Like many of you, I have had my share of horror stories over the years when it comes to working with contractors. The past two weeks in particular, have been challenging for me in attempting to schedule routine maintenance and repairs around our home.
I won’t belabor you with all the gory details. Suffice it to say that if you are a contractor or business owner and are serious about growing your business, then I hope you will find the content of this article from a customer’s perspective to be beneficial.
For businesses of all sizes, I believe there are four keys to “going up” and achieving success that are integral to sustainable business growth and will generate higher customer satisfaction ratings, referrals and more repeat business:
- Show Up. Showing up isn’t about just getting to the customer’s location. There are many other important factors to consider. Arrive on time. Meet your commitments. Do quality work. Deliver value to the customer. Be honest and trustworthy.
- Listen Up. A nicer way of saying, shut up! Listen to the customer and learn. My Mom used to say “when your mouth is open, your ears are closed”. Understanding the customer needs and meeting their expectations starts with active listening.
- Make Up. Remember, the customer is right – most of the time. So, when things don’t go according to plan, apologize and fix it. Your customers will be forgiving as long as you take the necessary corrective action in a timely manner and resolve the issue to their satisfaction.
- Follow Up. Call to confirm the appointment. Let the customer know in advance if you’ll be late, or must reschedule. Stay in touch after the project has been completed with regularly scheduled contacts – i.e. thank you or gift card, customer satisfaction survey, newsletter, etc., to continue to build upon the relationship and to secure repeat business.
If you want to be recognized as a contractor or business owner of integrity customers will look forward to working with, then you must be diligent in addressing these four areas in order to consistently deliver value and establish those trust-based relationships.
As entrepreneurs and small business owners we encounter enough daily challenges in trying to build a profitable business without undermining our own progress by failing to cover these four keys to success in a quality manner. If you want your business to continue to “go up”, then maybe it’s time for you to “grow up” and start doing a better job of taking care of the customer.
My thoughts … would welcome your comments.
Enjoy the journey!
COPYRIGHT © 2012 John Carroll