Any business needs to have great customer service, but home contractors have the unique experience of providing it in the client’s home. This one-on-one experience needs to be perfect in order to ensure repeat business and referrals.
A good experience is one of the only differentiators you have apart from your level of expertise. With that in mind, here’s what you need to do to become a home contractor of choice in your area. Here are eight ways home contractors can differentiate their business with customer service.
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1. Provide Quick, Free Estimates
No one wants to pay for an estimate, and they don’t want the process to take too long. One of the first questions someone is going to have is, “How much is this going to cost?”
Sometimes, it’s good to avoid the topic of cost until you’re sitting face-to-face with a potential customer. However, some people won’t even meet with you until they have an idea of what your prices are. It’s up to you to decide what is most appropriate for each customer.
2. Set Realistic Expectations & Wow Them
When you’re planning, make sure your goals are achievable; leave room to exceed your customers’ expectations. This way, your customers will be less likely to be disappointed.
And when you leave room to exceed their expectations, there’s a better chance that they will leave you a positive review or refer you to a friend. Word of mouth marketing is likely your best form of marketing, so it’s important to set yourself up for success in this area.
3. Give Customers Free Stuff
This is another way to market yourself while “wowing” your customers. Invest in some branded items to hand out to your customers after you complete a job.
Try to choose items that are shareable, like pens, notebooks, and hand sanitizers. These items help with referral-based marketing because they can start a conversation about your business.
4. Follow Up
Your job as a business owner isn’t done when the work is done. Make sure you follow up a few weeks later to see how your client is doing.
They might have issues that should be addressed that they didn’t want to call you about. This is your chance to step in and save the day. If all is well, you can thank them and ask for an online review.
Checking in afterward shows that you care and make them more likely to call you in the future and refer you to a friend. If you go silent after finishing the job, they’re likely to forget about you.
5. Address Issues Quickly
If a client has a complaint, you need to fix the problem quickly. Apologize, fix the problem, and offer a discount or upgrade.
The quicker you solve the problem, the less likely they will be to go somewhere else next time. You can’t just have good customer service when things go well. Mistakes will happen, and you need to be prepared with a plan of action.
6. Manage Your Online Presence
It’s not enough to have an office, phone number, and email address anymore. Make sure your business also has a presence on at least one social media platform, preferably Facebook. The built-in messenger app on Facebook gives potential clients another way to contact you.
And if you don’t have a website yet, you absolutely need one. Most people will look for a website before calling you. If you don’t have one, that’s a reason for them to call someone else.
The more ways potential clients can contact you, the better. The internet gives you many different places they can find you. You just have to manage and check them regularly.
7. Be Available
It’s great to have a lot of ways available to contact you, but it doesn’t mean anything is they call, email or message you and then no one answers. Try to have every contact method available on your phone with notifications. This will ensure you never miss something.
If you’re worried about being bombarded with notifications, invest in a separate business phone. That way, you can turn it off during your off-hours. Work/life balance is important, and keeping your work on a separate phone helps a lot.
8. Choose Your Customers When You Can
If you’re just starting out, you likely can’t be picky about who you work for. However, your goal should be to get to a point where you can choose who you work for.
Most businesses wait for the phone to ring and take whatever job they can get. Great businesses seek out their ideal customers and win their business. You’re more likely to provide a great experience if you have a good relationship to start.
Even if you are just starting out, it’s a good idea to figure out who your ideal customer is and start marketing to them. It never hurts to build an email list of prospects that you can start building a relationship with.
About The Author:
Jennifer Bell is a freelance writer, blogger, dog-enthusiast and avid beachgoer operating out of Southern New Jersey. She writes on behalf of Prime Electrical Services, an electrician in Cherry Hill.