The electrical industry in the US is competitive. You don’t need us to tell you that. Just think of how many search results you get if you Google “electricians in my area”. This means that you only get one chance with a customer and if you fail to earn their trust and respect, you can quickly be replaced by the next electrician in a line of dozens.
They don’t even need to be better than you at actual electrical work or have cheaper prices, because, according to a series of statistics, customer experience is the top key decision factor nowadays. So how do you grow your electrical business through earning customer trust? Read on to find out!
Earning customer trust is about a lot more than capping all your wires and using copper as a conductor, it’s about being reliable and making an impression every step of the way. Imagine if you went to a nice restaurant, where they served delicious food, but the staff was rude and there were lipstick stains on your glass.
All that work the chef put in won’t make a difference to your 2-star TrustAdvisor review, right? Same goes for growing your electrical business!
If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by the idea of upgrading your customer experience as a whole, don’t worry, you’re not alone. When you think of a business challenge as some sort of colossus you have to defeat in battle, it’s no wonder it feels like more effort than it’s worth.
However, if you break it down to specific touchpoints and tackle each individually, thinking of what works, what doesn’t, and how to improve it, then it becomes a lot more manageable. This being said, we’ve listed the 4 key aspects of your electrical business customer experience that you should have a look at:
1. Keep the customer in the loop at all times
It’s a recent development owed mostly to how technology has changed the customer journey in general. Before the Internet took over every industry, most interactions took place face-to-face or, at most, over the phone. There was a back-and-forth instant communication where the buyer and the seller met to agree on terms of service or purchase. Simple, right?
The internet has transformed these face-to-face interactions into online ones and, despite what you might expect, “instant” lost its meaning. Shopping is the best example: Online shopping takes away the experience of exchanging money for an item within the confines of a store and having immediate ownership of said product.
More often than not, customers pay in advance when shopping online and this is exactly what has created the cycle of confirmations people expect nowadays. It’s not unusual to receive notifications for an item’s purchase, dispatch, travel itinerary, delivery, and pick-up, all in an attempt to reinforce the thought that you, the customer, are in the loop and in control.
A great way to grow your electrical business and increase customer trust is by making things as easy as possible, when it comes to scheduling, confirming, and informing people of any changes. Don’t be tempted to tell your office staff to follow the Amazon rulebook and send an email or call for every little thing. They’ll soon be overwhelmed and either send the wrong information and, therefore, alarm the customer, or forget to send anything at all and alarming them even further.
If you’re going to take inspiration from Amazon, then make sure to also use digital tools that enable automatic customer notifications. This way, whenever there is an event impacting a person’s booking, they get informed. Job booked? Confirmation sent automatically! Technician is on the way? Notification and service window sent automatically! Both your staff and your customers will reap the benefits!
According to this Customer Think’s article on customer journeys, “focusing on each individual journey will give you a better understanding of the processes and how they influence your customers. As a result, you can identify any weak links and develop a feasible strategy to improve how customers interact with your business (and vice versa).”
2. Show them who they’ll be letting into their home
One of the biggest fears, when it comes to dodgy tradesmen and shoddy electrical work, is the fact that a home or business owner doesn’t know who they’re letting inside their house or business premise. According to news, there have been cases of individuals impersonating electric workers and other tradesmen.
Their strategy is simple: look the part with some cheap supplies like a hardhat and a clipboard, knock on people’s doors, and, more often than not, be allowed in. Cases like these in New York and Florida have made customers a lot more apprehensive about letting strangers into their homes.
Peace of mind is one of the most precious commodities and an essential element of a remarkable customer journey. If you want to grow your electrical business and earn customers’ trust, you can create a relationship before the tech even rings the doorbell. One way to earn trust is to simply let them know who’s on their way to inspect their circuit breakers. A technician profile portal can be sent together with the notification that the tech is on their way.
This way, the customer can see a photo, a name, as well as other details and the technician tracking link which lets them know how soon they’ll arrive.
It’s much easier to rate Jake—the grizzled electrician with an interest in baseball—5-stars and hire him again than a nameless employee who comes in and then leaves without so much as a goodbye. They both got the job done, sure, but it’s Jake who’s earned the customers’ trust and it’s most likely because Jake’s manager followed the next tip:
3. Train your techs like you’re training salesmen
It’s unreasonable to expect technicians to be naturals at selling too. This is why helping them hone these soft skills is essential. A polite, well-spoken, well-groomed tech can make the difference between barely breaking even on a job and making a good profit.
Dodgy technicians would never bother with offering multiple estimates because they’re not aware of the variety of solutions a professional electrician can provide; whether it’s more affordable materials for penny-pinching customers, to premium appliances for the spendthrifts. A trained tech will know that most people will go for the average option; after all, not everyone can afford the most expensive solution, but no one will want the cheapest one either.
A good salesman also understands the value of projecting a professional image. Using software, particularly as a tradesmen, will confirm that you know what you’re doing and shows that the company invests in staying up-to-date with digital tools, not just fancy cable crimpers. Growing your electrical business requires investing in tools that make you more efficient and that help you stand out from the competition.
If there was a fluke that could guarantee an increase in customer trust, loyalty, and positive reviews, you’d run to the store and buy it right? No! You’d order it off of Amazon with same-day shipping.
And that tells you all you need to know about using digital tools to gain customer trust!
What’s worse than having to do paperwork? Having to deal with delayed documents and errors, of course! And since this is paper, there’s no “undo” button once it’s sent out. It’s not just your admins that dislike the amount of paperwork that comes with having to manage an electrical contracting business, but your customers too!
Commercial partners, in particular, need safety certifications on hand and regular inspections to prove they’re fit to run their business, so delays and errors are an clear sign that you’re simply not a trustworthy electrician.
The bigger the contract or the residential project, the higher their expectations will be! This includes your overall behavior as a business. A high-worth customer will pay close attention to details that an average person looking for someone to install a plug won’t and earning their trust, even before you do any work, is all the more vital.
This is why sending them timely documents, letting them know who is coming to assess the work needed, and building a relationship, is essential. People buy from people and it’s much harder to switch electrical contractors once there’s a mutual respect at play.
However, all this sounds good in theory but how can your admin staff deal with the added workload? You’re almost hiring 1 admin for each technician and that’s no way to grow an electrical business if the revenue the latter brings has to pay for both their wages.
This is why using a technician profile portal, automatic confirmations, digital invoices and many other tools that are readily available—even for the least “techy” manager—is vital if they want to grow their electrical business.
The takeaway on growing your electrical business
All-in-all, what’s more trustworthy than a company who can prove that they’re keeping up with the times? If you’d like to know more about the benefits of creating remarkable customer journeys, check out this infographic!
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