There’s no denying that the COVID-19 coronavirus has made life challenging for businesses – especially ones where contractors come into close contact with the public. Nowadays, consumers are more wary about being in close proximity to people outside their families.
As a plumber, you still need to operate your business and earn a living. With that in mind, how can you streamline your plumbing business during COVID-19? Here are a few ways to help create a safer working environment, protecting both yourself and your customers:
Accept Only Contactless Payments
Cash might have been an acceptable choice before the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it’s crucial you adapt how payments get accepted by your business. You can achieve that goal by politely refusing cash payments and only taking contactless ones.
These days, it’s easier than ever to accept debit and credit card payments from customers while you’re out on site. Try this point of sale system, for example, to accept card payments using a mobile card reader terminal.
Such solutions can even print receipts out for customers, which they can tear off the mini receipt-printer themselves. Alternatively, you could offer to email your customers an invoice for their payment.
Today’s mobile payment solutions also work with NFC devices like smartphones. They give your customers even more contactless payment options for convenience and safety.
Offer Customers Remote Video Quotes
As a plumber, your work will often require you to visit customer’s homes and business premises to survey any problems or work needed before offering a quote. As you can imagine, it makes sense to socially distance yourself from others as much as possible.
An innovative way to furnish customers with quotes for any non-emergency work is by having a video call with them. You can then ask them to point their mobile device to the areas where work is required so you can do a visual inspection remotely.
Both iPhones and Android devices come with free video call software (FaceTime and Google Duo, respectively). Alternatively, you could both use other methods, such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, or Zoom.
Ask Customers to Email Images of Plumbing Issues
Another way to provide quotes to your customers remotely is by asking them to take photographs that illustrate any plumbing problems they are experiencing and email them to you.
You can then use that visual evidence to determine the most likely cause of their problems and provide an accurate quote for any remedial work. If it’s more convenient for them, your customers could send the messages to you via Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp.
If the problem relates to a leaking pipe or faucet, for example, you could also ask them to take a short video clip of the issue on their mobile device and share that with you instead.
Provide Receipts Electronically
Lastly, if you usually fill out a receipt from a duplicate or triplicate receipt book, it makes more sense to send receipts electronically to your customers. Again, this can get done via email or through one of the various social networking messaging apps.