How many times have you had customers contact you on a previous client’s recommendations?
It’s a great feeling, we know!
It’s completely natural to be surprised, and perhaps even a little bit flattered that others think so highly of your service.
Make no mistake, word-of-mouth and recommendations are the most powerful tools in your toolbox when it comes to generating business for your tradie business.
Being the number 1 recommended tradesperson is the dream for pretty much every tradie. Who wouldn’t want glowing recommendations from their customers? Not only is it a bit of an ego boost (though that’s certainly a nice bonus) but they’re also a boon to your business!
Here are a couple of tactics you can use to get people talking about you online (and off!)
Tip #1: Learn how to connect with your customers
Connecting to customers doesn’t only mean rendering a service – it also means building that human connection between you and them. That can start with something as simple as coming in with a smile and making conversation as they talk you through their problem.
Building connections with your clients doesn’t stop after you’ve fixed your customer’s problem. Be mindful and keep in touch with your customers as well.
This can mean a simple courtesy phone call to a previous customer asking how your work is holding up.
And if you have a social media presence, use it! Not only does it remind people that you exist, but prompt, professional interactions can leave a positive impression on your customers.
And people love talking about those!
Tip #2: Ask clients to share their experience
When you plan dinner with your relatives and you need to pick a restaurant, where do you go?
We’re willing to bet you said Yelp or Zomato.
Reviews and past customer experiences have a huge impact on your customers. H-U-G-E, huge. 93% of people say online reviews play into their eventual decision. So you’ll want people to share their experiences with your services – the good ones, preferably!
Encouraging your customers to share their experiences and leave reviews can be as simple as just asking – you’d be surprised at how effective a little bit of prompting can be!
Here are a couple of guidelines you should follow while asking for reviews:
- Frame it like you’re asking for a “favour”
- Don’t push it – if someone doesn’t respond, resist the urge to nag
- Sooner rather than later – don’t sit on it for a month
- Make it easy – if you communicate a lot through email, put a review form in your signature
Of course, it’s almost unavoidable that you’ll get the occasional negative review, even if you’re the best traie in the city.
We have one piece of advice: don’t panic!
Instead, think of this as an opportunity to defend yourself – politely, of course. Respond, be civil, address the complaint and explain your side of the story. Offer a genuine apology if needed. And if possible, fix the customer’s problem.
Not only can this bring the customer back on your side, but it also shows to other readers that you’re civil and courteous.
Tip #3: Focus on what you want others to remember
“I fear not the man who has practiced 10000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10000 times.” – Bruce Lee
Despite the quote, we’re not actually trying to discourage you from diversifying and upskilling. In many cases, it can be a great idea to offer a whole range of services to your customers!
Even if you’re a jack-of-all-trades however, highlighting and focusing on specific traits and areas of expertise makes it much easier for your clients to remember you.
It’s also an effective way to build your brand image as people will automatically link your brand with a service that they need.
To be remembered, your brand message needs to be clear. The KISS principle applies – tradies need to keep their message simple so others can identify at a glance who you are and what you do.
What this means in practical terms is choosing one thing about you that stands out and drawing everybody’s attention to that on your website.
Take one of our clients as an example. Watermaster Plumbing puts a lot of focus on the quality of their service – experience, punctuality, cleanliness and politeness are the order of the day, and every part of their homepage reflects that.
Gain more service recommendations today!
Customer experiences are the most powerful assets for any tradie. Not only are they essential for building business, but oftentimes recommendations influence the way tradies are perceived… both online and off!
And at the end of the day, tradies who know how to encourage their customers to leave feedback have a leg up over others when it comes to building business for themselves.
There are many tactics to do just that… and one of them is your online presence.
If you’re interested in getting more customer interaction and feedback, talk to iformat. We offer a comprehensive range of strategies that work. From web design, to content-writing to taking care of your social media, our strategies are tailored to make people act… and that includes talking about your services.
Get people talking about your tradie business – call us now at 1300 88 64 50 or fill in the form to find out how you can grow your business.