- On 11/07/2018
There’s no shortage of work for tradespeople in Australia. From the smallest residential communities to urban environments, everyone wants something constructed, installed, renovated, or fixed. Yet, this abundance of jobs doesn’t change the fact that every trade industry — whether it’s construction or plumbing — is highly competitive.
Oftentimes, the deciding factor between two contractors with similar experience and skill sets is how well they serve their customers. So, if you need to sharpen your competitive edge, here’s what to do.
Forging strong relationships with clients starts with a fair and accurate quote. Underprice your services and you run the risk of damaging customer relationships with unexpected costs. Overprice your services and you drive potential customers away.
Like many in the industry will say, pricing is a science and requires an exhaustive list of data from previous projects.
By entering and analysing timesheets and expenses in job management software like WorkBuddy, you’ll be able to precisely pinpoint:
- how much time and money each job needs, and
- how much you should be charging to turn a profit.
Top-quality pricing features allow you to produce professional, data-backed quotes in minutes, so you can close more deals early.
Don’t be late
Tardiness is not an option for tradies, which is why your staff must have the right tools to track their appointments. The right job management software helps users take charge of their schedule, with web-based access and automatic notifications for appointment requests and cancellations. With mobile access, they can check the booking information on the road and even pull out a map app that suggests the quickest route to the client’s site. Should they experience traffic, workers can also contact the client through the app and give them a realistic ETA.
Look the part
Another small improvement you can do to enhance customer service is to look professional. Clients are far more inclined to trust tradies who show up with quality tools and clean workwear. Remind staff of company policies (such as attire) before every job using the automated notifications feature in your job management software.
Tradespeople need access to their licenses, accreditation, and liability insurance at all times. Paper copies have never been ideal, which is why most tradies now store electronic versions of legal documents on their smartphones or tablets.
Plan out jobs
Imagine how efficient your staff could be if they knew exactly what equipment each job was going to need before arriving at the customer’s location. In the very least, it will save you and your clients’ time and money on return trips.
Office personnel can use the job management software to create equipment lists and put together some notes on the job. For example, if the job is for an interior paint job, tradies need only check the app to see:
- How many rooms need to be painted?
- How big are the walls?
- What quantity of paint trays, rollers or small brushes are required?
- What type of ladder do I need to bring?
Get active on social media
For years, customers have been turning to social media and online reviews to figure out which contractor, plumber, or electrician to hire. It’s important to build rapport with online communities. Creating a Facebook and/or Twitter business pages allows clients to share information and comment about your services.
After you’ve finished a job, encourage customers to post a review of your company. Focus on responding to negative critiques, as this will help you identify areas for improvement. It also shows people who are vetting you that you constantly strive to do better.
Clear and concise employee-client communications are the key to avoiding misunderstandings that lead to poor customer service and wasted resources. Job management systems enable you to automatically notify customers about:
- changes to appointments,
- due dates,
- billing, and
- documents associated with a certain project.
Clients can then be involved in the process and make sure contractors do what they requested.
Invoicing is tedious work, requiring you to track finished work, time spent on the job, and expenses associated with travel and materials. When done manually, it can take weeks for a company to produce a single invoice. This frustrates customers and slows down your cash flow.
A modern job management system makes invoicing easy, and allows you to quickly log:
- services provided,
- billable hours,
- materials used, and
- travel time from a desktop or mobile device.
Data can then be compiled with the click of a button using the systems’ built-in invoicing feature and then printed or emailed.
By taking the repetitive processes out of invoicing, you eliminate data entry errors that result in overcharging, billing disputes, and even refusal to pay.
Take advantage of analytics
Recording every project, invoice, complaint, and positive review can go a long way in improving customer service. With a significant pool of data you can use analytics software to assess business performance and identify areas for improvement.
For instance, if you receive multiple complaints regarding failure to meet deadlines, you can create a data-driven schedule that ensures quick delivery times and send it to your staff via the job management app.
What’s more, detailed client histories are the perfect place to look for follow-up and upsell opportunities. If you discovered that someone recently tiled their kitchen, for example, you could offer similar tiling services for their bathrooms at a discounted price. This is not only a great way to increase revenue, it also keeps you top of mind the next time the same customer needs something retiled.
Apart from offering add-on services, just imagine how much more memorable your company will be if you remembered the client’s name or their favourite footy team!
Ultimately, providing stellar customer service is about doing a lot of little things perfectly. The right job management software can help you do just that. Whether you’re in construction, field service, or another trade industry, WorkBuddy offers all the tools you need to leave a great impression on your clients. Call WorkBuddy to set it up today.