Exceeding Customer Expectations by Catering To Your Customers
Providing standard-quality service is no longer enough to attract and maintain customers in the field service industry. Whether you own a yard and garden maintenance company, a landscaping business or other field-based service, today’s consumer expects more from the moment you knock on their door until the minute you finish the job.
In the field service industry, if you don’t have customers, you won’t have a business for long. To keep current customers and add new ones, you’ve got to learn how to cater to them in a way that makes you stand out from the competition. Here are some basic tips to keep in mind that will allow you to keep your customers happy while you build a successful business.
Determining Customer Expectation
- Listen to Feedback. Unless you have a crystal ball, your business relies on feedback to help determine customer expectations. Both positive and negative feedback drive change and improvement and, as a field-based business owner, you can obtain feedback in many ways. In addition to receiving feedback directly from customers, information gleaned from a market research company can play a role in proactively meeting customer expectations.
- Include Market Research. There are times when customers might feel hesitant to give you feedback, particularly if it’s not positive. But they’ll seldom hesitate to offer their opinions to a market research firm. Hiring a market research firm can help you obtain important information about the communities surrounding your business. They can survey consumers about what landscaping or home improvement services they want and what aspects of service provision they find important. Using the data provided by a marketing research team, you can begin meeting and exceeding customer expectations from the get-go.
- Build a Knowledge Base that Leads to Accuracy. Well-kept records help you build a knowledge base that leads to getting it right the first time, every time. A customer service management program can assist you in keeping records of your customers and the services or products they seek. Over time, you’ll see trends in popularity and satisfaction.
Tips for Meeting and Exceeding Customer Expectation
- Get it Right the First Time. When a customer contracts with you for a landscaping design or home improvement, he or she expects high quality, accurate work to be the outcome. Active listening is an important skill that will help you and your employees get on the same page with your customers. Take the time to hear their needs and ideas before offering possible services. This will save everyone time and make the customer feel heard.
- Educate and Inform Your Customers. Today’s consumers want more than just a service or product. They also want ideas on how they can use them or enhance their enjoyment of your services. Online tutorials on your website can help to educate and inform customers, as can in-person support. Both of these methods are also effective for attracting new customers.
- Follow Up. Field-based service shouldn’t end at the time you return to the office. Follow up with your customers to find out how they’re enjoying their new landscaping, shade structure or home improvement. Use the opportunity to let the customer know you’re available if they have any further questions or needs.
- Use Feedback for Growth and Improvement. Every time you’re out in the field to provide a service or follow up with a customer, you have an opportunity to learn something that encourages business growth and improvement. View feedback of all kinds as a chance to learn and grow.
Rise to Growing Challenges
Meeting and exceeding customer expectations is a challenge. To keep on top of the game, you’ve got to stay tuned into your customers’ feedback and needs. Ongoing communication with customers in your field-based business will help you stay ahead of their needs and be proactive as a business professional, instead of reactive. Use the guidance and tips above to help you cater to your customers, build a loyal customer base and steadily increase your business.
This Jobber Academy post was written by Jeff Caldwell, the Brand Manager of Superior Shelter in Carrollton, GA. Superior Recreational Products create complete outdoor environments that cultivate community, enrich lives, and allow people to focus on what matters most.