Accelerate Blog Series #1: Keeping your customers and attracting more

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    Growing your trades business

    Hello and welcome to the ACCELERATE blog series. Over the next few months, we at the Homeserve Foundation will be breaking down each chapter in Dan Matthews’ brilliant book ACCELERATE (which features a foreword from Homeserve CEO and founder, Richard Harpin) and sharing the key insights with you. Our goal is to help you grow your business and by looking at the Checkatrade threads page, you can read all these insights which will tell you everything you’ll need to know in an easy-to-read format.

    Keeping your existing customers and attracting more

    So you’ve started your trades business and have found your first clients in your local area, so what’s next? Well, for Charles Mullins and his start-up plumbing company it was all about finding a ‘place’ in the market. What followed was a rebrand to the now famous name of Pimlico Plumbers; using the up-market location name allowed a premium reputation to develop which was then enforced by their own high standards of operating that “created an effect that was magnified by word of mouth recommendations” and their stellar growth began.
    Getting a reputation by “doing things properly” has also turned Wayne de Wet into one of the most in-demand tradespeople in the country. Getting your foot in the door and upholding high standards is a great way to please your early customers but finding more customers is the next obstacle.

    The impact of a good customer experience

    As it turns out, through the words of Dan Matthews’ Checkatrade book Accelerate, one of the best opportunities for growing your customer base is by maximising your current customer base – establishing relationships and developing loyal customers that can not only ensure future, repeat business but also lead to positive reviews and word of mouth recommendations.

    Getting customers to “become your ambassador” as Wayne de Wet @ToolTalk1, who runs a very successful painting & decorating business in Norfolk, puts it cuts out that elusive middle-man of marketing. That extra mile you went on a job not only delights the client you are working for, but it also gets the word out to many more potential opportunities without you having to spend a marketing penny. Put it this way, want to know the business giant Tesla’s marketing budget each year? It’s zero - that’s how far a consistently good customer experience can take you.
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    Where can you get all of this done?

    If you’re wondering where you can take positive customer experiences and use them to your advantage without just relying on word of mouth then you’re probably looking for a good forum well known in the world of trade. Fortunately, you’re already heading in the right direction: utilising the Checkatrade website can be the ideal place for your customers to share their positive experiences to your local area and beyond. But, understandably you don’t have to just believe me, so feel free to hear it from Dave Green who managed to salvage Wesson Fencing from going bust and turned them into a big success in Surrey:

    “Appearing on the Checkatrade website is definitely the best form of advertising; even now when I ask clients where they got our details, it’s always Checkatrade. We create sales through our good reputation and it helps to spread the word. We have very few complaints or call-backs; I’m very proud of this”.

    The impact Dave made in turning around his struggling company by employing these methods and utilising Checkatrade is clear but think of what could be done if the foundations of your trades business are built on those principles instead.

    And, when this increase in customers becomes too much to handle for a sole trader and you’re looking for young workers to continue and expand your business then look no further than the; a not-for-profit organisation at the centre of providing support for employers to recruit and train the best apprentice for their business.

    Next month, ‘getting your name out: on the street’ – the first of a two-parter on raising your profile. In the meantime, if you have any questions or comments, please get in touch – we’d love to hear from you!

    All the best,
    Last edited by Lauren; 02-02-21 at 16:38.
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