Great customer service is crucial to running a business. Having the skill to do the job is vital but when coupled with poor customer service, you would have to have the best luck in the world to not be ruined from poor (or lack of) recommendations.
In a recent survey by AXA Insurance, 60% of people responded that it was ‘fair to label tradespeople as ‘cowboys’ or ‘rogue traders”. Not great on first read but actually, nearly three-quarters of them said that they ‘enjoy longstanding relationships with one or more trusted tradespeople that they would be happy to recommend to others’.
As Darrell Samson, Managing Director at AXA Business Insurance explained, “bad news travels fast and one rogue operator can cause a lot of reputational damage to everyone else”.
If you ask us, building trust is the best way to counteract the negativity surrounding trade work and demonstrate that like any industry, the good apples outweigh the bad.
Here are our top tips below:
1) Present yourself well. Dress professionally, invest in polo shirts embroidered with your logo. Carry a branded notepad or a tablet to take notes during meetings with your customer.
2) Arrive on time and take care of the home. Good manners are important to homeowners and that involves everything from turning up when you say you will to laying dust sheets and cleaning up any mess that’s left behind after a job is complete. If you would like to use a homeowner’s cleaning materials or appliances like a hoover, ask permission beforehand. Respecting their home implies that you respect them too.
3) Communicate clearly. It’s easy to slip into trade jargon when addressing a customer but taking care to be as straightforward as possible will win you brownie points. Listening to their needs and explaining the different stages of the job will ensure that they have a realistic expectation of what’s happening in their home at any given point, how much their everyday life will be disrupted by the work and when they can expect the job to be completed.
4) Share insurance details. Many homeowners are understandably nervous about welcoming a stranger (albeit a skilled one!) into their homes. Damages and injuries are high on the list of concerns so sharing photocopies of your certifications and Public Liability Insurance details will help put their minds at ease. Making sure that your business name and details are the same across your insurance documents, trade association certifications and the Rated People site will also nurture confidence in your business.
Last but not least…
5) Share recommendations. When you buy a job lead through our site, we send the homeowner a link to your profile page which comes complete with ratings and reviews from past Rated People customers. Homeowners are reassured by great references from other homeowners who have used your services, so bringing along a portfolio of work or making sure that you have their contact details to hand in case they’d like to reach out for a reference, is good practice.
By priding yourself on good manners and focusing on building up your recommendations, you’ll be building up long term trust in your business which can often lead to repeat work coming your way.