After working with a challenging customer, it can be all too easy to say, this business would be great if it weren't for the customers. Except that it wouldn't.
Never mind the fact that customers are necessary to the green industry business model, without them there wouldn't be anyone to appreciate the hard-earned beauty of that new hardscape patio, water feature, lighting installation or backyard makeover.
Happy customers are more than necessary, you could argue that they mean everything to your business. So here are a few tips to keep your customers happy and create repeat and referral business.
Set expectations from the start
Your crew was hired because the client has something specific in mind. It's important to clearly understand what they want and clearly communicate how you can deliver. If there are any limitations to the project scope such as budget, materials, best practices, etc. now is the time to bring that up. Setting expectations from the start will reduce the potential for headaches and heartburn later on.
Operate by the book
Following best practices every time is not only good business, it's good customer service. Get signatures on all contracts and change orders, and ensure that all involved understand clearly what they're approving. This goes a long way toward communicating professionalism and integrity as a contractor.
Whether it's a client or crewmember, try to anticipate personality conflicts before they arise. Pair your most detail-oriented crew with the pickiest clients, and identify specific customers who may need to call you directly instead of going through the front office. Balance these scales properly and the benefits will be significant.
While these tips might seem basic, when your crew is busiest is when the fundamentals can start to slip. Suddenly missteps on the easiest tasks can cause the biggest headaches. Too many missteps too often starts to become your reputation. So, it pays to stay vigilant on the basics of customer service.
To learn more about continuing education opportunities for green industry professionals through SiteOne visit the News and Events section of our website or speak with an expert at your local SiteOne branch.