Are your customers telling you the whole truth?
Why customer service matters for home buildersMay 19th, 2016 by
You work with homeowners and buyers on a daily basis, so you know how important it is to them to have a great experience with your company. They expect a certain level of service and the bar is continuing to get higher and higher with the rise of online review sites and social media. We are living in the age of the customer, and if you’re not able to deliver the levels of service they’re looking for, they will go to someone else. In fact, according to a study from Zendesk, 52% of B2C customers stopped buying after a bad customer service interaction.
If you want your customers to stick with you or refer you to their friends and family, you need to deliver consistent, quality service each and every time. This will not only help you gain new business, but it will also build up your reputation and will help differentiate you among your competitors.
So, where do you start and why should you invest in delighting your customers?
To start, it’s got to be a company-wide effort. It’s not just one person’s responsibility to practice good customer service. Every person on your team must make delivering exceptional service a priority. Having a customer-centric culture where service excellence is a core value that all employees live by is the first step and most important step. Below are a few reasons why it’s so important to get the team on board and make customer service part of your culture.
Gain repeat and referral customers
According to an article in HousingWire, it can be 7x more expensive to acquire a new customer than to retain an old one. So many companies allocate such a huge portion of their budget on acquiring new customers – do you have budget set aside to retain and nurture your existing customers? If not, consider devoting extra energy to that oft-overlooked area of your business.
By investing time and resources into your relationships with your customers, you put yourself on a path to earn repeat business and even referrals. Also, having regular communications with customers before, during, and after their project will allow you to uncover any issues right away instead of allowing them to go unnoticed and unsolved for days, weeks, or even months.
Build a positive online reputation
It’s always encouraging to hear positive feedback from your customers, but it’s even better when they take the time to tell others about their great experience with you. Nothing is more credible than a peer recommendation, whether online or offline, so be sure you know what’s being said about you by your customers and how your brand is perceived.
Providing awesome customer service is a great way to build a positive brand image, but you’ve also got to be proactive in collecting and using your customers’ stories to build up your reputation for great service.
For starters, give your customers a voice. Whether that’s through customer satisfaction surveys, social media, online reviews, or communication with your team, let your customers know exactly where and how they can share their feedback with you and with others. Be open to receiving this feedback and embrace the fact that it could be shared publicly. This proves your commitment to service excellence and quality and boosts your reputation for being an open, honest company.
Stand out from your competitors
Once you begin nurturing your relationships with your customers and amplify their voice to share their experience, you’ll begin to accumulate compelling content for your marketing and advertising efforts. Homeowners and buyers want to know that your company values customer satisfaction, but it will resonate with them so much more if that message comes from your actual customers.
Becoming a customer-centric company isn’t easy and can’t be done overnight, but it’s such an important differentiator for your business and your reputation. Get your team on board and incorporate it into your core values, and you’ll start to see a positive impact on your business and your relationships with your customers.
This article was originally written for and published on builderpartnerships.com.
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