Customers are increasingly using online sources and social media as part of their decision-making process, on everything from the products and technology to finding a professional who can carry out the work. For many customers, the process of buying a new boiler is also changing so heating businesses need to ensure they stay up to date.
Building a strong online presence
With customers using the Internet as a common and sometimes primary source of information when looking for a tradesperson, having a good quality website is essential. Customers will make a judgement about the business based on what they find online, so no website, or one that is old or out of date, might be off-putting to customers. The website does not need to be elaborate or expensive – a relatively simple site that contains the information customers need will help you secure more enquires and work. This includes contact information, the services you offer, examples of your work and reviews from previous happy customers. There are now a number of companies who specialise in designing and building quality websites specifically for tradespeople.
Social media can also be a powerful tool for increasing your visibility and attracting new business. You can use these channels to show off your work and communicate with potential customers. When searching for a local business, customers will often look at social media profiles to find out more and use it as a first point of contact.
Furthermore, customers will often refer to online reviews in the course of making a decision, so it is important to ensure you include plenty of good testimonials. As such it is a good idea to encourage satisfied customers to leave a review on your website or Google. Similarly, being listed on platforms such as Checkatrade or RatedPeople can help you secure new business as it gives people confidence in the quality of your service.
At Alpha Heating Innovation, we also help to connect customers with approved local installers through our ‘Find an Installer’ page on the homeowner section of our website.
Adapting to how customers buy
One of the biggest changes to the boiler and heating market in recent years has been the growth of online services that are specifically geared towards making it easy for customers to obtain a fixed price for a new boiler. By using a network of installers, customers can also arrange for it to be fitted on a day that suits them. It is estimated that last year, around 50,000 boilers were purchased and installed via these services.
While there are still many customers who want and need the guidance and expertise of a qualified heating engineer when deciding on a new boiler, there are those who prefer this approach. The key advantage to the customer is that the process fits around them. For example, they can go through the process of researching their options and arranging the install in the evening or at the weekend. Also, during the COVID-19 pandemic many customers have been more comfortable with a process that minimises the number of visits to their homes.
To help you connect with customers quickly and easily at any time, we have launched Alpha QuoteLink, a new online tool that automatically generates a quote based on the customer’s answers to a few simple questions about their property. The boiler and pricing options then appear in real time so the customer can make a decision.
Developed exclusively for AlphaOne installers, QuoteLink can be personalised with your company logo and easily added to your Facebook page or website. The QuoteLink online portal also allows you to set your own criteria including the models you fit, geographic area and price margin, all of which are factored into the quote calculations your customers receive.
The heating industry continues to evolve and develop as technology and customer behaviours change. However, having a strong presence online to attract new customers and utilising tools such as QuoteLink can help you remain competitive.
To find out more about how we can help you futureproof your business, please click here to send us a message.