The Internet, with it’s great variety of social media sites and directories, means there are a huge number of results that come up if you type ‘plumber’ into Google. While this shows that the plumbing industry is doing well across the UK, it doesn’t actually help a homeowner with finding a decent plumber that they can trust.
Recent statistics released the heating industry show that 60% of people feel nervous about hiring a tradesman they have never met before and a further 50% are worried that they will be ripped off or have a sub-standard job done.
Another piece of research showed that the main way people seek to get around these nerves and trust issues is to find a plumber via an online review site. The figures showed that 70% of people believed review sites were important in helping them to make a decision and 90% consult or have consulted review sites before making a decision on who to bring in.
As these sites have become so important in generating business, it’s vital for plumbers who want to get ahead of the game, to use these sites correctly in building trust amongst the public.
Having an open and honest profile, with plenty of information is an excellent way of building a sense of trust with customers. Naturally, including good photos of previous jobs and describing past experience is vital for a plumber to show they are an authority within their field. However, equally important is to show a human side, as it’s human nature for people to feel an affinity with people they think are just like them. This can be done by adding a couple of personal photos with family or to include some details about your interests or spare time. Being able to display professionalism, whilst also being relatable, is a great way to generate trust and therefore extra business.
Getting good reviews on the review sites is the best way to get more and more business. Whether it’s booking a hotel or buying something on an auction site, we all look at what other people have said and booking a plumber has become no different. Although you should be giving your best at every job, if you have built up a good relationship with a customer, don’t be afraid of asking them to submit a review. Satisfied customers are usually very willing to give public praise and these positive reviews are incredibly important in encouraging others to leave reviews and in gaining further trust from people browsing your profile.
If you are contacted by a customer, it’s important to create a good impression straightaway, as this can set a positive tone for how a customer views your final work and can reflect in the type of review they give you. One of the best things you can do is to call or email them back as soon as you can to speak about their problem and to plan a home visit. This will display a high level of professionalism and also showing that you are genuinely concerned with resolving their problem.
Bearing in mind the results of the survey that showed 60% are nervous about booking a tradesman they have never met, make sure you turn up to an appointment on time, be well-dressed, have a clean and serviceable vehicle and be attentive to the problem that they have. After you visit, you may also wish to follow up with a phone call regarding your plan of action. After a job, 58% of customers have said they left a review on a review site, so taking the time to create a good initial impression and giving good customer service is as important as solving the actual problem.
Because people will often find a plumber due to positive feedback on review sites, it’s an area that any entrepreneurial tradesman needs to spend a reasonable amount of time on. Review sites are an excellent way to gain and keep loyal customers and provide an excellent opportunity to grow your business in ways that were not possible as recently as 5 years ago.
Article by Benjamin Clarke