You may be in the plumbing, electrical, roofing, or air conditioning business, but that is not the core of your business. The core of your business is customer service. You are a customer service company that just happens to provide home repair services.
Many businesses pride themselves on their customer service. If you were to ask the technicians or CSRs, they would say “We go above and beyond to provide world-class service!” However, many clients won’t say the same if asked about their service experience.
So, what is the disconnect? Why is there such a difference of opinion from the 2 parties going through the experience?
Let’s explore the gap between perception and reality by unpacking 3 Questions of Customer Service. Each of these will help you identify the strengths and weaknesses in your process that impact your team’s ability to provide amazing service to your clients.
How important is customer service to your company’s success?
Turnover is Costly
According to a study by Destination CRM, reducing client turnover by as little as 5% annually can lead to an increase in profitability of 25-125%.
Since reducing client turnover can dramatically increase profitability, here are some tips to increase client loyalty.
- Follow through on promises.
- Correct mistakes the first time a client expresses a concern.
- Have a system of checks and balances to make sure clients are being taken care of ethically and honestly.
Most importantly, anytime you find that your company has made a mistake, make it right.
Client’s Secretly Leave
First Financial Training Service Found that 91% of customers will simply go somewhere else instead of complaining.
How many clients have left your company without complaining (AKA “Expressing Concerns)?
I am sure you have heard “the squeaky wheel gets the grease.” But, do not wait to act. Be proactive in your customer service, not reactive. The goal is to get clients, and then keep them.
Can you survive with mediocre customer service?
To be fair, no company sets out with the goal of providing mediocre service. However, how often does your company fail to provide top of the line service?
A study found that companies who provide exceptional customer service grow their revenues 4-8% faster than others in their market. – Bain and Company.
Are you Blame Shifting?
I understand that there are unreasonable clients out there. However, how often is the client being unreasonable versus you shifting the blame?
I define blame shifting as:
“When a tech, a CSR, or even a manager blames the client for the poor experience.”
Here are some examples.
“That client is so ridiculous, they scheduled the appointment, why are they not available an hour earlier?”
“She wants a breakdown of labor and parts, how unreasonable.”
“He said we are overpriced. He’s a cheapskate.”
“He is just complaining, but there is nothing wrong with their system.”
These are just a few of the 100’s of examples I have heard over the years. The truth is, many of these situations could have been avoided if as a company we built value and communicated better.
Failure to Follow Through
Other ways that we settle for mediocre service is not following through on our promises.
Here are a few of the most frequently broken promises:
“We will call when someone is on their way, or if there will be a delay.”
“I will look up the part and call you later this afternoon with the price and availability.”
“We will do a thorough inspection of your system.”
“Our technician will wear floor savers to protect your home.”
The problem is when these promises are broken, the trust is broken as well. Without trust, you will struggle to win client loyalty.
Where can we improve customer service?
Answering this question requires you to look closely at your process, and identify any weaknesses.
Discovering your improvement points
You can do this by performing follow up calls after a service is performed. You need to look at the negative reviews you may have. I know it is painful, but when you look at them you may notice a trend.
Here are a few ideas to start:
- Make sure your CSRs understand the service you provide and how to explain it to clients, a great way to achieve this is having a CSR ride along with a technician.
- Managers should do ride alongs with technicians to make sure they are following process and procedures.
- Spot check the dispatch board to make sure clients are being updated throughout the service process.
A Gartner Survey found that 89% of companies compete on customer experience. They defined service to be more important than price or product. And, service is growing in importance to consumers.
This means that if you are providing exceptional service, clients are willing to pay more so you do not have to compete on price alone.
Make a list of 3 areas you can start working on today. If you would like more help, you can call 512-333-4133 to speak with a Service Excellence Training Coach.
Also, be sure to check out the next round of PRESS PLAY for CSRs and Dispatchers.