Did you know that home improvement contractors and the remodeling industry are responsible for an enormous number of consumer complaints—even more than used car salesmen and mortgage brokers? This presents a great opportunity for you!
If vast numbers of contractors are getting customer service wrong, this means that those who excel at customer service have the advantage of differentiating themselves from the competition.
And the news gets even better. Getting customer service right is not as difficult as you may think. It just requires you to have genuine interest in creating a good experience for the customer and train your entire staff—not just sales representatives—to be focused on creating that experience.
Exceptional customer service can be accomplished in three easy steps:
Step One: Know Your Customers
The consumer engagement model is changing. Customers now expect a consistent, personalized message. The more consistent your message, the quicker you establish trust. These customers want the same message from your website, sales representatives, emails, installers and social media platforms. They also want to be able to move from one communication platform to another seamlessly—such as from your website to your sales representative.
Customers want you to understand their needs and wants—they want you to listen. They want to be addressed by name, and want you to remember what services they sought from you and what they were hoping to achieve in their home improvement project.
Step Two: Offer Choices
With the many platforms available for accessing information, customers are used to getting things their way and according to their time frame. Contractors who recognize this need and deliver on it will have a significant advantage over the competition.
While a consumer may ask for a specific home improvement project, he or she wants to know that the contractor being considered has the expertise to deliver that and much more. A customer wants to know that the contractor listened and understood the needs that were expressed.
Customers appreciate options so that they feel in control of how the project is going to be transformed into a reality. Colors, materials, methods of installation and payment methods are all great ways to offer choices. Offering a variety of options—without pressuring the customer to select your “best” choice—will help you establish credibility.
Step Three: Follow Up After the Sale
After 100% of your completed sales transactions, be sure to thank the customer. A simple handwritten note or a quick phone call goes a long way in making a customer glad they selected you as their contractor.
Be sure to offer customers the opportunity to give you feedback about what they liked and did not like about the sale completion process. Gathering this type of information is invaluable—use it to your advantage. Customers are an amazing source of free consulting advice—all you have to do is ask for their input.
For customers who express significant satisfaction about the process, engage them on social media. Happy customers are often willing to share their positive feedback when asked at no cost to you. Positive reviews are an excellent source for quickly growing your business.
According to an American Express Survey conducted in 2011, 78% of consumers have bailed on a transaction or not made an intended purchase because of a poor service experience. Do not let this happen to you!
So, by knowing your customers, offering options and following up after the sale, you may see your sales grow and help keep your reputation as a contractor one that has you in demand.