In my live and online coaching schools, I always talk about creating “The Ultimate Client Experience.” The end goal is to provide clients with such a great feeling that they never think about calling somebody else. You leave no doubt in their minds that your company offers premier service and exceptional products.
In order to accomplish this throughout the entire interaction, one thing has to be present: the perception of added value.
I’ve seen everyone, from technicians to owners, struggle with exactly how to go about adding value consistently, but there are multiple opportunities to do so at every point of contact with the client. Below are a few key tips that will help you “go the extra mile” for your clients, helping them to develop a sense of loyalty and connection to your company.
The concept of following through starts from the minute an existing or potential client calls your business and is one of the most crucial building blocks for creating trust. When you simply do what you say you will do, you are setting yourself up for success on the service call.
Little things such as arriving within the scheduled window of time and calling when a tech is on their way works wonders for increasing the value of your service. You wouldn’t believe how often in-home service providers show up late to an appointment with no phone call to the client. This immediately makes them subconsciously question your abilities and level of professionalism.
Another aspect of following through is during the service call. If you say you’re going to check something, quote something, etc., make sure you do it. Some techs and salespeople like to take quick notes during a call to make sure they don’t forget to do something they had promised.
It’s also important to call the client after the service call to make sure everything went well and that they aren’t having any issues. This shows that you care about them and adds huge value to the overall interaction. I actually had someone call me a few weeks ago from a restaurant where I had dinner to make sure my experience went well and to say “thank you” for dining with them. It’s funny how something so small can make such a big impact, but trust me, it does.
Maintain a high level of professionalism
There’s no better way to add value to the client experience than to execute the details that make them feel important. Using shoe covers, a carpet, and drop cloths, paired with thoroughly cleaning up any messes, shows clients that you respect their property.
A few years ago, the Lovely Christy and I hired an electrician to change out all of our home’s smoke detectors, and they left small messes under each one. She had to clean up after them and vowed never to call that company again. It wasn’t that they did a poor job, technically, but why would she call them again when she can call another electrician who might not leave a mess?
Another way to convey professionalism is to provide business cards for anyone in the company who interacts with clients face-to-face, from technicians to salespeople to managers. A business card is an inexpensive way to foster an unspoken sense of trust because we’ve been programmed to view people with business cards as more reliable, trustworthy, and professional.
Teach your clients something they don’t know
One of the best (and most cost-effective) ways to add value to a client interaction is to teach them something. Taking the extra time to explain exactly how something works, or even introduce them to a product they’ve never heard of, positions you as the expert.
I’m not saying you should launch into some time-consuming technical description of the product, but if you can show them a simple diagram of how something works, they will feel more informed about their home — and more informed about making a buying decision. We don’t always understand how valuable our knowledge is, but sharing it with clients is invaluable because it increases their confidence in our abilities and advice.
Consider an experience you’ve had in a retail setting where someone really helped you make a buying decision. For example, Best Buy does a great job of training their team members to ask about your needs and then provide you with information comparing the different products to help you make the best choice. I usually leave Best Buy feeling at least a little more informed about a product than when I went in, which adds value to my perception of that company.
Write everything down
Along the same lines of teaching your clients something new, make sure to tell them, and also write down, everything you’ve done for them. This adds a huge amount of value, yet I see people skip this step all the time.
If you’ve tightened the toilet seat because you noticed it was loose, write it down on your job summary sheet. If you adjusted a setting that was off, or cleaned a filter, write it down. It might seem insignificant, but every little thing helps a client to justify their investment with you and trust you even more.
Listen and pay attention
I’m sure this seems obvious, and I know I’ve mentioned it before, but listening is crucial to building value during the service call. When your clients feel like you understand them and their situation, they are much more likely to do business with you versus your competition, regardless of price.
When you truly listen to what a client is saying, you are better equipped to ask the right questions and provide the solutions that will work best for them. Listen for underlying needs and wants, and take quick notes if it helps you remember what was said and reference it later.
It also helps to pay attention to the lifestyle of the client. If they have quite a few people living in the home, a tankless water heater could be something to discuss with them. If they buy lots of bottled water, a filtration system might make sense for them.
Clients often don’t even know what’s available to them that could improve their lives, so it’s your professional responsibility to offer these enhancements. Showing interest in their unique situation not only adds value for the client, but also helps to craft a proposal and sell the work. Never forget to ask questions like, “What else can I do to help you?” and “What questions do you have for me?” Always be thinking about delivering a better service experience for your clients, and it will pay off.
Companies exist to create value by offering goods and services, and companies grow when they do this better than their competitors. Our industry is no exception. When you focus on the value you are providing your clients, you will gain a huge advantage in your market that will set you up for long-term, sustainable growth.