We know this post is a little lengthy, but the content is terrific. This comes from our friend Frank Besednjak who has helped many companies with improving customer service, process mapping, leadership and overall business excellence. We hope you enjoy!
You know just about every time I get on social media, check my email or open my regular mail, I find some sort of ad or information telling me how, with their system, I can increase my business by getting my phone to ring more with their new marketing strategy and so on. Most of the time I just get annoyed and I’m sure you do too.
I’m a customer, and I’m not stupid. So most of these gimmicks may work short term, but you know . . . I believe in a few fairly simple, important things that will increase sales and profitability, and guess what? They always work.
Here they are:
Number one: Location is everything! Be where the customers are. This includes social media, offering free advice. Get involved with local media outlets, churches, charities and other civic organizations.
Number two: Have real people who are happy answering your phone. I will hang up on a recording, but I won’t hang up on a person.
Number Three: Always show up on time. Always follow through on what you promised. Always call people back immediately. Don’t think someone will wait three days for a call back.
Number Four: Since you have spent all of this time,money and effort trying to get into the customer’s home than don’t be in such a big rush to get out of it. Make it worth the visit and perform whole house checks. Both you and the customer will be happy you did.
Number Five: Don’t be afraid to make money and raise your price. Everything costs your more doesn’t it? I meet so many contractors that are so afraid to lose business that they work for almost nothing.
If you are going to make no profit, why work? Just go fishing or play golf every day, it is more fun, easier and pays about the same!
Number Six: It’s okay to fire a customer. Look at it this way . . For any of you who have gone through divorce, I’m sure you remember it being very expensive.
You know why it is so expensive? Because it was worth it, that’s why! Firing a customer is sometimes like divorce, so don’t be afraid to spend money doing it.
Number Seven: Be worth it and believe it. Customers’ measure value on the experiences encountered and promised. Just because you can do the repair with your eyes closed doesn’t mean anything to the customer. It is a combination of every interaction they have had, are having, and will have with your organization that will either add to or detract from the overall perceived value. People go to expensive restaurants not because they are hungry and need food. They go because they expect an experience that makes it worth the investment. So make the experience worth it to them.
Number Eight. Integrity . . . Be upfront and honest in everything you do. This to me is a zero tolerance rule. For you and all of your employees.
Number Nine. Work as a team. Have rules, processes, procedures and policies in place that everyone understands. Make a plan for anything that could happen and write a policy or procedure on how to handle it. Sure you can bend the rules or change them occasionally but at least you have some basic guidelines to follow.
Number Ten. Educate, train and practice. Even sports professionals educate themselves and practice regularly because they want to be the best at what they do. Don’t get left behind.
Number Eleven. Keep score and set goals. If you don’t know how you are doing, how do you know what you need to improve on? Also, if you set no goals, it is kind of like having no destination on a trip . . . Odds are you will never make it.
Hopefully you are or are planning on implementing some of these guidelines. If you have any questions or comments, please contact Frank directly: http://frankpresents.com/Dot_ContactUs.asp