Trust: The foundation of every relationship.
Unfortunately contractors(roofers in particular) have been painted with a broad brush as untrustworthy. Why is this? Fly by nighters, storm chasers, out right scammers, call them what you will, but a few bad apples seem to spoil the bunch for the industry. So the question we will be addressing today is how do you gain trust from a new customer? How do you demonstrate to a prospective customer that they should trust you and that you aren’t just trying to swindle them? Here are 7 key ways to build trust naturally with a prospective customer.
- Make sure that the consumer feels comfortable with you. High pressure sales tactics, facebook pages filled with distasteful content, etc are enough to make a prospective customer feel uncomfortable. In your online presence make sure that your site or social profile is not bogged down with irrelevant or inappropriate content(ex: Facebook page full of distasteful memes). In short perception is reality, if the customer feels it is inappropriate or irrelevant than it is. Just remember to put yourself in their shoes and to try to make them feel comfortable. Chances are they aren’t calling you about a cosmetic issue and it’s something that needs repair not that they want repair on. They are already stressed and uncomfortable so just remember to be their advocate, advisor, and expert in the field so that you can be looked at as a trustworthy contractor.
- Be Socially Active (and Visible): By being active on social media you build visibil ity for your brand, attract more followers(ones that have a “feel” for you and your brand). The more people see your presence the more they feel they know you and your brand which leads to greater trust. The beauty of social media is the almost limitless versatility available. You can post images and videos of jobsites, customer testimonials for previous work, and even post blogs on the industry to establish yourself as an expert and leader in the field.
- Under-promise and Over-deliver: Consumers have a high level of distrust for those in the contractor community, period. Unfortunately there are too many fly-by-night and storm-chasing companies that make outrageous promises and claims and we all know what happens. They don’t show up, they don’t finish the job, or they don’t do the work properly. How do you set yourself apart then? If you have a job that you believe is going to take one week quote two to be on the same side. If you have a pretty full week and you get more calls don’t be afraid to tell your new prospects that you are covered up. They will appreciate the honesty and you will fair off better in the long run as opposed to taking on too many jobs then having to drop them or fall behind on work.
- Go all-out for customer service: Trust becomes fragile when a customer has an issue(no matter how small it may be). If they have a problem and receive a prompt, helpful, and memorable response they will always think of you as reliable and will be more likely to refer you. However if you drop the ball your reputation can experience a dip as a result. It takes one bad review on facebook, google, yelp, etc to dig in to your business. You can please 100 customers and maybe 1 will refer you, you had better believe if you upset 1 customer the entire world will know about it that day. The last note on this is don’t shortcut it, do whatever it takes to solve the problem even if it’s not the most cost-efficient, your customer will feel heard and appreciated and this will go a long way towards the future of your business.
- Make your brand more personal: Interactions with customers goes without saying but incorporate this into your marketing and advertising as well. Include pictures of yourself, your team, and your clients on your site and social media outlets and not just pictures of the jobsite. Thank your customer by showing their smiling face alongside a job well done, include pictures of you and your crew while working on a job, and make it genuine. If you try to fluff it up and make your brand into something its not it will lead to distrust.
- Communicate More: Don’t ever leave your customers in the dark, even if it’s less than pleasant news. It’s better to acknowledge the error or problem proactively and get ahead of it, if you’re caught withholding details or neglecting to communicate with your customer that diminishes trust entirely. As a general rule, the more you talk to your customers the better. Keep them updated with the status of the job and overall progress.
- Always be Available: This doesn’t mean you have to have your phone ready to go 24/7 but have an email address, also consider having a chatbot on your Facebook with several questions pre-programmed onto it. People feel comforted knowing they can reach out to you at any time even if you don’t get back to them immediately. But knowing that they have some other outlet to get ahold of you rather than just your phone is a huge comfort to customers.