DIY : How homeowner picks tradesman — what your business can do to win customers over

For tradesmen competing in a crowded marketplace, if you can understand what homeowners think during their buying decision process, it gives you a distinct advantage.

Competing on price alone to win over customers is a downward spiral. Because this not only hits your profitability, you’re also getting a sector of customers that do not value you as much and likely to be more demanding.

Many lead-based business directories not only cost you $50 just for a chance to quote, you also need to have the lowest bid to have any chance of recouping the outlay. Basing your sales strategy on these directories alone may not be a good long-term plan, as it is very difficult to win sufficient business to remain profitable. There is also the issue of meeting customer expectations based on the low margin bids.

It is much smarter to understand the customer psychology and tailor your marketing effort towards that. Too many companies gear their sales pitch simply towards what they can do for the customers alone. For example, simply listing they do plumbing and electrical, lawn mowing and gardening services, or pool services.

The customer buying decision process considers factors that are more than just needs based. Companies rarely think on the customers’ behalf during the buying process. Knowing these factors can help you win over customers in a crowded market and stand above the rest.

Here are the top 4 factors that influence customer purchasing decision and what you can do to win them over.

  1. Emotion beats logic
  2. What’s in it for me
  3. Pain beats gain
  4. Groupthink

Emotion beats logic

Humans are emotional beings and most use feelings as their primary decision making factor.

Research with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) shows that when evaluating brands, consumers primarily use emotions (personal feelings and experiences), rather than information (brand attributes, features, and facts).

For homeowners picking tradesman, these feelings may be in the form of booking convenience, an urgency to get things fixed, one less task on the to-do list or the promise of dream come true with a newly renovated kitchen. Therefore you can target your marketing effort towards these emotions.

The solution for companies include being able to be booked online with instant confirmation, showing your availabilities so customers can match against theirs; or proudly showing photos of a before-after bathroom renovation job. These all evoke positive emotions in the customers’ mind.

Availability & Convenience

Unlike buying a product online and having it shipped, getting a tradesman require the property owner to be in attendance. With everyone’s busy family and work life, this is becoming the #1 factor in whether a tradesman gets picked. Research shows the first morning appointment (7:30am) is often the most popular option as this allows people to get on with rest of the day.

The second most popular appointment is the mid-morning appointment as this is suitable for stay-at-home parent after the school drop off. But this can be problematic as homeowners often fear appointments later in the day can run late due to delays from earlier jobs, and they are stuck at home waiting.

Businesses can address these customer concerns with online booking tools like TradieCalendar.com. It is an open calendar for home improvement and property maintenance service providers, so customers can see availabilities and schedule online. Do you know:

60% of customers prefer online booking

35% of those bookings are made after hours

Letting customers see your availability online and book in less than a few clicks gives you a tremendous advantage over the competition. If you put yourselves in the customer’s shoes:

DO YOU PREFER

  • Email back-and-forth with each company to see when they are available compared to your own schedule
  • Call is answered only during work hours and often have to leave voicemail and wait for a response
  • Fill in a web form and hope someone will respond sometime this week….

OR

  • Use TradieCalendar to see exactly which date and time the company has availability
  • Book online 24/7 and no need to wait for weekday and work hours when customers are most busy with other tasks
  • Get instant confirmation when it’s booked — no more waiting for an email response or returned phone call

Go here to see why your property maintenance business needs online booking.

Customers can see your availability and schedule online with only a few clicks. Source: TradieCalendar

Appearance & Branding

People make instant decisions with their subconscious, research shows after users visited a website it takes only 0.05 seconds to form an opinion. Great design with colours and images that are visually appealing to your target market will always put you one step ahead of the rest.

Using photos that evoke a pleasant experience as a result of your service is particularly effective. For example, lushes green lawn will associate with a job well done for lawn mowers; the same goes for a steaming hot water recalls a working hot water system from a plumber. Pictures tell a thousand words.

Be sure to use professional photos to affirm the message of quality. You can get royalty free stock photos from Unsplash and Pexels. Web hosting platforms like Wix and WordPress have many beautiful design templates to choose from. To get design ideas for websites and colours, templates from Canva is also a great place to start.

To get your business recognised instantly, there’s nothing more important than branding. A well designed custom logo not only gives your business a professional feel, it provides a sense of security and trustworthiness. Luckily it’s easy to get a professional logo done for free with tools like Logojoy, it has thousands of templates to mix and match that meets the message you want to deliver for your business.

Key Takeaways

  • Research your target market on what evokes positive emotions — Availability & Convenience or Appearance & Branding
  • Use an online booking tool with instant confirmation like TradieCalendar to differentiate
  • Show attractive photos on your website with good design and colour to generate a positive feeling
  • Learn how to get a free business website with professional templates

What’s in it for me

People make instant decisions with their subconscious. So as customers browse through the choices on which tradesman to pick online, all these emotions count towards the decision making process. But once the emotional choice is made, that’s when logic comes in to affirm the decision.

In fact, people felt compelled to justify their emotional choices with rational reasons afterwards, this has been confirmed by research time and time again. Customer will look into object facts and figures such as pricing to see if it’s within their budget or good ratings to validate their emotional decisions, but not the other way around. At this stage all deciding factors go towards meeting one goal — what’s in it for the me (the customer)?

Understanding when customers are looking for a tradesman, that means they have a problem need fixing. By letting them book in advance using an online booking tool like TradieCalendar resolves the immediate issue at hand in a few simple clicks, as opposed to having to email back-and-forth or calling companies around.

Online booking with instant confirmation also provides customer with an immediate reward that they crave. Who wants this on the to-do list keep hanging over their head, wait for days and hours before they know when the tradesman will come; when tools like TradieCalendar can get it done immediately.

Customers are 5 times more likely to book providers with instant scheduling confirmation.

Trades & property maintenance businesses that use online booking also benefits from having an established pipeline of bookings all filled up automatically by customers themselves.

Key Takeaways

  • Logics is used to validate customers’ emotional decisions
  • Customers are 5 times more likely to book providers with instant scheduling confirmation using TradieCalendar
Source: Pexels

Groupthink — Testimonials and Ratings matter

Customers do a lot of research to ensure they are getting the best trade services. That’s why testimonials and ratings work so well. It is part of the groupthink affirmation to ensure their own decision does not skew too far from everyone else’s. If everyone likes that business, so it must be good.

Once a customer has made a non-committal decision with the provider (I like them, but just want to make sure), most validate their purchasing decision with testimonials from the website or check its ratings with Google My Business. This is generally the last step before a booking is made with the chosen provider.

Key Takeaways

  • Make sure you display your testimonials proudly on your website
  • Encourage customers to rate on Google My Business
  • Get your company listed on Google My Business for free
Source: Pexels

Risk-averse — Pain beats Gain

In line with the testimonial discussed above, customers care more about the downsides than the upsides. That’s why negative comments are always read first. No matter how many highly rated positive ones are there.

Everyone loves shopping for things they like, but nobody likes to spend hours on end researching and booking a tradesman. Many customers are time poor too. There are simply too many trades businesses available on the market for them to choose from.

Furthermore, companies are all parading the same message. Therefore anything businesses can do to make them stand out can easily win over customers in narrowing down research options. Online booking with instant confirmation speeds up the booking process and your trades business can quickly become the provider of choice.

Companies can even open up untapped markets with online booking simply by making this process less painless. Do you know:

26% of customers would book jobs that are waiting to be fixed around the house if given access to online scheduling.

Key Takeaways

  • Customers find research and booking tradesman being a long and painful process, so anything you can do to expedite this can help you differentiate
  • Online booking with instant confirmation by TradieCalendar helps company stand out by cutting down the time to book — no more back-and-forth emails

Conclusion

For tradesmen competing in a crowded marketplace, if you can understand what homeowners think during their decision process, it can give you a distinct advantage. It is much smarter to understand the customer psychology and customise your marketing effort towards that.

The decision process considers factors that are more than just needs based. Companies rarely think on the customers’ behalf during the buying process. Knowing these factors can help you win over customers in a crowded market and stand above the rest.

Here are the top 4 factors that influence customer purchasing decision and what you can do to win them over.

  1. Emotion beats logic — Provide convenient scheduling availability and let your customer book online 24/7
  2. What’s in it for me — People justify their emotional choices with rational reasons afterwards
  3. Groupthink — Display your testimonials proudly on your website and use ratings on Google My Business
  4. Pain beats gain — Customers are time poor so make the booking process painless for them

Now you know the top factors that influence customer purchasing decision. What are you doing differently to win over customers?

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