When you set up a business, you expect people to like what you do enough to buy from you instead of your competitors. The thing is, some of your customers might actually hate you!
Okay, so “hate” is a strong word. But, they might be annoyed enough with you not to buy anything else again. They may even discourage people they know from spending money with your business. It’s something that can happen with any kind of business. But, it seems quite prevalent with tradesmen like builders and plumbers, for example.
So, what are the things that customers might hate about the tradesmen they use?
Self-employed tradesmen that run micro-sized businesses often have cash flow problems. As a result, they might demand payment before starting any work. The problem with that approach is a big one for their customers. Why?
Well, let’s say a customer pays up-front for some building work. And let’s assume it doesn’t get completed satisfactorily. There is little incentive for the tradesman to put things right as they’ve already got paid.
The solution? Never ask for full payment up-front from your customers. A compromise might be to ask for milestone payments. This is where some money gets paid on achieving individual goals.
Sure, cash is king with tradesmen. Some might even offer discounted rates if any work gets paid for with cash alone. As you can imagine, getting a receipt for work done by cash is almost impossible.
And let’s not forget the inconvenience of withdrawing large sums of cash from the bank. Instead, it makes sense to offer card payment or bank transfer payment options. It also gives your customers added peace of mind that you aren’t a “fly by night” tradesman.
As someone that runs a business, you will no doubt wish to keep costs low to increase profits. The trouble is, some tradesmen “cut corners” to achieve that goal.
For example, they might not use quality waterproof glue and adhesives for repairs. That can add an extra headache – and costs – to customers. Not to mention the fact that the quality of your work will get deemed as poor.
The prices you charge should take into account the quality materials you need to use. Your customers don’t want to pay twice for the same work. You also risk damaging your reputation if you get known as someone that always does a bad job.
When you work on a customer’s premises, you NEED to have the right insurance cover. It’s also a legal requirement if you hire staff that work for you on-site.
Insurance is often a significant business expense. To save on cost, some tradesmen don’t take out insurance cover. Your customers want to trust you. They can’t do that if you avoid paying for essential costs like insurance!
One of the biggest bugbears customers have with tradesmen is customer service. It’s not a shocking secret that many people lack such skills. As a result, they can often frustrate and anger their customers. Especially when there are disputes that need to get resolved.
You should treat your customers with care and respect. Listen to what they have to say. Don’t threaten or intimidate them. If there are any issues with your work, address them. Don’t just blame your customer if you did a bad job!
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