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TradesAdvisor offers advice on good customer service

For our local tradespeople, there are a number of steps you can take to maximise the possibility of getting positive results from customers and winning contracts to carry out their home improvement work or solve problems in emergencies.

Although some points may seem obvious, this advice is based on feedback from our customers when asked about their experiences with hiring local tradespeople, so we thought we would share this information to help you get the best out of being part of TradesAdvisor.

1. Rapid response

When enquiries are submitted by customers, we forward them to tradespeople who are registered with our service. As soon as you receive enquiries from TradesAdvisor with details of customers who require your services, responding to the job by phone or text is advisable in order to establish contact, and if necessary, arrange a home visit to provide a quote, consultation or assessment of the work to be completed. The faster you respond to a customer's request, the more likely you are to win their business.

2. No job too small

Even if a small enquiry comes through to you which may not yield as much money as a larger job, taking advantage of the smaller jobs can add up to pay for your service quicker than you might think. Furthermore, customers who hire you for a small job and are pleased with your quality workmanship and service are more likely to ring you direct than search for a new tradesperson if they need similar work doing in the future that you could assist with.

3. Stick to basics

Many customers won't know the jargon of your trade so keeping things easy to understand whilst laying out the main details a customer needs to know can be most effective. Customers can be turned off by too much trade jargon and think they're being primed for an expensive bill, even though a tradesperson may just be trying to explain the situation in more detail to demonstrate their knowledge and expertise.

4. Quote for the job

Feedback from customers enquiring through the service has told us that if a customer receives calls/texts from multiple tradespeople, one of the things that will stop them from choosing a particular tradesman is if they are quoted for additional work they didn't ask for. This is especially true if one trader tries to sell additional services but others don't, as they can feel they are being pushed to accept services they don't want/necessarily need. Obviously situations will arise where hidden problems can be discovered while work is in progress, and when asked, customers accepted this was the case and in the main advised that concern was limited to sales of additional services before work even began.

5. Leave a card

If you visit someone at their home, they may be planning work for a week or a month down the line, so to ensure customers can get back in touch with you easily when they are ready for work to commence, leave a business card or provide contact details. Alternatively, offering to ring the customer back at the time when they're scheduling the work could win you the job by providing customer service the customer may not receive from other tradespeople.

6. Stay in touch

Another area customers have told us influences their choice of tradesperson is contact. If somebody promises a call back or home visit and is late, fails to turn up at all, or has to be contacted back by the customer, this is often a fatal move that sees the customer looking elsewhere. Reliability is seen as a key trait that customers want to see in their tradespeople.

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These days, it's all about ranking and rating

You probably have noticed that many websites today employ ranking and rating systems. eBay, for instance, rates its sellers and buyers according to the feedback their receive when transacting online. Google ranks website links on its search results page according to the each link’s value to the user. TradesAdvisor uses ranking and rating when presenting lists of Tradesmen to customers. Ranking and rating play an increasingly important role in Web experience and anyone vying to generate income must pay close attention to them.

Why you should care about your rating

On websites such as TradesAdvisor, a rating system functions just like reputation does in everyday life. The higher your rating score is, the better you are perceived in the market, and the more customers will be willing to hire you. A high rating score indicates that you are a professional who conducts business in a serious and trustworthy manner. Since rating affects your ranking, having a high rating score means you will be ranked high on the search results page, which gives you a marketing advantage over Tradesmen with lower ranking. This is because customers typically pay more attention to Tradesmen who appear at the beginning of the Tradesmen list.  Therefore, to attract the attention of as many customers as possible, you, the Tradesman, have a vested interest in having your profile link appear as close to the top of the list as possible.

Profile: How TradesAdvisor customers view you

The first area that affects your rating is the completeness of your profile, which is your main marketing vehicle on TradesAdvisor. How well do you leverage your profile today? If you were a customer seeking your service, would you be impressed with your profile? These are the questions we ask when assessing the usefulness of your profile. More specifically, we increase the ratings of Tradesmen whose profiles meet the criteria below. Log into your TradesAdvisor profile and make sure you have provided the following information:

  • Description of business - Explain in detail the nature of your business and type of services you provide. Be as specific as you can. Customers want to know what is it exactly that you do and why they should select you over the competition.
  • Profile picture - A picture serves as a visual clue about the service provider. Feel free to upload your own picture, your business logo or any other image that further introduces your service.
  • Image portfolio - This is a collection of images that showcase your previous projects. Many Tradesmen use this feature to demonstrate the quality and range of their services, so customers know what to expect. Some Tradesmen even include before/after images of their work. If you have images related to your work, be sure to upload them.

An impressive profile makes customers take notice of you. Be sure to take the time to enter your profile information and enrich it with images and video. A great profile will dramatically increase your rating and is completely in your control at all times.

Reviews: What TradesAdvisor customers think about you

A large portion of your rating is determined by the feedback you receive from customers who hire your for their projects. At the end of the job, both you and the customer will rate and review your performance and quality measures. The more positive reviews you receive from customers, the higher your ratings will be. Conversely, negative reviews or lack of reviews will lower your rating.

Given the above, it is important that you land jobs, so that customers can review you. It’s equally important to provide great service to your customers who, subsequently, reward you with positive reviews. If you receive a negative review from a customer, don’t be discouraged. Try to understand the issues that the customer faced and how you can improve your service in the future.

Parting thoughts

By now we hope you understand the role that rating and ranking play on TradesAdvisor, and appreciate the impact that the former has on the latter, as well as how they directly affect your income potential. Finding great customers and financially thriving on TradesAdvisor requires investment on your part in terms of time and effort. But we have noticed the dramatic effect that great profiles, great service and continuous community involvement have on business results. If you’re in it for the long run, make sure to take advantage of everything TradesAdvisor has to offer.

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The TradesAdvisor Charter

Although we have been around for a relatively short period of time, people across Scotland are already beginning to rely on the service that TradesAdvisor provides. Why? Because we are independent and impartial. We do not offer an opinion on tradesmen but the facts. Below is our TradesAdvisor Charter, which each of our members agree to undertake when they become a member of TradesAdvisor :-

  • Be realistic regarding when you will come round to provide a quotation.
  • Stick to any arrangements made and if they need to be changed, keep all parties informed.
  • If any call-out fees apply, inform the customer of this on first contact.
  • Provide a written quotation and be as transparent as possible and with regard to any potential problems with the work that might arise.
  • If quoting start dates and duration, be realistic.
  • Keep communication channels open. If there are any changes, make sure the customer is aware of these when they arise, not at the end of the job.
  • Always be courteous and respectful of the customer, their property and their belongings.
  • Never be threatening, or verbally or physically abusive.
  • Deal with any complaints promptly and professionally.
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April's Tradesmen of the Month Sponsored by GPH

We are delighted to announce that GPH Builders Merchants are the sponsor of Tradesadvisor’s ‘Tradesman of the Month’. Each month, not only will the winning tradesman with the most positive reviews be awarded this exclusive title, but they will now also receive a power tool, kindly donated by the team at GPH!  With this exciting news, there was a huge influx of reviews for tradesmen across all categories.

The reviews have been counted, and we are delighted to announce that February's Tradesman of the Month is Murray Stevenson Joiner and Building Contractor. Murray was delighted to receive his power tool from GPH Builders Merchants in Westhill, and if you would like to be May's winner, and share a similar glory, get those reviews in today.

 TradesAdvisor.com's received a huge number of reviews in April and so a special mention to the following Tradesmen for their efforts this month;

In 2nd place is Happy Plastering with 7 reviews,

and in joint 3rd place are EWF ltd and Westgrove Construction, each with 6 reviews.

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GPH Builders Merchants unveils sculptures of North-east artist

Aberdeenshire builders merchant unveils sculptures

A North-east-based builders merchant has unveiled a series of sustainable sculptures.

GPH of Westhill and Inverurie is displaying the work of acclaimed North-east artist Bruce Walker.

In 2012, Mr Walker completed a sculpture, commissioned to replace an existing monument to Captain Scott and Dr Wilson‘s explorations of Antarctica. It is believed to be one of the biggest granite carvings in the world and is situated in Glen Prosen, Angus.

Mr Walker’s Pictish Queen, a semi-abstract Aberdeenshire granite sculpture with Pictish Celtic carving, is on show at the Inverurie branch of GPH. The display also features dry stone dyking by world-champion dyker Davie Sinclair, who received a year-long Historic Scotland bursary last August to train under Mr Walker.

Mr Walker said: “There’s so much conceptual art just now but I believe sculpture should be in a sustainable material. I am trying to promote granite and give people an idea of what can be done.

“These traditional methods, which use local materials, have been proven to last."

Nikki Mortimer, GPH sales and marketing director, said: “We first met Bruce through a mutual contact when he was involved in sourcing granite from Craigenlow Quarry near Dunecht.  Having seen Bruce’s work first hand and having been so impressed with his Scott of the Antarctic sculpture, we knew that his work would be very special. It is perfect for discerning private customers, but also what better way to make an impact at the entrance to your business than with indigenous stone, skillfully crafted by local artisans?

“GPH is delighted to be showcasing the work of these talented individuals at our premises. We feel that their work really complements the slab and aggregate products that GPH already displays and sells, as well as providing our customers with the opportunity to own something truly unique, captured in local stone by Bruce and Davie.”

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18/10/10 : Edith Mowatt joins the TradesAdvisor Team

EdithTradesAdvisor is pleased to announce an addition to our small team. Edith Mowatt joined us on 18th October 2010.

Edith will be heading up our business development and accounts management side of the business - improving our communication with our existing members and out promoting TradesAdvisor to local businesses and tradesmen alike.

We are excited to secure someone having the experience and calibre that Edith possesses and we look forward to taking TradesAdvisor to the next phase with Edith's much needed assistance!

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25/06/10 : TradesAdvisor appears in Deeside Piper

TradesAdvisor is proud to be supporting the Forget-Me-Not Club Dementia Support during the Banchory Show on 31st July 2010. Stick it in your diary and come along and see us, and participate in our raffle!

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26/06/10 : TradesAdvisor is proud to announce its sponsorship of the Grampian Policy Schools Alcohol Awareness Trophy

TradesAdvisor is pleased to report its association with Grampian Police's initiative of creating awareness of the impacts that drinking at an early age can have on their future health, safety and criminal record. It has recently received this letter of appreciation from Grampian Police.

"Dear Darren

SCHOOLS ALCOHOL AWARENESS TROPHY

I thank you on behalf of the many pupils who will benefit from your sponsorship of the trophy over the coming years.

Alcohol is indeed a blight across Scotland, therefore by giving pupils safe drinking messages before they begin drunking they will be in a position to make informed decisions that will have an impact on their future health, safety and perhaps any criminal record.

Your company's support is much appreciated and I look forward to updating you with the progression of this initiative."

Note we have erased specific contact details.

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22/06/10 : TradesAdvisor Launches!

We've launched TradesAdvisor

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24/06/10 : Go online for the best building-trades advice

TradesAdvisor appears in AGCC release!

Until now, we have tended to turn to family, friends and colleagues for help and advice in finding local reputable and dependable tradesmen. But now a local trade-specialist website aimed at being the best friend of, and those looking for, tradesmen and suppliers, has just gone online in Aberdeen.

TradesAdvisor (www.tradesadvisor.com) has been launched by Aberdeen-based Konetik Limited. The concept was born after quantity surveyor Gavin Esslemont was struggled to find reputable tradespeople to undertake a project on his home. “There are many excellent trades people around but I found I was relying more and more on recommendations from friends and colleagues.

“So transferring these word-of-mouth recommendations into a local trade-specialist website database appeared to be the next logical step,” he said.

TradesAdvisor offers and maintains an interactive system populated by trades people and consumers and it gives the trades people the opportunity to receive automated referrals and an instant online web presence, whilst providing consumers the opportunity to post their trade requirements and leave feedback on tradesmen, which benefits other users of the site.

“The fact that companies are continually monitored by their customers gives users peace of mind that they are dealing with trades people who value their reputation and are at the top of their game,” Gavin said.

“TradesAdvisor is growing to be a valuable tool for local tradesmen that are new to the market and others that are looking to expand their businesses. The automated referral system provides the connection between a consumer looking for a tradesman and a tradesman looking for new business. It is already saving people lots of time calling around for quotes. It also provides an effective platform for local suppliers to promote their trade-related products and special offers that they are currently carrying.“

Gavin, who has a degree in quantity surveying and years of experience in construction and procurement in the oil and gas industry, sees TradesAdvisor as a win:win for everybody.

Co-founder Darren Ross added, “We have developed the site based on customer feedback and incorporated a fair bit of community information, such as local scams, DIY advice from our members, and promoting businesses that are receiving good feedback. We’ve even got a social networking part of the site where businesses can interact with each other and partner up to undertake larger projects. It’s important for us to maintain TradesAdvisor with a local focus and develop an online community that assists in the often-fraught search for dependable tradesmen.”

Aberdeenshire resident Elizabeth Woodhouse commented, “I am undertaking a fairly sizable project and to have the resource of TradesAdvisor available to me is invaluable. I posted three projects and within a day I had received eight calls - a fantastic response! I will be securing the services of a builder, joiner, plumber and electrician all through TradesAdvisor and having recommended tradesmen working on my project gives me total peace of mind.”

Projects recently posted or awarded at TradesAdvisor include house renovations, internal decoration, garden lighting projects and roofing repairs.

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