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How do you present a professional image to your customer ?

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  • How do you present a professional image to your customer ?

    How do you present a professional image to your customers ?

    How do you keep your customers loyal ?

    1] Do you use uniforms ? Buy or rent?

    2] Do you belong to any professional organizations?

    3] Any network groups?

    4] Do you advertise?

    5] Do you use any answering service, other than cell phone or home phone ?

    6] Do you send out thank you cards to your customers on a yearly basis?

    7] Do you hand out stickers, magnets do you put stickers on water heaters disposals etc?
    Last edited by rooterboy; 07-11-2009, 12:35 AM.

  • #2
    Re: How do you present a professional image to your customer ?

    Let's see what the real plumbers have to say. I can make a few recommendations that should apply to about any small business.

    1. If you have voice mail setup for your home, cell or business phone be sure to have a good outgoing message. Try it with some of your friends. It needs to be so that a customer will leave a message and not hang up in anger for your not taking a call in person.

    2. A good clean and professional image is always important. Yes, You will get dirty working but some manor of an easy to launder uniform is good and have your company name on it. Pocket embroidery works well for this. I would buy rather than rent uniforms unless you're a good size company and ruin uniforms often.

    3. Price it and do advertise some but watch out what it costs you. Keep it simple and to the point. Would you call a plumber based on your add?

    4. Thank You cards are a great idea and so are stickers for your work. You might even put a little sticker under a sink or toilet tank. On water heaters, disposers and large items they are good to have. Just be sure you did a good job before placing such a sticking on something. It can also tell about any shabby work.

    5. If you have any known good local organizations check them out. Being a member shows you care and also keep in touch with other professionals in the area.
    Last edited by Woussko; 07-11-2009, 11:35 AM.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: How do you present a professional image to your customer ?

      How do you present a professional image to your customers ?

      How do you keep your customers loyal ?

      1] Do you use uniforms ? Buy or rent?
      Yes, we rent them, the laundry guy comes by every friday.

      2] Do you belong to any professional organizations?
      not as a company, but I personally have an ICC membership.

      3] Any network groups?
      None other than the business contacts we make in day to day dealings.

      4] Do you advertise?
      just word of mouth.

      5] Do you use any answering service, other than cell phone or home phone ?
      we employ a full time secretary/bookkeeper.

      6] Do you send out thank you cards to your customers on a yearly basis?
      Trying to talk the boss into this as we speak.

      7] Do you hand out stickers, magnets do you put stickers on water heaters disposals etc?
      Stickers on water heaters, and garbage disposals, our service man leaves behind a sponge with our company logo on it, it's wafer thin until they get it wet the first time. we also have a large flier we leave behind with our info/pricing on it for future reference.
      No, it's not rocket science, it's plumbing and unlike rocket science it requires a license.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: How do you present a professional image to your customer ?

        I'm not a plumber, but I'll answer anyhow as the principles are the same.

        How do you present a professional image to your customers ?
        Clean trucks that are all painted alike with my name and logo prominent.

        How do you keep your customers loyal ?
        Good service. Once you establish that, price becomes less of a concern.

        1] Do you use uniforms ? Buy or rent?
        Yes we use uniforms. We buy them.

        2] Do you belong to any professional organizations?
        NAWT (National Association of WasteWater Transporters)
        O2WA (Oregon Onsite Wastewater Association)


        3] Any network groups?
        Local Chamber of Commerce. Attend lunch meetings when we can.

        4] Do you advertise?
        Yellow pages, website, newspaper, fliers

        5] Do you use any answering service, other than cell phone or home phone ?
        No but we do not offer 24hr service. My regular clients have my cell number.

        6] Do you send out thank you cards to your customers on a yearly basis?
        We send out Christmas cards with sticky calenders in them. Personal notes in some. Fruit baskets to a couple of major accounts.

        7] Do you hand out stickers, magnets do you put stickers on water heaters disposals etc?
        Yes, we have magnets with next service date on them, sticky calenders. We also give out a pamphlet from the EPA about septic systems.
        www.ClinkscalesSeptic.com

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: How do you present a professional image to your customer ?

          How do you present a professional image to your customers ?

          How do you keep your customers loyal ?

          1] Do you use uniforms ? Buy or rent?
          I wear navy blue Skiller pants and navy blue Carhartt pocket tees.
          2] Do you belong to any professional organizations?
          Yes, Plumbing and Mechanical Contractors Assoc., Will-Grundy Contractors Assoc., basically union contractor groups.
          3] Any network groups?
          No

          4] Do you advertise?
          No

          5] Do you use any answering service, other than cell phone or home phone ?
          No

          6] Do you send out thank you cards to your customers on a yearly basis?
          Yes, Christmas cards, some get gift cards in 100's, 50's or 25's, the minimum is a box of candy

          7] Do you hand out stickers, magnets do you put stickers on water heaters disposals etc.
          I put stickers on water heaters

          We also buy a couple gross of "trinkets" usually a mini-leatherman, or flashlight, something small and useful, we pass them out to the guards in the gate houses, or the in house maintenance guys, we also do long and short sleeve logo t-shirts. These are mostly for guys, but we get some kid sizes in pink and blue, for people to give their kids. I think they are appreciated more than a shirt for the guys.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: How do you present a professional image to your customer ?

            something i do when i present a bid is with the estimate i give the customer a mission statement letter with the phone number and web site to L&I and a current copy of my insurance. ive received a lot of business this way
            Mike
            Clark County Plumbing And Drain
            www.plumbinginclarkcounty.com

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: How do you present a professional image to your customer ?

              How do you present a professional image to your customers ?

              How do you keep your customers loyal ?

              1] Do you use uniforms ? Buy or rent?
              I buy them. Gray Dickies pocket t-shirt with name on the right chest.
              Lone sleved black Dickies work shirt with company name and my name on them. Nice wrangler jeans in the dark blue color

              2] Do you belong to any professional organizations?
              PHCC

              3] Any network groups?
              no

              4] Do you advertise?
              Yes. I handout cards. use kijiji, craigslist, post information any where I can

              5] Do you use any answering service, other than cell phone or home phone ?
              My cell phone has a great voice message

              6] Do you send out thank you cards to your customers on a yearly basis?
              Christmas and other religous holidays

              7] Do you hand out stickers, magnets do you put stickers on water heaters disposals etc?

              yep stickers everywhere. I even give people that have more jobs they want me to look at magnetics

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: How do you present a professional image to your customer ?

                These questions, are too hard for me, tonight.
                Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: How do you present a professional image to your customer ?

                  Honestly the bar isn't set too high around here. I find that actually answering the phone most of the time, returning calls the rest of the time, showing up when I say I will, and doing competant work at a fair price is enough to make me a star.
                  This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: How do you present a professional image to your customer ?

                    I believe that first impressions make the biggest difference. You would not believe the way some plumbing / drain cleaning companies I have spoken with answer the phones. Some things make me wonder why some guys are in business with the way they first present themselves over the phone. Here is what I am talking about: I make the call, they answer "hello", hi I was wondering.....( I am thinking hmmm did I call the right number) Is this ****** Plumbing????? voice on the line "adhaghag".....me "I am sorry I didn't hear you" voice on the phone almost yells "YES" me, "ooook", my response "thank you........ for....... your time" CLICK. I just hung up. Companies should answer the phones with a simple greeting. However many lack the most important part of answering a call especially to a first time caller. This is how he should have done it; with a clear, crisp and confident tone. “Hi my name is Joe with ****** plumbing how may I help you”? Don’t sound like you just hopped off your Harley and your talking with your Hulk voice either, one’s tone of voice sets a “tone” for how that call is going to go. Telling the caller your name and confirming they have called the right place. That is one thing that most franchise companies do well. Yes, their fees maybe expensive but I know some great owners of franchises and some not so great franchises. I know I am going against most of the opinions here but they’re not all bad and some of the franchises in the right market area one can do very well. A good percent of plumbers start out working for franchises. I hear it all most every day where a guy calls me and said that he used to work for Roto-Rooter, Mr. Rooter, Rooter Man ect. Now they are starting their own business and they want to use my company’s products. I have family that has worked for a great Roto Rooter franchise for 26 yrs and family that own their own business and both have worked well. There is good and bad with both running a franchise and owning your own company. I have a lot more I could add but this is turning into a book.
                    -Dan

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: How do you present a professional image to your customer ?

                      I try not to burp, fart or swear. Two out of three ain't bad
                      sigpic

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: How do you present a professional image to your customer ?

                        A good start is, showing up sober
                        I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: How do you present a professional image to your customer ?

                          Originally posted by NHMaster3015 View Post
                          I try not to burp, fart or swear. Two out of three ain't bad

                          Did I inspire you?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: How do you present a professional image to your customer ?

                            Originally posted by NHMaster3015 View Post
                            I try not to burp, fart or swear. Two out of three ain't bad
                            We can always rely on NH for a laugh but seriously I have to make sure my rug dosen`t come off.

                            Tony

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: How do you present a professional image to your customer ?

                              Hi,

                              I'm a customer and I can tell you what attracted me to some companies and turned me off others.

                              1. Uniforms. A non issue for me. Come to the house clean and neat looking with a board to write on. Pulling a folded piece of scrap paper to write on doesn't look good.

                              2. Professional Organizations. I chose my list of companies from the BBB. You had to have an A+ rating and be established for at least 7 years.

                              3. Networks. I suppose if more people know about you the better.

                              4. Advertise. Driving around town in a clean vehicle with your company name is an effective way to advertise in my opinion. Having a stand out logo sticks with people. In my city there is a company who's logo is a huge blue hulk running at you with a pipe wrench. Once you've seen it you won't forget it. They have a catchy name too.

                              5. Answering service. Probably not necessary if you know how to answer the phone and when it is best not to. I agree with Dan Lawrence that a professional tone indicating the company name is best. If you are cutting into something or are twisted up in a hole in a basement that would not be the best time to answer the phone. I'll leave a message if I know that my call is important and will be returned. Don't bother calling back a week later, however.

                              6. Mail out cards. Once would do me.

                              7.Stickers. Yes! Do it. I got referrals from people based on the sticker on their hot water tank. Every time people go into the basement they see the sticker, even if they are going down for some other reason. If I'm out of town and my neighbour looking after my house spots a water leak they will see the sticker and call the number. Handing out a T-shirt I'll never wear, a calender I'll never hang, or a bottle opener I'll never use is a waste of money.

                              Finally, professionalism and honesty. You're coming into my house to give me the bad news. I know it is going to hurt me financially so don't put on the act of "oh man, gee I don't know, this is a big job, gosh" crap to work me up. Tell me what you are going to do and how you envision it then send me a quote. Every single HVAC / Plumbing contractor who gave me the "this is going to be a lot of work" line didn't get anywhere with me. I already know this is going to be a lot of work which I why I called in the first place. I chose the company that looked throughout the house, said "we can do this and this is how", and sent me a quote by email. They got the $40,000 job and Al's Beer Stain Plumbing didn't.

                              s.

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