As a small business owner, you are wearing many hats. If you are an appliance repair technician going out on your own for the first time, there are going to be some hats you have never worn before. One of those is likely to be customer service. If you worked for another company, your customer interaction was limited to knocking on the door and telling them you were there to repair the appliance, getting the bill signed, and you were out the door. As business owners, those interactions change considerably, especially if you are running a one-man shop.
Customer Service Grows Business
I can tell you from personal experience that good customer service can make up for flaws in other areas. There will come a time when a mistake is made or a promise that was not delivered upon. At that point, the only thing that can save that business is customer service skills. This is what builds repeat business and referrals.
Develop a Relationship
Regardless of the business you are in, repeat business is the key to success. We are not talking about taking them out to dinner and a movie, but make note of some personal things with each client to let them know they are not just a number in your contact list. For instance, if you notice a dog or cat in the house, ask the animal’s name and inquire about the pet in a future call. Same with kids or other family members. For instance, if the client mentions their child is sick, a quick note to see how the child is doing as a follow-up will go a long way to building a long-lasting relationship.
Do Just a Little More
Today, far too many people are happy with doing the bare minimum. Do just a little bit extra and your customers will notice. Send a note as we mentioned above, or do something on a visit that lets them know you went just a bit further than you had to. For instance, you get called for a refrigerator repair, but you decide to clean off the coils on the back of the fridge free of charge. That is something that took you only a few minutes, but the gesture will be much appreciated.
We have all been there. You call up customer service and get a scripted response to everything you say. Listen to the problem, be relatable, and present a solution that will satisfy the customer. Every person is different, so throw the script away and hear their concerns.
Every time you walk through the door of a client’s home, be positive. You are there to help them and you are glad to do it. Business should never be a chore in the eyes of the customer, regardless of how your day is going. You see them, you smile, stay positive, and it will make a big impact.
Without your customers, you have no business, so you have to keep them happy. Of course, there are always going to be people you cannot make happy regardless of what you do, but they are definitely the exception. Follow these basic tips, and your business will flourish.