Are your customers telling you the whole truth?
Five areas of customer dissatisfaction and how to dodge themMarch 20th, 2018 by
What makes a once happy customer pursue another contractor? Much like any break-up, trouble in paradise begins to brew when things like deception, rudeness, and inflexibility occur. An infographic from Business 2 Community titled, “Stop Losing Money and Focus on Customer Service,” shares some interesting stats that were specific to causes of customer dissatisfaction.
Most of these are inherently apparent, but you’d be surprised how many of us forget or disregard the basics. The following are some observations regarding each cause of dissatisfaction and some takeaways you can share with your team to build unbreakable relationships with your customers.
Cause 1: Deception
I think most lies begin because people generally are conflict avoiders. Disappointing customers is never ideal, but it’s absolutely essential that your company honestly and clearly outlines what they can and can’t deliver. Discussing expectations initially with your customers will salvage your relationship with them in the long-run.
Cause 2: Rudeness
There’s a quote from Daniel Pink that we GQers love, “Treat your customers and prospects like your grandmother… but with 80 million Twitter followers.” Being rude is never acceptable, but in today’s reputation economy, rudeness can end up costing you your business. Business 2 Consumer shares that on average, people tell 24 other people about their bad experiences. I have a feeling that number grows depending on how many Facebook friends or Twitter followers each of your customers and prospects have.
Cause 3: Incompetency
Homeowners have a lot invested in a new home build or home improvement project. When they choose a home pro to take on their project, they trust that who they select has the expertise to make their dreams come to fruition. As a business owner, you can’t be everywhere all at once. It can be really difficult to pinpoint areas of incompetency in your company. One tried and true way to determine where your company may be falling short is to simply ask your customers. Employing a third-party to survey customers is my recommended method of gathering feedback. Not only does that help to ensure authentic answers, but in most cases, you ultimately receive a stronger response rate.
Cause 4: Inflexibility
Flexibility is a challenge for the residential construction industry. In some instances, home builders and remodelers work with homeowners who don’t always make selections on time, or they struggle with complications when scheduling subcontractors. Also, as highlighted in the Business 2 Consumer infographic, flexibility can be difficult when it comes to warranties. In fact, they shared that 71% of people cite it as a major cause of dissatisfaction. These types of situations force home pros to become easily adaptable. Take the time to explain your warranty plan with customers and ensure they feel comfortable. Many of our members also survey their customers and ask for their feedback regarding their plan. The surveys feature questions like:
[BUILDER] has been accessible and responsive regarding warranty issues.
I have a clear understanding of how warranty issues are handled.
I am satisfied with the work completed by the warranty and service technicians.
These questions help home builders and remodelers to identify areas their warranties may be falling short, and which customer needs to have more time devoted to discussing their plan.
Cause 5: Lateness
Lateness and rudeness go hand in hand in my book. While the Business 2 Consumer infographic specifically mentions lengthy hold times, I think that the bulk of frustration arises from customers of home builders, remodelers, and home services contractors when their project isn’t on schedule. Again, in most cases, dissatisfaction can be avoided by simply setting the proper expectations and communicating with your customers throughout the project. Delays happen, but if you and your team do your best to keep your customers in the loop, you’ll be in better standing with them.
Keeping customers loyal is a tough job, but it pays off! The infographic states that it costs five times as much to acquire new customers as it does to keep those you already have. Beyond costs, building strong relationships with customers lends to your credibility and gives you the type of reputation you want your business to have.