Reading the business predictions and trends can be just as nerve wracking. It doesn’t take too many articles to start seeing they contradict each other. However, there are some key consistencies to notice, that I feel are relevant for 2020. An important note, the trends below are consistently mentioned for all industries, not just the home services field. But they certainly are appropriate for our industry, and I think they are important to discuss.
Customer service. Customer service. Customer service. Customers are increasingly demanding more personalization, increased levels of service, ease of communication and extended accessibility. Automation will continue to influence this area of our business, making it critical for ongoing development and training of your staff. Something to remember, don’t forget your current customers. Find unique ways to thank your customer base, your references, while keeping your company top of mind.
User Reviews will become even more relevant. People are more hesitant to work with or purchase from a company that has no reviews. Remember I mentioned to not forget your current customers? Reviews are one of the most inexpensive ways to market your business. Marketing trends are showing quality over quantity will prevail, with more engaging, relevant information. Think whitepapers, case studies, and in-depth customer reviews.
Use of gig economy and remote workers will rise. Virtual, remote, distributed—These terms are used interchangeably, as there are only slight differences. The same with Gig economy and freelance. I know your first thought on this will be, “This won’t work for us.” Don’t just think about your techs. I know one company who uses a delivery service to deliver parts and supplies to his techs onsite. It alleviates disruptions for his techs, charges per delivery and he was able to take a vehicle off the road; a reduction in insurance, vehicle wear, etc. You don’t need someone physically in your office to make happy calls, schedule SLA’s, or handle other office tasks. Being open to using remote or freelance workers also allows you to work with the best and brightest.
Cybersecurity is a major concern. The threat of cyberattacks on mid to small businesses will rise. Email phishing, software vulnerabilities, communications through social media platforms, and a rise in SMS texting attacks make your companies information increasingly vulnerable. If you don’t have a cybersecurity plan in place, I highly recommend you implement one. The FBI has recently updated their PSA on Cybersecurity Best Practices, to give you some basic guidelines.
For our specific industry, smart homes, hiring and retaining top talent, and increased concerns over water and air quality will again be top of mind. Being on the front lines, you are the first to see the impact of these issues and how they drive your customers buying habits.