Contractors are in a unique position when it comes to service-oriented jobs. As the experts, you’re the final say when it comes to how a project is executed. On the other hand, you’re providing a service, and if you’re not working to meet the client’s needs, then you’re not doing things correctly.
Here are 7 key points to keep in mind when focusing on improving your customer experience.
A responsive, easily accessible contractor is always going to gain more customer confidence than somebody who is hard to get a hold of. Respond to emails and phone calls as quickly as you can, even when the news isn’t great.
“Reliability is one of the key signs that you’ve made the right decision when it comes to hiring someone to complete a project,” says Ryan Langenderfer, Branch Manager for L&W Supply Perrysburg, OH. “Communication is one of the most crucial parts of building trust in that relationship.”
Customers like to be able to research you online before working with you. Make sure that you not only have a site or a FB page, but also that the information on there is up-to-date and accurate. Another detail to consider is how user-friendly your site is, especially since websites can become outdated very quickly. Whenever possible, it is a great idea to reach out to customers to gain their perspective on your web experience, take their feedback into account, and make adjustments down the line.
Trust is one of the most crucial aspects of any customer relationship. While this may seem like a simple point to veterans in the industry, it is important to avoid setting false expectations or overpromising results when trying to win over a potential customer.
“If a delivery is going to be late, or a specific material may not be available, as a customer I would want to know right away,” says Jeff Wykoff, Branch Manager for L&W Supply Chico, CA. “It not only speaks highly of the honesty of the contractor, but also allows for more time to potentially solve the issue.”
If you’re unsure about something, or worried that complications may arise down the line, be sure to let your customers know before the project starts.
You can do your best to be kind and easy to work with, but unless you teach your employees to do the same, you’re one bad interaction away from losing your customer’s confidence. In order to keep your customers happy, it is essential that you hire and work with people who know have strong customer service skills. Studies have shown time and time again that the best way to influence your employee’s behavior is to set a good example yourself. “One of the best signs that an organization is successful is if they have happy, engaged employees.” says Megan Munson, Branch Manager for L&W Auburn Hills, MI. “As a side effect, happy people are also more likely to provide world-class service, something we believe very strongly here at L&W Supply.”
More and more customers are becoming interested in green and energy-saving materials in their homes and businesses. However, it’s also not a good idea to recommend these products just for the sake of doing so. Instead, frame these new innovations through the lens of solving a customer’s specific problem. You’ll look like the expert that you truly are, and the customer will love that you’re thinking of ways to save them money in the long-term.
If you’ve ever tried to research a new business or service online, you know just how powerful customer reviews can be. Studies show that consumers are significantly more likely to use a service or business with favorable customer reviews. Not only can it boost your online presence, but it can also offer an opportunity to focus on areas of improvement. This brings us to our final point:
Try as you might, not every customer interaction is going to be a positive one. One mistake you can make is ignoring negative customer reviews, whether it be on Yelp, Google, or your own FB page. Take the time to respond to each comment individually, never get defensive or dispute a customer’s account of events, and do not use a boilerplate response for all negative feedback. If a customer had an overwhelmingly negative experience, offer them a voucher, or some kind of compensation for their troubles. Even if they don’t end up accepting it, the perception to visitors to the site will be that you acted with integrity and did your best to solve the problem.
We hope that you can pass some of these tips along to your team to ensure that customer service is top of mind when taking on a new project or going up for a bid. If you’d like to read similar posts, follow the links on the right.
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