As a deck building professional, you are asking a lot from your customers. You are asking them to trust their property, their home, and their hard-earned money to you in exchange for a transformed backyard living space.
Unfortunately, there have been too many bad actors within the construction trades – including fraudulent companies, unskilled crews, or companies that didn’t deliver on what they promised. This can create doubt for some homeowners, which places yet another hurdle you must clear before they sign on for the project.
In order to grow your business and schedule more projects, you need to earn the trust of your potential customers. Trust is something that you earn, but there are some proven methods to highlight the trust you’ve earned.
5 Ways To Build Trust for Your Decking Business
Here are some ways you can build a trusting relationship with your customer.
1. Look Professional
With a sizeable investment like a deck, people want to hire a professional. When someone meets you, visits your website, or sees your sales literature, do you come across as professional?
Don’t settle for handwritten contracts, stock images, or poorly designed websites. Make sure you are professional in all you do.
- Create a Logo & Brand – Find a local designer or online option like 99 designs. Get them to create a logo, brand guidelines, and other sharable assets. If you want, you can also have them create letterhead for physical contracts, print brochures, and social media posts.
- Invest in Photography – You can take great photos with your cell phone, but a professional photographer will make your projects look amazing, which will also make your truck wraps, sales brochures, and website that much better.
- Have a Modern, Updated Website – Have a website that was built 5+ years ago? It likely looks horrible on modern mobile phones. Don’t have a website? You may not be taken as seriously as those with a website. Thanks to platforms like WordPress and other free or low-cost builders, you can easily create a great looking website.
- Keep Everything Updated – Don’t let your print brochures, website, or social profiles get stale. If you haven’t updated your Facebook page in 2 years, people may think you are out of business.
2. Introduce Yourself
One of the reasons homeowners choose to work with locally-owned contractors instead of franchises or large corporations is to support local businesses. People want to work with contractors they can get to know and like.
As part of any marketing plan, we always recommend local contractors embrace their people and their localness. Find ways to get yourself, your team, and your local connections front and center of your marketing efforts.
- Improve Your About Page – On nearly every home contractor website we manage, the About page is one of the most visited pages on the site. Make sure you are telling a compelling story about your company on your website and why you are the perfect choice for their project.
- Create an Our Team Page – People want to know who will be coming onto their property or into their homes. You can create an Our Team page to highlight employees, their roles, and their bios. For most contractors, we recommend including every customer-facing employee – whether they are answering the phone, leading design, or installing a deck.
- Feature Team Members Across Channels – Don’t just feature beautiful projects on your website or across social media; showcase your people. Tell the story of how a team member joined your company, what motivates them, and their favorite project or design element.
- Show Who Will Be Coming – If you have an in-person consultation or design meeting, send an email to your customer letting them know who will be showing up – bonus if you include a photo. That way they already know who is coming and can match a name and face when they arrive.
3. Trust Symbols
As I said in the beginning, the actions of some bad contractors have created doubt within the minds of some homeowners. You can use trust symbols to highlight that you are a legitimate company that’s been vetted by others to do good work.
- Feature Your License, Insurance, and Other Borning Business Things – Being licensed, certified, and certified to do work in your community might seem boring and unsexy, because it is. Same thing for the Better Business Bureau. But for someone who is afraid of being burned, it might be the thing that helps them select you instead of another unverified contractor.
- Highlight Individual or Team Certifications – Be sure to mention any advanced training, certifications, or memberships that you’ve received as a company or individually. This can include training from a manufacturer or NADRA’s Deck Evaluation/Inspection certification.
- Join Local Associations – Become a member of your local chamber of commerce or building association. Not only will they give you another layer of legitimacy, but you may also get referrals and projects from the group. Plus, you can get a link to your website, which can help improve SEO.
4. Social Proof
Humans are social creatures; we like to follow the path of others. It’s why we look at reviews before we order from a new restaurant or order a product online.
You can use social proof to your advantage and build trust with your potential customers. Lawn signs, online reviews, and brag-worthy numbers can all go to create proof that you are a skilled, experienced contractor that everyone trusts for their project.
- Highlight Local Projects – When you are building a deck in a local neighborhood, make sure all the neighbors know about it. Go beyond the yard sign and truck wrap; use a door hangar or give a gift to all their neighbors apologizing in advance for the disruption to their neighborhood. You can also use digital ads like Facebook to target a neighborhood with a current project.
- Embrace Reviews – Online reviews are great tools for highlighting social proof. Whether it’s on your Google Business listing, Facebook, or on your website, make sure you feature the words of satisfied customers throughout your marketing.
- Feature Brag-Worthy Numbers – Do you have any brag-worthy numbers? Sometimes that is the number of projects you’ve done, the size of your team, or the years you’ve been in business. It could also be the number of reviews and avg star rating on Google. Make sure you find the number that sets you apart from local competition and feature it on your website, on social media, and across all marketing channels.
- Celebrate Awards – Another form of social proof is recognition from your community or industry. Make sure you are seeking out and winning awards and recognition for your business – whether online, locally, or from national sites like Angie’s List or HomeAdvisor. Apply for local readers’ choice awards, building association awards, or the NADRA National+ Awards.
5. Showcase Your Process
While you work day in and day out on decks and know your company’s process like the back of your hand, your customers do not. For many, this may be the first time working with you or even the first time attempting an outdoor remodeling project.
One great way to ease any concerns they have about you and the project is by explaining your process for building decks. By showing them the steps you’ll take from initial conversation through project completion, you can set proper expectations about the timeline, highlight your experience and skill, and show them that you will make this project as smooth as possible.
- Create a Process Document – A visual representation of your process can be used in print material, on social media, or on your website.
- Create a Process Video – A video that explains the process can be a great resource for those deciding between you and another company and is a good tool if you do any remarketing advertising.
- Showcase Steps in Your Process – If you are active on social media, don’t just show the finished product; make sure to take photos and videos of every step in the process. That way people can visualize themselves going through the process and what it will be like.
- Ask for Reviews About the Process – When you ask for reviews from satisfied customers, make sure to ask them about the design & construction process and how it might help others make a decision.
- Talk About Warranty – In case something goes wrong or the customer isn’t satisfied, what will you do to make it right? Make sure to highlight your warranties – both from the manufacturer and your company – so homeowners can rest assured that everything will be made right.
Find Ways to Eliminate Doubt & Questions
By paying attention to the questions and lingering doubt that potential customers have, you can find opportunities to earn trust and build your reputation within your community.
That being said, none of these tactics are a silver bullet; good marketing cannot fix a broken process, improve bad customer relationships, or repair shoddy workmanship. You need to have a company that’s worthy of trust so that you can earn it.
This article was contributed by YDOP, a digital marketing agency in Lancaster, PA that helps home service contractors with their online marketing needs. YDOP is a proud member and supporter of NADRA.