How can i compete with the advertising budget of national call centres?
As the title suggests, can a small one man band locksmith company compete with big national call centre operations? Well in terms of advertising revenue spend then the answer is of course no. Type Norwich locksmiths into any search engine and the first results are always major companies. Now they pretend to be local, on your doorstep almost. But in reality they are based in Birmingham, Dorset, Essex, Manchester etc. Their adverts have ‘local’ sounding numbers but isn’t it a little strange that whoever answers the phone has a midlands, Mancunian or Essex accent! Can you also hear chatter in the background, perhaps other people on the phones? Welcome to the world of the fake local companies.
Open up the Norwich yellow pages under locksmiths and it is packed with 1/4 and 1/2 page adverts trying to impress. Lots of towns listed alongside corresponding ‘local’ sounding numbers. Want some fun if bored? Dial each number in turn. Chances are you get the same couple of individuals who answer (in their non-local accent). Why do they want to know the advert ref number – small number within corner of advert? So they can see which book you got it from. And many of these different looking ads are actually the same company. Check the tiny printed addresses. Whole pages seem to have 4 different ads for example, but are actually the same call centre. They quote a high figure (plus vat) but if you have never used a locksmith before you may not know how extortionate it is. And they make sure to take your card details before anyone has even been booked to attend.
As for the actual people who attend (the sub-contractors)……. well i leave that discussion for another time. Along with photographic evidence of some of their handy work perhaps.
So because of the high charges they make the customers pay, and therefore the high advertising budget they can afford to spend, nationwide, it is really difficult to compete directly with them. So this is where reputation and word of mouth comes into play and is much more valuable to a sole trader locksmith. Check out the reviews of Linacre Locksmiths from all over the web. For comparison check in detail the reviews of the national companies. See the difference? Traditional advertising in the paper version of the Yellow Pages etc is dying out. Already over the last 5 years that book has shrunk to a quarter of it’s original size. And since dominated by the nationals it is quite easy to let them have it and scrap amongst themselves. These days the customer is far more savvy about researching first, using smartphones and desktops etc.
So the only way to beat these companies is to do a high standard of work, at a very reasonable price, and work hard. No short cuts. Something Linacre Locksmiths are proud to do. Check us out here.. http://www.linacrelocksmiths.com