So what is this magical thing a home improvement contractor can do that will give them a competitive edge without spending a dime? It’s actually quite simple and if you talk to any contractor they will tell you… “yeah, there’s nothing new about that”. And they are right…. nothing new here!
The secret sauce is “Customer Service”
If you had to guess, where would you think the home improvement industry ranks in customer service? Most people are surprised to find that customer satisfaction in the industry is astonishingly low and on par with car sales… yeah, car sales! So generally speaking, homeowners are about as satisfied with the home improvement industry as they are with the notoriously shady car buying process.
Planese conducted a study and found that only 36% of contractors met their customers expectations for a remodeling or home improvement project. An even more astonishing figure is that only 50% of the customers would consider rehiring the contractor again or refer them to a friend. With these types of ratings its no surprise that consumers rely heavily on referrals and online reviews to help them find a reputable contractor.
So what can a contractor do?
Probably one of the biggest changes you can make for your business is to manage expectations and keep your commitments. I know this does sound easier than it really is… after all if it were easy everyone would be doing it. My background is in the service industry so I know and feel your pain. You get started on a job and all of a sudden something unexpected pops up… it takes a little longer than you planned. Now the homeowner that your servicing wants to know what is taking so long and the one you promised to get to in an hour is wondering where you are.
Communications can go a long way when the unexpected happens. Taking 2 minutes will go a long way in keeping your customers happy. Call the customer that is waiting for you and let them know your running a little behind and give them another eta. Update the customer your servicing if they are expecting a specific time-frame to finish.
Pay attention to the little things.
Returning calls promptly is a big deal because very few contractors are doing it. You can easily stand out from the crowd and customers will love it when you do.
Clean up the workspace when you finish. This might sound silly but if the customer needs to clean after you’ve finished they won’t be happy.
A quick follow up will make you a hero. Block out some time at the end of each week to check on your customers and see how they are doing. If you don’t have time to do this yourself, pay someone for an hour a week to make the calls for you. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking… this could mean another service call because they still have a problem. Well, if they still have a problem this means they are either going to call you back or they will go online and blast your companies reputation. So why not impress the heck out of them and save yourself the call back. You’ll probably find the 90% of the time they are thrilled with the work you did and every more thrilled that you followed up.
Since you’re following up and they are happy, why not invite them to leave a positive review for you online, add them to your mailing list or ask for referrals.
You know your industry better than us marketers do… think out of the box and create your own customer service process that will leave a lasting impression with your customers and make you stand out from the crowd! Get help growing your business with contractor leads from Social Climb