No One Wants To Work With You: Appeal To Homeowners With Upgraded Contractor Marketing

Contractors need to learn how to make people want to work with them
Chris Lonergan
Chris Lonergan March 27, 2024

There is a singular truth to every single company out there doing service calls.

No one wants to work with you.

It doesn't matter if you're an HVAC, electrician, plumber, roofer, or any other home service contractor - there is a pretty good chance that the next job you have scheduled is with a customer who wishes you didn't have to be there.

So how can changes to your contractor marketing plan fix that?

The Real Reason Why People Don’t Want To Work With You

Most home service repairs or replacements are unexpected or high-ticket costs. So it’s not some personal attack or revenge vendetta. Between the home maintenance costs and the sheer inconvenience of needing to wait at home and babysit a contractor, people simply are not going to be happy about hiring you.

It’s like when a comedian works with a cold crowd or a teacher who has to figure out how to entertain and educate an unruly class of students who don’t want to be there.

You must find ways to take your captured, hostile audience and make them feel better about the whole process. Ultimately, your job is to make the process go from unwanted to tolerable to a positive experience.

How To Improve Your Business To Appease Customers

Let’s talk about a few things you can do to alleviate that stress and make your customer experience the best one possible.

Simplify Your Work Processes

From the initial call or email to the final invoice payment, you need to streamline your processes to make working with you as easy as possible.

That doesn’t necessarily mean you need to have a full-time office staff to wait on customers hand and foot.

Whether you’re a sole owner-operator or have a staff of 30, you can do quite a bit to make life easier for customers.

Be Easy To Schedule With

Answer your phone and online leads quickly. It shouldn’t take more than a click or two to find your phone number or contact page on your website.

When customers do try to schedule with you, do so on their terms and do so quickly. Scheduling appointments on the same day as their initial outreach is essential.

A panicky home or business owner may contact multiple contractors to fix a job. Assuming they don’t want to deal with unwanted downtime, that means they’re going to hire the first company that makes positive contact.

If you, for some reason, absolutely cannot take a call because of another customer communication or a safety concern - take action to resume the communication quickly. I’ve had first-hand experience with a contractor who had a commercial property on the line asking for specific work to be completed – only to have the contractor say “Yeah - can you call me back later? I’m driving right now.”

Pull over to have a conversation, or otherwise confirm that you will call the prospect back as soon as possible on the number they called from.

All of the website design, contractor search engine optimization and marketing efforts you’ve put together to grow your business don’t matter if you refuse phone calls or complete the action necessary to communicate with your warm leads.

Reassure Them With Your Experience, Certifications, And Skills

Between your website, your online reviews, and your affirmations on the phone, actively communicate the extent of your experience.

Customers want to be reassured that they’ve made the right choice.

By telling them that you have experience handling the exact situation they’re in right now, you can help appease a worried customer’s mind and make them feel a little better about the work they need to have completed.

Have A Personality On The Phone And Job Site

You’re not just an expert at your trade; you’re also a salesperson (whether you like it or not) on every job.

Be memorable by being pleasant. A well-kept demeanor, nice smile, and sturdy handshake can do wonders for everyone’s attitude.

The last thing a customer wants is to have a fine enough sales call only to have a technician show up with the personality of a wet mop.

Marketing and customer service is the job of every single person who comes in contact with a customer online, over the phone, or in person. Train staff (or yourself) accordingly.

The more communication the better - Contractor hardhat with a bullhorn

Over Communicate To Keep Everyone On The Same Page

Phone calls, text messages, emails - whatever it takes - make sure you are always communicating with your customers about the work you’re going to do, currently doing, and just completed.

While it would be preferable to ask and complete communication using their preferred methods, over-communicating is better than under-communicating.

CRMs and online client management systems can make this process easier and help automate some of the more rote “On The Way” notifications.

If an unavoidable delay pushes back a scheduled appointment time, communicate that as early as possible with the impacted parties so that everyone can plan accordingly.

Under Promise, Over Deliver

Most customers would rather be pleasantly surprised by a job done ahead of schedule than have to go into extra hours that were previously not planned for

If the timeline goes awry, then you’ll hopefully at least be on time based on your previous promise.

Getting done quickly means you’ll have ample time to communicate with a customer, clean your workspace, take photos of your work, and close out client communication with personal conversation and a request to leave a review.

Offer Warranties, Guarantees, And Personal Assurances

If you’re completing equipment repairs or fixture replacements, focus on your company-specific part and labor guarantees and the equipment vendor-specific warranties to help reassure a recently burned customer and make them feel a little better about their expected service call.

Aside from the warranty on the box, you can also provide professional appropriate reassurances about the quality of work, expedited repairs, and proper equipment expectations.

Soothing an anxious customer can be difficult - and perhaps a little outside of the usual workflow that you’d consider for a tradesperson or tech. But the value of satisfying a customer with both product and service can go a long way for future referrals and repeat business.

So This Will Fix All Of My Grumpy Customer Issues?

No - of course, not.

There will be customers upset that you finished early. Others will be unhappy that they got a call and a text and an email to tell them the same thing three times. Some may not want to hear anything about company or vendor warranties because it’s all lies, anyway.

But if you are easy to work with, communicate well, overdeliver, and give your customers peace of mind, you’ll be able to help the majority of your customers to have a better working experience with your business.

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