Category Archives: Business Tips

Online Reputation Management For Contractors

It’s almost impossible to get through life as a contractor without someone being dissatisfied with some aspect of service at one point or another. Even the best and most successful professionals get negative reviews every once in a while. But when you’re in this industry, your reputation depends on reviews.

The internet is your friend and can make generating new business a whole lot easier, but if you’re not careful, it can quickly turn into a foe. This is why it’s so important for contractors to understand why online reputation management matters and how to successfully engage with others online.

CraftJack not only offers leads in your area but reviews for free. Sign up with CraftJack today and start connecting with homeowners near you.

A Space for Reviews

With the internet, poor reviews and word of negative experiences travel faster than ever before. After all, most people are getting their recommendations via social media and review websites nowadays. Studies show that 86% of consumers read reviews for local businesses and 91% of 18 to 34-year-olds trust online reviews just as much as personal recommendations.

You might think that no reviews is better than a negative one, but not giving your clients a chance to leave a review isn’t a good idea. Online recommendations are a form of social proof, which is one of the most powerful general contractor marketing methods out there. When potential customers read reviews, even if not all are five stars, they gain trust in your business. Your business will be seen as more authentic and legitimate than a contractor who has no proof that they’ve ever had a customer.

First and foremost, you need to ensure you have a place (or places) for people to leave and read your reviews.

  • Social media: Platforms like Facebook allow customers to leave reviews of your services on your business page. This also makes it easy for people to see reviews when checking out your profile.

Social media is also a helpful tool because it allows you to search what people are saying about your business, even if it isn’t in the reviews. If someone complains about your service in a post or tweet, you can reach out directly to rectify the situation. Social media monitoring can bring in business in unexpected ways.

  • Company website: If you have a website, it’s a good place to have people write reviews.

If someone is researching your company, reading the reviews on your website might tip them in the right direction.

  • Review sites: There are several websites acting as business directories and review forums that are widely trusted, such as Yelp and Google Maps. While you won’t run these websites or forums directly, you should take advantage of the option to claim the business so that you can respond to any contractor reviews in an official capacity.

Earning Positive Reviews

The key to getting good reviews is to ask for them. Requesting customers drop a line or two on your website or Facebook page is a small way for them to thank you, but most people won’t do it unprompted. However, research shows that 7 out of 10 customers will leave a review if asked, so don’t let that opportunity pass you. The best ways to ask for a review are:

  • After you complete the job in person
  • On leave-behind materials like flyers or business cards
  • In contractor marketing via email
  • Through online reputation management services like the CraftJack Lead Manager “request a review” function

Handling Negative Reviews

You might get a negative review every once in a while. While it can be disappointing to see, this is actually an opportunity to become well respected and earn a repeat customer. Here’s how:

  • Address criticism publicly. If you immediately try to contact the customer privately, it may give the general public the impression that you’ve ignored the problem. You don’t have to let the entire interaction carry out publicly, but at least offer a visible response along the lines of “I am sorry you had this experience and wish to make it right. I’ll get back with you as soon as possible to find a solution.”
  • Remain polite and respond to reviews promptly. Don’t put off getting back to the customer and listen to what they have to say about the problem.
  • Offer to make it right. Some things are truly out of your control. But if the problem was an honest mistake on your part that you’re able to fix, try to make it right. Do what is within reason to offer solutions that address the issue.
  • Ask for a review update. If the customer is satisfied with the issue’s resolution, don’t be afraid to ask them to update the review. Don’t be pushy (you might be on thin ice) but let them know that customer satisfaction and reviews matter to you.

Keep in mind that when you receive a negative review, your overall rating decreases. This is a great time to seek out positive reviews from past customers who never reviewed.

To get those great reviews, you need to have customers. CraftJack is here to connect you to quality job leads in your area. Sign up today, and you’ll be seeing those 5-stars in no time!

How Contractors Find Jobs to Bid & Win

Home improvement lead generation is only half the battle when you own a construction business. You can have all the contacts in the world, but if you’re unable to turn those into paying customers, they don’t do your business much good. Earning customers isn’t always easy, which is why CraftJack is here to give the best tips and tricks to bid and win construction and home remodeling jobs!

Are you ready to find more job opportunities in your area? Sign up with CraftJack today and start receiving leads from homeowners near you.

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Contractor Lead Generation Tips & Tricks

As a contractor, one of the more frustrating parts of your job is likely trying to find leads. Job opportunities are out there, but they don’t always find you. Sometimes you have to take an active role in reaching out and cultivating potential clients and customers.

It can be overwhelming to even decide where to start, but have no fear! CraftJack is here to share the best tips and tricks for home improvement lead generation.

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Improving Customer Communication

Even the most successful contractors have to deal with customers who may be challenging to sell to. Chances are these customers aren’t doing it on purpose, but either way, it costs your business time and money. Here are some common situations everyone has to deal with at one point or another and how to overcome them. 

Are you ready to connect with more customers in your area? Sign up with CraftJack today and find more contractor job opportunities near you.

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Save Money With A Virtual Assistant

As a business owner, you face a number of challenges every day. This can take your focus away from the business of getting new jobs and growing your business.

From administrative tasks to customer follow up chances are somethings are just slipping through the cracks. But how do you fix the issue? What do you do when you aren’t ready to grow your staff? Hire a virtual assistant- it might be the best thing you do to grow your business. CONTINUE READING

The Best Resources For Small Business

If you’re growing your construction business, it’s no doubt that you’re looking for more resources to help it grow. While there is a lot of advice out there, do you know where to find what’s right for you?

You may be surprised to learn that the advice you’re looking for might be easily accessible. There are even areas where you can help learn more about your construction business for free. Here are the best resources for small businesses. CONTINUE READING

Business Tips For Cleaning Pros

The cleaning industry has many unique qualities about it, however, there are plenty of business advice available for those looking to grow. It takes more than just the skills you have in your trade, but marketing, sales and even accounting.

If you own a maid service, you know that the job goes just beyond what you provide to your clients. Running a cleaning business is no easy task. Here are our tip business tasks for cleaning pros. CONTINUE READING

Small Business Blogs You Should Be Reading

Starting a business is no easy thing to do. There’s a lot that goes into the recipe for success. You must not only have knowledge about your trade but you must also know how to be an accountant, marketer and salesperson. Thankfully, there are many resources that exist that can help you learn in every area of business.

Blogs are one of the best and most easily-accessible resources available. Often written by thought leaders and industry experts, they can help you stay informed of the latest news, innovations and updates within various aspects of business. Here are a few small business blogs you should be reading. CONTINUE READING

What To Include In Your HVAC Estimate

HVAC pros need to be prepared any season of the year. Repairs are needed in weather both hot and cold to keep homes comfortable. A repair or replacement can be an urgent need, so an HVAC pro should be ready.

Customers want to see an estimate before choosing to use your service. Not only will it help them better understand the costs associated, but it can also help you in better communicating the work that will be done. Here’s what must be included in your HVAC estimate.

Are you looking for more HVAC jobs in your area? Sign up with CraftJack today and start receiving HVAC leads from homeowners near you.

Why Are Estimates Important?

If you want to win a job, providing a free and quality estimate is important. Homeowners may be speaking to more than one HVAC pro, so you’ll need to make sure your estimate stands out from the rest. A properly prepared estimate can help you win more jobs. This means you’ve put in writing the specs of the project, as well as how much the costs will be, with any contact information attached. Once you’re done, read it over to see if there are any grammar mistakes and that all the information is correct.

See The Job In Person

It’s hard to provide an accurate HVAC quote without seeing the work that needs to be done. That’s why it’s important to go see the work in-person when asked for a quote. Be sure to show up on time and in your company attire. The way you present yourself is a level of professionalism that will be appreciated by the customer.

Provide A Summary Of Work

Often, homeowners give an HVAC pro a call to help with a problem or urgent repair. It’s up to you to provide them with accurate information about what the issue is and how it will be resolved. This is best done by providing the customer with a summary of what work will be done on their HVAC.

Even for a new installation, educating your customer is a great step to take in creating a great relationship with them for all their HVAC needs. The customer may have in mind a specific system or part that actually, might not be the best for the job. Let them know your recommendations in the summary.  In fact, this helps encourage customer trust that you’re the best pro for the job.

Show The Costs Of Project

An important part of an estimate is the actual costs of the project. It’s a good idea to show exactly what the customer will be spending their money on. Here are some things you’ll want to keep in mind:

New Parts & Materials

Make line items of the parts and materials that are needed. Try to be as accurate as possible, but leave room if something does come up. Be transparent with the items needed and costs here. Customers want to be informed of what they are paying for with your service.

Labor

Labor can be a cost that varies per project, based on hourly rates. You should account for any employees or subcontractors that will be working on the project as well. Many HVAC pros need to be licensed and certified, so payment should be determined based on experience.

Maintenance Warranties

For homes that are getting a new HVAC system, there are often warranties that come along with it. Often, the warranty is only valid if the system is getting professionally maintained once a year. You may want to let your customer know this in the estimate. It’s likely next time they need their HVAC serviced to ensure their warranty, they’ll give you a call.

Include Your Contact Information

If you spend time writing up an excellent estimate, you should be sure to include your contact information front and center. Once customers have looked over your estimate, they’ll know how to reach you to talk through the details or hire you for their HVAC job. Attaching a business card is always a good idea, so they have it handy when needed.

Share Why You’re Different

A well-written estimate is a great way to show the customer why your business stands out from the rest. It shows attention to detail and customer service. However, if you have any licenses, certifications, trade organization memberships or insurance, this is the place to display it. Being able to differentiate your business in this way can really help separate you from other estimates the customer may be receiving.

Conclusion

Estimates are an important part of winning your HVAC job. They help educate the customer on the work you’ll be doing and strengthen your relationship with them. A well-written estimate could be what helps you get more work in your area.

Looking for more leads in your area? CraftJack can help. Read more on The CraftJack Way: Focused Exclusively On Your Trades.

Blogging Tips For Contractors

So, maybe you’ve been considering starting a blog for your website. While it is additional work, it can help to boost your business and make it easier to market yourself. If you’re a pro who’s been blogging for some time, maybe you’re looking for more inspiration.

You’ve come to the right place. Sometimes, all it takes is a little inspiration to get writing. Here are a few blogging tips you can use as a contractor. CONTINUE READING