There are two main ways to win work as an electrician, in this day and age, that rely on recommendation. Word-of-mouth is still very much the most effective way as customers take endorsements from their friends and family. If you can’t rely on those closest to you, then who can you trust? The second is online platforms. However, because there are so many options for local tradesmen online, potential customers rely heavily on online profiles to make their choice. The main factors people use to decide which electricians to ask for a quote are the strength of the reviews and the number of reviews that appear on each profile. Therefore, quantity is important. Below are a number of tips from TradeSparky regarding how to maximise the number of reviews, recommendations and referrals that you receive from your customers to keep the work flowing in.
Doing a great job
It may seem obvious, but the best way to get recommendations is by doing a great job. However, a goodjob may not be good enough. Customers need to be extra impressed with your service if you want them to sing your praises at every opportunity without the need for any encouragement. Exceeding expectations will not only increase the likelihood of repeat business, but it will also create an advocator within the local community. The more advocators that you create the more work that will come your way.
Also, if something happens to cause a customer to complain, it doesn’t necessarily mean that a positive review has gone up in smoke (even if something else has!). It is not only important to correct a mistake efficiently because a dissatisfied customer will inform 9-15 people of their experience, but also 96% of customers will do business with you again and recommend you to others if a complaint is resolved quickly.
Doing a great job and resolving complaints are both good ways to generate positive recommendations and reviews, but sometimes customers may need a little more encouragement.
Provide a discount
Many businesses, from banks and cinemas to mobile providers and insurance companies, provide discounts in exchange for recommendations. For instance, Sky TV is currently offering both the recommender and recommended £75 each through their ‘recommend a friend’ scheme at sign-up. However, customers won’t endorse you if they aren’t satisfied with your service, but even an extremely satisfied customer may not get around to submitting a review even if they had every intention to do so. An added personal incentive of a discount off their current bill may be just what they need to get them over the line. Similarly to Sky, you can also encourage recommendations to friends and family by offering a discount to the people you are being referred to.
Add to communications
Reviews can be proactively encouraged by advertising the fact that reviews of your service can be submitted to online platforms (e.g. Yell.com, Google My Business, Check-a-Trade’ etc.) within communications to customers. This can include emails, invoices and business cards. It is also beneficial to have step-by step instructions of the submission process as a hand-out and on your website which customers can link through to.
If you have a profile on several different online platforms, either rotate them within your communications or focus on the platform that you need reviews on at that moment of time, as listing all platforms may cause customers confusion. To maximise reviews the process must be as simple and straight forward as possible.
If you know a customer is happy with your service, the easiest way to request a review or to encourage recommendations is to just ask them face-to-face. Most customers will be happy to oblige if they are satisfied with your work. However, all of the points above are still relevant i.e. state the particular platform where you want the review submitting and provide the customer with clear instructions regarding how the submission process works. You can also make it even easier for them by emailing customers with answers to questions that are necessary as part of the submission process, but do not require their opinion i.e. How long did the job take? Did the final cost match the initial quote? They can cut and paste these answers directly into the online form.
Give them a nudge
Following a job, it is good practice to monitor your online profiles to see whether or not customers have added a review as promised. If someone has said that they would give you a review and hasn’t, don’t be afraid to give them a reminder. Most people have good intentions, but other priorities get in the way. The majority of customers will be more than happy for you to politely contact them again. Schedule a prompt to drop them an email a week or two after the job has been complete, but check a review definitely hasn’t been complete before sending out the correspondence.
TradeSparky is a UK online electrical wholesaler who specialise in providing a comprehensive collection of high quality, branded products from the world’s leading manufacturers to contractors, electricians, tradesmen and DIY consumers.