During my time working with countless locksmiths, I've seen them make some pretty crazy mistakes. So I've created this article to warn you of them!
1) Everyone is a potential repeat customer, so treat them as such. Don't make the mistake of imagining that you will only ever see them once. Your town doesn't contain THAT many people, and it's a small world! Be respectful, courteous and make sure you give them your business card. You don't know who they could give your details to! In fact, ask your customer to pass your cards on and you'll be pleasantly surprised how they love to help when they say yes!
2) Treat people with respect. Yes okay they were stupid enough to get locked out but it doesn't mean they deserve to be laughed at or sneered at - feedback we've heard from customers about their locksmith.
3) Don't rip people off. Reputation is everything and your reputation is your word of mouth marketing! You don't want to be known as someone to avoid! This means don't charge them quadruple your normal fees just because they were unfortunate enough to get locked out in the middle of the night. It also means don't pretend their entire lock is broken and needs to be replaced when you can see it's just a loose screw. Be honest.
4) Always answer your phone, even in the middle of the night. Don't pretend to be a 24 hour locksmith if you're going to ignore your phone. If you really can't, for example if you're at a party or on holiday - give your phone to someone who can answer the call for you, and explain you're not working that evening. You could also consider a professional call answering service, who will answer your phone politely for you and then text you the details.
5) Check your emails. You might think people won't email a locksmith if they want one urgently, but they do! Check your emails several times per day and make sure you respond quickly. That way you'll be the one who gets the job! Do make sure you use a spell checker and ideally use a professional looking signature at the end of your email.
6) Don't only accept cash on completion, take as many methods of payment as possible. Be willing to offer card payment, cheques etc. I've not yet seen a cheque bounce that was given to a locksmith - after all you know where they live!
7) Failing to use invoices make it look like you're avoiding paying tax, so always give a professional invoice. There's no excuse for just using cheap receipt books, build your image and ensure repeat work by having professional invoice books created. They need not be too expensive if you search the Internet for a cheap supplier!
So - are you making any of these crazy mistakes?
Claire Jarrett is the CEO of Instant Locksmith Marketing, who have created, and proven many instant marketing solutions for locksmiths. For a complimentary marketing strategy session, call USA 018 6667 70072 or UK 0800 0337852 or visit http://www.instantlocksmithsolutions.com to subscribe to more hints and tips.