It goes without saying that it’s vital to have more than just a great product or service in order to run a truly successful business, and the roofing industry is no exception. Roofing contractors that raise the bar high when it comes to customer service are the businesses that really thrive.
But what exactly is “good” customer service? To some, it’s as simple as solving problems and offering solutions in a supportive manner. Others see it as giving customers anything and everything that they want; you know, “the customer is always right” approach.
What makes customer service “good” is dependent on what specific things your customers value and expect, and also how you compare to the service your competitors’ offer. Introducing a follow-up call or customer visit after every job would certainly earn you customer loyalty and positive word of mouth reputation, but is this enough to guarantee revenue growth?
These days, “good” is simply not enough. Good won’t differentiate you enough from the competition. Instead, truly exceptional customer service should be the aim of any business that wants to boost sales, develop better customer relations, generate recommendations and increase overall professionalism.
So, with this in mind, let’s take a look at some of the ways in which you can deliver excellent customer service that will truly benefit your customers and ultimately your business.
Understand your customer
At least 70% of buying decisions are based on emotion, and the rest are justified with logic, so above all, respect your customers’ wishes and listen carefully to what they are saying. Leave your sales patter at home – it may be that ultimately they want to invest in a brand new roof, but due to budget constraints their priority right now is to stop it leaking. Put yourself inside your customers’ heads, work out what their problems are and solve them. By gaining a better understanding of your customers’ requirements, you can impact the value of work you do for them and increase your selling opportunities.
It may be that your services and proximity attract customers initially, but what entices them to return or recommend you is a job well done and the assurance that they’re going to have a positive customer experience. If your company is answering the phone on the first ring, is upfront with all pertinent information, and you are delivering a truly professional experience, then you are building the much needed trust that will evolve into customer loyalty. And remember, it’s the simple things that count: keeping to scheduled appointment dates, going out of your way to be helpful, and providing a follow-up phone call can be all it takes to engender trust.
Know your stuff
It’s no longer good enough to install the roofing tiles you are most familiar with. Recommend products for all the right reasons and not because of heavily discounted promotions or familiarity. Instead, be upfront and outline options available, encouraging prospects to consider the ‘whole of life’ costs, rather than the initial outlay.
It’s also important to educate them about the benefits of product warranties, making sure you know about those with true value for the customer, as well as the different types of accessories available. Knowing your stuff will also enable you to perfect your up-sell and even obtain a second sale.
No one likes to deal with complaints, but it’s how you manage them that matters. Always deal swiftly with the complaint and offer a solution. By giving complaints the time and attention they deserve, the customer can often leave happy with little recollection of what the complaint was about in the first place! It’s important to listen to complaints, even if they are about price, time or the products, as you may learn something about your product or service that you need to know. And don’t forget to let your customer know that you appreciate their feedback.
By increasing your professionalism you automatically engender trust, respect and recognition. Being a member of CompetentRoofer effectively provides you with a platform to fly the flag for high standards and best practice, whilst giving you the credentials to stand out from the crowd and the cowboys.
Trustworthy and reliable
Membership of TrustMark will automatically enhance your reputation as a trustworthy and reliable roofing contractor, helping you to secure more business through third party accreditation and endorsement. Also, being a member of Which? Trusted Traders will help your company spread the word via online homeowner reviews.
These are just some of the ways in which you can provide “good” customer service. Truly exceptional customer service, however, involves consistency and encompasses every interaction that a customer or potential customer may have with your company – and this includes the entire experience, from initial contact to final installation and beyond. Leaving customers satisfied is the best business strategy that your company can ever have. Remember, if you don’t look after your prospects and customers, someone else will.