A successful, completed project for your small business in the Durham, NC area is more than just finishing the task; much more. The process used to completion must be considered.
In fact, a successful, completed project actually starts with the first contact that you make with your client, accompanied by the process that you follow throughout, and the process of completion that you end up with.
This will make sure that your customer is not only satisfied with your workmanship; but the process as well. The process for a successful project, in many cases, is just as important as the actual work or product that you produce.
Let’s look at some basics to this process that will help ensure a satisfied customer.
Award-winning customer service and small business counselor, Rick Brewer, advises his clients that “Customers typically won’t refer you to friends and family if you just did a good job. However, if you give customers a good experience, they are far more likely to let others know in a big way!”
Customer service minded clients in today’s competitive market for any small business in the Durham, NC area must understand that customers are looking for more than just a completed task; they’re looking for a complete experience. They need something to remember by way of mannerisms, professionalism, workmanship, ease of access and more to take a customer from a completed task to a confident referral.
Consider your own experience when going to a local mechanic: was there something about your visit that made you remember the experience? Or was it just you got an oil change, left and there was nothing really to remember. The customer experience is something that they will remember far greater and longer than the actual task itself. When you provide your customers in the Durham, NC area a “customer experience” rather than a “customer service” the likelihood of a satisfied customer and a confident referral significantly goes up.
Without sounding too terribly conceited, you are the expert; so act like it. It doesn’t take a lot of tack to be able to convey confidence without talking down to your customer; after all, there’s a reason that they are contacting you for the work that needs done. By exuding confidence in your product and workmanship your customer will feel more at ease, contributing to the customer experience. When you present statements and body language for your Durham, NC area customer like: “will give it a try, but no guarantees” your consumer confidence level goes way down. Try instead: “this is not a common request, but if there is any company in this area that can pull it off, it’s us!”
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As mentioned above, there is a process that should be followed from the first handshake to the final thank you and wave as you drive away after a completed project for your Durham, NC area customer.
This process starts with a genuine appreciation for your customer and their business. Next is some items of simple respect and how you conduct business such as:
Answer the phone: In this day of instant coffee, instant information and fast food; Durham, NC area customers don’t have time to leave a voicemail. Statistical data continues to show that over 60% of customers that are looking for a telephone quote or to speak with someone about their needs will not leave a voicemail, simply going to the next name on the list.
Even answering the phone and placing them on a brief hold (no more than 30 seconds) will get you responses like: “You’re the first one that actually answer the phone!”
Be on time: If you tell your Durham, NC area customer that you’re going to be there at 2 PM, be there at 2 PM! This simple gesture speaks volumes in the identification that you respect their time. If something is keeping you from the appointment, contact the customer as soon as possible; however, consumer Internet resources identify that a missed or late appointments (regardless of the reason) will decrease the likelihood of a contract by 58% or higher (higher #’s reporting in northern states).
Stay off your phone: This is a big one; once you are at your Durham, NC area appointment; turn off your phone. Continually excusing yourself to answer the phone is simply rude. Think of how frustrating it is when you try to get service at Best Buy or Staples and all of the employees are on their cell phones talking to other people; the perception is the same when you do it to your customer. If you need to be away from your phone to handle an appointment, make sure that someone can handle your incoming calls for you.
By that same token, be sure that your employees and contractors have a no cell phone use policy while on-the-job. Nothing’s more discouraging to a Durham, NC area customer than to perceive that they’re paying for labor they’re not getting because the employees are always on their phone.
Explain what you are doing: It is true that you will have several Durham, NC area customers that could care less about what you’re doing and only care about the final results; however, most aren’t like that. The complete customer experience where they will remember and refer your services is when they felt completely confident in the workmanship that’s being provided. This is done by keeping your client informed about what is going on, how things work and why you are doing what you’re doing.
These are just a few of the things to consider when developing a process where you think about all the steps of dealing with customers prior to the first introduction. The end result is to not just complete a task but to convert each customer into a potential referral. This is done by creating customer experiences that they will remember and enjoy telling others about.
Note: A bad experience will often be shared before a good one, it’s just human nature. Often a bad experience can be a result of poor communication skills between the business and the Durham, NC area customer. By thoughtfully planning and pre-determining a process you can significantly reduce the likelihood of a bad experience. Companies that shoot from the hip, don’t schedule properly, don’t use common manners or continually work in an unprofessional manner will provide a customer experience to remember… Just not a good one.
Small and home-based businesses need a competitive edge with a competitive price in order to help get their message out. Bull City Signs serving Durham, NC and surrounding areas is ready, willing and able to put our experience to work for you. For years we have provided marketing minded graphics that are not only attractive but will help grab the attention of your potential customers as well. To back that up, we provide a wide range of services from banners to business cards and lobby signs to help get your message out even more.
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