5 Ways an Installer Portal Builds Business
If you want to engage more closely with the people who install your products, online is the most cost effective way of doing it. Why engage? The main reason is to ensure your loyal installer stays loyal and you continue to sell products through his or her influence. Also by ensuring the installer is well informed and well trained, the product gets installed and where appropriate commissioned correctly – this delivers two great benefits: fewer call outs and a better reputation for your product. So how do you go about it? Well, here are 5 tips for getting the most out of your online presence:
1. Promote Multiple Visits:
If you can get any visitor (not just a tradesperson) to keep re-visiting your site, the likelihood of them re-purchasing your product goes up and up. Some web companies call this property of a site as its “stickiness”. Google is a very sticky site so is YouTube and the BBC website, but how many other websites do you visit regularly? The lesson here is you need to give your installers a reason to keep returning to the site. Think about how they work and provide services and features that match. In the online gaming world, they use what’s known as the appointment dynamic, if I log in to a site at a particular point in time (either a time of day or an anniversary of a previous event) then I either gain a reward or avoid a ‘punishment’. Some reward schemes for example use ‘spend your points before they expire’, as a ‘punishment’ for infrequent visits.
The flip side to this is what I call the short term ‘happy hour incentive’ – “do this within a specified time window and I will give an extra reward’. Typified by the double your points if you spend them before a deadline.
2. Reward Visitors for Turning up:
Why is Candy Crush or Solitaire so addictive? It’s partly about gameplay but it’s also about reward and progression. Why else would people pay to ‘crack’ a level in Candy Crush, if you know there are other people in your online community who have earned higher status than you? The answer comes in the form of little rewards you get for completing it, whether it be more points or a new badge. Positive reinforcement is what drives us as people to continue doing the same thing repeatedly, as it gives us a sense of confidence and self-achievement often associated with winning in sporting events.
In 2014 a game swept across the world and addicted a nation with the objective of simply tapping a screen to avoid obstacles. Flappy Bird became one of the fastest growing games in the world due to one single feature, the ‘high score’ section at the end. The game itself was simplistic and repetitive however the feeling of having the ‘high score’ among your friends or co-workers created a sense of self-accomplishment which caused people to spend hours a day trying to improve and achieve higher.
If an installer can gain status (points or similar) by repeating behaviour, then what’s he going to do? The behaviour doesn’t have to be hugely onerous – watching a video, reading a briefing, registering a warranty, providing details of a recent job. All provide kudos for the installer, and very useful market information for you. What might it take for someone to become a ‘Tiling Ninja’? Or a ‘Pump Commander’?
3. Keep Moving the Goalposts
Progression is key. If I achieve the top level of a game, my motivation to return drops radically (been there, done that!) – So you need to keep challenging or at least keep offering a next level. The trick is to create a continuous progression structure without making the steps between each progression too difficult. If the challenge ahead appears too hard users will simply give up, lots of little steps is far more encouraging then few big steps.
A simple League Table is a great way of engaging those more competitive installers, and most self employed trades people are competitive if nothing else! It’s one thing to have goals, it’s even better to have goals that the installer can see!
4. Create a Sense of Community
One of the great successes of the internet age is the opportunity for people to connect. If you allow people to network and share information, especially success stories (and don’t forget to reward people for contributing) this will begin to create a sense of community. Don’t have a fear of negative feedback, those who go online to moan rarely re-visit. On the upside genuine constructive criticism is good input into the development of top class customer service. Any feedback is better than no feedback.
The most popular websites on the internet with the highest traffic includes Reddit and Youtube, two sites that are entirely community driven with the sharing of information and content between users. The creation of these online communities adds value to your site, improving user retention by giving them a reason to return. Online communities are a free source of interesting ideas and constructive criticism that you can use to shape and design a better, customer friendly business.
5. Be Consistent, Be Persistent
When you’re trying to build a following, you have to be persistent, expect a slow start, but don’t let it deter you. If you create a reason to visit your site and the visitors don’t come, then change it – and keep changing it. High quality content will always attract new viewers eventually, the only influence you can have is to marketing your content effectively and ensure high standards are maintained throughout.
‘Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent won’t, nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.’
Calvin Coolidge, 30th President of the USA