10 Strategies to Grow Your Commercial Plumbing Business
As a commercial plumber, you are no stranger to the challenges that come with running a business in this field. You have to be able to deliver results quickly, manage workers who often work independently, and stay ahead of the competition, especially as more and more plumbing businesses adopt new technologies – like field operations software. In this article, we’ll discuss 10 proven strategies to help you stave off the competition and take your plumbing business to the next level.
Expand Your Offerings, Expand Your Opportunities
Seeking out new revenue streams can help keep your plumbing business thriving. You can do this by offering preventative maintenance to help your customers avoid costly repairs in the future, or you can launch an energy-saving campaign in your community and offer to install eco-friendly toilets, showerheads, and faucets. Another option is to provide emergency plumbing services, such as 24-hour support for when you clients need you the most. You can start small and gradually increase the hours. Some plumbers also offer consulting services, such as water management and conservation advice, to further diversify their offerings. Lastly, you can partner with other professionals in related fields, such as electricians and handymen, to offer a complete service package to your customers.
Step Up Your Digital Game: Boost Your Online Presence
As a commercial plumber, it is important to have a strong online presence to attract and retain customers. In today’s digital age, having a professional and user-friendly website is crucial in establishing your brand as a trusted and reliable plumbing business in your local area.
To start, create a website that showcases your services and experience in the industry. Make sure it is easy to navigate and includes relevant information, such as your contact details and pricing. You can then optimize your website for search engines using relevant keywords, meta descriptions, and title tags to increase visibility and rank higher in search engine results.
In addition to your website, it is important to create valuable content for your target audience. Share blog articles, infographics, and videos that provide valuable information about your services, industry news, and tips for customers. This will not only establish your brand as a knowledgeable resource, but it will also help drive traffic to your website and build a following on social media.
Social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, are also valuable tools in promoting your business and engaging with your followers. Utilize these platforms to share updates, showcase your work, and respond to customer inquiries.
Collecting customer reviews is another important aspect of building a strong online presence. Encourage your customers to leave positive reviews on your website and on sites like Google My Business and Yelp. These reviews can improve your online reputation and increase trust among potential customers.
Finally, don’t underestimate the power of Facebook Groups. Every day people ask their friends for commercial plumber recommendations. Being a part of these local groups in your community can you know when someone is looking for advice. When they ask, you can quickly respond with helpful tips and information.
In conclusion, by developing a professional website, utilizing SEO, creating valuable content, leveraging social media, collecting customer reviews, and joining local social media groups, commercial plumbers can improve their online presence and attract more customers to their business.
Retain and Reward: A Recipe for Customer Loyalty
Starting a customer loyalty program can be a great way for a commercial plumber to grow their business. By rewarding your customers for their loyalty and repeat business, you can create a strong and supportive customer base that will help drive your business forward. Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating a successful customer loyalty program for your plumbing business:
- Determine your target audience: Before you start your loyalty program, you need to know who you want to reward. Consider the types of customers you want to target, such as repeat customers or those who refer friends and family, and what their needs and preferences are. This will help you determine what rewards will be most appealing to them.
- Decide on the rewards: Choose rewards that will be appealing to your target audience. This could include discounts on future services, special offers, and exclusive access to promotions. Consider offering different rewards for different levels of customer loyalty, such as exclusive access to the highest-quality services or exclusive promotions for repeat customers.
- Choose a loyalty program structure: Decide whether you want a points-based system, a tier-based system, or another type of program structure. Points-based systems allow customers to accumulate points for each service they receive and redeem those points for rewards. Tier-based systems offer different rewards and perks for customers who reach different levels of loyalty. Choose a structure that will work best for your target audience and business.
- Create a sign-up process: Make it easy for customers to enroll in your loyalty program. This could be done through your website, in-person, or over the phone. Consider offering an incentive for customers to sign up, such as a discount on your next service visit.
- Promote your program: Let your customers know about your loyalty program through email marketing, social media, in-person promotions, and other channels. Consider using loyalty program branding to promote your program and create a consistent message across all your marketing channels.
- Monitor and evaluate: Regularly monitor your loyalty program’s performance and make changes as needed to ensure its success. Keep track of which rewards are most popular and which promotions are most effective, and make adjustments as needed.
- Provide excellent customer service: Consistently provide high-quality service to customers to keep them engaged and interested in your loyalty program. Keep your customers satisfied with your services and they will be more likely to continue using your services and participating in your loyalty program.
By following these steps, you can create a successful customer loyalty program that will help grow your plumbing business. Start by determining your target audience, deciding on the rewards, and choosing a loyalty program structure that works for you and your customers. With the right program in place, you can create a supportive customer base and grow your business for years to come.
Streamline Your Customer Connections: Adopt a Strong CRM System
By implementing a robust CRM system, plumbing businesses can manage and grow their customer relationships in an organized and efficient manner. The first step in implementing a CRM system is to determine what specific functions and features that are needed for your commercial plumbing business, such as lead tracking, contract management, and customer service management. After identifying the needs, research the available options in the market and compare their features, pricing, and customer reviews. Then, evaluate the top options and select the one that best fits your needs. Finally, set up and integrate the solution with your existing business processes and provide adequate training to your team to ensure everyone can use it effectively. With a well-implemented CRM system, plumbing businesses can increase their productivity, provide better customer service, and ultimately grow their business.
It’s also important to train your team and ensure that everyone understands how to use the system effectively and is able to maximize its benefits.
Rise to the Occasion: Offer Emergency Support
Offering 24/7 emergency services in plumbing can have several benefits for your commercial contracting business. Firstly, it demonstrates a commitment to the customers’ needs, which can result in increased customer satisfaction and loyalty. The availability of the business at all hours can attract a wider customer base, including those who may not have otherwise considered the business for their plumbing needs.
Having the ability to respond to emergencies gives the business a competitive advantage over others that only offer services during regular business hours. This can not only expand the customer base but also increase the revenue of the business as emergency services often come with a premium price tag. Moreover, responding quickly and effectively to emergencies can build the business’s reputation as a trusted and reliable provider, which can lead to increased referrals and repeat business.
Leverage the Power of Field Operations Software
Field operations software can revolutionize the way any commercial plumber runs their business. The software offers numerous benefits that not only streamline and automate various business processes but also deliver more productive field and office teams, and faster cash collection and business growth.
From an efficiency standpoint, field operations software can dramatically improve scheduling and dispatching capabilities. Commercial plumbers that leverage a platform like this can better manage their schedule, stay on top of job details, and eliminate the busy work often involved with using pen and paper to manage jobs. Real-time job tracking updates allow commercial plumbers to make informed decisions, while automating tasks such as invoicing, payroll, and communication between the tech and office team – freeing up valuable time to focus on what matters most to your business, delivering great customer experience and collecting cash faster.
Access to real-time data and reduced errors, thanks to automated processes, empowers commercial plumbing owners to make informed business decisions and maintain high-quality service. Insights such as the profitability of each tech, delayed invoices, the volume of quotes issued, additional work generated from preventative maintenance, customer profitability, and much more.
Investing in field operations software is a smart choice for commercial plumbers looking to take their business to the next level. The software’s benefits result in a more organized, efficient, and profitability-focused operation.
Provide excellent customer service
Customer service is the competitive advantage that separates you from your competitors.
Customer service is not just about fixing a leaky faucet or installing a new water heater; it’s about understanding your customers’ needs and providing them with a great experience throughout the entire process–from the initial call to the completion of the job.
It also means completing the job the first time. Having to come back to the site because of poor communication between the field tech and the office team, isn’t an ideal experience for the customer. And candidly, it’s frustrating.
To ensure that you’re providing excellent customer service, listen to what they want and need, understand their expectations around pricing, experience working with other commercial plumbers, etc., then use field operations software like Operix to improve upon these areas where possible.
Network with other peers in the plumbing industry
Networking is a critical component of expanding your commercial plumbing business. Joining professional organizations, such as the American Society of Plumbing Engineers, the Mechanical Contractors of America, or the National Association of Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors (PHCC), provides a platform for networking with other industry professionals, sharing information and advice, and building relationships. Trade shows, industry groups, and forums on Reddit, Facebook, and LinkedIn are additional opportunities to network and expand your customer base.
Offering to mentor or train others in the industry can help establish your business as a thought leader and build relationships with other professionals. Hosting events and workshops, such as educational seminars, and training sessions is a great way to network and showcase your skills and expertise. Partnering with other businesses in the industry on joint projects or providing referrals can also help build relationships and promote your business. Joining business referral groups, such as BNI, provides opportunities to network with other industry professionals and receive referrals.
Utilize data and analytics to make informed decisions
As a commercial plumbing business, it’s essential to measure the performance of your field team to ensure you’re providing top-notch service to your customers. By tracking key metrics, you can gain a clear understanding of your team’s strengths and areas for improvement. Here are five essential metrics to consider tracking in your commercial plumbing business.
First-time Fix Rate. A high first-time fix rate indicates that your team is well-equipped, knowledgeable, and efficient in their service delivery. It’s essential to strive for high first-time fix rates to ensure that your customers are satisfied with your services and to minimize the need for follow-up appointments.
Technician Efficiency measures the time it takes for technicians to complete service calls, including travel time, appointment duration, and time spent on job details. By tracking this information, you can optimize scheduling and improve team productivity.
Parts Inventory Management measures the efficiency of your team in managing parts inventory and supplies. This includes tracking inventory levels, ordering and restocking supplies, and minimizing waste. Proper parts inventory management helps to ensure that technicians have the necessary supplies to resolve service calls efficiently and effectively.
Profitability per technician – most commercial contractors do this manually by calculating the total revenue generated by each technician and subtracting the total costs associated with that technician. With a Field Operations platform, you can automatically track the salary, benefits, equipment, supplies, and any other expenses related to their job to quickly find the profitability per technician.
Continuously train and upskill your workforce
As a commercial plumber, it’s important to invest in the development and growth of your employees. A well-trained and upskilled team can not only deliver better results but also drive more profitability for your business. If you’re looking for some quick ways to upskill your team, keep reading:
- On-the-Job Training: This type of training involves providing hands-on experience to new or existing employees. This could include shadowing experienced technicians, participating in job rotations, or observing demonstrations. On-the-job training provides employees with the opportunity to put their theoretical knowledge into practice and develop practical skills in a real-world setting.
- Classroom Training: This type of training involves formal sessions led by experienced trainers or industry experts. This could include workshops, seminars, or online courses that cover the latest techniques, tools, and technologies in the field.
- Certification Programs: Encourage your team to obtain industry certifications. Industry certifications can give employees the confidence and credibility to perform their job to the highest standards, and can also be a valuable asset for the business.
- Mentorship Programs: Assigning experienced technicians as mentors to newer employees can provide them with guidance and support as they learn and grow in their careers. Mentorship programs foster a culture of learning and development, and can help ensure the continued success of the business.
Take your commercial plumbing business to the next level by following these 10 tips. Keep in mind that each strategy will require time and effort, but if implemented correctly they will pay off tenfold in both short-term and long-term benefits for years to come.