With technology on a rise, the plumbing industry cannot be far behind in 2018. How does this affect your business, customer landscape, your standing amongst your competitors and the industry at large? We took a look at few trends you should keep your eyes peeled for.
Undercutting the competition may not be enough
Customer demographics are changing, and people expect fast and reliable services at extremely competitive prices. Unfortunately, this forces companies to throw their rule book out of the window and innovation has paid a price due to this. Eventually, customers come to realise that low pricing doesn’t guarantee good service.
Often times, plumbers will resort to shady business practices like using sub-par materials or assigning rookie tradies for a job that requires a veteran’s hand. So, in the long run, if you’re a business that doesn’t ensure a high quality of service, then you will find yourself struggling to retain customers. Furthermore, the platforms that you used to market your low prices (i.e., Google, Facebook, etc.) can act as a double-edged sword, as negative customer reviews will definitely make their way across to your company’s page.
Use technology to your advantage
Customers are slowly getting used to technology in their daily lives and businesses that are jumping on this bandwagon are almost guaranteed to stay ahead of the game. For example, using plumbing software to send customers your quotes and invoices on successful completion of the job increases your likelihood of getting paid on time. This shows the customer that you value their time and they are likely to respect your business and brand more, which in turn will lead to repeat business. Technology can also be used to remotely diagnose plumbing issues, which can help ensure you have the right parts with you before leaving for a job. In some cases, it can even help you remotely troubleshoot and resolve issues, saving you a trip to the customer’s site.
Get online to connect with new customers
If you don’t have an online presence in 2018, then you need to take a good hard look at your plumbing business strategy. The modern customer is more technology-driven: they go online, check reviews of different service providers and get quotes from the ones they like. Building an online reputation by designing a beautiful website, managing search engine optimisation (SEO), maintaining a Facebook page, checking reviews on sites like Google, Yelp, TrueLocal, etc. will help your plumbing company connect with a younger audience and is sure to help you get repeat business. Also, think about investing some money in paid digital marketing, particularly Google AdWords and Facebook Ads. Through the right targeting, you can boost your brand’s influence online greatly.
Use data to make the right business decisions
In the old days, tradies would rely on their instinct to make decisions that would influence how their businesses would shape out to be. However, thanks to technology and big data services, companies can now make informed business decisions. By using data analytics tools, you can identify areas in your plumbing business that need to be relooked at. Maybe you’re spending too much on a particular spare part or maybe your technicians are spending more time travelling and less time actually onsite. Insights like these can help you craft a new business strategy that will be more profitable and at the same time increase productivity and efficiency.
So, if your plumbing business is still living in the past, it’s time to follow the tides and take it into the 21st century. Remember, your competition is already using technology and smart tools. Make sure you are not left behind.