Whatever your profession, you’ll know that it’s hard to get the job done without the right tools. From a boiler service to a kitchen refit, your tools are your trade. In today’s digital-first times, your smartphone is another tool that you should not overlook, as we outline below…
You can speak to customers directly
Perhaps one of the most important reasons why you should invest in a smartphone for your trade is to speak to your customers directly. It’s no longer an excuse to be unreachable for long periods of time; clients want to know where you are, when you’ll be at their address, and how long the job will take. Separating your professional and personal life is key, so we recommend having a separate line for work, so you can comfortably hand out your number and speak to your customers over a phone call or a text. Good communication can set your business apart from other tradies and help you deliver a first-class customer experience.
Read and respond to reviews on Google and Checkatrade
As a local business owner, you cannot ignore the importance of online reviews. According to a Trustpilot report, nine out of 10 consumers look at reviews online before enquiring about a service, and what’s perhaps more interesting is that 97% of users who read reviews online also read responses from businesses. Not only should you be encouraging every satisfied client to leave you a review on Google or Checkatrade, but you should respond to reviews as soon as you can, thanking them for their custom and resolving any potential problems.
Aim for a 5-star rating online and work with disgruntled customers to put things right when you can. The truth is that you can’t please everyone, and some will leave negative reviews to be spiteful, but more often than not, a follow-up call can help you find out where the issue is and put it right, thus encouraging customers to update reviews with a more favourable score.
Promote your business on Facebook and Twitter
Nowadays, it’s virtually impossible to grow a business online without social media. Sure, you can depend on word of mouth and recommendations, but having a presence on networks like Twitter and Facebook helps you reach a larger demographic and show off your work. It’s a good idea to take pictures of your jobs – before and after on a bathroom refit, for example – and encourage your customers to share your posts. Over time, you’ll build a loyal, engaged audience online and you can depend on your digital presence to help you win new clients.
Aside from case studies, add personality to your pages by showing off what you’re having for lunch, some humorous quotes from time to time, and the odd on-the-job selfie. Why not!?
Order parts from ecommerce websites
Whether you’re a plumber, a sparkie, or a builder, having a smartphone to hand is a great way to order the parts and accessories you need for the project. When you’re quoting up a job at a customer’s address, you can log into your favourite tradie websites like Tradepoint or Screwfix and make a list of the parts for the job. It’s an easy way to both calculate how much you’ll spend and order everything you need, ready to collect from your nearest depot.
Accept payments with PongoPay
Finally, it’s easy to accept payments from customers on the go with the PongoPay app. Our new tradesmen payments service is designed to eliminate late payments, offering a safe and secure portal for your customers to pay for your services. As well as being able to create invoices and contracts automatically, you can share updates on your building projects with your clients, request additional funds, and resolve issues on the go, all without leaving the app. And thanks to our straightforward escrow payments service, your clients can pay for the job in advance, safe in the knowledge that you won’t be paid until they’re satisfied. For them, it offers reassurance, and for you, peace of mind that their funds have cleared. As soon as you’ve finished up on the job, you can request for the funds to be released into your account.
Find out more about PongoPay here and check back soon for more advice for tradespeople across the UK, on finding clients, growing a brand, and waving goodbye to late payments.