With homeowners feeling the pinch of rising bills, finding a trusted tradesman to complete any property repairs at a fair price is more important than ever for would-be customers. As winter approaches, property owners may find themselves under pressure to keep on top of essential maintenance to keep their homes safe and cosy. In uncertain times, choosing a new tradesperson can be a daunting prospect – and many customers won’t know where to start.
Whatever your trade, potential customers will be looking for signs that you’ll do a good job at a fair price. So what makes for a trusted tradesman with a strong reputation?
With material costs rising and budgets getting tighter, you may find that some jobs cost more than they did in the past. Take time to research the current price of any equipment or materials you may need, limiting the potential need to increase your final price from the one quoted.
Even if it’s completely necessary, this may have a negative impact on your relationship with a customer and deter them from using your services in the future. Ensure that your quotes include a detailed breakdown of all costs, and never ask a customer for the full payment in advance.
Wherever possible, avoid cancelling or rearranging jobs. This can cause huge inconvenience for your customers and leave them feeling frustrated before you even arrive. Sticking to a time that you’ve both agreed and that works for your customers demonstrates consideration for their time and commitments and will help to start your relationship on the right foot.
Your schedule may be tight but remember to allow yourself time to clean up any mess after completing a job. Taking a little extra time to leave a customer’s space as you found it will help to show yourself in a professional light, helping to build your brand as a trusted tradesman who goes the extra mile.
Think about the overall experience your customers receive, including if and how you keep in touch with them after completing a job. A quick phone call or email to ask if everything is still ok with the job after completion may only take a minute or two, but it’ll go a long way to establishing trust and encouraging a customer to call upon your services in the future.
One of the most important factors in a customer’s buying decision is research, so customers are likely to be on the lookout for positive reviews for tradesmen before choosing who to go with. They may look for previous customer reviews and feedback to get an idea of what you’re really like to work with. Positive recommendations from those who you’ve worked for in the past can be invaluable when establishing yourself as a tradesman to be trusted.
Get into the habit of photographing your work and ask happy customers to share feedback to your website or any public profiles. Pick one or two that would be happy to offer you references when new customers request them or ask them to send them in an email that you can include in any promotional material such as flyers or brochures.
Building your reputation won’t happen overnight, but if you establish good habits and stick to them, in time, you should start to build a satisfied client base who are willing to spread the word. No matter how long you’ve been in your business, it’s important to show prospective customers that you know what you’re doing, and you can be relied upon.
When you’re asked for a quote, ensure that you offer a copy in writing. This helps to demonstrate that you’ll stick to the price quoted and you’re transparent in the way you work. Don’t be tempted to set tight deadlines to please a customer. You could risk delivering the job late and leaving a negative impression, so err on the side of caution when estimating completion dates.
If you haven’t already, join a Trade Association. Many customers will check to see if a tradesman is a member, so you could lose jobs to competitors if they find that you’re not. An online presence can help to display your strengths and show you in a professional light. If you have a website or online profile, ensure that the information on it is always up to date. For example, leaving outdated prices online could lead to confusion and cause you to appear unprofessional when customers get in touch to book a job. Get into the habit of sharing images and feedback from recent jobs you’ve completed, as potential customers find reassurance in seeing the positive experiences of others.
No matter how busy things are, try to ensure that you respond to any queries as promptly and in as much detail as you can. Bear in mind that customers tend to compare several quotes, so you don’t want to miss your chance by getting back to them too late.
It may sound simple but protecting yourself with adequate tradesman insurance is one of the most important things you can do for your reputation. If things go wrong with a job, the right tradesman insurance cover can provide protection against accidental damage and injury caused to the public whilst you’re carrying out your work.
When it comes to tradesman insurance, one size doesn’t fit all. You’ll be able to take out tailored cover that meets your specific requirements and includes liability covers that work for you. Take a look at tradesman insurance options from Towergate or contact our expert team on 0344 892 1664 to discuss your needs.
Alison Wild BCom (Hons), MAAT, MATT, Taxation Technician is a highly respected industry professional who has been working with and advising SMEs in areas including tax, pensions, insurance and marketing for over 25 years. She is a member of the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) and Association of Tax Technicians (ATT) and also has over 20 years' experience as a residential landlord.
Date: September 05, 2022