There are many metrics a business owner can use to assist in the development of his or her business. Business owners regularly track things like sales revenue, profit margins, gross margins, and maybe even retention rates and the cost of customer acquisition. One business metric that is highly undervalued in locksmithing is lead tracking. Lead tracking is nothing more than determining the source of your leads; it’s finding out how customer’s found out about you. There are many methods and tools available to locksmiths, or any business owner for that matter, to help track leads but I don’t think any are as simple or cheap as ending each call, email, or interaction with “How did you hear about us?”

Now that may seem obvious and overly ambiguous but let me explain. If you actively chart the source of service requests, you can plan and track other things, such as promotional campaigns, which can help grow your business. Let’s say you start tracking leads today by asking customers how they heard about your company and 3 or 4 months down the road you find out that 65% of your businesses’ leads come from repeat customers, another 15% from referrals, 5% is from Google, 4% is from Kudzu, 3% from seeing your truck(s) out on the road, etc. Whatever the source of your calls, you’ll begin to see patterns emerge and learn areas you’re doing well in, such as repeat or referral service requests, and areas that maybe you could use improvement on. This initial research can identify what avenues of lead generation you may need to focus on.

I don’t know the ideal makeup of leads. I don’t know what percentage need to be repeat, referral, Google, etc. I think that’s largely subjective to your area, your services, and far more criteria than I am capable of thinking of. The point is, by tracking leads you can at least see what areas can be improved on. If after your initial batch of lead tracking you decide to improve the amount of leads from Google, for example, you at least have a baseline for where your calls are currently at. After your determine a budget and timeline that will work on a promotional campaign for Google, you can begin to see if it’s working. If leads from Google increase, you’ll know because you’re tracking. From there you can determine, either by a percentage or whole number, how much those additional leads cost your business by comparing what you spent to obtain them. This information can then be used with the aforementioned cost of customer acquisition to truly see if it’s worth your investment. If leads from Google decrease, well, you’ll at least know so that you can either discontinue the campaign or re-evaluate it.

The previous example only skims the surface of what you can do with this information. There are far more ideas and metrics that can pull from it but that’s not the point of this post. Lead tracking is something you should be doing if you already aren’t. Keep a notepad next to your office phone or in the truck. Mark your leads and throw them into Excel at the end of the day or week. For virtually no added time or expense on your part, tracking leads can drastically help you grow your business.