What Are The Weak Links In Your Business?
Your business works just like any other machine - complete with parts and processes that all must work together to create that synergy and push forward a system to ensure success and growth.
When parts of the marketing and business development process break down, you get bottlenecks and points of failure that can compound and cause cascading problems.
The key is to quickly identify and remedy the weak links in your contractor marketing and business processes - to fix the weak links before they become accepted in your workflow and damage your business reputation and chances for success.
How To Identify Your Weak Links
Let’s take a look at some of the most common weak points of a home service company’s workflow and business development.
Walking Yourself Through The Discovery And Sales Process
Whether you’re an HVAC, electrician, roofer, or pressure washer - there are a few common pain points and areas where contractors tend to have trouble. The easiest way to suss those issues out is by pushing yourself through the process from start to finish as if you were a customer…
- How would you use Google to find your business?
- Can you find your company’s website? Or Google Business Profile?
- Is your website easy to use?
- If you complete a form, how long until you get a reply? If you call, how many rings until someone picks up the phone? Or do you get a voicemail?
- How is the customer service to start? How quickly do you get scheduled for an appointment or service?
- Do you feel valued during the sales process?
- Assuming you were to book services, what would the next steps look like?
- Does the work vehicle and staff member that show up on the day of service look like you hoped or expected for a professional service?
- How is the communication throughout this part of the process? Are you getting updates and progress reports? Do you know if someone’s running late?
- When closing out the transaction, who do you speak with for final payment? Is that process smooth and simple?
- What if you had a problem after the job was done? Do you know how to communicate that and who you’d ask for?
- Is there any communication after the final payment is accepted?
Assessing What You See And How It Positively & Negatively Impacted You
Sometimes, it is people, sometimes red tape, and other times, outdated materials and business practices. What did you run into that soured your experience? At what point would you not hire you?
Let’s talk about some of the most popular weak links we find when working with contractors and companies just like yours.
An Outdated Website - A Common Weak Link For Contractors
As far as missteps go, this is a common one for sure. Outdated websites and websites that just plain don’t do you any good from a business standpoint are problematic. That can include but is not limited to
- Not having a website
- A website that looks like it was built by your cousin
- Website security issues
- A website that hasn’t been updated since 1997
- No organic search engine optimization effort in your website
Professional website design is hard to fake. You can certainly try to DIY things as best as you can – kinda like how I can YouTube how to replace my toilet. We both just kinda hope for the best, but at the end of the day, we’re probably gonna have a problem here.
A managed website service by a company that understands SEO and how to make your stuff look good to Google and search engines is important.
Bad Reviews: A Black Eye That Stops Customers Before They Start
Bad reviews online will send customers running to the hills. No customer is going to select the contractor with the 3-star average rating if they see 4s and 5s on the same screen.
The fix here is a two-part process.
Know Where Your Review Problems Are
Know your enemy. If we’re talking about the battle for online supremacy, know what places online where you have poor reviews that need correction.
It can be as simple as a Google search of your business name in your area. The results that come up highest in your search should be your priorities. For most contractors, that’ll tend to be your Google Business Profile, Yelp, Facebook, BBB, and other similar websites.
If you use an automated review management system, your system should help gather your reviews for you in a single review dashboard to make this process much easier.
Drown Out The Negative With More Positive Reviews
Use the power of more positive reviews to drown out the negativity and improve your overall review count and quality.
This is not a quick fix - this can be a grind depending on how much you need to correct your reviews and how far you are behind your competition’s review counts.
Have a plan of attack to focus your review gains where you need them the most. This is usually Google - but if you’ve had a rash of bad reviews on Facebook, perhaps you may want to divert your efforts there until you can improve your star rating.
Instead of manually contacting each client with links to your review platforms, use your automated review management system to avoid time-consuming, repetitious emails and text messages while improving your review capture rate.
If you don’t have an automated review management system, that happens to be one of the perks of using Footbridge Media’s contractor marketing program. Our marketing plan is a complete system for improving the online presence of your business. It includes access to a automated review management system - amongst other features like a new website and access to our marketing team. You can learn more about how Footbridge Media helps contractors just like you and get started today.
Missed Calls, Full Voicemails, Unread Emails
This is one that will make your customer and your marketing company both not happy with you. If your marketing or paid advertising is painstakingly developed over time to get people to contact you – don’t make it all worth nothing by wasting your leads.
Every missed call you have is a missed sales opportunity.
If they are patient enough to try to leave you a voicemail and your inbox is full, then there is zero chance for you to get the job.
Online leads from your website that go unanswered for more than a few hours means you’ve lost a potential customer.
You need to communicate effectively with your prospective clients. Speedy response time is the name of the game.
All the time, expertise, and money you can throw at getting leads is all for nothing if you don’t communicate quickly with your customers.
You basically have until they contact another contractor before you lose out.
Poor Customer Service Drives Customers Away
This one is the point that no one really wants to think about.
Maybe you don’t have a process problem; maybe you have a people problem.
Some people are just…not peoplely.
We’ve got some pointers to help to shift your customer service in the right direction.
- Answer the phone with your company name
- End every conversation with a thank you
- Remember that every conversation you have can make or break your chances of obtaining future work
- Don’t post on social media or review replies with anything you wouldn’t want your mom to read
- When customers are mad, they often just want someone to truly listen to their concerns - so speak less and listen more when that happens.
- When mistakes are made, apologize. Even if you think the customer is in the wrong, start with the apology first. Then, work toward a resolution.
- Communicating too frequently is better than not enough
- Use your customer’s name in your conversations
Customer service is also something you should consider in your hiring processes. While you can train people on specific trade skills, it’s much harder to shape someone’s personality into someone who can work well with customers.
So focus on finding people who are a good fit for your business all around, especially for those in more forward-facing positions.
Poor customer service will quickly turn off customers, which means you may lose the initial sale or lose out on repeat business if they don’t enjoy working with you.
Stop Wasting Leads - Fixing Your Weak Links
Fixing the weak points of your marketing and business processes will help you maximize your leads and business growth.
By walking in your customers’ shoes, you can learn more about your business and how people may react to your company. Whether it is the common weak links like website problems, online review management, poor communication, or people skill problems - or perhaps issues that may be unique to your business operations - take the time now to identify and fix your marketing weak links before they harm your business.
About Chris Lonergan
Chris Lonergan has over a decade of contractor marketing experience with Footbridge Media. With a background in web design, print design, content creation, and online marketing, Chris is focused on providing quality marketing and business solutions in the construction and service industries - helping small business owners to more efficiently manage their company and grow their operations.