If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the above questions, it’s time to up your customer comms, so you’re not unintentionally keeping people in the dark.
Why communication is so important?
Better communication will foster greater understanding of how you work – which means happier customers at the end of the day.
But why is it worthwhile putting effort into this part of your business?
Happy customers = people who pay
If people know what to expect when they start working with you, you keep them informed of how you’re going with the work, and you invoice quickly once you’re done – you’ll find that people pay your invoice on time. It’s as simple as that.
It’s when you don’t keep people informed of delays, when you need to sub out materials, or make minor changes to get the job done but don’t tell the client – that’s when they start to query every line item on your invoice.
Why wouldn’t they? They see charges or things that they weren’t expecting, so of course they are going to double check their understanding of the work carried out. It’s their money after all!
If you want to skip the to-and-fro with invoice queries and get paid faster, all you have to do is keep them updated.
Let them know all the things that are going wrong – but also all the things that are going right!
If you reach a milestone or finish ahead of time, find out you need fewer materials, or have something else happen that benefits the client – let them know. We all love receiving good news, and it means they are far likelier to pay your invoice on time – and in full.
What happens if I just carry on as I am?
Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. If they don’t know if they need to pay a deposit, when work will commence, how to go about variations, when they’ll be invoiced, etc., they are more likely to be confused, irritated or even just anxious.
Confused, irritated and anxious people don’t want to pay you money for that kind of experience. They might think you’re lazy, unprofessional, or just start to pick fault with the work you’ve done to date. At this point, people are also less likely to value the outcome of your work when it’s finally completed as well – even if it is typically of great quality.
But what If I don't have time?
If you are keeping clients in the dark because you’re flat-out, that can be fine for awhile – especially if you have a busy pipeline of new work. At some point, though, that pipeline will dry up – and you might not find many repeat clients – or many referred by word of mouth, either. This is where a lot of new businesses start to come unstuck. All of this can be avoided by putting in some simple steps to ensure all your customers have an excellent experience when working with you, no matter what the trade is you work in.
Even if you’re busy – in fact, especially if you’re busy – putting in processes is super important to keep your customers informed, content, and paying your invoices. As a bonus, it’ll reduce stress for you as a business owner, too.
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Trust the process
Simply saying “keep people up-to-date” is easier said than done when you run your own trade business – we know!
You’re probably on site most of the time and rely on other people, platforms and systems to sort out the admin part of your workday.
The good news is that there are lots of easy processes you can put in place to make sure that you don’t miss a trick, that don’t involve you squeezing hours of extra paperwork time into your day!
Through implementing easy processes you will find that keeping in touch with your clients, and even predicting your cash flow becomes a breeze.
A common process we help with
– Client emails
Emailing clients is something that happens with every job. It’s perfect for creating a process around. We help trade businesses utilize templates for emails to send clients at certain points during your course of work with the client. This means you don’t have to sit down and craft a unique email for these important milestones that occur with every job. Tools like templated emails can be implemented right now to boost your client comms and cash flow.
Our top tip
Even better, you don’t have to slog it out and figure this part out for yourself! There are a lot of processes that have already been created. We’ve helped hundreds of tradies implement proven processes that have been used across electrical, plumbing, building and other trades businesses. After all, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel if we’ve already built it for you. It’s all about working smarter, not harder.
What are the next steps?
Want to stop keeping your clients in the dark, and learn all the little tricks you can implement right now to boost cash flow?
Book in your FREE 15-minute call with a terms of trade and customer service expert that is fully clued up on how the trades work.
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