Rogue traders have given plumbing and other trades something of a bad reputation, with 87% of homeowners admitting they feared hiring tradesmen (Plentific). So how can you show clients that you’re a reliable and trustworthy business that will offer a professional service?
Here, John Armstrong, from branding and printwear specialist Custom Planet, shares three company branding tips to help you to impress customers during face-to-face interactions.
Show you’re a pro with a uniform
When customers open their doors to you, they’re essentially placing their trust in a stranger. You can help put them at ease and assure them of your professionalism and reliability by wearing a uniform. This is an especially important step if you employ multiple members of staff, as it will signal that the person on their doorstep is a professional who is part of a legitimate business. That doesn’t mean you need to show up in a starched shirt, but a branded polo and a fleece or jacket can really make a difference.
When personalising your uniform, I would recommend choosing embroidered branding on the front and back, as this will be more hard-wearing than printed or heat transferred designs. Go for durable cotton shirts, as these will stand up to frequent washing and be breathable enough to keep you cool on the job. And whatever you do, remember to keep it clean — people are less likely to hire someone if they arrive to do a quote in a grubby uniform. It may help to keep a couple of clean shirts in your van so you can change between jobs if necessary.
Put client documents on company paper
Another way to project a professional image is to start putting client documents on branded paper. Whenever you write a quote, receipt, or invoice, be sure that your logo and contact details are featured prominently at the top. This will show that you’re a legitimate, organised, and professional business — even if you’re a sole trader.
Not only will this step make you look more professional, but it can also help to secure repeat business, too. If your customers already have your contact details on hand, they’re more likely to call you next time they need a job doing or pass your details on to friends and family.
Be open, honest, and courteous
Lastly, don’t forget to be open and transparent about your costs, services, and any problems that crop up during the course of your work. Let your customer know exactly what you’re going to do, how you’re going to do it, and what it will cost, and keep them informed if anything changes. I’ve found the best way to maintain a good relationship with customers is to notify them as soon as you realise there’s going to be an issue — they really appreciate the honesty, even if it’s not necessarily good news.
So-called cowboy tradespeople might have given the industry a bad reputation, but you can show customers that you’ll offer an amazing service by taking these tips on board.
See Custom Planet, for more information on company branding.