As a contractor, your business can either thrive or fail based on the reputation it has. In some cases, all it takes is one bad review to sink an entire business, especially if that business is confined to a local area. Maintaining a good reputation is a sure way to keep your business afloat. Here are a few tips for contractors to keep their business’s reputation on the rise.
1. Treat Them Like A Neighbor
People these days are tired of feeling like they’re talking to machines. Even customer service representatives can sometimes come off as robotic. Customers want to feel like the contractor they’ve hired cares about them. You can provide them with that feeling and build a following of loyal customers. From the very moment a customer schedules an appointment with you, you or your support team should make a point of being friendly and personal.
Everyone suffers from problems that require a contractor. Whether it’s roofing, plumbing, electrical or other work, having problems at the home or at a business is something that everyone can relate to. While many of these issues can cause stress, they also allow you to forge a personal connection.
Once you arrive at their property, you should continue that personable relationship. Open up to them without being overbearing. If they have kids or a dog and you do, make a connection on those topics. Again, you don’t want to get too personal, but establishing a connection like you would with a neighbor will help build a positive experience with you and your business. Also, remember that it’s okay to have chat with customers, but you also need to work efficiently and quickly. They’re busy people and so are you. You should be able to perform excellent work while also providing just enough personal touch to make them feel as though they’re not just another item that you needed to clear off your daily checklist.
Remember, it’s the little things that make a good neighbor, and the same goes for contractors. When you’re finishing up remember to do the simple things like doing a thorough job cleaning up. Nothing makes a homeowner more upset than a contractor mess. Finally, be sure to thank them for the project on the invoice or in an email to let them know their business is appreciated.
2. Handle the Business Side of Your Business
If you’re disorganized in your business processes it will eventually catch up to you. Make your company easy to work with by managing your communications effectively. This means promptly returning emails and phone calls and showing up on time when you’re supposed to meet with customers. Having the right tools can be beneficial when it comes to being easy to work with as well. The JobFLEX app is an invoice maker and quote tool that lets you create professional, accurate estimates and invoices in seconds. You can give clients an estimate when you finish walking a job site and get them an invoice as soon as you’re finished. Few things are more frustrating for customers then being unsure of what the cost of a project is, what they owe, or waiting for documentation.
3. Manage Online Reviews
Even if you don’t try to promote your business on the internet, every company has a reputation online. Like it or not, somewhere there is going to be a review of your service on Google, Facebook, or some other contractor review site. You should monitor those places and take steps to manage the reviews. Luckily, there are some businesses who will do this for you. They sweep the internet and keep you informed of what people are saying about your business. They can then field reviews and help bolster the good ones.
You can also do this yourself by placing your business on social media. You should be sure to submit your company to Google My Business and Facebook where you can easily manage your online reputation by speaking with your customers directly. If someone had a problem with your service, then you can reach out to them. Not all customers expect this direct conversation, but it allows you to address real problems and calmly respond to customers who may have unreasonable complaints. The best part is it’s entirely public. Everyone can see the care that you put into solving the problems that customers may have had with your business. Instead of seeing that there was a problem in the first place, they see how well your business handled the customer. To them, it shows that you care.
4. Make Good on Your Promises
If you make certain promises for your customers, then make sure that you keep to them no matter what. One of the biggest problems that customers will complain about is if they didn’t receive the promised timeline that you initially put forth for them. This can make your company appear insincere and shady.
One method you might want to utilize is to slightly under-promise and overdeliver. For example, if your business can arrive at a customer’s house in fifteen minutes, you might want to tell them that they’ll arrive in 25 minutes. This makes your workers appear as though they got their early. Customers are thrilled by the seemingly quick arrival.
The same goes for the estimated work times. If the project is going to last for an hour, then you might say that they’ll be there for an hour and a half. When your crew finishes their work in an hour, it will seem as though they finished early. Customers will be impressed by your quick service. You’ve exceeded their expectations.
Don’t Become Complacent
As a contractor your reputation is everything. Even when your business is running smoothly it’s important to stay vigilant in all the above aspects. All it takes is one or two mistakes that leave a mark that could have catastrophic consequences for your business’s reputation.