What makes a great customer experience? If you’re here, you may know some basic principles, but need help optimizing tactics. We’ve detailed seven top tips to improve customer experience and exceed expectations to gain loyalty for the long-term…
How To Improve Customer Experience And Crush Your Competition
If you work in one of the major trades, you know exactly how important it is to keep your clients happy and satisfied with your work. Be it in:
- Gas engineering
Managing client expectations is vital for you to remain in business.
Neglecting customer satisfaction can be detrimental. Over 50% of businesses close shop within the first three years. You need to avoid making any significant mistakes in this regard. It is in your best interest to avoid encouraging people to leave bad reviews about your brand or tell their friends in your service area about their less-than-ideal experience with your company.
Builders and electricians rate in the US’s most loved professions according to polls using Twitter data. How you can build on the positive view of your industry and elevate your standards and improve customer experience?
The Benefits Of Improving Customer Satisfaction
It goes without saying that the better your customer service, the happier your clients will be and the better your brand reputation. Word of mouth is a powerful tool for any business. But for tradespeople, it can be the difference between growing your business and failure.
- How you treat your customers
- The speed of work carried out
- Quality of service
Can help grow your business.
Excellent customer service comes with referrals which leads to:
- Increased sales
- Social media mentions
- Cash flow
- Generating more profit
A hidden side effect: As you strive to improve your customers’ experience, you will also improve your internal processes. In turn, you will likely find you become more efficient and productive and reduce time wasted on poor procedures as you move forward.
All in all, improving customer service as a service provider can have untold benefits that, at first glance, might not be so obvious.
With this in mind, how can you best improve the customer satisfaction in your business? We wrote the new entrepreneurs guide to improve customer experience just for you.
Before making any other changes, you must commit to being honest and transparent with customers. People value those qualities. As a service provider you need to be upfront about your company’s:
- Working hours
- Typical turnaround times
So your clients will not be unpleasantly surprised due to misunderstandings. You would be wise to set realistic expectations with open communication.
Where possible, be clear about what you can deliver and how you will deliver it. Talk to your clients and get a clear idea of:
- What they need
- What they expect
- When they expect it
Be honest if you cannot meet these expectations. They will appreciate you being forthcoming, and even if you don’t end up working with them in that specific instance, you may earn their trust for future business. Additionally, they may share their experience with others who may also think favorably of your brand.
Consistently put your team in the position of under-promising and over-delivering.
The customer experience starts when they first come into contact with your business. This is can be through:
- Word of mouth
- Google search
- Listings in local or industry guides for service providers
- Your website or social media accounts
- Social media shares from others
And possibly other avenues.
It is essential you examine the image your company is projecting into the world and ask yourself if this is the brand message you are happy for your target markets receive. Look at your:
Anything that represents your company. Ask:
- Is it representative of your company values?
- What image are you portraying?
- Will your stakeholders be happy with this?
If the answer is no, potential clients will likely not be impressed with it either. Address any concerns and make adjustments to represent your company as accurately and as positively as possible.
Map The Customer Journey
The customer journey is the route in which clients interact with your company. This starts the very first instance they come into contact with your branding or brand presence, and it ends once they have completed their final sale. It is smart to document a realistic journey from beginning to end.
Mapping the customer journey involves looking at:
- How they interact with your company
- Their needs
- Their pain points and challenges
Every interaction they are likely to make along the way.
- Are they able to easily find contact details on your website?
- Are calls handled quickly?
- Are quotes and requests fulfilled in a timely manner?
- Is the process overly complicated?
Drill down to detail.
For example: Is your contact form requesting too many details (meaning your potential audience gives up and moves on to the next company)? This is where you might look at how to improve customer experience on a website.
Knowing the challenges they face can allow you to make the right changes. By analyzing these details, you can understand how your company will fit into a target customer’s life and react with empathy for the customer.
Improve Customer Experience By Personalizing Interactions
All of your interactions need to be personalized to each customer and their specific needs. This goes for potential prospects and current customers. Personalization is the name of the game. If you neglect this aspect of the customer experience, you are doing your organization a disservice.
Has your company contracted or implemented an outside phone sales crew? Then you definitely want to explore how to improve customer experience in a call center.
Using a CRM to personalize cold calls and outreach is wise. In turn, when representatives talk to clients at meetings and when giving quotes, addressing them specifically and to their customized needs will help you to deliver a more personalized pitch rather than offering generic statements.
Effective Deployment Of Engineers And Employees
If you work in an industry where emergency calls make up the bulk of the work, you need to be aware of personnel at all times. Whether they are on the job, making their way back to the office, booking clients, or other, being able to track and effectively deploy where they need to be to meet customer demand is vital to provide an elevated customer experience.
Take the hassle from chasing employees and use Customer Relationship Management (CRM) that allows you to pinpoint your employees in real time. For example, BuildOps software will enable you to:
- Assign jobs based on experience
- Provide more accurate quotes and projections
- Pass along correct information to the right people at the right time
In short, give your customers a seamless approach and more positive interactions with your company.
Offer Accurate Quotes And Projections
There is nothing that irks clients more than receiving unexpected rises in costs for a job to be completed.
At the same time, you can’t always see every issue in advance. Costs may creep out of your control, especially in the construction industry. We saw that recently with supply chain problems worldwide after the pandemic.
Additionally, companies try to outbid each other, which can result in the customer paying more than they expected. Or, the bidding company losing money due to underestimations. Uneducated professionals might deliver work of lower quality to meet the quoted price. That is a lose-lose situation for customer and company.
Instead, use your industry experience and expertise and the best software programs for your industry to offer project price quotes at a realistic price for services delivered. Aim toward offering guarantees of satisfaction by doing the math for your clients.
Should a project cost change, communicate this at the earliest possible moment. Be honest about the difference in costs and why the quote has changed. The better you explain what is happening, the more accepting your client will be of the situation.
Offer Stellar Service
It’s simple: Deliver on what you have promised to do. Regardless of the job at hand, you and your employees must complete the work required in a timely manner and to the highest standards with minimal disruption. That is what you were hired to do.
Communicate with your clients at all stages, assure them everything is under control, and alert them to any potential issues as soon as possible, so they know exactly what to expect.
Use the correct tools and technology to assist you in the work carried out and meet all required codes and regulations. Utilize the proper PPE for both you and your customer, and clean up after the job is finished.
You should be pre-empting any issues the customer is likely to have during and after the work is carried out so you can leave them happy and satisfied and willing to recommend you to family and friends. You ant them to return for repeat business in the future should they have additional need.
Final Thoughts On What It Takes To Improve Customer Experience
Running a small business is no easy feat, and ensuring you are meeting your obligations while providing an exemplary service should be your plan. For longevity and growth, you need to be focused on the customer journey from start to finish and always be working on how to improve customer experience.