The explosion of social media has led to greater visibility and transparency, allowing the most skilled and credible tradespeople to be championed for their efforts. Here are 3 ways to tap into this trend and increase customer referrals.
Maintain a Facebook company page
Maintaining a company page on Facebook is an essential step in helping to increase customer referrals. You can use this as a place to include all of your relevant information, contact details, prices and even pictures of previous projects. Customers can also leave you recommendations directly on your page, which will be clear for others to see. New features on Facebook such as ‘recommending’ posts are being frequently used to source tradespeople for projects, and having an up to date company page will increase your chances of customers tagging you in relevant posts asking for local plumbers.
A word of caution, many already busy plumbers are regularly posting on Facebook not realising that only perhaps 2% of their contacts will see the post. It's a bit like spending hours on an intricate piece of brass pipework only for it to be hidden forever inside a plasterboard wall. Due to the complexity of Facebook’s ever changing algorithms, it can be more effective to work with third parties such as PropertyHeads, who can offer fair higher visibility of posts on their contacts feeds.
Focus on customer service
There are always going to be jobs which go without a hitch and those which are a little more problematic, so it is important to focus on maintaining consistently high levels of customer service. Promptly replying to enquiries, to setting realistic timelines for projects and keeping the customer informed at various stages are all ways in which you can help to keep your customers happy. The impact of bad reviews can be long lasting, particularly on social media, so try wherever possible to resolve issues in a way which presents you in a positive light.
Make the most of online directories
A new study by the WRAS revealed that 1 in 5 people would search for a plumber online, reflecting the importance of making yourself highly visible on the internet. Established sites such MyBuilder and Checkatrade might seem an expensive and unnecessary distraction for quality plumbers that have no trouble filling their work diaries. However. some innovative new entrants are worth exploring, such as PropertyHeads, which is not only free to plumbers, but is focused on helping you win repeat work from previous clients and their friends.
Word of mouth continues to be one of the preferred ways for people to find a plumber, so making sure your customers can easily recommend you to their connections, both online and offline is essential to growing your business.
Ben Davis is CEO and founder of the Property Heads Group.