Customer service should be the basis of any customer-oriented company. After all, without your customers you don’t have a business.
Making sure your customers are satisfied with your service is the key to success. Following up with a client — not badgering them — is not only a good way to make sure they're satisfied, but also to express your concern for their issues and satisfaction. Most small businesses are very good at this aspect of the relationship, because they're able to usually stay on a first name basis with clients and build a personal relationship. But as all businesses grow, a lot of the big companies tend to lose these qualities.
Feedback and ratings from your present customers is essential to driving in new ones. You can have all the billboards in the county, but they do nothing if you have a bad rating.
The Right Service makes Customers Loyal to You
When I was a child my father would always have a service person for anything, and no matter what that service was, he would always put his faith in "his guy." It didn’t matter what the price was, it didn’t matter how long the wait was, and there was definitely no question if the work was done correctly. My father was not alone then, and he's not alone now because everyone is looking for dependable and honest service but sometimes doing the job right is not always everything people expect from a great service provider.
- Do you follow up with your customer?
- Are you able to talk to your customer on a first name basis?
- Are they comfortable with your pricing?
Usually when someone has a problem with your prices, it’s because they do not think your work is worth it. Don’t get me wrong though, there are always going to be hagglers and individuals that would have a problem with your price, even if it were a penny. What I would do while I was a technician is always ask a customer if there was anything I could do better or if there was anything else I could have done to make their visit better. This is crucial for anyone in any customer service field. And I know a few of you out there aren’t going to like this tip: I would also ask my customer, “Is there any reason why you wouldn’t give me a good review?” You'll be surprised at what you’re rating and business outcome would be if your representatives just added that to the end of each interaction with their customers.
Ask your customer, “Is there any reason why you wouldn’t give me a good review?”
What Can Better Customer Service Do for Me?
Feedback and ratings from you present customers is essential to driving new ones. You can have all the billboards in the county, but they do nothing if you have a bad rating. I hate to break it to you but it is the 21st century and the majority of your customers have smart phones, tablets, or other devices free to their fingertips. Your online reputation can ruin all of your advertising overhead in no time at all. Your clients will have many sources such as.
- Online search engines
- Local reviews through certain websites
- Access to the BBB website, and many more
In today’s day and age, your reputation among your customer is a major element in your advertising campaign. Any client you have can simply get online and give you a bad reputation, and any contractor knows that it only takes one. That source goes two ways though. With a solid website for your business, you can not only address complaints quickly, but you can also stop customers from making bad reviews. You don’t have to spam anyone’s mail box or cold call anyone. All you have to do is simply send an email to your customer after the work done asking if everything was to their satisfaction. Better yet, why not ask them to rate your service in the same email? By doing these very simple actions you're not only able to get positive reviews, you are able to address negative issues before they get anywhere else.
Customer Service: Always on Your Agenda
Staying focused on your company is good; staying focused on your customers is better. As an HVAC contractor, your customer is everything to you. They can make or break everything you've built in your company. Sure, your employees can take off the uniform after hours not bother with it, but you have to "be your business" at all times. You're the first line of defense against bad reviews or unsatisfied clients. Wear your company logos at all times, so if you have a customer with a grievance at least they know they can give their grievances and reports to someone with authority. Even if you can’t do anything about their problems right then, you are able to assure your customer that it will be taken care of. Attend home shows and other public events, and let the community know that there is always a friendly face ready to hear and solve their problems. Be proud. This is your company and life.
As long as you're there for your customer, they will be there for you.
Michel Hales and Bradley Butler are with Parker & Sons, Inc., a Phoenix HVAC company in business since 1974.