Sep29

***Guest post by My Builder***

ifegacie

The Importance of Service

Advertising can get you in front of a customer, but it’s the service you provide that makes them a customer for life. Besides, word-of-mouth recommendations are the best kind of advertising there is and you can only get that once you have a foundation of customers who trust you. So, how do you make the leap from first contact to turning them into an ambassador for your brand?

The answer lies in service. Here are three things you can do when communicating with homeowners that will make a massive difference to how much they champion you.

 

  1. Convey that you can be trusted

Homeowners have a difficult time trusting locksmiths. Melissa, who lives in Woolwich needed to hire a locksmith to install a new PIN lock. She said that she would only hire a locksmith who has been recommended to her by friends whose judgement she trusts. Others have different vetting criteria. Jon, a landlord in North Finchley changes his locks after each new tenancy and tries to hire locksmiths who have been approved by the MLA. And Johnny, who just moved to Bristol from London, hired a locksmith only after reading through 20-30 online reviews.

But the surest way to get a customer to trust you is to be polite and helpful. This begins even before you’ve won the job. The perception you give on the phone during an initial conversation is all-important: your potential customer needs to feel like they’re talking to someone with experience. To achieve this, ask questions about the lock, about the door, about the house. Be as generous as possible with what you know. And don’t be nervous about talking too much, homeowners tend to welcome as much informed advice as they can get!

 

  1. Share your expertise on insurance

It’s easy for home owners to buy locks—in fact, it’s something they tend to do even before they hire a locksmith to fit it. Where they get confused, however, is whether the locks they buy are in line with their contents insurance. That’s what happened with Reading-based Geraldine—she knew which lock she wanted, but wasn’t sure whether it was covered by her policy. Being informed about insurance means you can make solid recommendations when communicating with home owners. Ask what insurance policy they have and whether they’ve had it changed recently. Often, new insurance coverage demands lock upgrades.

If you’re just starting out and have some spare time, offering to do a security survey is a great way to put yourself in front of new customers. Many home owners have no idea how secure their home actually is. By surveying for free and identifying weak security points for them, you’ll be their first choice if and when they do decide to make the changes you suggest.

 

  1. Go the extra mile

A strong lock is important, but safety-conscious home owners install alarm systems and security lighting as well. These things are the domain of security systems specialists and electricians. But if you’re fitting a lock and can do additional basic work, you’re increasing your offerings to customers. Wireless alarms are incredibly easy to install. They’re too easy for security systems specialists, but lots of home owners would still struggle with self-installation. Have a look at the wireless systems available and learn how to work with them. By teaching yourself to do new things, you’re making yourself even more valuable to your customer.

This goes for doors too—a common complaint with homeowners that we spoke to was that locksmiths often left their door or window broken or damaged. It goes without saying that you should take care to leave your customer’s house in good shape, but if something extra does need doing, try to make sure that you can complete the job yourself. For example, doors are often out of line before the work on the lock commences. Go the extra mile and line up the door without charging extra for it. Your customers will love you for this!

 

Overall, being a good tradesperson is about service just as much as skill. By being helpful and well-informed about what you know, you’re automatically making your customer trust and respect you for your expertise—and this will make as big a difference to them as your finished job will.

MyBuilder.com is an online marketplace to help great trades person find work. We’ve just added locksmiths to our trade offerings. It’s free to join, click here to sign up.

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