Tradies with spark

Being the contractor customers choose.

Finding the right tradie for the job can be a chore for customers who need a job done quickly and a job done well. From filtering through online reviews to assessing quotes, making a decision on seemingly the same service can be overwhelming. For guidance and quality assurance, it’s likely customers will turn to friends, family and colleagues for recommendations. As a contractor, building good relationships with customers will go a long way in encouraging them to come back to you when they next require your services, as well as spread raving reviews about you to their network.

Here are four ways to stand out from other local contractors, and be the tradie of choice for new and existing customers.

1. Treat customers like family

Making customers feel valued and important will go a long way in ensuring they’ve made the right choice in hiring you. Consider contacting customers via messaging platforms, just as you would contact your friends and family. Data from Invoice2go shows 60 per cent of contractors are sending estimates and quotes from their mobile, so why not join them? Communication via messaging platforms like SMS, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger can feel more personal than email exchanges, so you can engage your customers in personalised conversation.

2. Keep price competitive, but don’t sell yourself short

It is important to remain competitive on price with other contractors in your area, however, it is just as important not to undervalue yourself. Get your pricing right by knowing who your competition is, what they offer, and where you stand in relation to them. Instead of compromising your bottom line by lowering prices, align your price point but outshine them when it comes to quality. Delivering better results than your customers expect is a sure-fire way to make your service memorable!

“Keeping your customers engaged after the service will keep you top-of-mind if they ever need your services again.”

3. Make your service as convenient as possible

Focus on doing all the heavy lifting for your customers, so they remember how easy it was to call you and get the results they’re looking for. Minimise the work your customers have to do to find you by having your contact details clearly listed and up-to-date on your website and social media pages. Offer them the ability to contact you however they prefer – via message, phone call or email – and similarly, offer them the ability to make payment via the platform they prefer. Tech tools like Invoice2go make it easy for you to offer different ways to pay, so you don’t have to inconvenience a single customer. Customers will remember the convenience of the exchange from start to finish, you’ll be paid faster, and you’ll also save time following up overdue payments. It’s a win–win.

4. The devil is in the detail: go the extra mile to deliver quality

Offer a high-quality service from start to finish to ensure you stand out from other local tradies. Think about the ways you can add value to your service and keep customers engaged, showing you care even after you do business with them. This could even be checking in a month down the track to see whether the customer is happy with the work, or sending tips for DIY home maintenance. Keeping your customers engaged after the service will keep you top-of-mind if they ever need your services again, or a friend asks for a referral.

Providing a high-quality, personalised service is a great way to build your customer relationships and stand out from others, making you the tradie of choice next time they need one.

Chris Strode, founder, www.invoice.2go.com

This story first appeared in issue 24 of the Inside Small Business quarterly magazine.

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