New research reveals the most important factors when selecting and hiring a tradesperson or business to complete a job.

The survey, which was commissioned by job management software provider BigChange, highlights the importance of customer service, with word of mouth recommendations and positive online reviews coming out as the top two considerations for customers.

The top five reasons for hiring and selecting a tradesperson or business:

Recommended to me by friends, family or a colleague (54%)

Great online reviews on platforms such as Google or TrustPilot (42%)

Cost (34%)

Five-star rating on Google or Trustpilot (29%)

Great online reviews on trade sites like Check-a-Trade or Rated People (28%)

Ian Burgess, customer success leader at BigChange shares expert tips for providing a positive customer experience and securing business via word of mouth recommendations:

Communication is key

“It’s important to remember that in most circumstances, customers need to be at the property to have work done on their home or business, meaning they will have had to organise their day and commitments around the job they’ve hired you to do.

“So, if you’re going to be late, have issues getting the materials you need or encounter another problem that could lead to the job not going to plan, communicate this with your customer ASAP. While it might not be the news they wanted, they’ll appreciate your transparency and not having to wait around all day unsure if you’re going to show up.”

Be organised

“The best way to ensure you can give your customer a positive experience, is to be visibly organised at all stages of the job.

“Being organised doesn’t come naturally to everyone though, and that’s where tools like job management software, job sheets and job tracking can really help. Not only will it reduce paperwork and allow you to work more efficiently, it can help reduce potential errors or delays which could be frustrating for your customer.”

Be personable and considerate

“Once you’ve nailed all the logistics with the support of a job management software tool, it’s essential that your team is trained to provide a personable and considerate exchange with your customers while on the job.

“For instance, if your customer is working from the location whilst the job is being done, don’t allow music to be played during work unless headphones are used or the customer has given the green light. If relevant, be sure to let the customer know if the power needs to be off and how long for, with a warning before the fact. And of course, always be considerate of any pets or children in the home. If you need to make noise or be disruptive to do the job at hand, that’s OK, but communicate this with the customer so they can make appropriate arrangements.”

Don’t cut corners

“Our research shows that customers are willing to pay more for a positive experience. But if the job isn’t done to a high standard, they’ll likely feel cheated and potentially opt for an alternative business with a lower price point next time, as they’ll think cost doesn’t equate to quality – and who can blame them if that’s their experience?

“Planning your team’s jobs using tools like job sheets allows you to plan out all jobs with designated time to complete them and travel to the next. This should help reduce delays which could lead to corners being cut and leaving your customer disgruntled.”

Extra gestures are always appreciated

“Going the extra mile for customers doesn’t just mean offering discounted or free services, there are plenty of extra gestures you can offer as part of a positive customer experience.

“For example, if you know from chatting with your customer that the next job in their renovation floors or electrics, make recommendations of potential tradespeople or business who could help. It goes without saying however, be sure you trust whoever you recommend. It could look bad on you if they mess the customer around.

“Other potential gestures include, filling a visible hole or gap with extra materials, offering to put up shelves or pictures that need hanging, ensuring the space is well cleared of dust and rubble before you leave or even as simple as highlighting a clear method of contact should any issues arise with the work.”