Business Insider

4 tips for contractors to make the best first impression on service calls

Mallory Moore, a Ferguson author

by Mallory Moore


Blink your eyes. See how fast you did that? Psychology research shows us that’s how long it takes for a person, including potential customers, to size you up. A good first impression can be a powerful thing, especially for professional tradesmen on service calls. Going out of your way to impress customers can lead to repeat business. Customers are likely to spread the word about their experience with you, be it good or otherwise. Online reviews matter. One report from Mashable shows that 90% of Yelp users say a positive review will impact their buying decision.


Check out these basic steps you can take to help you wow your customers by creating an excellent first impression, and find more tips to help you grow your business in the Ideas & Learning Center.

1. Get a work phone line

Almost all customer relationships include a phone call at some point in the transaction. A customer looks up the number for a technician in the directory, but the number listed is the tech’s personal line. The tech doesn’t recognize the number so they sound confused when they answer. Even worse: they don’t answer at all. This lowers the credibility of the tech in the customer’s mind, so they call somebody else. Investing in a dedicated business line will let you know when you’re getting a work call, so you can be prepared to put on your best phone voice.

2. Put a smile on

Ever notice that when somebody is in a good mood, being around them makes you feel better? Emotions are contagious. You can instantly make your customers think of you in a positive way simply by appearing happy. We all have days when this is challenging to do. Your football team may have lost the big game or you’ve snaked drains all day, but put a smile on and fake it until you make it. If you look happy, your customers will feel happy.

3. Invest in uniforms

Wear a uniform to help you look more credible in the eyes of your customer. It can even be as simple as matching t-shirts with your company logo on it. It’s important for you to “look the part.” If you see a person wearing a white coat in a doctor’s office, you’d probably assume they’re a medical professional. The same goes for tradesmen. Your customer is looking for context clues that reassure them of your credentials, and a uniform is a simple way to show your expertise.

4. Keep it clean

And not just your language (although you should keep that clean, too). Keeping a tidy work space will show your customers that you are conscientious. Imagine what customers would think if you hop out of your work van and kick fast food wrappers onto their driveway or track dirty hand and foot prints into their home. Stock up on hand cleaning supplies, take the time to clean your work truck, put on work gloves and wear disposable work booties to let customers know that cleanliness is on your mind.

Mallory Moore, a Ferguson author

Mallory Moore

Mallory offers useful insights in her role as website content coordinator. She is intrinsically motivated, hard working and enthusiastic about providing Ferguson customers with a world-class online experience by offering content related to their industry.