4 Rules For Providing Exceptional Customer Service As a Contractor
1. First impressions are everything.
The first interaction you have with a customer is often your best opportunity to leave an impression that they’ll remember. As a contractor, your customers aren’t going to get another shot at that; they only have one chance to feel like they’re in good hands. Make sure you know your way around their project and take time to listen to what they’re looking for and share how you can provide it.
Pay attention to their needs and work hard from day one—it can help them remember your name when they go looking for other contractors down the road. Your name will become synonymous with quality work, and you won’t have to push so hard on new projects because people already know your track record.
2. Always be professional.
Always be professional, which includes maintaining professionalism in your communications, dress, and overall demeanor. Respect is a two-way street; if you want to be respected by clients and other contractors alike, you need to show respect yourself. This means being always polite and well-spoken; even if a client disrespects you or makes unreasonable demands on your time, keep your cool and treat him or her respectfully. Asking clients what it will take to make them happy shows that you care about their project just as much as you care about your business.
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3. Build a rapport with your clients.
The key to providing exceptional customer service is treating every client like they’re your only client. It’s no secret that contractors who take time to get to know their clients and build a rapport are more likely to have successful relationships that lead to repeat business and referrals.
Get out of project mode and into relationship mode with your clients by putting yourself in their shoes, understanding their needs, and building trust over time. That way you can focus on providing them with an experience they’ll be more than satisfied with instead of stressing about whether you’re going to get paid!
4. Set realistic expectations.
A key component of providing superior customer service is establishing realistic expectations. This begins with an initial face-to-face meeting, during which your customer will outline his or her goals and objectives. By listening closely and asking probing questions, you’ll be able to build a clear picture of what success looks like from their perspective.
If you meet with your customer regularly (preferably once per week), it will also give you an opportunity to make sure that expectations are being met in real time, rather than waiting until the project is over. As they say, failing to plan is planning to fail—and if you’re not on top of things right out of the gate, you could wind up getting off on track down the road.