A business is nothing without its customers.
Especially your home services business.
No matter how great your service is or how experienced your staff members are...
The customer experience you provide will determine whether your customers come back for more, refer you to their friends, or write you off completely.
Thankfully, improving your customer’s experience is one of the quickest and cheapest ways to increase your client retention, your referrals, and even your service fees.
According to a 2017 study by American Express, U.S. consumers are willing to pay 17% more to do business with companies that provide excellent service. On the flip side, more than half have backed out of a planned transaction or purchase as a result of bad service.
So, let’s discuss your action plan for your home services business.
Just follow these 6 tips for Creating an Ideal Customer Experience...
6. Define Your Values and Create a Vision
What does your home services business stand for?
What do you stand for?
And how would you want to be treated if you were your customer?
Here’s an example of a company’s mission at work:
One day, 30% of all retail transactions in the U.S. will be online.
People will buy from the company with the best service and the best selection.
[We] will be that online store.
The company? Zappos.com
With the goal to become the most sought-after shoe retailer in the digital space, they’ve centered their values as a company on winning the customer through service and experience again and again.
At Zappos, customer service representatives are monitored on their call times. However, what they’re being graded on isn’t how short they can keep the calls—it’s how long.
Down to their core, Zappos believes in giving the customer an unparalleled experience even if it means sacrificing efficiency.
Because at the end of the day, the customer is the only thing that matters.
5. Get to Know Your Customers Through Persona Research
What’s your ideal customer like? What are their hobbies? Their interests? How do they talk?
Not sure? That’s fine. Go talk to them and ask.
Take the time and learn what makes your ideal customer tick. This will help inform you of what they need and what they expect from your particular service offerings. Find out what their issues are with the industry as a whole, or better yet, with your competitors.
Do they think service takes too long? Are they concerned with the cleanliness or attitude of technicians?
The key is to dig deep into the aspects of your industry that most customers begrudgingly accept as a consequence of the trade. Address those issues and you’ll set the pace for not just your local market, but your industry, as well.
4. Work to Create an Emotional Connection with the Customer
Why should your customers care about your business? That you need to hit your bottom line and pay your employees? Your mortgage? Your kids’ college funds?
Because you’ve shown you care about them.
The old saying “it’s the thought that counts” can take you far in business. By investing time and thought into the small—but meaningful—gestures, you make your business unforgettable to the customer.
Here’s a quick story:
At the Ritz Carlton in Atlanta, a man left his laptop behind when checking out of the hotel. Frustrated by his mistake, and needing his laptop for an important presentation in his destination city, he called the hotel and was directed to housekeeping. They confirmed they had the laptop and he asked for them to send it to him as soon as possible.
Employees of Ritz Carlton are given 2,000 dollars a day as a discretionary fund to improve guest experience. When the man arrived to his destination city (in Hawaii) and checked into his hotel, he was greeted in-person by the housekeeping employee he had spoken to.
Her exact words, “This was too important.”
That’s above and beyond. That’s great service. And that’s unforgettable.
3. Ask for Feedback Constantly and Study It
Want to know the quickest way to get information? Ask for it.
To learn where the chinks are in your customer service experience, read every single review—especially the bad ones. This will give you a foundation for what you need to fix.
Next, review any and all social media comments that reference your business by name. You can do this easily by using the search function on any social media platform.
When you find a comment—whether positive or negative—take note. If it’s good feedback, make that aspect of your customer experience even better. If it’s bad feedback, set the problem as your primary focus and turn it into your strongest asset.
2. Analyze and Optimize
Customer service can always be better. A problem solved a little faster. A convenience given without asking.
The development of your customer service experience should be incremental and based on the feedback of your customers, and the trends of your industry. Take everything from full-on complaints to the small off-hand comments and commit to building on them. You don’t have to rebuild your customer experience from the ground up; just fine-tune it.
1. Take Time to Invest In Your employees
Your employees will need training.
Look at the Ritz Carlton. Each new employee receives:
Over 300 hours of on-the-job training
A dedicated learning coach
And 120 hours of additional coaching
Your investment doesn’t need to be as high as the Ritz Carlton, but you do need to make an investment. The happier your employees are, the happier your customers will be. So, take the time to instill your values as a company on them, make them proud of the service they provide, and watch that goodwill trickle down to your customers.
The Benefits of Great Customer Service
Did you know that customers who are emotionally engaged are…
300% more likely to recommend your product or service
3x more likely to re-purchase
Less likely to shop around with your competitors
Less sensitive to price
The math is clear here:
Do more for your customers and they’ll do more for you.
So, when in doubt, follow the golden rule. A kind gesture or two can do wonders for your business.