10 ways to improve the image of your business this week
The impressions your business makes on a customer can, and will, determine how much they are willing to pay for your services.
Always remember that as a painter and decorator, the sale is made well before you’ve opened a tin of paint.
So, if you want to start increasing your profits, you must make sure every interaction a customer has with your business is positive.
In sales and marketing, we refer to these things as ‘Customer touch points’
You must give your ‘Customer touch points’ the same care and attention as the actual painting and decorating.
To help give you some ideas on how you can improve, here are a list of customer touchpoints and some ideas you could implement.
You may already do all these things brilliantly. If you do, then try to go one step further and see how you could make it even better.
1. Your phone number:
Yes, we use mobile phones for pretty much everything nowadays but having a landline number still has a massive effect on how a customer perceives you and your business.
When your advertising includes both a landline and mobile number your business will seem more trustworthy.
Rightly or wrongly, people associate landline numbers with fixed and established businesses.
Think about all the well established companies you deal with. They all have landline numbers that you can call. They do this because it helps build trust.
A great option for small businesses like painters and decorators is to get a virtual landline. In the UK, Vodafone offer this service from just £10 per month.
This service gives you a landline number that rings on your mobile. And when you make a call, you can set your virtual landline number as your caller ID.
2. Your business card:
Business cards matter. Cheap, flimsy cards that look like they were designed by a 5 year old just don’t cut it.
A professionally designed business card is essential to anyone who wants to be taken seriously.
Use a local printer if you can so that you can feel the weight and finish of the card. You’ll be leaving one with every customer so it needs to be good.
Cheap business card = cheap business.
Don’t fall into this trap!
3. Your brochures, leaflets or any other printer materials:
Like your business cards, you need to make sure all brochures and leaflets are professionally designed. If you are very creative and tech savvy you may be able to do this yourself, however, 9 times out of 10 you are better off leaving it to a professional.
Ensure the fonts and colour schemes are consistent through all your printed materials.
Don’t skimp on the printing costs. Get it done properly, on a good grade of paper or card. Printing leaflets at home screams out that you cut corners and don’t value quality. This is not a good look for a painter and decorator.
4. Your website:
Google have estimated that by 2020 up to 90% of all purchasing decisions will be influenced by online content.
So, having a good quality website matters.
Most people start their purchasing process online, so you need to be there.
Having a good quality website makes your company seem more established and trustworthy.
Again, you can build a website yourself, but often it pays long term to have a professional do it for you.
5. Your social media:
Having a good, clean social media presence is essential nowadays. Make sure you keep all the platforms you use up to date.
If a potential customer goes on your social media and you haven’t posted anything in over a year, they might think you have stopped trading and won’t bother contacting you.
You must also keep the branding consistent with your website and printed materials.
If the logo on your social media doesn’t match your website, they might think they have the wrong company.
6. Your call answering:
Be honest, do you answer the phone by saying ‘Hello’ or do you say something more professional like ‘Good Afternoon, HGA decorators, Dave speaking, how can I help?’
Hopefully, it is the latter, but if not, this is a quick change you can make that will help you no end with first impressions.
7. Your email:
Do you have a generic email address? Such as @gmail.com or @aol.com ?
Would you trust an email that claimed to be from your bank but the email address was email@example.com ?
Ask your website designer to help you set up a proper email address like firstname.lastname@example.org and you will reap the benefits of the extra trust your customers will have for you.
8. Your van:
Is your van sign written? Is it clean? Is it tidy?
Imagine two decorators came to quote for the same job.
One arrived in a dirty van with no branding on it. The other arrived in a clean, tidy van with the company name, logo and contact details proudly displayed on it.
Who do you think is more likely to get the job? Who will the customer trust most not to run off with their money? Who would they trust to do a clean and professional job?
9. Your clothing:
If a rep from an electric company came to your house to fit a smart meter, what do you think they would be wearing?
I’ll tell you.
They’d have a clean, branded t-shirt and softshell jacket. A lanyard with an ID badge and would put shoe covers on before entering the house.
I know this because I had a visit from one recently.
Because of the way the rep was dressed I felt completely comfortable that I was dealing with a professional company who would do a professional job.
If he’d have turned up in joggers and a scruffy t-shirt, I probably wouldn’t have even let him in. I mean, how could I trust he was from the company I was expecting?
10. Your dustsheets and other tools:
The final tip is a simple one. Make sure your dustsheets are in good condition and your tools look like they are well looked after.
In fact, using packexe or a similar floor protection where you can is a much smarter way to protect the customers’ home.
You might think it is unnecessary effort at this point because the customer has already accepted your quote, and you are on the job.
But if you want them to recommend you to their friends and family you need to prove that you are the best.
Afterall, they wouldn’t want to risk their good name in recommending you if they think you might make a mess of the job.
And there we have it. 10 ways you can improve the image of your business, so you can start attracting a higher quality of customer.
Everything here could be achieved, or at least started on within a week.
So why not get started?