Three Client Behaviors Driving You Crazy

By Brandy Loudermilk Three Client Behaviors Driving You Crazy
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Working in the service industry can be tough. It doesn’t matter if you’re a CSR, Dispatcher, Field Technician, Installer, Manager, or Owner, keeping clients happy is a full-time job and then some. There’s always a fire to put out. Every time you turn around there’s a new demand for your attention.

Some of the things contractors dislike most about their clients are actually learned behaviors — behaviors that have been reinforced over time. The worst part is that — as contractors — we created these behaviors by reinforcing them. Let’s go over the three things your clients do to drive you nuts and how to fix them!

1) Expecting Immediate Service

Instant gratification is commonplace. Everyone expects instant service. As contractors, you do your best to provide fast quality service, but fast is not always immediate or fast enough. When your fastest isn’t fast enough, clients might threaten to go elsewhere for their services.

This has been a growing problem in the service industry for years. People want instant 24-hour service. No one likes to wait. Time is money, right? As contractors, we have perpetuated this problem by being apologetic when we can’t provide immediate service. Using negative language when booking calls makes clients feel like they’re missing out on faster service.

The fix: Use positive language when scheduling! For example:  “Ms. Smith, my next available appointment is Tuesday between 10 and 1. I will give you a call when the technician is on their way.”

It works for dentists, doctors, and many other industries, and it can work for contractors too when used correctly.

2) Asking for a Breakdown of Time and Material

The flat rate is the new normal, right? For years, clients were conditioned to pay for time and material. Now as contractors, it’s your job to educate clients as to why a flat rate is a better value for them. Most customers that request thorough breakdowns barely even truly understand what those breakdowns mean and simply want to see the cost and charges all spelled out in front of them.

The fix: Have your CSRs introduce a flat rate early in the value-building process. Make sure your team knows how to explain the benefits of flat-rate, not just the features.

3) Yelling to Get Their Way

All contractors have had those clients who think that yelling at you or your staff will get them the results they want. And the truth is, it’s probably the only way they will. When was the last time you went out of your way to make something right for a client who did not complain?

The service industry has trained consumers to get angry and loud to be heard because other companies have lower standards. Customers almost expect to have to fight service companies to get the quality service they deserve. We’ve all been in those shoes, trying to get the very minimum from a professional who should do better in the first place.

The fix: Make things right out of principle.

If you become aware of an issue, make it right before the client has to complain. Make sure your CSRs have the training and authority to make things right for your clients. Not only will this reduce the number of angry customers you have to deal with, but the trust built with those customers who you do right by will pay off tenfold!

Need Help With Your Customer Service?

Implementing these three things will change how your community views your business. It will make you stand apart from the competition and will help you attract the right type of clients. If you would like to learn more about being the best possible CSR, join our PRESS PLAY courses for CSRs. During PRESS PLAY, you’ll learn how to handle angry customers, customers that want to price shop and many more skills needed to take your CSR abilities to the next level.



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