Customer service is the assistance and advice delivered by a business to a customer. (Source: Lexico) And most importantly, it’s an important aspect of any business.
Whether you’re a company of 100+ employees or a one-man band, you need to perfect your customer service skills to ensure continued business, loyalty and growth.
You could be the most talented person in your industry, but if your customer service skills are poor, you could be losing jobs left, right and centre.
So, what can you do to ensure you’re providing high-quality customer service?
When it comes to communicating with the customer, be clear and concise. Explain exactly what work will need to be completed, be honest about the duration of the project and the cost. No one wants to be surprised with extra charges – which can lead to negative feelings between you and the customer. Negative emotions can quickly turn into a negative review, which could harm future business.
You must arrive at the site on time and look presentable. For homeowners, turning up to their homes in dirty clothing isn’t going to fill them with confidence. Poor presentation could suggest poor work. Although not necessary, a lot of tradespeople opt to wear branded workwear. While looking professional, branded workwear is another way of promoting a business. Ultimately, as long as you keep yourself and your van clean and tidy, you’re onto a winner.
Before you start work, customers are likely to ask questions. It’s up to you to be ready and willing to answer them.
Going through your work plan will help the customer understand the process and feel more involved in the project. Of course, you’re the professional, but if you’re working on their property, they’ll want to know what’s going on.
As well as being good at your job, you want to make a good personal impression. Being friendly and cheerful will not only make the customer feel more comfortable, but it will leave a lasting impression. If you’re memorable for a good reason, you’re likely to see repeat business and recommendations coming your way.
No matter how awesome you think your product is, or how talented you think your team is, what your customers are most likely to remember is the direct contact they have with your company. – (Source: FreshDesk)
Should a customer get back in touch a few months or even a few years later, greeting them as a friend will make all the difference. Of course, you will have worked for numerous people since, but remembering your customers and being able to recall your previous meetings with them will put you in good stead. If your memory isn’t as good as it once was, make notes to refer to at a later date.
The Extra Mile
When you’ve done all of the above and ticked all the basic customer service boxes, is there any reason to do more? You get paid for a specific amount of work. Is there any reason to go above and beyond for a customer?
The simple answer is yes. Going that extra mile for a customer will only see a positive response. How you can do that will depend on the customer in question, however.
For some, it may mean working late to finish the job to ensure the young family aren’t left without heating overnight. For others, it could be as simple as sitting down for a cup of tea and a chat. Getting to know your customers and their circumstances will help you better understand how you can help them.
And as we all know, it’s the little things that can make a big difference.