Look back at the last time you needed a new service provider, whether it was a new barber, landscaper or handyman. Did you blindly pick the first option you found? Or did you rely on your friends and family for a referral, and do further research to see whether they’d fit your needs? Now, think back to the last time your purchased something online. Did the yellow star rating beneath the product name influence your purchase?
If a homeowner’s drain was clogged in 1998, she’d open the phonebook and choose a plumber based on a friend’s recommendation or a print ad in the yellow pages. Today, life isn’t so simple. That same homeowner logs onto Facebook to ask for referrals, clicking through as many websites and profiles as it takes to find the provider that best meets her needs. If you want her business, you need to meet her where she is—online, on social media.
Growing a drain cleaning or plumbing business comes with many challenges. Finding new clients is only half the battle — creating a team to service those new clients presents several different obstacles. Many businesses in the plumbing industry start as a one-man shop — someone who is great at what they do and services an area where they’ve made a name for themselves. When it comes time to grow though, those owners have to go through hoops to find employees who have the perfect balance of on-the-job expertise and customer service skills. Where does a business owner find these superstar employees? And what can a business owner do to keep them?