I know I am not the only one who rolls their eyes when thinking of getting tradespeople round to do some work. A history and reputation of no shows, no calls, no follow up, no quotes or my personal favourite leaving halfway through a job because they have another job to do!
Can you imagine if we did that? “Oh I am so sorry I have to leave half way through your training course I have another course to run somewhere else!!” Would we get asked back? Mmmm…let me think about that – NO! So why do we put up with it from trades?
Last night I had to leave work early to meet a drainage plumber due to flooding after the recent downpours we have had. The appointment is for 5.30pm. I leave work early and arrive home in time and then then sit and wait and wait and wait and finally at 6.15pm realise he has fulfilled my exact expectation of what was going to happen.
Did he call? NO.
Will he call? Possibly but I doubt it.
Will I call him? Not a chance.
Will I recommend his business if someone needs that service? No and will probably go out of my way to tell them why they shouldn’t touch him.
How much has that just cost his business? Is he aware? Probably no. Does he care? Probably not. So he deserves the level of income he gets.
So let’s look at this snapshot and have a quick assessment:
How much did he spend on advertising to get me to call? So, considering this wasn’t: a) a small job; b) if he was any good I would have given him plenty of other work – how much lost revenue has this missed appointment cost him not only in direct business from me but loss of work from pure brand damage when I tell others not use him?
Why is there such a disparity in professional standards when it comes to trades? Do they not think of themselves as businesses? Do normal business rules and standards that govern the rest of us not apply to them?
So if you are a tradesperson who happens to read this here are some business tips for you:
1) Book appointments and stick to them. If you can’t make it then CALL the customer let them know you are held up or reschedule.
2) Ensure you follow through – the amount of tradespeople I have had come to my home spend an hour or so looking at and discussing the job and then I never hear from them again. If you have taken the time to visit a potential customer then follow through with a quote.
3) Build systems and processes to ensure you don’t lose customers details or lose track of where you are at which quotes and jobs.
4) If you are spending money advertising then test and measure so you know where your enquiries are coming from.
Above all else, communicate with your customers!