Brandon O’Brien has serviced pools and spas for six years. As the current lead technician for Aquatech, he’s used to walking confidently into a stranger’s backyard, diagnosing the problem, and offering solutions. And for Brandon, that confidence is the key to building trust in his clientele. Whether you’re a pool technician (and, let’s face it, you’re probably not), an HVAC technician, or just the owner of a small business looking to increase your clientele, here are some tips from Brandon on how to build a trusting relationship with your client.
Tip # 1: Be Upfront
I asked Brandon how he puts his client at ease when he first comes to their home as a total stranger. His advice? It all starts with communication. “I always call first. And then as soon as I get there, I jump right out of the car and knock on the front door.” Even though Brandon works primarily in the backyard, he knows how important it is to introduce himself and be open about what he’s doing before he starts. His clients appreciate it, and his client’s neighbors appreciate not having to call the cops when an unidentified van parks in front of their house to do some work.
Even if you’re not doing house visits, Brandon’s advice still applies. As a business owner, it’s important to be upfront about your services. Instead of jumping right in to do the work, make sure you keep your clients up to date on what you’re doing for them.
Tip #2: Explain Your Processes
This one goes hand in hand with the first tip. As you’re working for your client, explain what it is you’re doing for them. Obviously, this takes a certain level of discernment. If you’re client’s not interested in what you’re doing, explaining isn’t going to help. But, if you have a client who is particularly interested in your process, do what Brandon does. Show them the part. Talk about why it failed. And explain how you’re going to fix the problem.
Tip #3: Do Your Research Beforehand
“Be prepared. Ask about the problem beforehand and do the extra research on your own.” Hey, you’re an expert. But it doesn’t mean you know everything. If you’re lost, do the research. If you expect a problem is going to be a doozie, do your research beforehand. Even if you have to call up your client for extra details, doing the cold hard research on your own time will go a long way toward building your client’s trust in your abilities. Especially once you show up with the answer.
Tip #4: Don’t Stop Until the Client is Satisfied
If you notice that another employee has made a mistake, eat the cost of repair and do whatever you can to satisfy your customer. Train your employees so they’re prepared for every problem. And teach them to look for any additional problems they can solve. All of this will contribute to a company culture where the client comes first. And that’s important in the pool and spa industry as well as, well, everywhere else.
Tip #5: Be Confident
All of these tips come together to form the most important bit of advice Brandon gave me. And he couldn’t stress it enough: have confidence in yourself. “Confidence in your abilities is a great way to build client trust.” If you know you can do the job right, and your attitude conveys that, you’ll put your clients at ease. Research, communication, and a dedication to your client’s success all lend themselves to confident employees and confident clients as a result.
Brandon’s tips aren’t the only good ones, but they’re probably the simplest. If you want your clients to trust you, do a good job. Communicate about your services and processes and then do everything you can to ensure you’re satisfying your clients. Doing a good job will help you confidently market your services, and will have your clients confidently recommending you to others as well.
Mary Kremer is a freelance writer who loves traveling, learning, and honing her business skills. In her free time she enjoys hiking and bugging her husband as he’s about to fall asleep. She’s written content for for a few years, and enjoys working with good people doing good business