Grow Your Contracting Business with Customer Service
Impressing customers is more often easier said than done. Everyone likes to think they are doing a great job at keeping their clients satisfied; if you bring in business, you’ve got to be doing something right, right? However, even though you may be running a successful contracting business, there’s always room for improvement when it comes to customer service.
A majority of client complaints tend to be around customer service and how your firm fares in this department can make or break your contracting business. Whether you have a newer business and are still building rapport, or you’re just looking to improve your business, here are some ways you can improve the customer service so that you outshine the contractors you compete with.
There are so many technological resources available today, why not take advantage and use them to improve your customer service? One of the best ways to strengthen your client relationships is by adopting CRM. CRM or Customer Relationship Management is software designed to help you manage contact information, schedule jobs and appointments, and maintain active communications with your customers.
Some contractor softwares, like TRUE, even let you create, send, and sign contracts and orders directly in the program, making business processes more convenient for all parties involved, especially for the contractor. Contractor softwares are the ultimate resources if you want to be more accommodating and better serve the needs of your clients as efficiently as possible.
Set High Service Standards
If you want your service company to exemplify excellent customer service, you need to ensure your team is doing much more than the bare minimum. Employees should always dress professionally and keep their workspace clean and organized. They should behave politely on the job site and be kind and courteous whenever speaking with customers, potential customers, vendors and even their coworkers.
When you’re working in the service industry, these principles aren’t always intuitive. Some contractors are just more concerned with getting the job done than with being tidy and well-mannered, and it’s easy to get lazy if you’re working long hours. However, by confirming that your employees are consistently making customer service a top priority, you’ll build client trust and loyalty, along with a sparkling reputation.
Anticipate Clients Needs
Effective client relations is not something that can be learned from a customer service manual. Yes, there are guidelines regarding when and how you should approach interacting with clients, but because every client is different, you must tailor your relationship management strategies accordingly.
Good client-contractor relationships are achieved when the contractor is able to understand more about the customer’s personality and what they prefer in a business arrangement. Does your client like a lot of updates, or do constant calls and emails irritate them? Are they talkative or do they like to keep to themselves? What is their preferred method of communication? What lingering questions or concerns might they have about the project?
Understanding your customers and knowing which questions to ask will show them that you’re considerate of their needs, and care about the work you do; which will likely improve customer satisfaction.
Address Problems Immediately
Even if you do everything perfectly, you can’t make everyone happy all of the time. Every business deals with its share of customer complaints, rational or otherwise. The important thing is how you handle these issues when they arise and whether or not you exhibit grace or crack under pressure.
Perhaps the best advice for hanging any problems or issues that arise is to tackle them immediately and head on. Don’t avoid the complaint, if you let it go unaddressed, it might end up on a popular review site or social networking page. If a complaint escalades to a public complaint, it gives others the chance to read the negative review, and if there’s no word from you, potential clients will assume it was true and that you don’t care about properly serving your existing clients.
Respond to complaints as soon as they come up. Offer a sincere apology (avoiding statements like, “We’re sorry you feel that way”) and let them know that their concerns are being taken into consideration. If necessary, find a way to make up for the bad experience by providing discounted services or another incentive to continue doing business with you. Don’t let another contractor take your business because you ignored an issue.
Say Thank You
Not many contractors still send thank you cards. Which is not so good for them, but great for you. By sending handwritten cards to your clients, you can demonstrate a level of commitment to customer service that is almost unmatched in the contracting industry. Few things are more meaningful than a personalized note thanking customers for hiring you for a project. It sticks out among the rest, and they’ll remember you the next time they have a job in mind.
By adopting a contractor software, like TRUE, you will be much better equipped to serve your customers, anticipate their needs and address any issues that might arise easily and efficiently. For more information about how TRUE can help contractors become an example of what customer service should look like, check out our website www.docuwrx.com/fieldservicesoftware.