What is the one thing every business owner should do to make sure their business is profitable and growing in the new year?
Prioritize quality conversations with customers to improve the customer experience. Home service businesses are in a unique position to interact with customers on a human-to-human level at every customer touch point. On the phone, in the home, in follow-ups – we get to have conversations with our customers on a regular basis! This is a privilege, but if executed poorly, conversations can severely damage a business’s reputation.
There are 3 important elements to consider when having conversations with your customers: timeliness, trustworthiness, and emotional connection.
Can customers start a conversation with you when they want to start the conversation? Let’s face it… no one wants to be put on hold, and no one likes waiting to hear from your business “later.” Sadly, however, this is the norm for most businesses. When customers call, they are forced to sit on hold for extended periods of time, and when they fill out web forms they are told that you will contact them “later”.
Your business can have conversations with customers in a timelier manner by training CSRs to talk with customers more promptly, and to put customers on hold the right way (yes, there is a right way… but that’s an article for another day). You can also utilize automated webchat services so that customers don’t have to fill out a form and wait… automated webchat helps businesses start the conversation the second a visitor lands on your website, and they convert a higher percentage of leads than forms do.
Can a customer trust that you know what you are doing, and that you understand what they are experiencing? Too many businesses assume that because the customer called you, they automatically trust you and are confident you can help. WRONG. Assume nothing!
Trust is earned, and it’s a feeling that comes from our behavior (how we talk to them) not their behavior (picking up the phone and dialing our number). There are 2 simple things you can do to be more trustworthy in your conversations:
- Ask the customer questions like “tell me more” to invite them to explain their situation, and then rephrase what they say in your own words
- When the customer knows you understand, reassure them you can help with phrases like “we can definitely help you out”
Do customers feel a connection with you and your team? As if you are good friends?
In addition to trust, an emotional connection can build relationships and a reputation of excellence like few other things in your business. Show genuine empathy and respect for customers, appreciate their perspective, and make sure they know in your words and your tone that you are truly grateful they called.
The fact of the matter is this:
You are very similar to your competitors in many respects. You sell lots of equipment from the same manufacturers that they buy from, you provide a similar quality of service from a technical standpoint, and you may even have a similar website. You need a differentiator, and that differentiator is the customer experience you create in conversation with customers.
Focus on timeliness, trustworthiness, and emotional connection with your customers, and watch your revenue and reputation move up and to the right.
We mentioned automated web chat… and we also happen to offer that 🙂 PowerChats is a tool for service businesses to capture every lead that lands on their website and talk to customers how they want to talk. Check it out and schedule a live demo!
Zac Garside is the Marketing Manager at Power Selling Pros. He is obsessed with making things easier for people, and the Philadelphia Eagles… let’s not talk about that last part though for a few more months.