Working in the service industry can be tough. It does not matter if you are a CSR, Dispatcher, Field Technician, Installer, Manager, or Owner. Keeping clients happy is a full time job and then some. There is always a fire to put out. Every time you turn around there is a new demand for your attention.

Some of the things contractors dislike most about their clients are learned behaviors. These three things drive contractor’s crazy! The worst part is as contractors we created these behaviors. I am going to show you the three things that probably drive you nuts that your clients do and how to fix it!

1) The client who expects immediate service.

Instant gratification is commonplace now. Every person expects instant service. As contractors, you do your best to provide fast quality service. But when your fastest isn’t fast enough clients threaten to go elsewhere.

This has been a growing problem in the service industry for years. People want instant 24-hour service. They do not like to wait. Time is money, right? As contractors, we have perpetuated this problem by being apologetic when we cannot provide immediate service. Using negative language when booking calls makes clients feel like there are missing out on faster service. Check out this blog on negative language to read more about how negative language is costing you clients.

The fix: use positive language when scheduling.  “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. It works for contractors too, when used the right way.

2) Clients that want a breakdown of time and material.

Flat rate is the new normal, right? Well for years, clients were conditioned to pay time and material. Now as contractors it is your job to educate clients as to why flat rate is a better value for them.

The fix: Have your CSRs introduce 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) Clients who yell to get their way.

All contractors have those clients who think that yelling at your staff will get them the results they want. And the truth is, it is 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?

Years ago when I was a  waitress, I had a manager who oversaw orders leaving the kitchen. One day I told them the order on the plate was wrong. They said, serve it to the customer and if they complain I will make it right.

Before that I was a call taker for a national TV firm. Customers had to threaten to cancel for me to be able to waive small fees, regardless of how long they had been a customer, or if the fault was ours.

The service industry has trained consumers to get angry and loud to be heard.

The fix: Make things right out of principal.

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.

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 want to talk to me about how your team can improve customer service fill out the form below and let’s chat!

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