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Why Tradies Need to Review Their Internal Processes
With technology increasingly growing and software applications becoming more common in businesses, tradies are no exception. In fact, they should be the ones taking advantage of the changes and enjoy having less paperwork and better profitability.
When we look back 5 – 10 years ago, the entire tradie experience for a customer has changed. Generation Y & Z are the new tradie customers, they are renting houses, building homes and renovating. They are your new customers and they don’t want paper copies of invoices or multiple phone calls to get things done, they want electronic communication.
If you don’t review and keep up the date with the current trends and what the new generations want, you are at risk of falling behind your competitors.
These trends aren’t just good for the customers, they are great for the tradies too.
You can now set up to run your entire business from an electronic device and your employees will be able to keep you up to date with the status of jobs without having to call you throughout the day and you will have more control without having to be on site for every job. Below are 3 changes that have affected tradies in the past 10 years.
These are proven examples as to why tradies need to ensure they are always reviewing and improving their processes.
Online appointment bookings
Customers previously searched the yellow pages or found pamphlets left in their letterbox to book in a tradie. If this is still how you are marketing your business, you need to review your processes. Customers now want ease.
They want to Google ‘Plumber in Narellan’ and pick the plumber that seems quick, reliable and easy to deal with. Generation X & Y like for things to be done quickly, they want to book you in for a quote, get the quote immediately and book in the job. If you are still sending paper copies of quotes when you get back to the office at the end of the day, you need to review this process.
There are apps that allow you to send the quote while you are still at the customer’s house. This is the new demand.
Electronic quotes and invoices
If you still send your invoices at the end of the week through the post, don’t expect to be paid on time.
There are many new ways to be paid via electronic payment platforms or invoices via email. Over the past 10 years this has changed from posting an invoice and receiving credit card details or cheques for payment, to sending invoices via email and receiving the credit card details back electronically to manually process, now your mobile can be a payment device to the customer which allows you to get paid immediately after the job is done.
There are also electronic payment methods where the customer can click a button from your email and pay immediately without you having to process the payment manually at the office. The old methods have now become obsolete.
Reviews and testimonials
Word of mouth will always be the best referral, although due to social media this is not only limited to who your customers know. Now word of mouth is spread over the internet. Reviews are everywhere. When your new customers Google to book an appointment, it is likely reviews of your business will show up. This is why customer satisfaction is so crucial these days and you need to ensure you do all of the above to keep your customers happy and keep your business reputation high. This can also work in your favour. You can now set up an automatic review email to your customers straight after finishing a job while it’s still fresh in their mind and they are more likely to respond and give you an excellent review. This can help your business stay at the top of internet searches and create more business for you.
These are just a few examples of how the industry has changed throughout the years. With the advances in technology continuously growing, there will be plenty more changes over the next 5 – 10 years. It is a competitive market out there and it is extremely important for tradies to understand their industry will continue to grow with new competitors and they must continuously review their processes to ensure they are keeping their customers satisfied and meeting the demands for new customers.
Check out another recent blog in this category.
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