right thing to do.
Brand recognition and other bottom-line perks aside, getting involved in your community humanizes your company and shows your customer base that your company cares. You directly influence the area’s economic health as a community business leader, so take this opportunity to support and advocate for initiatives that improve the community.
2. Community involvement improves employee engagement.
Company cultures vary significantly based on many factors, but what applies to virtually any business is that there is a direct (and positive) correlation between employee engagement and business success.
Employees who volunteer or otherwise engage with their community on behalf of their employer are more likely to enjoy going to work every day and feel a genuine sense of loyalty to the company. Happy, loyal staff members are the building blocks of a successful business, so encourage your employees to weigh in on the company’s community engagement initiatives (and participate, too, of course)!
3. Your company will increase its brand recognition.
This is certainly not the primary reason you should pursue a community involvement program, but it is a positive.
As a contractor, you provide important services to people within a specific region. You live and work in the same area as your customers, and they recognize your name and your brand. Whether you’re sponsoring a youth sports event at the local civic center or putting on a workshop to teach job skills to community members, your company’s name and brand will be more visible. That recognition is why it is just as important to maintain a physical presence within the community as it is to stay active online.
4. Community engagement increases your company’s credibility.
Plentiful customer feedback is essential to a solid, trustworthy web presence that attracts the leads you want. When the positive customer feedback you receive mentions what your company does for and with the community in addition to the good work that you provide, your company’s credibility and stature in the community get a boost.
How to get active in your community
There are plenty of ways to get involved in your community; the first decision you’ll have to make is what you can spare in terms of time and resources. Take a look at the following suggestions to help you create a plan.
If you have plenty of time:
As a contractor, you provide services that not everyone would be able to handle themselves, and because of that, your knowledge and skills are unique. Don’t worry that sharing your expertise will take away from your business. If anything, your company’s openness will improve it.
- Teach a hands-on workshop
- Donate services to a local family or nonprofit organization in need
- Consider getting involved in an apprenticeship program with a local high school or trade school
If you don’t have much time to spare:
If your staff is small or stretched thin, the thought of taking the time to teach skills or donate services may be totally overwhelming. Getting involved in your community should be something you and your staff enjoy, so don’t force it and cause unneeded stress if schedules are simply too full.
- Sponsor a local sports team or event
- Create a scholarship for kids in the community
- Support local schools by purchasing ad space in yearbooks and event programs
The bottom line
So, do customers are about your company’s involvement in the community?
Whether you have lots of resources to spare or aren’t quite sure how to fit another commitment into your calendar, there’s almost certainly something your company can do to connect with your community. It doesn’t have to be splashy—the important thing is to make a genuine connection that shows people the human side of your business.