Reputation

If you’re looking to grow your plumbing business you’ll need a way to stand out from the rest. With the help of these focus areas you’ll increase your visibility, both online and within your local community. Directory listings  Local plumbing businesses must ensure that they are listed in the most popular online business directories. Adding Read more

If you’re looking to grow your plumbing business you’ll need a way to stand out from the rest. With the help of these focus areas you’ll increase your visibility, both online and within your local community.

Directory listings 

Local plumbing businesses must ensure that they are listed in the most popular online business directories. Adding your company to online directories is a great way to boost your online visibility and establish yourself as a credible company. A few of the main directories include Google, Yelp, LinkedIn, Bing and Yahoo.

Attractive website & blog

To market your plumbing business you should ensure that you have a professional website, and regularly updated blog. You’ll need to create a user friendly site that’s SEO optimized. Ensure that you also optimize your site for speed, you might also consider using a chatbot to improve customer service.

When it comes to creating your blog you’ll need to provide plenty of educational posts that respond to online search intent. Check out your competitors’ content and make sure you’re offering something unique.

To help you optimize your website and your blog there are lots of free SEO tools you can use. Check out tools like Keyword Hero, Google Analytics or Moz Cast.

Testimonials

According to Boast, ‘92% of customers read online reviews before buying.’ Research also indicates that, ‘72% of consumers say positive testimonials and reviews increase their trust in a business.’

To support your marketing and boost your credibility you’ll want to collect plenty of positive testimonials and reviews. You might offer your existing customers a discount in exchange for providing a testimonial?

Maintain your reputation 

Word of mouth marketing still exists, if your customers have a bad experience they’ll tell their friends, (plus they’ll tell the internet). This sort of thing can quickly damage your reputation, and so you’ll need to stay one step ahead. So how do you maintain your reputation? The most important thing is to provide an excellent product and service. Use the highest quality tools from your ibc totes to your copper tube cutter and your air testing gauge kit. Working with quality tools and resources will help you to maintain the best service. 

When you’re thinking about your reputation it’s also worth remembering that customers prefer eco-friendly companies. Incorporating sustainability into your brand will help you to grow.

Social media 

Social media can help you to support your marketing campaigns in a number of ways. You can run paid ads on social media, adjusting your preferences to target your audience specifically. Social media is a great way to boost your visibility, and establish a name for yourself in the industry. You can engage your prospects with useful content, from how-to videos to social media competitions.

With the right marketing plan you’ll soon grow your small business, widening your reach and gaining more loyal customers. Creating a successful marketing strategy has many different elements. Most importantly, you’ll need to appeal to the values of your target audience.

Callbacks are often preventable—if you understand the common causes. Learn how to reduce callbacks, maintain your reputation and boost productivity with a few best practices. “I’m not happy with the work.” They are the words no contractor ever wants to hear. They mean less attention to other jobs, a smaller profit margin and the potential loss Read more

Callbacks are often preventable—if you understand the common causes. Learn how to reduce callbacks, maintain your reputation and boost productivity with a few best practices.

“I’m not happy with the work.” They are the words no contractor ever wants to hear. They mean less attention to other jobs, a smaller profit margin and the potential loss of future business.

Callbacks can hurt a business’ reputation in several ways. First, referrals are adversely affected when homeowners talk with one another and share their unpleasant experiences. And when those same homeowners take their displeasure online and leave negative reviews online and on social media, the impact can be much more permanent. Finally, callbacks can also hurt a company’s productivity by inhibiting the ability of the team to move on to other projects.

The good news? Many callbacks are preventable. Here’s a rundown of three key strategies for avoiding them.

Educate the Customer

Very often, customer satisfaction comes down to one very important factor: A contractor’s ability to manage customer expectations.

“We get fewer callbacks when we educate the client about things like materials and warranties,” says Cal Phillips, who has owned and operated the Denver-based Eco Paint since 1990 and has been painting homes since 1977. “We’re the professionals, so it’s up to us to educate the client so they can care for their home.”

Education should start as early as the initial onsite visit. Managing a customer’s expectations is essential, especially when it comes to color variations, service parameters and ongoing maintenance.

And consumer education doesn’t stop after the last coat is applied. Phillips makes sure his clients understand their responsibilities for continued care after the job is completed.

“On an exterior project, we’ll let a client know that the paint needs to be maintained by making sure sprinklers are properly adjusted, with gutters and downspouts in good operation so that water is adequately removed from painted surfaces,” he says. “We also inform them to keep vegetation pruned back away from the substrate.”

This kind of dialog does more than help prevent callbacks. It can also instill a trust factor with your customers that tells them you care about the lasting quality of your work, even after the job is complete. And that can have the fringe benefit of turning first-time customers into repeat clients.

Maintain Clear Communication — Inside the Office and Out

Rarely is poor work the reason painters get called back to a job site. The most common reason is poor communication.  Communication breakdowns between estimators and painters or between painters and customers can result in mistakes. Like applying an accent color to the wrong wall or painting trim the customer had wanted untouched. That can often mean lost productivity and bad customer reviews.

At Two Dudes Painting, a leading commercial and residential painting company in Lancaster, PA, painters receive a copy of the client’s paperwork to ensure everyone understands what the client has signed off on.

Samantha Seifried, who holds the role of Client Advocate at Two Dudes, says for longer projects, the company encourages clients to communicate with painting crews.

“When a project lasts more than a couple of days, we strongly encourage homeowners to review the work daily and let us know if they see errors or details they’re not happy with,” says Seifried. Regular dialog with the customer makes the company more efficient—and clients are more satisfied—because if errors crop up, painting crews can make corrections while they’re still on site, rather than having to come back after they’ve committed to another job.

Re-scope the Job When Needed

When customers fail to understand the process or timeline, or ask their painting contractor to perform work outside their area of expertise — carpentry or electrical work, for example — professional painters can sometimes find themselves tasked with a job in which they’re less-than-comfortable. Painters may not have experience in carpentry, drywall finishing or electrical work, and therefore trying to perform work in these areas could end up worsening jobsite problems. Knowing when to call in a specialist, as well as rescope the job with the customer, is crucial to ensuring your work and reputation remain intact.

For companies that offer a variety of service lines, it makes sense for crew members to request assistance from others who specialize in that line of work when needed. Trusting your field staff and giving them the authority to call and ask for help if they feel uncomfortable taking on certain aspects of a project can reduce callbacks significantly, since certain contractors have more experience in certain areas than others.

For smaller companies or one-to two-person crews, it makes sense in such cases to simply recommend an outside contractor to tackle repairs that fall outside the scope of the painting job. This is especially true with exterior paint projects, where it’s not uncommon to run into damage like rotted wood. It may be the last thing small painting companies (or homeowners, for that matter) want to hear, but in the end, the customer will appreciate your honesty and have a better overall experience because of it.

In the end, callbacks can cost a painting company dearly, both in reputation and production. It’s essential to take proactive steps to prevent them if you want to build a more profitable business.

“We don’t want callbacks,” Seifried says. “But, more than that, we want great reviews and ratings. That’s why we work so hard to deliver a whole project experience.”

Diane Walsh is Vice President of Market Development and Sales Operations for ShurTech Brands, LLC, maker of FrogTape® brand painter’s tape. Diane also serves as director of the ShurTech Brands Professional Paint Advisory Board, working with leading contractors from across the country to explore industry trends and share innovations for the benefit of the entire trade. Diane was awarded 2018 PDCA Associate Member of the Year.