You may well consider yourself as an approachable person, but how do you know whether your customers think the same about you? Approachable electricians put a lot of time and effort into getting their customers 'through the doors'. However this is not rocket science, what they are doing is quite simple, it just involves a little thought. It is no longer as straight forward as plonking your phone number down on an advert and waiting for the phone to ring in fact many customers choose not to ring! Have you ever wondered why your work dries up or it seems a constant uphill struggle to get work? Why do other electricians seem to be busy and yet you don't? The answer is you! Yes, you are the driving force in your business to make it easy for your customer to contact you. What are you doing this week that will bring customers to you next week? Before you get the work Successful electricians do more than just place adverts and wait for the phone to ring. Have you considered how easy it is for your customers to contact you? Even the best designed advert in the world will only work if you make it easy for your customer. Remember they won't like to do the legwork, so have easy and effortless contact options. Tried and Tested Tips on Creating Good Contact Options Land line Numbers Remember if you only provide a land line number that is not answered during the day, you are likely to lose a customer. Customers will quickly try another electrician if they don't get a reply. Mobile Number If you only provide a mobile number, it can create the impression that you could disappear without trace overnight. Mobile numbers can also be expensive to call. Tip: Spend some time considering how to encourage customers to contact you – and always be professional when answering the phone. Providing 0800/0845 numbers can increase customer confidence that they are ringing a bona-fide company that will be professional in their response. E-mail A professional e-mail address will give your customers confidence that you are serious about your business. As an example, [email protected] is much better than [email protected]. We all know that free email accounts are just that – and it can appear lazy and complacent from the customers side. Tip: If you have a website (and all good electricians should have nowadays!) it is very simple and low cost to create a personalised email address for your company. Social Media People spend a lot of time on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter – so make sure your business has a presence there. Remember to update the accounts regularly – and keep your business profiles separate to your personal profile! There has been a lot of work lost by customers viewing personal posts which they find offensive or which contain swear words. Always stay professional so that you are creating the right image to your potential customers. Social media plays a big part of the success in my own electrical contracting company, Kent Electrics – in fact I was the Gold winner of the Online Electrician of the Year Awards in 2012. Tip: Twitter and Facebook allow you to become more personal with your customers – think of yourself as the friendly face of your company so your customers get to know you better. Social media is a great way to show case your work and upload pictures of bad electrics that you encounter to educate your potential customers on the danger of electricity. Believe it or not, not everyone likes to pick up the phone nowadays, so it is important to spend time looking into others way in which your customers can contact you – quickly and easily. If you don't do this, you are sabotaging your business – that means you could be throwing work away to another electrician. It is a little like the scenario of a person ringing a company to place a large order and them not answering the phone because they want to go to lunch! Believe it or not, it is just as easy to sabotage your own small business. So however your customers choose to contact you, make sure you respond in a timely manner. After the job Don't think that after you've completed the job, that's it. Ensure you obtain feedback from your customer so that you can improve your service in the future. You can also add your customers e-mail details to a database so you can send them offers, newsletters, seasonal tips etc. Rather than just handing the paperwork to your customer, give them a pen too to fill it in. Most will – and they can be doing it whilst you are sorting out their payment. Without a pen, you will get barely a response. Think about how many times you have not filled something in because you don't have a pen – it's frustrating. Also remember, your client needs to act on the spot. They are unlikely to fill a feedback form in after you have left. Conclusion Spend time improving your contact options. Put yourself in your customers shoes. Can they contact you easily? Not everyone likes to phone up! Do you respond to emails promptly? If you want to be successful you've got to identify sabotage in your business and change it/ stop it.