It’s interesting that calling a tradie to fix the leaky plumbing, or booking your car in to get serviced, or scheduling a massage all still involve making a phone call during business hours. Meanwhile, gig economy innovates like Uber and AirTasker have captured the hearts and dollars of consumers all over the world.
If it’s the cost and convenience of these apps and platforms that is stealing opportunities from cabs and qualified professionals, then why aren’t the owners of plumbing businesses, cab companies, and other service providers competing effectively? Perhaps they are too focused on price, and not paying enough attention to the convenience aspect of the competition.
Give customers easy access to experts
What local service providers need to do is give customers equal convenience. People support local trade, if it’s easy. Imagine giving a customer the opportunity to have the choice of emailing, phoning, or texting a plumbing services to schedule an appointment. The barriers to booking are greatly lowered, and will in turn increase business.
Platforms like Jeeves.Plus allow customers to SMS a company to schedule, coordinate, and confirm bookings easily. All they have to do is text, while the company receives the text on a web-based platform with customer details, messaging history, and any additional notes on the customer.
Do it in a way that saves money
Businesses don’t have to splurge on a large customer service team, proprietary app, or be overwhelmed by a huge learning curve.
A simple customer relationship management (CRM) platform that allows customers to reach the business in the way they prefer, whether by call, email, online booking portal, or SMS, doesn’t cost massive amounts of capital, can be managed in-house, and the increase in revenue through easy-to-make bookings can more than make up for the cost of the investment.
Encourage feedback, develop staff
It’s often very difficult to leave feedback on a job well done (or not-so-well done) with typical service providers with limited communication channels. With effective CRM, customers can leave feedback by text, email, or phone. Recording these compliments or complaints in a system enables managers to dive deeper into the feedback, help turn a detractor into a promoter by following up with the customer, and allows opportunities to coach and develop staff.
What gig economy startups have gotten right is the convenience of allowing customers to reach them in fast and easy ways. All service providers have to do is do the same to protect and grow their market.
Jeeves.Plus is a text-based customer support platform that enables customers to contact businesses on their device, in any language, in their own time, and is a low-cost, easy-to-implement solution for service providers like contractors, food delivery services, and taxi services.