But in today’s competitive market, you have to think beyond just fixing the immediate problem and think of this as an introduction to a new customer for many jobs to come. You have to pay attention to the things that matter to your customer whenever you visit a client’s home. You need to set expectations clearly, show up on time, perform the job in a timely manner, and make sure you leave the place clean. 

A little more effort can make the difference between a returning customer, one who may call you again and even help grow your client base, to one who would slam the door as soon as you walk out of it. This success also has a name – “delivering a positive customer experience.”

Your customers’ experience begins as soon as they interact with your company. This may be by phone, email, or on your website, and from that moment – it’s up to you to make sure their experience with you is as pleasant as it can be.

Even so, managing customer interactions isn’t always easy. We asked our partners at Signpost for some tips on how you can build exceptional customer experiences without breaking too much sweat. Here’s their take on the issue:

Hvac Tools

1. Speed to Lead

Did you know that 78% of jobs are won by the first businesses to respond? This means that you can’t afford the delay in calling customers back, even if they call during a rush time or after hours.

How to get this done?

  • Enable clients to book your services online – if you have a website, enable prospects to message you off-hours and even book a job using Workiz’s Online Booking feature.
  • Have someone else answer the phoneeven though you shouldn’t take phone calls on another job, a missed call could cost you a client. Have your dispatchers manage incoming calls and use features like call reminders and call queueing to make sure no unanswered call goes missed.

Secret hack:

Get an edge over your competitors and get booked straight out of search results (!) using Google’s Local Services Ads integration.

Home Services App

2. Provide options

If you’ve been in the trades for a while, you’re not new to the concept of job cancellations. Clients always have somewhere else to be, and they may cancel the job when you’re on your way or even at the door. They might also ask you to cut things short or come back for job completion or payment the next day. With Covid, they can now also enter quarantine at any time, even halfway through a job.

How to get this done?

  • Send job reminders – you can automatically send job reminders with Workiz’s Automation Center. If a client fails to make it to the job site, you’ll know ahead of time and have the option to book other clients in that time slot. 
  • Make it easy for clients to reschedule – either by phone, message, or online. No service pro likes to cancel a job last-minute and hear, “I called to notify you, but nobody picked up the phone!”
  • Collect payments online – use a service like Paypal or Workiz Pay (Workiz pay terms) to enable your clients to pay you in methods other than cash.

Secret hack:

If a client is prone to job cancellations, avoid discomfort by enabling “double booking.” Simply move on to another job once the cancellation request arrives.

Automatic notifications - Workiz

3. Communicate before, during, and after

Don’t you hate it when clients accuse you of overcharging them? Service pros don’t like to lower their service rates, yet we’re all asked to do so from time to time. Rather than asking for less than you should, set clear expectations in advance.

How to get this done?

  • Send a written estimate of your service and rates – so clients can negotiate it with you in advance and pay your deposit on the spot.
  • Provide clients with the latest version of their invoices and work orders whenever requested. Then they will know what work was completed, what work remains, and the overall costs.

Secret hack:

Instead of sending a precise estimate, present a sales proposal. This will show a price ladder of “good, better, best” service you could provide for any given problem. Statistics indicate that clients tend to select the midrange option. That means that they enjoy full transparency while being willing to pay extra for “better” services you could provide.

Job Confirmation Via Sms

4. Learn about your customer

Not all clients are created equal. Some have special requests, such as a specific technician they like in particular. Some have limitations that might make work harder for your technicians, such as a medical condition or noise sensibility. Others simply expect you to leave their home the same way they left it, with no smell or dirt, despite the complex plumbing or construction work you had to perform.

How to get this done?

  • Ask! you’ll be amazed at how clients appreciate you asking them about their limitations and special requests. Being considerate of these requests is the surefire strategy for a positive review.
  • Make notes for your current client base – clients enjoy thinking that you remember them and their needs. It’s even more considerate if you keep tabs on them using their social media and even your church board. Giving kudos when they’re promoted at work or delivering a treat when a family member is sick will mean the world to them.

Secret hack:

Translate your notes into rules and set them as automations using the Automations Center. You can set custom automation for specific clients or booking conditions without your techs ever having to take a look at your notes.

Female Dispatcher

5. The devil is in the details

The trades can get so competitive that you could think getting new clients is all a matter of speed and availability. But studies show that clients are willing to stick around and even pay extra for businesses that go the extra mile and provide a memorable customer experience.

How to get this done?

  • Pay attention – It’s always nice to give a little more than expected. Let’s say that you’ve just serviced a customer and their door wasn’t closing properly. You could mark it as fixed and move on, but why not take one additional minute and adjust the tracks?
  • Assure service quality across all levels – that’s an aspect service business owners often neglect. Dispatchers and techs are the first people clients talk to when contacting your business. Make sure they are patient, and respectful, and do not lose their temper under pressure.
  • Ask for feedback – Clients notice when you aim to be the best at what you do. They will pinpoint how you can get better and give helpful tips and comments on making them more satisfied. If they are particularly appreciative of your work, ask them to leave a review to help you grow your client base. Here are 20 ideas for getting customer reviews.

Secret hack:

Every once in a while, listen to your dispatcher’s calls. This is an excellent opportunity to learn what clients most care about when they first contact you, as well as the level of service provided by your team. Don’t hesitate to use call recordings for training sessions or while writing the ultimate sales script for your dispatchers to use.

Service Pro Smiling Next To A Client

Final thoughts

Studies have shown that customer satisfaction isn’t an all-or-nothing proposition, and customer service can be improved incrementally through small changes over time. So, you just need to work on the areas where your customer perceives room for improvement – which is likely to be different for every customer – and then slowly build upon these improvements.

We suggest starting with the quick tips presented here to build a better customer experience for your clients, different than anything they have ever had with service pros up to this point. From there, learn your customer base and develop service methods to make you the most high-valued service provider in your niche.

And while we’re here, we can’t help but mention how Signpost’s partnership with Workiz can help you out. Signpost is an automated solution to get more and better reviews and boost online search rankings. Workiz users can utilize it by implementing Signpost using Zapier.

And if you’re already using Signpost, integrate it with Workiz – the best field service management software to make work easy – and grab 30% off your first 3 months by using this link.