As a contractor, it’s vital to build trust between yourself and your potential – or current! – client. After all, a client that doesn’t trust you, then they’re not going to be happy with your service, and they’re not going to be likely to return to you when they need future work done.
But how can you build trust with your clients? What can you do to make sure that your company is trustworthy and that your customers will recommend you to other people needing work done in your field? If you follow our helpful tips, you’ll be able to build trust with your customers and keep it, so that your clients are happy and satisfied with your work and will recommend you to future clients as well!
1: Start with your website.
As many clients use your online presence to determine whether or not to even reach out to you in the first place, it’s imperative that you have a site that generates trust from the get-go. Aside from having a mobile-friendly design that accommodates customers browsing on their phones or tablets, there are a few things you can do to begin cultivating an atmosphere of trust:
- Get testimonials from prior customers – few things are more convincing of your ability to do what you say you can do than positive testimonials from satisfied customers. Whether you have these on your website or social media profiles, be sure to include several – especially if you can do a variety of services (for example, you handle new home construction, remodeling projects, and commercial renovations). You could also expand a few of these into full-blown case studies, discussing what the customer was looking for, how you handled their request and including their testimonial at the end.
- Have a gallery of completed projects – another good way to show your skills is to include a gallery of completed projects on your website. Show before and after pictures that display the beautiful work you’ve done so that potential clients can get a vision of what you can do for them!
- Clearly display your contact information – it raises a potential customer’s red flag if they have to go hunting for your contact information, and makes it less likely they’ll reach out to you. Make sure all your information is clearly displayed, and provide your potential client with multiple ways to contact you – for example, you can display your phone number and office address, as well as let them fill out a form for more information.
It’s critical to make sure your online marketing is constantly building your trustworthiness. Other options, like writing blogs, updating your social media, and sending out newsletters, can also bolster your appearance of an experienced, trustworthy contractor.
2: Don’t bite off more than you can chew.
We know that sometimes it can be tempting to accept every job you come across, or reassure your customer that you can handle absolutely anything they’re looking for – but that’s not always possible. You are the best judge of what you can (and cannot) deliver, and setting out practical expectations that your client is happy with will save both you and your customer time and money in the long run. Plus, it establishes you as the expert you are, which means your customer is more likely to choose you in the future.
3: Be reliable.
If a client is depending on you for residential, commercial, or industrial contracting work, it’s vital to make sure that they can depend on you. Be on-time to all agreed meetings and make sure that things are going according to plan – and if they aren’t, be immediately communicative with your customer. The best way to prevent misunderstandings is to include your customers in the game plan, keeping them abreast of when and how their project will be completed and letting them know about any potential problems that you may encounter during their project. That way, if something does happen, your customer is more likely to trust you to handle it and will be less stressed in the long run.
4: Be yourself.
We know this seems like a silly tip – everyone’s always themselves, right? But what we mean by this is to make sure you’re not putting on a front for your customer. Of course, you want to be professional, but remember, you’re dealing with people who are putting their home or business in your hands. Not every conversation has to be a sales pitch, and you don’t even have to do most of the talking.
Here’s an example: say you have a customer coming to you for a whole-home renovation. He mentions that he has a wife and a baby on the way. That’s a great point to display some active listening skills – ask him if the home design needs any special accommodations for the new baby, or if his wife needs to have a room on the ground floor. In subsequent meetings, ask him how his family is doing. Show that you care about your client as a person, not just a job, and they’re more likely to trust you to do your job correctly and well.
5: Work smarter, not harder.
The fine touches of a job can be the thing that determines whether or not your client is going to recommend you to another customer. As they say, “the devil is in the details,” and that’s true whether you’re a small contractor looking to make a name for yourself or a well-established team that wants to expand. Little details can make a customer think far more positively of you. Things, like presenting a professional written estimate, showing up on time, collecting receipts for materials and workmanship and providing them when requested, and cleaning up a workspace after a job, can drastically increase your customer’s favorable opinion of you. In short, treat your customer and their space with respect and be honest and up-front with them, and you’ll gain a reputation as a trustworthy contractor in no time.
Building and maintaining trust is incredibly important when you want to keep your business running, expand into new work, or just reach out to previous customers. These tips can help you. If you don’t have a website already, consider contacting us; we’ll work with you to design a website that will present your company in the best light.