Ways to Boost Your Service Business’ Customer Satisfaction
- July 12, 2018
- By: Vonigo
For mobile service businesses, a major factor in their rate of growth is how well they retain repeat customers, even as they land new ones. The easiest way to keep people loyal to your business is through top-notch customer satisfaction.
Make Customer Satisfaction a Priority in Every Department
Maintaining high levels of customer satisfaction requires your entire team to buy into the concept. Every interaction a customer has, from booking through to follow-up after the appointment, are crucial.
Customer satisfaction is all about how the customer perceives your level of service. That means processing and confirming their booking quickly, listening to their unique needs, and following up in a way that gives them more value, rather than simply taking up more of their time. Read on for more ideas about how you can keep customers satisfied, and keep them coming back for more.
“You can’t simply deliver good products with a smile on your face and expect them to do business with you forever. Customers today need to feel wanted and appreciated by the businesses they buy from. That’s why improving your company’s relationships with customers should always be your top priority.”
-Zev Herman, Forbes
Have the Answers Your Customers Need
Customers want convenience. That can mean different things to different people. To some, it means the ability to find answers to their questions on your website. Or getting a price quote in a timely fashion. To others, it might mean having access to your team via live chat or text so they can ask questions.
In some cases, it means they want to get their answers from your team over the phone. For this reason, your best chance of success at landing new business is to offer customers all three: real-time online booking, live chat support, and a phone number. Whichever they choose, the answers they are looking for should be close at hand. This means having your team trained to answer common customer questions and to have a good understanding of your products and services.
Your office team should have strong product knowledge and also be empowered to make decisions and product recommendations. Not only will this boost customer satisfaction, but it can also increase sales. Customers don’t always know what it is they need, and a well-informed agent can make sure that they book the full scope of services that they require.
Whether it’s a booking request, an email requesting a quote or more info, or a phone message, responding quickly is paramount. If a customer leaves a message of some kind, not only might they be expecting a timely response, but they may have reached out to several services with the same request.
Responding quickly can move you to the top of the list of potential vendors, and also do wonders for how the customer perceives your service.
Go the Extra Mile
Winning at the customer satisfaction game is often about the little things. It’s the cleaning business that folds the end of the toilet paper in a fancy way. Or the carpet cleaning company that also cleans the mat at the front entrance of the house. It’s the moving company who leaves behind a small plant to help welcome the customer to their new home or office.
“Going the extra mile” doesn’t have to be a costly endeavor. It simply has to be a small way of showing that you care.
It could be as simple as asking for feedback or direction during an appointment. Or it could be whispering when there’s a baby asleep in the next room. Or removing shoes at the door without being asked.
Keep an Eye on Your Competitors
Want to learn some great ways to go the extra mile? Read the online reviews of your competition and find their weak spots. Then, establish a reputation for doing the things they won’t, or eliminating the kind of behavior that has earned them less-than-stellar reviews.
It might be that you always show up on time, or always call in advance to confirm an appointment. It might be that your field team uses “please” and “thank you” in all of their dealings. Often times, establishing higher customer satisfaction than your competition can be easy; you just have to work at it.
Companies who have a superior CX (customer experience) have an increased growth in customers (The Economist Intelligence Unit, 2016). And, this goes for revenue too. In fact, 17% is the average price premium that consumers say they’re willing to pay in return for a great customer experience (American Express Customer Service Barometer, December 2017).
Use Their Name
Banks, telemarketers and coffee shops have already figured this one out. People love to hear the sound of their own name. It works on a number of levels: it shows you took the time to learn their name, and it sets them apart from all of your other customers. They are no longer just another job, they are people.
When you start to land repeat customers, it might even be the case that the same field personnel visit the same customers more than once, and build something of a relationship. This can work very well for customer satisfaction, so don’t be afraid to foster those kinds of interactions. Just be sure that your team always keeps it professional, and doesn’t get too personal.
Dale Carnegie said it best, “A person’s name is to that person, the sweetest, most important sound in any language.”
Deal with Problems Quickly
When problems arise, how you deal with them makes all the difference. Establishing policies and script templates for dealing with customer complaints or issues will help a lot with this. What you want is for the customer to be confident that you have the situation well in hand, and that you care to get the issue resolved, and value their business.
“Ask the customer, “What would be an acceptable solution to you? Whether or not the customer knows what a good solution would be, I’ve found it’s best to propose one or more solutions to alleviate his or her pain. Become a partner with the customer in solving the problem.”
-Ben Ridler, Entrepreneurs’ Organization, New Zealand
Pursue the “Service Recovery”
When you are dealing with a customer complaint, it actually presents an opportunity for a “service recovery.” If you handle a complaint or a challenge well, not only could it retain the customer’s loyalty, but it could be the anecdote they share with friends for why they recommend you.
That’s why it’s so important to have your entire team trained to handle the uniques requests and challenges of all of your customers. Every team member should be empowered and capable of turning things around by making the right decisions that can lead to that coveted service recovery.
The Service Recovery, a Case Study
ResearchGate published a complete case study on the service recovery: Frontline employees’ perspectives and the role of empowerment. “The aim of this study was to improve our understanding of how frontline employees cope with service recovery situations and recover from them. It also takes a closer look at employee empowerment. This work represents a qualitative case study, and investigates the topic from the perspective of frontline employees.” Download the PDF.
Ask for Feedback
Customers want to be listened to, and sometimes their feedback is extremely useful for improving your service. Not all customers will want to provide feedback, but they should all be offered a chance.
If you never ask for feedback, you won’t be able to identify the areas where your service can improve. If you do ask for feedback, you might get constructive notes that you can use to get better.
Ask Your Best Customers for Referrals and Testimonials
Better still that constructive feedback, by asking for customers’ opinions you can identify promoters that might be willing to share public reviews of your service online. This is powerful stuff. The more positive reviews you receive, the more of a good reputation for customer service you will get. When customers believe that they are getting best-in-class service and you can deliver on that promise, your overall customer satisfaction will only increase over time.
“Don’t feel sheepish about asking for referrals; there’s nothing pushy or smarmy about it. People won’t give you referrals unless you deserve them. In fact, getting a referral is the highest compliment you can receive. Let your customers know you prize referrals, which you’ll earn by providing excellent quality products and services.”
-Ray Silverstein, Entrepreneur.com
Measure Your Performance
How are you doing? Rather than guessing, find a way to track and measure your customer satisfaction. Use tools like NPS surveys to take a temperature check of your approval ratings. If the number falls for any reason, work on improving it until you’re back in good standing.
“By measuring customer loyalty you can identify customer experience weak points that need improving, but to do this, you need to know how to conduct Net Promoter surveys. As the Net Promoter’s strength isn’t its ability to measure customer loyalty (there are many arduous ways to do this already), but it is how easy it is to measure loyalty that is crucial.”
Invest in Ongoing Training
Achieving top-rated customer satisfaction metrics is an ongoing pursuit. Every new team member needs to be trained in the importance of customer service within your organization. Even team members that have been with you a long time will benefit from ongoing training.
You don’t have to shut down your operations and conduct formal training too often. Identify more informal ways to share your customer service best practices with the team. For example, when you get positive feedback from a customer, share it with your team in a meeting or in an email. Identify what your team members did well to make it happen. Strive to replicate that positive experience with every interaction.
“A business should never stand still and so nor should the development of your staff, who are the key asset in driving your business forward. Regular staff training is essential in helping this ongoing skill development. This can often be a worry to business managers though, due to its ongoing cost to the business. However, if you look past this, there are a number of important reasons why ongoing staff training can be beneficial to the business and should therefore be made a priority. With a quality training plan in place, you will also see your return on investment within your balance sheet!”
Celebrate Your Wins
When you receive an especially glowing testimonial or referral, you should share it with your team. But you should also celebrate the team members involved in making it happen. When your team knows how much the whole company cares about and rewards good customer service interactions, they will try harder to achieve positive feedback ever time.
If you want, you can establish some kind of internal reward system for getting good customer feedback. But it’s not necessary. Recognition alone can be enough of reward, and motivate your team to keep customer satisfaction as a priority on every job.
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