How Service Companies Can Improve Customer Experiences in 2019
- March 31, 2019
- By: Vonigo
We asked the experts: What can service companies do to improve their customers’ experiences in 2019?
We received responses from marketers, industry insiders, and customer service analysts, and their tips are enlightening. Read on to learn what they had to say.
1. Andrew Rohr, Owner
and President of MSS Cleaning
We’re MSS Cleaning, a carpet cleaning company in Denver. Here are some tips that help us deliver a great customer experience.
Website / Technology
- Make your website easy to use with clear information about what sets you apart
- Use technology to allow for online booking as well as booking over the phone
- Use software to manage clients and help automate tasks. It’s better for the customer and it saves the business a ton of time
- Wear a nice looking polo shirt, button-down, or uniform
- Wear shoe covers
- Greet the customer with a smile. Stand away from the door, in view, so as to give the customer a chance to acclimate to your arrival
- Always walk the job with the customer before beginning any work
- Respect the customer’s property
- Don’t park your vehicle in a way that blocks the customer’s driveway
- Send appointment reminders the day before the appointment
- Send an “on-my-way” email/text
- Follow up after the job to make sure the appointment went well
- If relevant, set up reminder emails for future appointments
- Show up on time or communicate clearly if you can’t
- Don’t let phone calls go to voicemail
Streamline the process for the customer, respect their time and property, and do great work. If you have employees, reward them for doing an amazing job or earning praise from the customer.
I thought that if I could build a business that provided
2. Jeremy Gregg, Entrepreneur and Author
Offer customers the ability to communicate by text message. If you have a customer’s text, be sure to send them a picture of the job when complete along with a thank you.
On the other end of the technology spectrum… there’s no better way to stand out than a hand-written note. Send them one the day of the job to arrive a few days later; thank them for their business, include a business card, and specifically ask for their referral.
Ask them if you can take photos of their home (ideally with them and your team) to share on social media. For example, a moving crew standing in front of a house handing the keys to the smiling new home owner, and a caption like “Another happy customer. Congrats to Tony & Beth on their first home!”
3. Tim Parkin, President of Parkin Consulting
The customer experience is paramount and even more so when most, if not all, of it happens at the customer’s location.
The key to a flawless customer experience is to communicate the process clearly and set proper expectations. Upon arriving and leaving the customer’s house, outline exactly what will happen step-by-step and resolve any customer questions or concerns. This demonstrates a level of professionalism to the customer and improves quality through managing expectations.
People remember the end of any interaction the most, so make it count and leave the customer on a memorable note. An easy way to leave a lasting impression is to thank the customer for their business and trust. Be heartfelt, genuine and let them know just how important they are.
4. Shelley Grieshop, Totally Promotional
It’s the small but considerate things customers remember. Leave a lasting impression when the job is finished by giving your client a thoughtful thank-you card and a low-cost gift printed with your name and contact information.
A useful item such as an alligator clip or drawstring bag will help them stay organized. Meanwhile, your logo, email address or phone number will be easily accessible for them in the future when your services are needed again.
5. Jake Lane, Head of Marketing and Growth for NuWash
One of the best things a service business can do to set themselves apart is to add an extra layer of transparency and communication for their customers.
One simple way to enable this is by using a text message service that keeps customers up to date on their ETA, service status, and post-service “need-to-knows” (Front App is great for this). Pair that up with an online payment portal and you’ve got yourself a business that both runs more efficiently and delivers modern technology to provide customers with an easy, headache-free transaction.
6. Bijan Abdi, Founder and CEO, Freedom National Insurance
Creating the right customer experience is crucial when it comes to companies that thrive off that experience. There are a few ways that you can help ensure that each customer receives the best service.
- Try to give each customer a clear vision of what to expect.
- Get to know your customers and create an emotional connection with them.
- Capture real time customer feedback.
- Put together a quality framework for the development of a good team.
- React regularly to employee feedback.
7. Ollie Smith, CEO of ExpertSure.com
To gain or maintain a competitive advantage with your customers, you need to add value to the relationship with them. You should routinely educate your customers to ensure loyalty. If you own a moving company, let your customer know how to safely transport a valuable item. Your customer will in turn respect the professionalism and care you take in your work.
Knowing your customers’ names offers
8. Nate Masterson, CMO, Maple Holistics
Making it Personal
When a person hires someone to do work in their home, it’s a sensitive thing. Therefore, if this service is to be repeated (such as a cleaning service), it’s best to send the same workers into the same homes, rather than a customer getting new people every time.
This way the customers will feel more comfortable with the service and will start to see the company as a friendly face, not just a business.
Also, these sorts of services should have 24/7 customer service. This might be more difficult for smaller companies to pull off, but having customers be able to reach out to you whenever they need gives you that edge by making you accessible during a customer’s time of need.
9. Peter Peterka, F
ounder and CEO of Global Six Sigma
Service companies can borrow strategies from major companies like eBay to improve their customer’s experience. It only takes one time for something to go wrong. If the customer experience is handled poorly, it can put that customer’s loyalty in jeopardy.
That is why using Lean Six Sigma tools like Kaizen can make a difference. eBay implemented this continuous improvement tool to provide perfection with customer service, as they seek to educate every customer service agent with the principles and specific tools that would automatically motivate them to be the best they can be. This proved to be
Using other tools like VOC (Voice of Customer) can also make a difference. Here’s a blog post on the topic. Understanding your customer’s comments about your product or service will provide insight into what’s truly important to your customer.
10. Gregory Golinski, Head of Digital Marketing YourParkingSpace.co.uk
My tip for service companies to improve their customer service is to give courtesy calls to their customers to make sure that things are going smoothly. This is especially important when clients use your service for the first time.
These courtesy calls are very important because it shows that you care for your customers.
It’s also a great way to nip any issues your clients might be experiencing in the bud so that your service gets many good reviews and
11. Charlotte Ang, Customer Service Offer, M&P International Freights
Always make use of chat apps to communicate and liaise with your customers to provide a seamless experience.
Chat apps feel more personal as compared to emails. Messenger services such as WhatsApp and Telegram are where your customers chat with their friends and family throughout the entire day. They are more likely to reply there and even have conversations with you. When they have qustions, a prompt and immediate reply will be deemed as great service from the start. Service companies should all have a dedicated person to make the experience more personal.
Set Your Company Apart
What new ways can your company set itself apart by improving the customer experience?
Customize your recommendations according to the customer’s needs by listening and asking questions first. Different customers have different needs. If service companies can listen and make suggestions based on the customers’ needs, every customer will feel that they are special and their needs are taken care of, vastly improving the customer
12. Chris Eckstrum, Head of SEO, Housecall Pro
Services companies should invest in software as a service that enhances their customers’ experience, rather than takes away from it. Service companies need to run efficiently so that their reputation to stays positive and turns the current clients into promoters for their respective company.
Many service companies would have to remind themselves of appointments and would forget to call ahead to notify the client that they were on their way. Service business management software would guarantee more organization for both the service company and the client. Sending small notices is a great way to make sure the maintenance person and client are on the same page throughout the entire process. Another great perk is that online booking enables clients to book appointments after hours when office workers are off the clock.
Management software also
Easy Payments Options
Clients want the convenience of making payments on-site. Or, if the client is away from home, having the capability of seeing photo evidence that the job has been completed by a maintenance worker. The client will then be able to send payment virtually.
These software bonuses are expected and it makes the entirety of a service company more professional looking. Many service companies would be doing themselves a disservice to not use software that works for their field or industry.
13. Matt Baglia, CEO of SlickText
Service companies regularly use our platform to improve their customer service.
A lot of people use texting as their go-to form of communication these days and might be texting your landline without you even knowing it.
If you enable text-to-landline capabilities you can receive text messages on your business number. This way, you’ll be able to actually provide customer service to people who might be texting your number and you’ll also be able to offer text as a way people can get in touch with you.
A lot of customers, especially millennials, prefer to text over calling or email.
Instead of calling to confirm an appointment, get an address or give a quote many service companies are opting to use texting. Why? For starters, customers prefer it. A huge bonus is that most texts are read within minutes of being received and response rates are through the roof. If you need an instant answer from your customers, texting is the way to go and helps you provide quicker, simpler and more efficient customer service.
It can be hard to get feedback after a service has been performed, but this is essential to evaluating your technicians and the quality of service for the future. More and more companies are starting to send short text surveys to gather this valuable feedback.
14. Grant van der
Harst, Managing Director at Anglo Liners
From the customer’s perspective, a simple experience is a smooth experience.
Customers hate having to deal with the admin and correspondence that comes with using a service; they just want the job completed as quickly and painlessly as possible.
Too many companies try to improve their customer experience by adding things to it. While this can help to provide added value in some ways, there are other situations in which you may just be over-complicating your service. So, when you’re next looking to refine your customer experience, before thinking of things you can add to it, think of the things you can afford to remove from it.
Do your customers really need to fill out a three-page consent form before using your service, or is there a better way to collect their data? Do customers really need to go through the process of creating an account with your company in order to use your service, or could you create a ‘guest’ option for one-time customers?
It’s also important to understand that simplifying the customer experience means simplifying it for the customer, not your company.
Installing an automated message system to answer your phone calls may make life easier for you, but it’s frustrating for the customer and can complicate the process, which ultimately hinders the customer experience. You’re much better off employing staff to deal with these customer phone calls; it may mean more work for you, but it improves the experience for the customer.
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