Nowadays, consumers rarely look you up in the phone book or local newspaper. There are so many new avenues available that sometimes it can be hard to know where to advertise your services.
Capitalising on this upsurge in demand for home improvement services can be difficult if you don’t exist where consumers are searching. So where do consumers turn to when looking for a reputable home improvement service?
1. Recommendations from friends and family
Word of mouth is still the number one way to get new customers. Doing a stellar job is a sure-fire way of getting friends, family and neighbours talking about your work and hopefully making them jealous enough to ask for a quote themselves.
2. Impartial reviews
Even if family and friends can‘t recommend anyone, reviews and testimonials from a stranger are better than none at all. Ask satisfied customers to leave a review on an impartial review site, Google+ account (this is the first thing that comes up about your company during search) or at the very least a handwritten testimonial that can be uploaded to your site.
3. Local traders
If you’re a small, local trader – you’re in luck! Our research shows that consumers prefer dealing with an established, reputable company in the area. If you have a fixed premises, even better. When contacting companies, homeowners will get in touch with the ones they’ve heard of before – for your best chances you need to build up brand awareness in your area.
4. Online, every time
As we stated in a previous blog post, consumers nearly always check online before making a buying decision. Even if you’re a local company it’s worth having a website – Google tailors search results to your local area, so with the right settings you can come top in the search results every time someone searches for you. No web presence at all can be an alarming sign and any negative reviews can seriously harm your offline sales.
5. Consumer forums and associations
When consumers don’t know where to start looking or want to verify how good a trader is, often they will check with consumer associations, such as the Consumer Protection Association. We independently verify the quality of our members’ installations or other home improvement jobs with a quarterly consumer survey. We also pass on leads from consumers looking for rated tradesmen to CPA members in their area.
In our final article of the series, we’ll be passing on some of the best sales tips we’ve learnt from our consumer research project. In the meantime, find out more about what the CPA can do for you.