Meet the Modern Day Consumer
Let’s think of some big-name companies. Circuit City, Sears, Blockbuster, and Polaroid, just to name a few, are companies that were huge in their day. So, what happened to them? In short, they didn’t keep up with the changes or transition to what the modern-day consumer is looking for. Even with a great product line, these major companies have gone out of business. There’s just no way to get around the fact that businesses today have to know what the modern-day consumer is looking for, and has to deliver on it in order to stay in business and thrive.
Many tech startups have come and gone. Major players have fallen out of the public’s eye. Today, with technology and everything it has to offer, Plumbing + HVAC companies have to do more to keep up. It’s imperative that companies stay ahead of the curve if they want to survive in a highly competitive, online-driven world. The companies above have one thing in common. They lived in a seller’s market and weren’t willing to change or adapt to the buyer’s market. Eventually, they went bust.
Modern-Day Technology: It’s all Connected Meaning Your Company Has to be
There’s no need to “log on” any longer. Today, with mobile devices, consumers are always connected. You name it, and we’re connected. TV, our refrigerators, smartwatches, thermostats, and so many other devices are always on. And, with the IoT (internet of things) all around us, it’s virtually impossible for companies to think they can survive if they aren’t always on as well.
Mobility Reigns Supreme in Today’s Online-Driven Buyer’s Marketplace
On average, people are connected to their smart devices for about 17 hours per week. Step back and think about this for a minute. We’re checking email, we’re on our smartphones, tablets, and virtually everything is mobile. This is what the modern-day consumer is looking for, and this is what Plumbing + HVAC companies have to deliver if they want to stay afloat. If your website isn’t mobile-ready or mobile-friendly, it’s greatly going to hinder your ability to compete.
When people are “in need” of a good or service, they have a mobile device at their fingertips. Imagine your customer can look up the best mechanic, repair shop, or virtually any Plumbing + HVAC industry/company, from anywhere. So, if your company doesn’t have a mobile site, and customers can’t find you (or easily navigate your website on a mobile device), you’re going to suffer. Your website has to be responsive. It has to navigate easily on mobile devices, load quickly, and, above all, deliver exactly what the modern-day consumer is looking for when they want it.
And, it’s not only Google’s algorithms telling you that you need a mobile-ready site. With smartphones having GPS and other tracking systems built into them, you need to focus on local, as well as mobile optimization, if you want to ensure your audience can easily find you.
The Modern Consumer: Matching Their Needs with Your Business Practices
The internet has destroyed the Yellow Pages we relied upon in the 1990s. Today, any Plumbing + HVAC business has to have a mobile-ready site, if they want to reach the modern-day consumer. Being a local, Plumbing + HVAC service industry, isn’t enough today. Although it was enough 20 years ago, there’s so much competition that companies have to step their game up to keep up with the competition.
Think of it this way. A smartphone can compare dozens of plumbers (ac repair, mechanics, etc.) side by side. If your Plumbing + HVAC company isn’t easy to find online, you’re missing out on these local searches.
Tech Advances Go Hand-in-Hand with User Advancements
Technology is essential. We use it for communications, to get from point A to point B, to find things, track goals, and improve things. We need it and use it regularly. Therefore, companies have to find ways to keep up with the ever-changing need of modern-day consumers and understand that they’re using technology regularly, in order to remain in those consumers’ minds.
A Change in Mindset and Behavior: Competing in a Buyer’s Marketplace
Today, consumers are looking for the best. They aren’t just settling on a plumber they know or have hired in the past. It’s a buyer’s market. Technology gives consumers more choices and allows them to easily find what they’re looking for. Therefore, businesses have to make transitions to keep up with the modern-day consumer and their needs.
For any Plumbing + HVAC business, you have to remember that consumers are looking for convenience. They want your business to be easy to find, and they are only going to hire you if you are the best. So, you need to transition and you need to create your business as a leader within your Plumbing + HVAC in order to be seen by the modern-day consumer.
What’s Important for Today’s Modern Day Consumer?
Consumers focus on various factors in deciding on a Plumbing + HVAC company to hire. Some of the many important factors that the modern-day consumer is looking at includes
1. Reputation/ratings – Positive reviews from previous customers do wonder for your business and its online visibility and reach.
2. Information – Your company needs to provide relevant information, location, services, and everything the modern-day consumer wants to know, in order for the consumer to select your company, in your Plumbing + HVAC, as opposed to a competitors
3. Readily Available/Accessible – The website has to be responsive. Customers have to quickly find your Plumbing + HVAC site, it has to be mobile-friendly, and it has to be navigable. Can customers schedule an appointment online? Is there an FAQ page on your site? The more information you can provide, and the more readily available it is, the more likely the modern-day consumer is going to consider your company, within your Plumbing + HVAC industry, rather than turn to a competitor.
4. Cater to their needs – You need to go above and beyond to deliver what consumers want. Especially with so much competition online, and the fact that consumers can easily find dozens of Plumbing + HVAC competitors with a quick search on their mobile device, companies have to do as much as possible, to outshine their competitors.
Since a Plumbing + HVAC competitor is just a Google search away, your company has to work harder than in the past to reach the modern-day consumer. You have to cater to their needs, provide the best service, and make things (searches and information) readily accessible. Consumers are pickier today because technological advances allow them to be. If your company isn’t willing to cater to those needs, and the Plumbing + HVAC consumer, you’ll quickly find yourself in the seller’s market (think of those major companies we highlighted above), and out of business before you’d like to be.
Want to Get Chosen? What Your Plumbing + HVAC Business has to Do
Consumers today don’t think in the same manner as consumers of the past. Today, they can shop on Amazon, and buy products for a fraction of the price than they cost at department stores. And, they can have these items delivered in as little as a few hours.
Then, there’s Netflix. We can stream an entire season of a show or a movie over a weekend. The modern-day consumer wants immediacy. Uber and Lyft have basically abolished the Taxi industry. Why? The prices are cheaper, consumers can get a ride in a matter of minutes, plus they can get a driver with the touch of a button on their smartphone.
What does all of this tell you as a business? It should tell you that the modern-day consumer is in control. They want convenience and they’re going to do everything possible in order to get it. It’s possible to shop from virtually anywhere on a smartphone or tablet. And, with lower prices than in department stores, why wouldn’t the consumer do so?
Plumbers, ac technicians, mechanics, and other companies in these Plumbing + HVAC service industries, have to focus on adapting to the “anywhere, anytime,” mentality. If not, they’re going to get outdone by competitors who are willing to transition and are willing to give their Plumbing + HVAC audience exactly what they’re looking for.
A Digital Presence Matters
Consumers can find you virtually anywhere today. Your website is just one source of information for the modern-day consumer. Then, there are social media, there are online review sites, and there are other digital mediums where they can find you. What does this mean for your Plumbing + HVAC company? Basically, it means you have to do everything possible to ensure the information that the modern-day consumer is seeing is accurate. You have to work to ensure they can easily find what they are looking for, and that they are reading positive reviews about your company.
What are some ways you can improve your digital presence? And, what are some things you’ll want to change if the information isn’t correct? For starters, you’ll want to
– Check your email, telephone number, website address, and other contact information online
– Create a professional website, which is mobile friendly and easy to navigate
– Have an excellent logo, which depicts your company’s message and brand
– Have a social presence for your Plumbing + HVAC business on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media outlets.
It’s not enough to have these accounts. Today, you have to make sure that the information the modern-day consumer is seeing, is accurate. Therefore, you’re going to want to vet these sites like a business owner, focus on correcting the information that isn’t accurate, and making it a focal point to ensure you are getting positive information (in the form of online reviews), so that your Plumbing + HVAC consumer audience is seeing you in a positive light, regardless of where they find information about your company online.
Is Your Website User-Friendly?
This is quite possibly one of the most important factors to your Plumbing + HVAC consumer audience. You’ll want to have a desktop website as well as a mobile website. Remember, your audience is going to find you on their smartphone, their tablet, and other mobile devices when they’re on the go. If you’re not catering to the modern-day consumer, you’re going to miss out on reaching your Plumbing + HVAC audience, and you’re going to lose to local competitors within your industry as a business owner.
Are You Social?
The modern-day consumer is on virtually every social media app. Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook, are just a few of the many places where they can find your information. As a Plumbing + HVAC business owner, you’ll want to make sure that your audience can easily find you on these platforms. Furthermore, you’re going to want to update your social media accounts regularly, post to these accounts frequently, and engage with your audience as much as possible, in order to ensure you’re capable of keeping up with the industry demands, in today’s highly mobile consumer-driven marketplace.
Are Reviews Positive?
BBB, Yelp, Google reviews, are a few of the many places consumers are going to read about your company. So, what it says on these sites matters. In fact, it matters more than you might imagine in certain Plumbing + HVAC industries. As a business owner, you’re going to want to focus on creating a positive impact for the modern-day consumer online, so you’re going to have to make every effort possible to ensure you’re providing the best service and customer service to your current audience. Ask them to write reviews, and find out ways in which you can furnish more positive reviews, which will have a positive impact on the modern-day consumer that you’re trying to reach.
To Sum it Up…
Everything matters! You might think one negative Yelp review won’t hurt, but it does. Or, you might think that your lack of presence on Facebook isn’t important, but it is. With a buyer-driven marketplace today, and everything being readily accessible on mobile devices, it’s important to focus on being visible on mobile platforms as a business. Doing so will not only help you attract more consumers but also obtain the positive presence you’d like to have online, regardless of the Plumbing + HVAC audience you’re trying to reach as a business owner.