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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
If you were hiring a tradesman to come into your home and perform a task, consider what you’d 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 a real bugbear for clients, especially when they’re paying a flat rate.
If you’re running late, you must always contact the customer to apologise, explain and
give them a new estimated arrival time.
you on track through the day.
- 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.
You don’t need to give them a step-by-step rundown of your every move, but do try to 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’ve completed a great job for a client, don’t miss this perfect opportunity to boost your reputation and encourage the client to spread the word.
Hand them a business card or direct them to your website.
Ask them to leave a review, or give them an incentive: perhaps if they refer a new client to you, you’ll give them 10% off their next service.
With word-of-mouth recommendations still playing such an important role in trades, you should always be working to encourage your most satisfied clients to provide referrals and help you bring in new business.
Do: Take Advantage Of Review Sites And Social Media
The online world gives tradesmen countless opportunities to win new business, especially those with a stellar reputation.
Make sure your business is properly set up on all the main review sites for tradesmen.
Here’s are a few of the main sites to get started:
All these are heavily used by potential clients researching the tradesmen they want to hire.
Social media is also vital in this day and age.
Platforms like Facebook give people the capacity to make recommendations to their friends and family quickly and easily.
The new Facebook Recommendations tool allows users to ask friends and family for suggestions on local businesses and services.
If you’ve impressed a particular client, it gives you the opportunity to win plenty of business from their recommendations.
Don’t: Respond Negatively To Reviews
No business is ever going to receive consistent five-star ratings from every single reviewer.
In fact, studies have shown that consumers are quite wary of businesses with flawless ratings because they’re 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.
Under no circumstances should you respond negatively to reviews posted about you in any online capacity.
Most review sites and social media platforms give you the opportunity to post a reply to any reviews, and if a previous client has said something you perceive to be unfair, it can be tempting to hit back.
But this comes across as unprofessional and could result in you losing business.
This is a key element of reputation management, with emphasis on the ‘management’ part.
You will receive negative reviews, and the way you handle them will give new clients a better idea of what you’re like as a business.
Manage it appropriately and you’ll come across as highly professional. Manage it poorly, with petty remarks and equally negative responses, and you might find that clients no longer want to hire you.
Do: Sign Up With Relevant Trade Associations
Membership of the various different trade associations can help give your business credibility.
Some great associations are
There is plenty you can sign up to in order to bolster your credentials.
The Considerate Constructors Scheme is also a good code of practice to adhere to.
It shows that you have consideration for 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 tricky for all businesses.
With so many ways a reputation can be tarnished, 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.
You can also download your FREE report today: ‘How To Grow Your Trades Business With Less Hassle and BIGGER Profits’. This in-depth report comes with free video training.