- Calling your clients when you say you're going to call them, even if it's to say you don't have time to talk and to set up another time to call. Also, it's important to be available to take their call when they say they will call you -- even if you're not immediately available to take the call.
- Make sure your clients know how to contact you. Giving them your answering service or a number you won't be near is not good customer service. Make sure the client has options to contact you: your office number, your cell number, and your email address. This way, they know you'll be there for them. Just don't let them take advantage -- let them know when it's appropriate to use your cell phone, for example.
- You're in business to make a profit. But if you can save your clients money, always make an effort to point out where they can save some in the process... and not just where you will save. Giving strong financial advice to your clients will allow them to trust you and, more importantly, return to your company. They will also be willing to give valuable referrals.
- Problems arise in every building, remodeling, or repair project. When you see a problem coming, let your clients know about it. By preparing them for any situation, it will ease the impact and prevent them from wanting to blame you for it. Many tend to avoid complications until after they've happened and sometimes when it's too late to give a client any options.
- Always try to give options for any challenge or for any opportunity. By stating there is only ever one way to do something limits the chance for change and improvement. Giving options also allows your client to be able to make a decision and be a part of the process. Even if the other options are bad ones, you're giving the client the chance to see that your way might be the best way. If they only will take a bad option, let them know you'll have to amend your contract to ensure they realize it's truly a terrible idea -- and to remove blame from your company.
- If you make a mistake, accept fault for it. It's a tough pill to swallow, but it will help you and your company in the long run. It might even cost you money, but if your client is satisfied with your work after you've made corrections it could mean more business later. Everyone is human and mistakes happen. Taking responsibility is the right way to do business.
- Follow up with your clients. It cannot be stressed enough. Always call on previous clients to make sure to thank them for their business. You want to make sure they're happy with your work and that there are no problems. Many times, they may be unhappy about something but it turns out they are doing something wrong. This could remove blame or hurt feelings. Use a follow up as a time to talk about special upcoming promotions and specials or to ask for referrals.
Every company talks about and promises great customer service. But to survive and grow a business, it's so important to actually practice excellent customer service. It's how a company is remembered, which generates word-of-mouth viral advertising for your business. Here are some tips to making sure homeowners and business owners remember you and your service: