Owning and managing a plumbing business in today’s environment is more than knowing how to fix a clogged drain or leaky pipes. To manage your business effectively, plumbing contractors must also know how to market their business, gain new leads, recruit new talent, and price their services correctly.
This is not an easy task and will come with a lot of challenges. Pricing your services, calculating labor rates, tracking billable and non-billable hours, selling maintenance agreements — all prove to be incredibly difficult to manage and handle.
What makes this harder is that the plumbing industry is on track for substantial growth in the next ten years, with a 4% anticipated growth rate. Not only is managing your business in the short-term crucial, but it’s also necessary in the long-run as more plumbing businesses enter the market.
Now is the time to position your plumbing business for growth — present and future growth. Here are some management tips that will help your business get on track for future growth and efficiency.
Stay Updated on Plumbing Trends
How can you position your business for growth if you aren’t up to date on new trends? Today’s customers are tech-savvy; therefore, trends related to operational efficiency matter. Your customers want to find new ways to save money and time.
Leaky fixtures and pipes easily contribute to gallons of wasted water and dollars. Since customers are more inclined to save money and water, they will want to know about different products. Plumbers shouldn’t only know how to fix issues; they should also know about other smart plumbing products to help customers reach their goals.
When your plumbers are up-to-date on new technologies and trends, they will be able to offer tailored solutions for their customers.
To manage your business well, you must understand which KPIs to monitor and track to make smarter decisions for your business.
When it comes to plumbing companies, the most important KPIs to track are:
- Gross profit margin: Measures a company’s financial health by calculating money left over after subtracting the cost of goods.
- Gross profit: Refers to the profit a company makes after deducting all expenses associated with making and selling products.
- Break-even point: Determines the number of sales needed to cover all costs (variable and fixed).
- Sales revenue: How much money is coming in from the sale of your services.
- Customer retention rate: The percent of customers that maintain loyalty to your business over a given period.
Leverage Online Reviews
Online reviews are essential in securing new leads and new business. According to Qualtrics, customers are willing to spend 31% more on a company with excellent reviews. Also, 93% of customers say that online reviews influence their buying decisions.
Receiving positive reviews is a priority, but negative reviews can also present opportunities to redeem yourself. No matter what kind of reviews you receive, you can use them to help usher in new customers, bring unsatisfied customers back to your business, and help gain an advantage over your competitors. Your customers want to see that you are making an effort to express your appreciation or address their needs and concerns.
Most of the workforce is now mobile, so it’s even more critical to streamline communication — starting from a customer booking an appointment to the technician follow-up after completing a job.
Connect your plumbing team by using text messaging or GPS tracking. Clear, consistent, and timely communication helps keep everyone in the loop about what is going on. Also, it helps improve customer satisfaction and enhances customer management. Keep everyone on the same page to ensure things are going smoothly.
Train and Equip Customer Service Representatives (CSRs)
Your customer service representatives should be prepared to answer incoming questions and requests. Your clients expect positive customer service experiences the second that you answer the phone; therefore, CSRs have the responsibility for setting that foundation and maintaining a great experience moving forward.
Train your CSRs on essential skills to have when answering calls, such as:
- Emotional intelligence: Your CSRs will be dealing with various issues. They must know how to handle them and provide solutions as they come.
- Passion: Your CSRs should go above and beyond to provide an experience that delights customers.
- Resourcefulness: Resourcefulness is about how your CSRs solve problems that arise with the resources they have.
- Phone Etiquette: Your CSRs are in direct contact with customers. Sometimes, it can be tricky or difficult to deal with certain situations. It’s important for your CSRs to maintain proper phone etiquette by staying level-headed and polite, even in tough scenarios.
Good business management is what will guide your company through the years to come. As the plumbing industry continues to grow year-by-year, remember these tips to help build a solid foundation for your company as it grows and thrives.