ROYAL OAK, MI — Contractor members of the Association of Service & Mechanical Contractors (ASAM) of Southeastern Michigan don’t think much of their individual websites, a recent survey indicates, at least when it comes to attracting new business. Respondents to the survey also reflected a skeptical attitude towards the benefits of hyperlinking with manufacturer and/or association websites.

Their feedback was compiled from a recent Confidential Information Exchange.

“Not one contractor responding to the survey reported generating business off the firm’s website,” said Frank Versagi, ASAM managing director. “There is no doubt that contractors’ websites have yet to prove effective in actually bringing in business. In fact even loyal customers tell the contractors that they almost never visit the websites. They call, fax, and seldom e-mail.

“That same disinterest or unease with working online carries over into hyperlinking to ASAM’s website. Although 77% of the responding companies have a website, half of them turned down the opportunity to have their sites hyperlinked to the association’s website.”

Some of the contractors’ comments about company websites included:

  • “Someone has to maintain and monitor it. Who? Get customers via sales calls and old customer promotions.”

  • “Our site was developed as an FYI vehicle. Perhaps we have received business in an indirect manner. Direct solicitation might be more effective if a firm is in the residential sector.”

  • “It is a good business tool for marketing [but] some corporations are not able to locate us.”

  • “Although we have not gained business through the website, we have had some national companies communicate with us after they viewed our website. So the potential is there for new business.”

    Versagi still believes in the benefits of having a website with links to the association and to manufacturers. “Although we don’t measure hits, indications are that ASAM’s website is used mostly by owners, architects, and general contractors — around Michigan and around the country — who are looking for a subcontractor,” he said.

    Publication date: 04/15/2002