Have you ever wondered what you could do to go that extra mile that would leave your customers simply delighted with your service? Paul Dorian, owner of PAD Plumbing is one Trades Services company owner (fondly referred to as Tradies in Australia and New Zealand), who was getting a steady growth of plumbing maintenance job requests every day, but wished he could do more to keep those hard earned customers for life!
"I knew my traditional way of processing and completing service requests was not enough. Customers who were happy to wait for a week before they got to hear from us, now wanted a response within hours. And if we didn't do that, they would get someone else to do the job for them," Paul recalls.
With today's consumers increasingly looking online for their needs, Australian Trades Services industry indeed appears to be somewhat slow to embrace the change. However, more recently, smarter and progressive Trades Services Companies, like PAD Plumbing are putting less focus on competing solely on price and more focus on meeting customer expectations.This has given birth to a new breed of Tradespeople who have not only turned to digital transformation to better understand their consumer behaviours but are also adopting technology driven solutions, like i4Tradies helping tradies deliver service more efficiently than ever!, So what are some of these consumer traits that have enticed Trades Services Companies to step into the technology landscape and win consumer' hearts? Let's have a look.
Customers believe word-of-mouth more than they trust flyers or the empty claims they read on business websites. A business recommendation coming from a friend, family, neighbor or colleague carries more weight when deciding which Tradesperson to choose for your next home improvement job.
"Despite being in the plumbing business for generations, we were having a hard time locking new and better leads, simply through our website and traditional offline marketing. We needed a platform, where prospective customers could see hands down how happy our previous customers have been with our work," says Paul.
"The ability to check ratings and reviews coming from past customers, not only gives customers the peace of mind that they are dealing with a credible service provider but also portrays a trustworthy picture of the Trades business resulting in more leads.
With this customer expectation in mind, businesses are introducing their audience to Trades Customer Apps that allow them to not only check a company's ratings and reviews from previous customers but also make sure they are properly licensed and insured to carry out the work safely and to the highest quality standard.
The uncertainty revolving around whether you'll get a quote from your Tradesperson, whether he or she will show up on the promised time, how well the job is progressing since it started or when will it resume after being put on hold, can all add up to the equation of unhappy customers.
"What we needed was a two-way communication that would be both personal and meaningful, hence signifying our commitment to ensuring they have an unforgettable experience dealing with our company," says Paul.
As more and more Trades companies realise how important customer experience is, Paul become one of the first few Tradespersons to have invested in cloud based job management apps for Tradies, that not only helped him promptly respond to customer requests, but also allowed his customers keep an eye on job progress from start to finish.That's not all. Many of these Trades Services software allow Trades companies to send detailed tax invoices to the customers as soon as the job completes, so customers know exactly what they have been charged for, including labour rates, material costs and other taxes.
It's not just brands that take pride in dealing with good customers; Individuals too want to feel good about being your customer and tell the world how well you treated them. On the flip side, if your service was bad, they still want to be heard and help save others from experiences they had. With the rise of social media and end users becoming savvier than ever, more and more customers are hitting their social profiles to tell their side of the brand story.
"Whether it's good, bad or ugly, this provides a massive opportunity to Trades Services businesses like ours, to make customers their brand advocates, without spending a penny on marketing. Trades mobile apps like i4Tradies with integrated social media sharing has now made it possible," says Paul.
End users and businesses can both post about a recently completed job, showcasing the before and after look as well as sharing their experience.
Finding a reliable Tradesperson is half the job done! So why go through the hassle every time you need a home improvement job done? Just like a good doctor, if you are lucky to find a reliable Tradesperson, you would want to keep him for life.
"We believe this goes both ways. Just like customers want to stick to a good Tradesperson, Trades companies too don't want to lose good customers to their competitors. It's all about building relationships and how well you can keep them, that determines whether a customer stays or not" Paul explains.
Today, Trades Services Customer apps allow consumers to keep a history of their past jobs, so in case they want a similar job done in the future, they can simply go back to the app, and reconnect with the same Trades Services company, without having to search for new Tradesperson all over again!
Building trust in your Trades company brand and turning customers into your 'Brand Advocates' takes time and most importantly commitment to service excellence. Keeping a customer focus, and then fine tuning business strategies is the key to understanding what customers want from you and how best you can meet their expectations. Word of mouth, two-way communication, sharing customer stories and nurturing relationships, all add up to the equation of happy long-term customers. i4Tradies, is a unique and first to market 'customer experience management app' for Trades Consumers, that can allow them to build mutually beneficial relationships with their trades services providers through two-way communications, transparent billing and continual value addition and service improvement through real time feedback and social media sharing.
Do you too want to become a customer focused Trades Business Owner like Paul? Want to learn more about how we can help you? Then get started with a free 2 weeks trial now!