How to Write a Great Service Quote for Your Customers

  • February 27, 2017
  • By:

If you have online booking software on your website, or even a phone number, you’re probably used to getting all kinds of messages that ask about your “standard quote” for a particular service is. And you might have a baseline. But the baseline is always where the quote starts… and very rarely where it ends.

The truth of the matter is, writing a great quote is nothing if you can’t calculate a good estimate. You know that a great service takes into account more than just the “baseline.” But customers often see your efforts to understand the complexities of the job as you trying to upsell them on other services. But when you take into consideration all of the scheduling, the materials you’ll need to purchase, the gas you’ll expend… the price always goes beyond the raw cost of tools and team members. Another thing to consider?

All of this is happening within the first two to three emails. Yeesh. Below we’ve put together a go-to for getting the value of your service across without compromising on the details that make a great service.

Know how to Nail the Quote for Value and Profit

You don’t want to overcharge your customers, but nor do you want to take a bath on the work by undercharging. Getting an estimate or a quote right will help manage your customers’ expectations, and help establish some baselines about what the job will cost.

It’s not in the interest of your company or your customer to quote too low on a job, which brings up our next key point…

Don’t Compete on Price Alone

If you compete on price, you’re in the race to the bottom, and your lower margins will soon put you out of business. Use the quoting process to establish your business as the professional organization that it is, and offer detail as to what is included with the service to help frame the price as the high value purchase decision that it is.

Prepare a Written Estimate

Once you’ve had your initial conversation and gotten a lay of the project in question, set about writing a thorough–and we mean thorough–breakdown of costs. Little things that you know are a part of your business, like extra hours that may be required, or product costs that they aren’t familiar with.

The idea here is to offer as much information as your can in an effort to build trust with your customers and a culture of transparency into your team. When offering your clients an estimate of your services, include the following cost breakdowns:

  • Total cost of the estimate
  • Components of the price: be specific!
  • Proposed work schedule, including workback periods to show the client what the work period would look like.
  • Terms and conditions for the work to be done
  • A time period that the estimate is valid for. This is really important. Your prices are subject to change as the market fluctuates. If a person gets a quote from you in 1992 and then comes back in 2017 expecting you to complete the job for the same price… well, that isn’t something you want to deal with

The Right Quote Wins the Job

It’s not just about the price, it’s about the sale. Let’s be honest— you’re not going to feed your family by writing quotes all day. You’ve got to make the sale. How you interact with customers and the way your quoting process represents your company can have a big impact on the number of jobs you book.

For example, did you know that there is one word (phrase, really) that can have a huge impact on every email that you or business sends? Let us spoil the ending for you: It’s thank you. The presence of some form of “thank you” in emails increases the relative response rate by as much as 36%. When you consider that, it becomes clear that every decision you make and every exchange your business has with a customer can have a huge impact on your profits.

Vonigo customers Junk4Good offer website visitors a transparent, animated estimate calculator that lets customers calculate cost estimates themselves before booking online (see above).

Closing the Deal

There is such an emphasis on “making the sale” in business – especially when you’re a small business and every dollar counts. Writing a great quote isn’t just about getting lots of costs in front of a willing customer. It’s the very first chance to show your customer your attention to detail: listening to their needs and offering a reasonable estimate makes your customer much more likely to book with your team.

Having a “script” that your quoting process follows, as well as some automation built into your job scheduling software, will help you land more jobs, and save a lot of admin time per booked job. Ask us how Vonigo can help you present better quotes, and ultimately book more jobs and revenue.

A thorough quote costs you a little time, but it wins you clients that understand and respect your process: every single dollar.