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Top tips for best working practice

September 18, 2020

Best working practice blog from CheckatradeIn an increasingly globalised and digital world, your online presence matters. The term ‘best working practice’ relates to how well you run your business. For that reason, to become the best tradesperson you can be, you need a strategy that transforms how you do business and communicate with your customers.

Homeowners look for tradespeople who:

  • Know what they’re doing;
  • Have a good reputation; and
  • Provide excellent customer service

One way to showcase these attributes is through customer reviews and recommendations. That’s why this blog is going to discuss how a platinum standard customer service generates top-rated reviews, guarantees return business, and cements a reliable reputation.

For this, we spoke to Ross Evans, Director of ShuttersUp, who are renowned in their industry for listening and reacting to their clients’ needs. We’ve incorporated their advice into this blog to help other tradespeople build productive customer relationships.

Quickly respond to queries

In order to secure customers, make it a priority to respond to any enquiries as soon as possible. Get into the habit of checking your messages and responding whenever you get a break or interval during your working day – even if it’s just to say you’ve seen the message and will respond with an offer asap.

For a platinum service, call customers back and address work alerts regardless of whether you want the job or not. Just saying you’re busy and can’t take on the work right now is both polite and professional. You can even offer alternative options (if possible) or let the customer know when you’ll be able to take on the job in the future. This creates a good impression of both your work ethic and business ethos. In turn, this fosters a professional reputation that secures future customers.

By not replying to a customer, it damages your business’s reputation and will result in that customer choosing a different tradesperson.

How you respond shapes your reputation

We all have bad days. However, when we’re too busy to reply or respond in an appropriate manner, we let ourselves and our business down. That’s why it’s not just about whether you respond, it’s about how you respond too. Best working practice includes remaining polite, courteous and honest in your dealings with potential customers. This includes being interested in their queries, offering alternatives if you’re too busy to take on new work, and explaining what you can do – not what you can’t do.

customer service calling customers back even if you are too busy

Stick to positives and avoid using negatives to show the customer you’re willing to help them as much as possible. One of the top pieces of consumer feedback we’ve received is how customers wish tradespeople would call them back, regardless of how busy they are. Even if you’re unable to take on a new project, why not spread the love and recommend a fellow trade? If nothing else, it’s good karma.

Visit twice

Customer service – best working practiceBefore you undertake a project, it’s customary to visit your potential client to take measurements and provide an accurate quote for the work required. However, carrying out a second visit to double-check the measurements and answer all the homeowner’s questions offers them greater peace of mind. It also gives you a chance to introduce the site team and make sure the customer is fully prepped ahead of the work starting.

Being willing to go that extra mile proves to the customer you have their best interests at heart.

Ensure company-wide expertise

Knowledge is power. It’s also proof you know your business. That’s why, for anyone on the field – be it an advisor, surveyor or someone new to the company – ensuring they’re fully trained in regard to your trade is worth the initial investment.

Having an entire team who understands what you do, with the ability to answer questions confidently and clearly, sets you apart as a professional and an expert. Training all your staff to the same high standard also keeps everyone on the same page.

This ensures:

  • One core message and offering, which eradicates potential misselling or misunderstandings
  • Company-wide standards and core values
  • Customer security and peace of mind
  • A consistent quality of work

Establish regular contact

Customer service phone callsIt goes without saying that keeping your customers updated is good working practice. Consequently, try to go above and beyond when it comes to keeping them updated on finer details. This can include things like dispatch dates, project progress, installation time and any issues that arise. No one likes waiting around or chasing for updates. So, having those bases covered means your customer is put at ease and feels assured you’re on top of everything.

Offer advice and after-care

Homeowners like options, especially when it comes to complex jobs. If there are in-depth specifications/options to choose from, or certain details worth considering, then putting together some information that allows them to make a decision in their own time is helpful. You can add this extra touch via an email, leaflet, portfolio or brochure. Whatever medium you choose, make sure the particulars are clear and concise.

The same goes when it comes to after-care. When a job is wrapped up, it’s easy to walk away and forget about it. However, offering advice in terms of aftercare and maintenance is another way to add value and ensure best working practice. It also leaves a lasting impression, which is sure to reflect in your glowing reviews!

Evolve with demand

Whatever your trade, evolving with demand and adjusting your offer is a great way to grow your business and secure further work. For example, our friends at ShuttersUp added security doors to their offering after several customers personally requested them. By responding to demand in an organic way like this, ShuttersUp stayed relevant in their market and grew holistically.

Like what you’ve read? We’ve got plenty more where this came from. For more tips and advice, head over to our trade members blog and see how else we can help.

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