First of all – this is not only an essential question to ask, but it’s also one of the cleverest to pose. Unfortunately, for a tradesperson, attracting customers is no longer just a case of being exceptionally skilled or even vastly experienced…
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Read what they read
While you might be inclined to recommend a fellow tradesperson based on your experience of their work and skills, many people will stick with sources they know.
However, if you keep abreast of the advice that people receive from other sources, such as media outlets and online magazines, you’ll be able to learn what customers expect from you. Even if some of the advice you read seems unworkable, you’ll know that your customers may request it, and be able to prepare an expert response.
Offer evidence of your professionalism
One of the recurring pieces of advice your customers will encounter is to look for credentials. Completing training and achieving accreditation is not always the route that people take into work, so if you haven’t got these, build up a small portfolio of key work, in case you are asked to show it.
Work that comes with a guarantee will always be preferable, and being able to show that you have comprehensive public liability insurance is as reassuring a piece of paperwork as you could provide.
Showcase your testimonials
While your customers are sniffing out their next tradesperson, they’re likely to land on sites like Checkatrade and other sites which recommend specific businesses. Get yourself on the trusted sites relevant to your work, and give your regular customers a nudge towards writing you a short review which conclusively proves your professionalism.
A Google review will tell search engines that you are a local service that people can trust, while there’s no harm in using your social media channels to showcase your business either.
The balancing act of completing the work you’re already getting paid to do, and ensuring that a regular stream of work comes your way, is certainly tricky. Answering the phone isn’t always possible, and neither is dealing with every email you’ve received during the day while completing your paperwork in the evening.
Keep existing customers happy
However, simply acknowledging calls and keeping people informed of ongoing progress or future availability is another way of encouraging your customers not to look elsewhere.
An infographic from Invesp shows that it is seven times harder to attract a new customer than to retain an existing one. So, all of the extra effort you put in to engage new customers, while certainly essential, isn’t always as constructive as ensuring that the people you already work for stick with your service.
Nonetheless, new customers could be your own best chance of ensuring repeat business. If they’re happy, they’ll tell people they’re happy. Encouragingly, most of the people they tell will be more convinced of your qualities than they would be had they found you online.