As a tradesman, your customer service skills will have a huge impact on your reputation and business.
You can be highly skilled at your job, but it’s the little things and extra effort you make with your customers which go a long way in strengthening the relationship.
This doesn’t come naturally to all tradies. So here’s some key tips to take your customer service to new levels.
1. Show pride in your appearance and workspace
Let’s face it – the work of a tradie is never the cleanest or tidiest. But while your customers will expect a bit of dirt and dust in the work area, it doesn’t mean you can’t respect your client’s space, keep your tools organised and minimise the mess wherever possible. Some tradies are even going to the lengths of investing in disposable booties!
And although no one expects a tradie to show up in formal attire, it’s still important to manage your appearance and look respectable. You should be holding your professional license and proof of liability insurance. This alone can speak a lot for your character and the way you run your business.
2. Educate your client, and yourself
Take the time to better educate your client on the process and understand exactly what they’re after. Initially, you could even go as far as giving them a pamphlet or a link to your website with more information.
You should be providing your client with knowledge every step of the way, especially if you have a new idea or an inkling that the final product won’t work out the way they imagined. Your customers will appreciate you filling them in and taking the time to give them daily insights into your work progress.
But in turn, also take the opportunity to educate yourself on your customer’s rights and your own rights, in case of any issues that arise.
3. Set thorough and reliable expectations
Be clear on all the expectations early on, such as the estimated costs, hours, working days and materials.
If extra materials or working hours are required, ensure you communicate with your client first before taking on the additional costs. It could be a huge shock for your client to receive a higher than expected final bill, and it can leave them with a sour taste!
More importantly, put EVERYTHING in writing and make sure your customer physically signs off and approves the agreements.
4. Communication is key
You can be a highly experienced and fantastic tradesmen, but without communication, your client relationship will quickly crumble.
As a rule of thumb, it’s better to overcommunicate than leave your client in the dark. So, whether you’re running late, giving a daily summary of your work or there is a change in your workload, always reach out to your client via whatever communications you’ve both decided on.
Communication is also about initiative and stepping up in the more difficult situations. If you believe something needs to change or a dispute arises, act on it early and politely. If there is an increase in hours, costs or materials needed, don’t be afraid to communicate the situation with your client. Open and honest communication is the gel in any relationship, and a client relationship is no different.
Another big one of tradies – respond to calls in a timely fashion. It is hard when you’re working all day, but set aside time at the start and end of the day to follow up enquiries, questions and feedback. This alone will set you apart from your competition.
5. Build your online profile
Gone are the days of the Yellow Pages – now, social media and the internet is the bread and butter of business reputation and promotion.
Social media is fantastic for communication, advertising, and giving customers the opportunity to leave reviews. But with social media comes a level of credibility and accountability. Your profile is about having two-way communication and responding to all customers, whether it’s good or bad.
While removing inappropriate or offensive reviews can be ok, platforms like Google and Facebook don’t make it easy. And deleting every single 1-star rating or negative review that comes your way can be inauthentic and send a poor message. You also have the right of reply, and can respond to criticism respectfully while still upholding your brand. Businesses who are honest and own up to their mistakes show greater character and respect from customers.
When you active your brand on social media, do it properly. You need to be posting regularly, sharing content, responding to comments and engaging. Unanswered messages and comments will frustrate clients and won’t reflect well on your brand.
Perhaps what’s even worse is a tradesman who has no online presence at all. Potential clients will immediately be discouraged if you are hard to find or inaccessible online.
6. Make sure you ‘walk the talk’
Nothing is more frustrating than a worker who doesn’t deliver on their promises. If you’ve given your client certain expectations, make sure you live up to them with your work. If anything, it’s better to under promise and over deliver.
If your situation does change for any reason, it all comes back to communication and finding a solution that benefits both parties.
You want to be seen as reliable and committed tradesman with a strong work ethic.
Take control of your tradies
Managing multiple tradies is no walk in the park. Hire a reliable maintenance contractor to do it for you.
Why choose us?
i do maintenance is a property maintenance specialist with significant focus on customer service.
Areas of service include assisting hospital facility managers with facility management, retail franchise owners with commercial kitchen cleaning services and commercial property managers with general property maintenance.
Contact us now on 8264 3886 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to organise a free site inspection.