Webster’s defines the word reliable as “able to be trusted to do or provide what is needed.” While those words are certainly true, they really fail to convey the gravity of what it means to be considered reliable. Reliability is key to the reputation (and continued success) of any business, especially contractors. Those seen as reliable will receive better reviews, more word of mouth references, and overall a higher general success rate. That being said, how can you make sure your business is seen as reliable?
Reliability is something that has to built from the ground up. Like trust, it’s also very easy to ruin, especially given the stereotype of contractors as less than reliable in the first place. In practice, being reliable really isn’t that difficult, since it comes down to a mix of common courtesy and professionalism. If you’re looking to increase your reputation for reliability, follow the steps listed below and watch your reputation skyrocket.
- Return Calls Quickly- By returning calls quickly, you show that you’re reliable right off the bat. This also applies to emails and online submissions. After all, the homeowner is relying on you to call them back to set up a time for your initial meeting. By being responsive this early in the game, you’ve already created a sense in the homeowner that they can count on you. Reinforce that sense by following the rest of the steps.
- Be on Time- There’s nothing that says “unreliable” like showing up late to a job. Of course, life happens and we all get hung up on projects from time to time. If this is the case, call the homeowner before you were supposed to be there and let them know you’re going to be late. Offer to be there as soon as possible, and further offer to call them once you’re on the way to them. If they can’t wait, offer to reschedule to a time that works for them. This will reinforce the point that even though life happened, you can still be counted on to work within the client’s schedule.
- Do What You Say You Will- If you tell the client you’ll be, say, calling an associate to get an answer to a question, make sure you call them. Saying you’ll do something and not following through is probably the action that does the most damage to your reputation for reliability.
- Go The Extra Mile When It Makes Sense- If, for example, you’re a plumber replacing a U-joint and you see that the faucets need tightening, go ahead and do it. While it may add a few minutes to the completion time, it will also show that you’re paying attention and care about the needs of your clients. Make sure to mention it to the client, too, because they’ll be pleased to know that you’re looking out for their best interest. Little steps like this go a long way to increasing your reputation for reliability.
- Involve The Client- Keep the client informed of what’s going on with the job. If it looks like you’ll be finishing up before the projected completion date, let them know. If you’ll be there longer than initially expected, let them know that too. Basically, keep them involved with the timeline and keep them posted as you complete milestones on the job itself. In doing so, you’ll convey that you want them to know what you’re up to, which is seen as a trait of reliability.
By following these steps, you’ll certainly increase your company’s reputation for reliability. If you’re already seen as reliable, you’ll reinforce the notion. Either way, a reputation for reliability is something that will help your business, and that’s advice you can rely on.