Oh boy, 2020 was a wild ride! Combining a scary virus and a quarantine led many homeowners to consider worst-case scenarios and what they can do to avoid them. I don’t know about you, but many plumbing service providers experienced some of their busiest months during these “unprecedented” times. In fact, our team at John the Plumber experienced newfound success in taking a little extra time to educate my customers on unique options for their homes and maybe as we move into 2021, you can too.
I’m not talking about upsells and pushy marketing. While many valued customers only want the service they requested, many others don’t know what’s out there, and they don’t think to ask. After all, in the eyes of many homeowners, the plumbing industry hasn’t changed.
But could they be wrong! Possibly, so take a minute to explain some new and cool fixtures with a client with which you’ve built a rapport? A good sale is one where both the buyer and seller win. This will separate you from being “just” a plumber to being a service provider who adds value. Value is the name of the game, folks!
A Bidet Installation or Bidet Attachment
We can laugh about it now, but it wasn’t long ago that many of us and our neighbors were flocking to the store and buying up all the toilet paper reserves. It was an eye-opening experience! Most of us never expected that toilet paper would be the first thing to go in an apocalypse.
Many businesses slowed down during the quarantine, but we were lucky. We continued to service homes throughout the entire thing, and we took advantage of the opportunity to offer our customers a Bidet installation. Spoiler alert – it was a smart move.
Not only have the locals experienced the fear of depleted toilet paper stock, but we live in a new age of hygiene. Many people feel dirty after using the toilet for an extended period and feel uncomfortable with being intimate afterward without washing up.
Save your customers from this anxiety! Offer them a bidet so they can conveniently shower their nether regions after sitting on the throne.
Not everyone will bite, but the ones who do will appreciate you. I can’t think of anyone who has installed a bidet and regretted it. The plumber who offered it left a mark on their customer and built a relationship. That’s how you earn a customer for life!
A Tap-Activated or Touchless Faucet Upgrade
Have you ever handled raw meat then washed your hands? I bet you have. May I ask if you sanitized the faucet handle afterward? Most people don’t! Not after every use, anyway.
Whether you’re spreading raw meat germs on the kitchen faucet handle or spreading downstairs germs on the bathroom faucet, the result is the same: you’re spreading germs without thinking about it.
Admittedly, many of us now keep Lysol wipes nearby these days. But do you want to use a Lysol wipe every time you wash up?
We’ve been suggesting touchless or tap-activated faucets instead of a standard faucet installation for many months, and we’ve added value to many homes.
They’re not the cheapest option. We all know that. But the ability to activate a faucet by tapping it with your elbow is worth the extra cost for many people. People are willing to pay if they see the value! So the next time you’re in the plumbing supply store, you should ask about the handsfree faucet options! Many of your customers might be interested.
A Water Heater Booster
Growing your family or adding more appliances that use water means more hot water usage. While upgrading to a larger hot water tank or a Tankless Water Heater might be the right solution for many people, some of your customers might not yet be ready to replace their current unit.
A less expensive solution to increased hot water needs is a Water Heater Booster. Water heater boosters connect to your gas or electric hot water tank and boost the heat as needed. Some models connect to the water heater output, while other models can connect to the inlet. As hot water is used, cold water replenishes the water supply and mixes with the tank’s remaining hot water. Over an extended period of use, the tank’s water temperature will drop and require time to recharge.
Water Heater Boosters work by heating the water when it senses a drop in temperature. In some models, the hot water usage capacity nearly doubles! For a fraction of the cost of replacing a water heater system, water heater boosters might be the solution you’re customers have been hoping to find.
A Water Purifier
We live in the new age of organic. Many people are concerned about chemicals in this and pesticides in that. Water supply is no different. People want clean and safe water, free of anything designed to destroy life in the water supply.
While most cities in the country provide adequate water quality, it isn’t good enough for everybody. If you notice empty water bottles around your customer’s home, they may be interested in a water purifier!
Water purifiers, like Reverse Osmosis systems, filter out impurities and pathogens from the water before it reaches the tap. It doesn’t take long before a Reverse Osmosis System pays for itself in bottled water savings.
Anyone who prefers bottled water, grows their own food, buys organic, or generally cares for their body may be interested! While your customer might not be interested during the pitch, if they come around in the future, you’ll probably be the first person come to mind!
Turning a Plumbing Rough-In into an Indoor Garden
Speaking of growing your own food… These days, many people are gaining interest in supplying their own food. The pandemic hysteria proved that it doesn’t take long for a bad situation to change for the worse. Having the ability to provide your own food can save money, offer higher quality and more nutritional ingredients, increase independent sustainability, and it’s just cool!
Since the concept of “Indoor Micro Gardens” has begun catching on, some plumbers have found success in providing services related to indoor gardens.
Converting a basement rough-in into an accessible water supply for a hydroponic gardening system is a unique service that few people offer. However, it doesn’t come without its drawbacks as new indoor gardeners may have many questions which they wish to ask you. Our solution is to suggest books and online references on the subject, then be on our way. Converting a rough-in into a hydroponic water supply is easy, unique, and separates you from everyone else.
Fruit flies are the worst, aren’t they? But we’ve all been there. Maybe you threw a banana peel in the garbage, or you keep a green bin under the sink. Whatever the case, fruit flies are annoying and gross.
Garbage disposals can help! Disposing of waste into a garbage disposal system eliminates the food supply for fruit flies and other pests. It might not be what comes to mind when people think about garbage disposals, but it could be a valuable suggestion from a plumber!
Plumbers may not even come to mind when potential customers think about garbage disposal. Save your leads from unintentionally choosing a different service provider by educating them of your abilities and products. You may not be the hero they deserve, but you’re the hero they need.
Waterline Hookup for new appliances
Any kitchen you service lacking a dishwasher may be a lead. Many young adults grow up with dishwashers, then move out and wash their dishes like a peasant! I’m just kidding around, but I do believe that most people would choose to have a dishwasher than live without one.
So why not offer to run the water supply lines? Many people without dishwashers have considered installing one eventually. But it’s one of those things that gets pushed off again and again. Help them get what they want. The worst thing that can happen is they’ll say no!
Backflow Backwater Valve
If your customers have ever experienced a sewer backup, they’ll be interested in a backwater valve installation. It’s an inexpensive protective device that can save thousands of dollars in maintenance! While a Backflow Backwater Valve installation may not be the most lucrative service that a plumber can offer, it is a top contender for value-added services. Being of better value than your competitors will motivate many customers to spread the word about you. Every customer you earn for free is money saved on marketing and lead generation.
Help them help you! Be the best plumber by adding the most value and educating your customers on how you can help them. Afterward, all you have to do is ask for a review, and you’ve finished a job well done!
Jake Romano is a Project manager for John The Plumber, an Ottawa-based plumbing service provider. Since 2006, we have been offering Ottawa residents a higher level of customer service and satisfaction. These days, we’re proud to offer plumbing services in several Ontario cities as our brand continues to grow. Here’s to another fifteen years!