An interesting statistic was reported in the ACT last week, that home renovation spending was up 15% since we’ve been asked to work and school from home. Anecdotal evidence suggests that some people in Canberra have more disposable income as they aren’t eating out, going away on trips or holidays or going to the mall, movies, pubs & clubs. They’re also spending more time at home dealing with those irritable problems that haven’t been fixed, but now become annoying. So if your target customer is the home owner, how can you ensure your business emerges as a winner, not a victim during this crisis?
Firstly, understand that some of your competitors are already saying “this is too hard”. They’re already accepting cancellations and justifying it to themselves by saying “these are crazy times. The economy is down so I guess that means my business should also be down”. This is great as it means less competition at a time when there is more work.
Secondly, understand that your target customers are at home, with time on their hands and the internet in their laps. They will be using Google. They will be looking through their Facebook and Instagram feeds. If you don’t have a website or Facebook page (as a bare minimum) you will not be visible to these people. You don’t need to have something perfect – but you do need to have something.
Lastly, understand that with minimum effort, you can allay people’s fears about the virus and having workers at their home. The measures required to allay these fears may not be necessary “in your eyes”, but you need to look through the eyes of your customer to understand their wants, needs and fears.
Here are 3 tips to ensure your business not only survives, but thrives in these uncertain times.
- Update your website, social media posts and advertising with “Contact-less Appointments Available”. If a nervous home owner needs someone to fix their bathroom light and they search on line, who do you think they will call? The one who can demonstrate that they are aware of the current climate and are offering a contact-less appointment or the one who hasn’t updated their website in the past 3 years and might be a potential health risk to their family? This is a no brainer – let your potential customers know that you can still work in this current environment.
- Have a contact-less procedure that you can explain to the customer at the time of their enquiry. This is about demonstrating to the customer that you have thought about their health concerns and have systems in place to work around them. Some ideas for you might include:
- A Face Time call (or other video call) where the home owner can walk around their home showing the places they need things done. You can ask questions and get them to show you anything that might need to be known. Based on this you should be able to provide a contact-less quote with a ball park figure.
- Take staff temperature (IR thermometers are available to quickly and easily do this) before work each day to ensure staff aren’t coming down with flu like symptoms. Let clients know that you’re doing this.
- At the time of your appointment, call from the driveway. The customer can open doors and remove themselves to another part of the house. You can again Face Time (video) call them and talk through what you’ll be doing. Reassure the customer that they do not need to be in the same room that you are working in and you can Face Time (video call) them to ask any questions.
- Wear face masks and gloves the whole time at the customer’s premises.
- Have a thorough wipe down process to ensure all surfaces are left clean.
- On completion you can call the customer from the drive way, they can inspect your installation and again via Face Time (video call) answer any questions. Get their agreement that they’re satisfied with the work.
- Have an electronic invoicing and payment system that you can perform straight away to ensure prompt payment.
- Ask for referrals. With the homeowner’s approval, once you’ve completed the work post on your social media “Another contact-less installation completed”. Tag the home owner into your post and ask that they like and share it with their social networks. This is critical. People right now want to eliminate uncertainty. They don’t want to take a risk on an unknown tradesman. If they can see that someone they know has used you and had a good experience then they will also call.
A lot of this is about optics and what the customers can see you are doing. It doesn’t matter that the WHO are saying masks are ineffective. Masks are visible. They are a sign to the customer that you aren’t taking any chances. Be very visible with your precautions, and promote the measures you are taking on your website and social media.
Remember, this pandemic will be here for a while and the sooner you adjust the sooner you will get back on track. If you need any assistance with your safety procedures, safety equipment, masks, gloves or sanitiser please don’t hesitate to contact one of our stores. We’re here to support you and your business.