Tunneling for Profit

Experts Are Now Focusing On “The Customer Experience” To Maximize Profits!”

Paul DelFino

Focusing on the customer experience is not a new concept to graduates of the two day HMI “Discovery & Training Seminar.”  For nearly 10 years the concept of building a customer tunnel has been pounded into participants. Recently the concept, under a new name “Customer Experience” is getting very high attention in the business press and with experts of focusing on profit making.


We all know it costs a lot of money to get a lead. Your management of every potential lead to increase the probability of a closed sale can be one of the most important levers of your profitability. The maybe sale of a prospect has costs (expense for you) already out of pocket: the marketing cost and the estimating cost. It is just good business to do everything possible to create and experience that exceeds expectation that increases the potential of a sale and also increases the perceived value of your service allowing for higher pricing.


Mapping out the probable customer experience with your enterprise is easy.

  • Initial phone call, website form fill or email expressing interest. (Who accepts these and what is the script? What commitments are made in terms of estimate follow-up?)
  • Ongoing follow-up communication with the prospect in advance of the estimate? (Are samples of other services provided? Are there videos depicting the process you will deploy?) Ask HMI marketing for industry leading concrete raising explainer videos!
  • Pre estimate notification. (Do you offer a reminder that you will be on site within 24 hours? Do you personally introduce your estimator?)
  • Estimate Process. (What is your estimator wearing when they are on site? What are they driving? Is your estimate itemized? Does your estimate include photos? Do you make it easy for prospects to accept your estimate thru email?)
  • Estimate Follow-up. (Do you have an ongoing program to follow-up on estimates with email and phone calls to counter probable competitive challenges of other estimates and increase the likelihood of a YES?) Ours is connected directly to Estimate Rocket!
  • Pre work notification. (Do you offer a reminder that you will be on site within 24 hours? Do you personally introduce the crew?)
  • (Is you invoice itemized? Do you make it easy for the customer to pay via: Credit card, check, cash or other?)
  • Post Job Survey (Do you send out a satisfaction survey post the work? Does this include a request for referrals?) We use Survey Monkey!
  • Ongoing Communication (Do you touch base with each of your prior customers quarterly with photos of interesting jobs you recently completed or introductions of new services like Deep Foamjection™?) We use Mailchimp!


Setting up your tunnel is only step 1. Insuring the tunnel is are working and benchmarking you against competition on an ongoing basis is a discipline many forget.

From time to time commission a relative, friend or great customer to put themselves in your tunnel as well as your competitor’s tunnel.  Ask for their honest feedback on the experience. This process will:

  • Allow you to verify your systems are working
  • Provide real customer feedback on whether what you wished to communicate is/was effective.
  • Provide REAL insight on the prospects perception of the experience dealing with your company vs. the competition.
  • Provide you with insights on competitive pricing and the competitions probable commentary about your company and process.


The HMI marketing department can be an invaluable resource in assisting you with tools to help you perfect your tunnel. A simple call or email to Annie or Fay can avail you to:

  • Scripts
  • Sample Brochures
  • Videos
  • & MORE


When presenting concepts like “the customer experience” to entrepreneurs I am often challenged with comments like: “this stuff is for big businesses!”  My stock (scripted) responses include:

“if you want to be big – act it!”

“if the behavior/process increases your professionalism/differentiation and perceived value – justifying a higher price – it is really about making more profit”


Additional reading about “The Customer Experience” can be found at:





Have a Great 4th of July Everyone!

Paul DelFino is a principal of the consulting firm Opportunity Inc. For over two decades he has assisted entrepreneurs in growing their businesses, responding to economic downturns and merger and acquisition activity. He has consulted with HMI and RaiseRite for nearly two decades. His publications include “Avoiding Skewed Entrepreneurial Strategies” available from all on line booksellers

Upcoming Discovery & Training Seminars

  • July 25-26, 2024  Manitowoc, WI
  • September 12-13, 2024  Manitowoc, WI

In 2 days, we teach you everything you need to know to start your own concrete raising company!

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