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Reputation Management: The Do’s And Don’ts For Tradesmen – Software Buddy
In the trades business, reputation management is everything.
This is no new phenomenon – even in the days before the internet, tradesmen built their businesses based on word-of-mouth recommendations and repeat custom from satisfied clients.
Now, with every job a tradesman undertakes open to scrutiny on various review websites, managing your reputation has become more important than ever.
A study of UK homeowners found that 85% of people think it’s not easy to find a trusted tradesman.
This shows there’s still a lot to be done in the world of reputation management for tradesmen.
A further study by The Homeowners Alliance found that
- 63% of people do online searches for reviews when they’re trying to find a tradesman.
- 61% check out the company or tradesman’s website
- An enormous 81% of tradesmen come personally recommended by friends or neighbours.
- Just 1% of people who responded to the survey would perform no checks at all
Which all just goes to show that reputation is still key, both online and offline.
If you’re running a trades business and hoping to start building a positive reputation that functions as another branch of your marketing. Here are some of the do’s and don’ts that you can put into practice immediately.
Do: Get The Basics Right
Think about it from your customer or client’s perspective. If you were hiring a tradesman to come into your home and perform a task, what would you expect from them?
At an absolute minimum, you would want them to:
- Respond in a prompt and friendly manner to all of your queries about the job, including when you ask for a quote.
The Homeowners Alliance report found that 51% of clients are impressed by tradesmen who have a polite demeanour. A quick professional reply is the cornerstone of great customer service.
- Arrive on time. Tradesmen arriving late can be very annoying for clients, especially when they’re paying a flat rate.
Running late can often not be avoided, especially if you get stuck in traffic or are held up at a previous job. However, if you are running late, contact the customer before the allotted time to apologise, explain and most importantly, give them a new estimated arrival time.
- Provide thorough explanations. If a client has invited you into their home to perform a repair or some other task, it’s good practice to talk them through the process.
Whilst you don’t need to give them a step-by-step rundown of everything you are going to do you should explain why the problem occurred, how you will resolve it, and how similar problems can be prevented in the future.
- Keep things tidy. Always tidy up after yourself and verify that the customer is happy with how the area has been left.
If you perform all of these basic tasks with each and every client, you’ll be well on your way to building a strong reputation.,
Don’t: Leave Without A Word
When you have completed a great job for a customer or client, take the opportunity to boost your reputation and encourage the client to spread the word.
Ask them to leave a review on Checkatrade, your website or Facebook page or give them an incentive. For example, you could offer them 10% off their next service if they refer a friend.
As we have seen, word-of-mouth recommendations still play a massive role in the trades sector. Therefore you should encourage your happy customers and clients to provide referrals and help you bring in new business.
Do: Take Advantage Of Review Sites And Social Media
Win new business through review sites and Facebook recommendations. The internet opens up loads of opportunities for people to find you, especially if you have an excellent reputation.
To take full advantage of this you will need to make sure that your business is properly set up on the main review sites for tradesmen.
Here’s are a few of the main sites to get started:
All these are used a lot by your potential clients/customers researching the tradesmen they want to hire.
As well as specific review websites, social media is also vital for recommendations.
Platforms like Facebook make it possible for people to quickly send recommendations to their friends and family. The new Facebook Recommendations tool now even means that users can directly ask their friends and family for suggestions on local businesses and services.
If your company has really impressed a particular client, this then gives you the opportunity to win a lot of business from their recommendations.
Don’t: Respond Negatively To Reviews
No matter how hard you try, you are unlikely to always get five-star ratings from every single reviewer.
In fact, studies have shown that consumers are wary of businesses with flawless ratings. Believing that they are more likely to be fake!
Negative reviews are to be expected and if you’re a trades business looking to grow, every poor review is an opportunity to improve.
It’s good practice to reply to these reviews. Yet you should never reply negatively.
If someone has left a review about your business that you think is unfair it can be tempting to hit back negatively. However, this can come across as being unprofessional and can even mean losing future jobs.
The way your business handles negative reviews gives your new or potential clients an idea of what you are like as a business.
Manging them well shows you as being a highly professional outfit. On the other hand, if managed poorly, with petty remarks or with negative responses, you might find that clients no longer want to hire you.
Do: Sign Up With Relevant Trade Associations
Improve your business credibility by becoming a member of relevant trade associations.
Some great associations are
Additionally, you may also want to consider adhering to the codes of practice that are set out by the Considerate Constructors Scheme.
This shows that you are considerate about the environment, for cleanliness and for the community. These will all help enhance your reputation in the eyes of potential clients.
Don’t: Be Afraid To Ask For Help
Reputation management is a tricky subject for all businesses.
There are so many ways in which your reputation can be tarnished, so it can be difficult to cover all bases.
Don’t be afraid to seek help if you feel your reputation needs a boost.
Software Buddy offers comprehensive training in all areas of reputation management, so you can feel more confident in managing complaints and making sure clients are happy.
Schedule a consultation today to see how Software Buddy could help your trades business grow.