You need to be involved in your business. But, when you’re too involved in the day to day interactions with clients, it’s difficult as an owner to spend time on other areas of the business. That makes growing sales and/or improving profits nearly impossible to achieve.
You must keep employees at the same standard as you hold yourself. Make sure employees are just as conscientious about listening to customer needs as you are. Employees must understand what your customers’ priorities are.
You have to take a step back a figure out what service looks like from your customer’s view. Expertise and efficiency come into play; but what about the other details like punctuality and appearance trucks, equipment and employees? Being considerate of your customer will go a long way. Most likely a customer will not appreciate crew blasting hard rock music on the site. Listening to your customers needs, wants and expectations will help you better define service.
Keep in mind that standards are always changing. Identifying that the way you do something on year might be great and the next is could fall behind. For example, if you always get back with customers by the end of the day. This could be acceptable for a time, but what if your competitors are now doing that too. You should adapt to the standard and go a step beyond to get back with customers within an hour. You simply have to stay on top of customer expectations.
Asking the Right Questions
How do you keep a standard if you don’t know what it is? Gather information through surveys and other forms to know what your clients expect. Also, empower your crew to touch base with clients during the service to make sure they’re on the same page and happy. Although, don’t just throw them to the wolves. Be sure to train your crew on proper conduct and questions that are appropriate for clients. In addition, don’t let this go to waste. Make time to go over any conversations and events from the day with your team. You want to take care of any problems that may have arose, right away.
Easy Customer Service Steps
Some customer service needs to be taken one step further. One important customer service aspect is returning all phone calls within a certain time-frame, and following up until you connect with the customer. If you call back too late they may have found someone else, or will be upset and you company image will take a toll. Only calling once may also cause you to loose the account.
Second, resolve on-site problems immediately. The longer you don’t deal with a problem, the worse it will get. Take responsibility for the issue, even if it may not be you and your crew’s fault. Don’t argue with the person who is paying you.
Next, set deadlines for completing proposals. Getting back with potential clients quickly will get you more business, because clients will think you will also complete their project quicker.
Establish a process for “thank you follow ups” after completing installation projects. No one says thank you enough. This will help you with developing return clients. Also, create a “how are we doing?” form. This form will give clients the feeling that they have some power on the service you do, and it helps you improve.
Establish Good Customer Service
It takes a lot of effort to keep in touch with customers. But it costs much more to acquire new customers. Taking the time to reach out to clients, ask for feedback and discuss ways you can do better will go a long way. It will go even longer when you involve your employees in the process, and truly establish a customer service culture in your landscape company.