By Allan Ferguson
How does your company directly communicate with its customers?
It appears to be a simple question but I want you to take a minute to think about this, because the answer might be a little more complex than it may appear.
I think too often in the service industry customers are told only about a problem instead of the many benefits a technician can provide them.
Consider how a technician talks to a customer who’s called up about what they suspect is a blocked drain and has asked for a technician to diagnose the issue.
This is the perfect time for a technician to offer and conduct a full inspection, because you’re going to be able to give the customer genuine knowledge and information instead of just saying “yes there’s a drain issue.”
Let’s take an example from something many of your customers are going to be familiar with.
Let’s say a driver might have squeaky brakes so they take into their local mechanic.
Before the mechanic goes through fixing the brakes they’ll generally ask the customer something like “while you’re here, would you like for me to give a quick inspection of your car to give you a better idea about your situation?”
And generally the customer will agree.
Why is this?
It’s because they know they’ll get a trained professional to go over not just the initial issue but inspect the car as a whole at a convenient time for them, since they’ve already gone to the trouble of visiting a professional.
The customer is going to be in a much more confident spot after the inspection because they would have been educated thoroughly on their car and they’ll exactly know what their options are.
They might be given some options for work that can be done on the spot or perhaps some options they could take up in six months’ time.
The motor vehicle industry has the mindset of taking the time to go past what appears to be the initial problem to instead also showing the benefits and savings the mechanic can provide a customer.
This process is so important because you’re what you’re giving is education, peace of mind and confidence.
The same logic applies for our industry.
You need to change the mindset of your company in how to communicate with the customers in order to change the mindset of what your customers can expect from your service business.
It’s up to your marketing, customer service representatives, management and technicians to start showing customers the benefits your company offers with its inspections.
A technician might uncover an issue in its early stages that otherwise would have gone undetected and caused significant issues and problems for a customer.
You also can give customers a list of options they could take up in the short-term future which they’ll further benefit from.
Do you see how this works?
Instead of “just” fixing a drain, you’ve instead offered the customer so much more value and information.
Doing this allows you as a company a better chance to build communication and in turn trust with customers.
And once you gain trust with a customer, you now have the opportunity to develop a long-term relationship with them.
Take the time to help your customers, communicate the benefits you provide and your company will start to develop customer loyalty.
Allan Ferguson is the CEO of Service Professionals Australia.
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