As a handyman and small business owner, you know that finding new customers is an important part of growing your business. But keeping existing customers may be essential to keeping your business profitable.
It takes time and money to find new customers, but much less to keep one. Repeat business is often an easy way to fill your work schedule and bank account. For a handyman start-up, retaining customers can also be a good way to promote your business through positive reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations.
Winning a client’s loyalty usually comes down to building trust with customers through quality work and excellent service. Here are seven ways that your handyman business could do this.
1. Treat every job the same
Handymen are tasked with many different types of jobs. You might be patching a hole in a wall one day and installing a new kitchen sink the next. But no matter how big or small a project might be, you should treat them all with the same care and respect.
Providing quality work is an essential part of running a successful handyman business. Applying the same standards to every job—large or small—shows each customer that you value their business and respect their home. Treating every job the same helps build customer trust and could lead to valuable word-of-mouth recommendations.
2. Look like a pro
An easy way to build customer trust is simply by looking the part. Wearing clean clothes (perhaps a polo with your company name and logo) and keeping your appearance neat can make you look like an experienced pro, even if you’re just starting out. You might decide to keep an extra set of clothes in your truck to change into after a messy job so you can look your best for your next client.
Other ways to look like a pro are building a website, having your business name on your truck, and printing business cards. These are all signals to customers that you take your work seriously and are proud of your business. Like the clothes you wear, they can help a handyman start-up look like an established company.
3. Prioritize customer service
Good customer service can be hard to find, especially in the skilled trades. Customers will likely be loyal to a handyman who provides excellent customer service as well as quality work.
It’s not hard to provide excellent customer service as a handyman. Simple acts, like showing up on time or calling a client by their name, can go a long way towards building trust with customers. Other steps you might take include listening to a customer’s needs and concerns, providing accurate quotes, and cleaning up after yourself when you finish a project.
4. Set the right price
Pricing your services can be tricky. Set them too high, and you’ll price yourself out of the market; too low, and people might doubt your ability. Setting the right price helps build return business, especially if it’s paired with quality work and excellent customer service.
Your prices will probably be based on a few factors. The knowledge and expertise you bring to the job are valuable. A highly experienced handyman may be able to charge a premium based on that skill. You may also take local competitor prices into account, so long as you don’t charge too little trying to beat another handyman’s prices.
5. Explain your work
When a customer hires you for a small job, they probably understand most of the work that will go into it. Larger, more complex jobs might be a different story. Your average customer might not know how much time it will take or the supplies that are needed to do the job right. They may need more information to better understand their project and what you’re charging them.
Explaining your work can help build customer trust. It shows that you’re knowledgeable but also willing to provide a detailed invoice and pricing breakdown. Successful handymen are able to do this even while charging a markup on materials and labor. If your customers understand why you are charging a certain price, they may be more likely to hire you over another handyman who is less transparent.
6. Work with other trusted pros
While handymen are skilled in many areas, there are jobs you might be unable to do yourself. Whether a project is beyond your expertise, you need an extra pair of hands, or you’re stopped by local licensing laws, you may need to call in a specialized tradesman to get the job done.
Having a network of trusted trade professionals is good for you and your customers. You’ll have go-to recommendations for your clients should you need to refer them to someone else. You’ll also have skilled partners you can work with on projects. This can be just as valuable for an experienced handyman as it is for a handyman start-up.
7. Remind them of your services
Homeowners often wait until they find a problem before calling a handyman. But what if you reached out to them first? Reminding your current customers of the services you offer could inspire them to hire you for more jobs sitting on their to-do list.
Staying in touch with customers can be a good way to create repeat business. A simple phone call to check in is popular with many handymen. You can use this opportunity to sell seasonal services, such as gutter cleaning in the Fall or clean up landscaping in Spring. If you have too many customers to call, an email newsletter could be a great option to reach them all at once and occasionally offer discounts.
Customer Trust is Key
Building trust with customers is an important part of running a successful handyman business. If clients trust you, they may be more willing to hire you again and recommend you to their family and friends. This can help you grow your business from a small sole proprietorship into something more!
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