Great customer service is so important for helping a job run smoothly. It’s also essential for repeat and continued business – not only from the customer who hired you directly, but from others who may read their ratings and reviews of you or hear about you via word of mouth.
Most of us have been stung by a bad customer experience. The best thing we can do is act graciously and know that once the job is finished, that will be the end of the relationship. Often, it’s down to poor communication either on your part, their part or both. How can you avoid this in the future? Read our customer service tips below.
1. Communicate clearly
Bad customer service is often the result of someone not communicating clearly or regularly enough. When you begin a relationship with a new customer, it’s essential you let them know the best way to contact you – whether that’s by phone, WhatsApp or email. You could also use the messaging feature offered by many social media platforms. Check out our tips to find out which social media is right for your business.
If you’re working on a long, complicated job, perhaps there’s a set time of day when you check in. Or you could download a productivity app that both you and your client can use to track a project’s progress. Whatever happens, always keep your customer in the loop, even if it’s not good news, such as a delay or sickness. Some things are out of your control and most people are understanding.
2. Say thank you
This is an easy one and it always comes across as polite. Thank your customers for choosing to do business with you, whether that’s in person or via email at the end of a job.
3. Stand out from the crowd
It’s the little things such as turning up on time, tidying up or leaving waste in the right place that will get you a reputation for being a reliable tradesperson.
4. Respond as soon as you can
If you use email, social media or a website with a contact section, you’ll need to make sure you’re on top of new customer requests. You can either do this manually or use software to keep track of quotes and new projects. If you’re experiencing a busy period, set up an automated response that lets customers know when they should expect a response from you. Download the Rated People Trades app from the App Store for Apple devices or Google Play for Android devices, so it’s easy to stay on top of messages from homeowners.
Remember, once you’ve established the best way to communicate with a customer, make sure to respond to them in good time.
Discover more useful apps to boost your business in our guide to the best tech for your trades business.
5. Be understanding and helpful
You may need to spell things out for customers who have little trade knowledge, or for those who haven’t hired a tradesperson before. They may not know what you need! So, explain simply and clearly to help them understand why a job takes a certain amount of time, or why specific materials cost more. Even if they don’t end up hiring you for a job, they’ll remember your attitude. This means they may hire you at a later date or recommend you to a friend.
Looking for more tips on improving your customers’ experience? Check out our tips on how to effectively resolve customer complaints.