Ten ways to build trust as a tradesman

Hammer & ScrewsWith cowboy builders and rogue tradesman dominating daytime TV; it’s hardly surprising that homeowners are wary of getting work done. A recent survey has revealed that nine out of ten households are apprehensive about employing a tradesman, so we decided to look at the best ways of building trust.

Knowledge is Power To earn trust it’s important to know exactly what’s putting-off the public. The biggest concern was that the job wouldn’t be completed properly, followed by worries about the tradesman’s expertise and experience, and finally that they wouldn’t be charged a fair price. 

First Impressions Count It’s said that you never get a second chance to make a first impression and simple things like a smart website and a spotless van can make a big difference. It’s not just first impressions that count, last impressions are just as important. Nearly 80% of homeowners said they relied on word of mouth recommendations when seeking a trusted tradesman.

Stay in Touch Communication is key and it pays to keep channels open. Customers will get suspicions if you don’t answer your phone so make sure you call back as soon as possible. It’s also a good idea to keep homeowners up-to-speed on what’s happening by talking through every stage of the job.

Always be Punctual You wouldn’t turn-up late for work at a factory or an office and you shouldn’t arrive late at someone’s home. A few minutes here and there might not mean much to you, but it can really get under a client’s skin.

Start a Paper Trail Writing everything down is the best way of making sure there are no misunderstandings. Written quotes should detail exactly what’s covered and it’s a good idea to breakdown additional costs that commonly crop-up (such as relocating sockets).  Include a work schedule and if you are going to overrun (on costs or timings) let the homeowner know so they don’t get a nasty shock at the end of the project.

Good Social Skills Being professional, personable and polite will go a long way to winning new business and getting great feedback, but don’t forget the online side of things. Posting pictures of past projects and client testimonials can be very persuasive and most homeowners are happy to help.

Go by the Books Research has shown that homeowners don’t trust tradesman who ask to be paid in cash and they aren’t happy to pay in advance.If you do need cash to purchase materials; make sure your client knows exactly how it will be spent.

Keep Britain Tidy Nobody wants to live in a building site and house-proud homeowners are no exception. You might not feel like tidying-up at the end of a long day, but if you consider that seven out of ten households don’t trust tradesman who don’t clean up, it’s worth making the effort.

Get Completely Covered As every tradesman knows accidents can and do happen at work. Public liability insurance provides financial protection against accidental damage and personal injury claims. It’s a great way of building trust and provides peace of mind for you and your clients. Public liability cover can be bought as a standalone product or a part of a tailored tradesman’s insurance policy.

Get Official Accreditation One way to build credibility is to gain accreditation from a trusted body. There are a number of online services which claim to provide independent recommendations but are little more than expensive advertising portals. It’s much better to go straight to the relevant trade body (such as the Federation of Master Builders or the Guild of Master Craftsmen) who work with the government endorsed TrustMark scheme.


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