Being a trusted tradesman can certainly be tricky. Not in the sense that we don’t know how to do a job or provide excellent customer care, but because there is so much to think about – outside of getting down to the practicalities of doing the job we love.
This is why it’s important, from time to time, to take a note of what people expect and hope not to receive from their tradesmen. By continuing to provide only the former of these qualities, every tradesman can hope to keep a regular flow of work coming their way, and allow their trusted reputation do the talking.
Even when faced with a tricky customer, it’s essential to put yourself in their shoes. Although it’s unlikely that they’ll also stop to look at things from your point of view, there is one thing we all have in common with every one of our customers – time is money. They are considering investing their cash in your services, as well as putting their home, appliances or valuables in your talented hands, and they will often be reluctant to commit.
Unfortunately, people sometimes jump to negative experiences or stories regarding tradesmen, and will put you in the same bracket as all of them until trust is established. Certain groups, including older people, will often be pessimistic about an outcome, and may take time to agree to a job. Your empathy and patience here could be key to securing the right outcome for both of you.
Communication is key
This covers everything from what you can do, to how long you expect to work, as well as the all-important estimate cost of a job. Being transparent and honest at all stages, from assessment and planning through to delivery, can be the difference between a positive and negative reputation. You shouldn’t make any promises you can’t keep, risk going outside of your skill set, or ask for money up front.
Keeping in touch with your previous clients is also important. You don’t need to make any ‘hard-sell’ efforts to stimulate repeat business either – simply asking them if they are still happy with your work lets them know you are dedicated. People will inevitably talk to each other, and are more likely to mention an enthusiastic and efficient tradesman to their friends, who may need similar work completing on their home.
Prepare for the unforeseen
If all goes to plan, you’ll find yourself with plenty of positive online testimonials, and get your name added to reputable lists of trusted traders. However, you still need to be ready for any unanticipated problems or accidents that could occur. Perhaps the most important part of your preparation for establishing a trusted reputation is keeping your insurance comprehensive and up to date.
You should ensure that you have public liability insurance, in order to cover you for the unfortunate and unforeseen incidents that every tradesman may face from time to time. This not only makes you instantly more trusted, it provides peace of mind for you and everyone you work for.