In any type of business, great customer service goes a long way. This is particularly true today when it can take 10 minutes of pressing multiple buttons on your phone to get to a real person. Most people prefer talking to a human being opposed to an automated operator, and that is a real opportunity for you to make a connection that can result in loyal customers, which translates to long-term revenue for you.
The tips below should help you foster a helpful and positive environment with your customers that will result in happy clients, more referrals and increased revenues!
- Give your full attention on the customer you are servicing; focus on their needs only and do not multi-task during your time with that customer.
- Take the time to listen to the needs and wants of the customer; do not interrupt them while talking but offer relevant and helpful advice at the end of the conversation.
- Start with your staff members: Be sure your service staff (office staff, technicians, etc.) understands the importance of great communication, listening skills and problem-solving skills.
- Be sure your staff is knowledgeable about your products and services. If a staff member can’t recommend the correct service or recommends the incorrect service, you could potentially lose a customer.
- Leave personal, handwritten notes on your invoices. These notes could be about the service you just provided, what they have in their yard or tips (i.e. “Your roses look beautiful; you could benefit from less watering; Be on the lookout for army worms”).
- Go the extra mile in being courteous to clients. Pick up items before spraying or put items back when you’re done; close garbage can lids or pull them in for elderly clients.
- Offer professional printed sheets of tips relevant to the job. This could be information regarding what you’ve done during service and what they should do until your next visit.
- Before or after the job, communicate or talk to your customer in person. Sometimes the clients aren’t home, but before you start, tell them what you plan to do or afterwards, what you’ve done before leaving.
- After a job, give customers a call for feedback. What can you improve on the next visit? How has the situation changed? Make notes of these and on your next visit, actually implement customer suggestions.
- Be available for questions. Be helpful. Always be ready to answer questions when asked.
- If you receive complaints, make sure you respond within 24 hours and the issue gets handled. Come out to the customer personally and admit when you’re wrong. Apologizing and trying to fix the issue can sometimes keep that customer from leaving. Most customers will appreciate the effort and then be willing to work with you if you take that extra step.
Offering great customer service doesn’t have to be hard. You’ll receive recommendations from current customers. You’ll gain additional services from current customers. You’ll get new customers based on word of mouth of what a great company you are. Customer service is an empty phrase if you don’t back it up. The true value of customer service is building a good rapport and relationship with your customer. It’s all in the saying, “Treat others the same way you want them to treat you” (Luke 6:31). If you go that extra mile, you’ll have the same customer for over 30 years.