Are your customers telling you the whole truth?
How to make customers happy every timeNovember 6th, 2019 by
It is impossible to please clients all the time in every scenario. People make mistakes, and when those people are your workers, your customers may suffer from negative effects. Even so, companies should still aim for 100% customer satisfaction. If this is your goal, your next concern may involve how to make customers happy. How do you keep them consistently satisfied so that they will continue to do business with you and refer your company to family and friends? Here are a few tips you can follow.
Understand the pain points
Construction and renovation projects are expensive. So, when a homeowner decides to take the plunge, they likely have a good reason. Find out what the pain points are behind the tens of thousands of dollars they may be spending to resolve the issue. Keep these pain points in mind as you tackle the design, cost estimate and every other aspect of the project. Forbes cautions business owners that understanding a customer’s pain point could be the difference between providing a solution that works and one that flops.
Unless your customer works in your field, chances are that they have no idea what to expect of the building or remodeling process. Transparency helps to resolve this problem, thereby ensuring your customer has realistic expectations. Both sides will also experience fewer surprises. Here are some of the things you may wish to disclose:
- Cost estimates
- General work process
- Identity and experience of the foreman
- Identity, qualifications, and reasons for any subcontractors
Transparency and open communication often get grouped together, but there are some differences. Open communication goes beyond transparency to build trust by maintaining a direct line of contact and consultation. It also facilitates a two-way exchange, whereas transparency focuses on just one. There are several things you should consistently share with customers. These include any delays in the projects, instances of going over budget, progress reports, and material shortages. You should also actively request feedback.
Choose their mediums
Some customers prefer to receive a monthly progress report by email. Others may want a weekly text or expect you to call at the end of every workday to update them on how things are moving along. Strike a balance between what they prefer and what you can offer, then set the expectation and follow through. By allowing the customer to have a say in how they communicate with you, you increase the likelihood of receiving an email regarding their concerns as opposed to a bad review.
Do not over-promise
Entrepreneur.com recites the old cliché that businesses should under-promise and then over-deliver. Yet, many business owners fall into the trap of promising more than they can offer to attract customers. The customers will only become upset when a business fails to meet their expectations. Instead, offer realistic expectations and then work hard to surpass the objectives you put in place.
Show attention to detail
Customers want to know that the companies they do business with pay attention. Noting the tiny details can go a great way toward achieving this. This is especially important in construction and renovation projects where so many smaller jobs come together to paint the final picture of completion. Focusing on the smaller details provides the additional benefit of ensuring the safety of occupants and owners.
Accept responsibility for customer satisfaction
No one enjoys saying they are wrong; they messed up; they did a bad job. Even so, sometimes it happens. When it does, customers become upset and understandably so. Some managers respond with excuses or even denial, which may only worsen the situation. Admitting you were wrong may remove the ammunition. In fact, Entrepreneur.com estimates that 70% of dissatisfied customers become loyal ones if you exceed expectations by resolving the problem.
Inc. encourages business owners to add a personal touch. Over the past few years, companies achieved this through the use of personalized data. With the birth of the General Data Protection Regulation in the European Union and the California Consumer Privacy Act, this may become more difficult over time. However, you need not rely solely on automated systems using personal data to achieve this. Refer to your clients by name and ensure everyone who will come in contact with them at your business knows who they are and the general work completed on their behalf.
Train your workers
Whether they are your employees or independent contractors, train them on how to interact with customers. You also need to provide training on how workers should conduct themselves on site. Hold the foreman accountable for enforcing the code of conduct you put in place. No matter how professional you are, the actions of your workers will reflect on you and your business. Take the steps necessary to make this reflection a positive one.
Respond to feedback
No one likes to receive negative feedback, especially when the medium is public. Even so, it is important to respond objectively. Forbes notes that when companies decide to maintain their silence, customers are more likely to assume something is wrong. This can lend some legitimacy to the complaint offered. Even if the complaint is true, customers appreciate it when a company accepts its flaws and commits to resolving the issue and producing a better outcome on the next round.
Give them what they want
This sounds easy enough, but many companies fall short here. Business owners who are experts in their field often begin to see their way as the best or the only way. Do not fall into this trap. Even if you dislike the style a customer asks for, do not try to force-feed them another option that better suits your preference. When people are spending $10,000 or more on a project, they tend to have a pretty good idea of what they want. Keep all criticisms objective and focus more on offering alternatives than nit-picking.
Before you can keep your customers happy, you must first understand what they want. To gather specific information that you can use to form a general picture, consider customer satisfaction surveying.