As states like New South Wales and Victoria pass vaccination milestones, local governments are beginning to lift COVID-19 lockdown restrictions. This is welcome news for plumbing businesses that could only operate at limited capacity during lockdowns. While Australia still faces a long road to recovery, plumbers can stay ahead of the curve by devising post-lockdown strategies.
Here are some valuable tips to help you ramp up your plumbing business after lockdowns.
Assess and tweak business plans
To bounce back from a crisis, you need to evaluate your company’s position and map out future business plans. Many plumbing businesses mistakenly assume that their old customers will demand the same maintenance services post-lockdown. However, as times change, so do your customers’ demands. For instance, remote workers during the pandemic may have realised that their home’s plumbing systems need major improvements, not just repairs. Alternatively, plumbing in office buildings may have been neglected and therefore need thorough maintenance as companies employ hybrid work setups.
Identifying these trends early will inform your company’s objectives and strategies moving forward. If there’s no market for your current services, you may need to revise your services to provide value for today’s customers. Some companies even pivot services to new customers, such as moving from private homeowners to community housing providers. By adjusting your business model, you can maintain organisational stability and market viability.
Improve sales strategies
Improving profitability in the post-lockdown era requires you to reflect on and update sales strategies. Look at your past marketing campaigns to identify and qualify leads. For all you know, you could be overlooking selling opportunities, such as homeowners in new residential zones or businesses returning to offices.
Whatever the opportunities may be, presenting your services as a solution to your prospective customers’ problems will significantly boost sales. In your sales pitch, discuss the benefits of your services like reduced mould exposure, improved water quality, and massive savings. Then, highlight your qualifications and work experience so prospects know you’re the right plumber for the job. Accompany your presentation with photos and videos of past projects so you can truly showcase your expertise.
How you handle service calls is also important. Ensure there’s always a sales representative ready to answer any service request via email, social media, and phone calls. Representatives should know all your service offerings and prioritise the customer experience. It’s worth using customer relationship management software to keep a record of past interactions with prospects. This way, sales reps can access valuable contextual information that will help them close deals.
Another crucial step to increasing sales is accurate and efficient job quoting. When you can quickly produce accurate quotes, clients can avoid sticker shock and are more likely to favour your efficient services. To produce competitive quotes, use a job management app with job quoting features like WorkBuddy. WorkBuddy has customisable price books that you can use to log service codes, time frames, materials, and labour rates to generate accurate price estimates. From there, you can define the desired profit margins for your services to calculate the final quote.
Note that you may have to accept slightly lower margins than pre-COVID figures since many people are still recovering from financial setbacks. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should underbid to win jobs and risk budget overruns. The key is to negotiate prices based on market trends so the quote is fair to both the client and your company. Once your client base and operations stabilise, you can calibrate prices again to increase your cash flow.
Turbocharge customer relationships
Developing strong customer relationships leads to repeat business, high-quality referrals, and increased sales. However, these relationships aren’t built overnight. Plumbing businesses must deliver efficient services and demonstrate their trustworthiness to boost customer relationships.
There are several ways to achieve these conditions. For starters, you can ensure efficient services by ironing out your administrative and on-site processes. Job scheduling, in particular, could be improved with automation so jobs are assigned to the right plumber based on their qualifications, location, and workload. You can then display your company’s commitment to safety through comprehensive safety checklists and job forms.
When demonstrating your company’s trustworthiness, clear and open communication with clients is vital. Customers should have full visibility into job progress and the plumber’s arrival time through a direct client portal. It’s also worth investing in client portals with instant messaging features so customers can easily file complaints and request work order changes.
Utilise the right tools for the future
Adopting the right technology can set your business up for long-term success. It can lower costs by streamlining administrative processes and increase efficiency by helping plumbers stay on top of their tasks. Some solutions can even reduce safety risks, while others bridge the gap between contractors and technicians.
One technology that can guarantee all this is WorkBuddy — a job management platform that offers a wide array of features. With WorkBuddy, you can reduce tedious paperwork using work order processing, automated scheduling, and instant quoting and billing. Centralised dashboards let you set timelines, track job progress, and analyse project profitability. WorkBuddy also enables you to customise job forms to guide plumbers through the tasks and safety procedures involved in a job. Finally, teams can update each other directly through contractor and technician portals.
For your business to thrive in the post-lockdown era, you need to implement WorkBuddy. Book a demo today to learn more about WorkBuddy and how it can ramp up your plumbing business.