You don’t need slick sales tools or fancy gimmicks to provide top-notch service to your customers and leave a great, lasting impression of your glazing business. A little bit of organization and forward-planning can mean the difference between memorably great service and a completely forgettable experience in your customers minds. Here are three suggestions for you to implement in your glazing business to make sure you’re hitting the mark every time.
Make sure your turnaround time for estimates is second to none
Get a project off on the right foot and show your customer that you’re serious about their request by turning around estimates as fast as possible. Getting back to customers quickly with a detailed quote demonstrates your professionalism and responsiveness, and sets the tone for the rest of your communication with them.
If you have a lot of competing glazing companies in your area, there’s a good chance that your prospective customer has contacted at least a couple of other local glaziers to provide an estimate for their project. Make a good impression by getting your estimate back first. For many consumers, price will be a secondary deciding factor after professionalism. You could be charging more than your competitor but the customer may be willing to pay that for peace of mind.
Keep in mind that most consumers are now used to receiving professional, branded quotes and invoices with detailed breakdowns, particularly if they do a lot of online shopping. If you’re still providing handwritten estimates on carbon copy paper, maybe 2020 is the year to step up your estimating process.
Find out more about how you can create detailed estimates in minutes with Smart-Toolbox.
Stay in touch with your customers after the job is complete
When you put in the hard work to win a customer the first time around, you want to make sure you get any repeat business that comes up in the future, to maximize your return on investment. Making sure your customer remembers you is a crucial part of this process, so make sure you have procedures in place to follow up with them once the job is complete.
Start by giving the customer a friendly phone call a few weeks after the job is finished to make sure they’re satisfied with your work and that it’s meeting their needs. It’s also a great opportunity to ask for a testimonial that you could use on your website or in your marketing materials.
Following that, simple email marketing software like Mailchimp or Campaign Monitor (both of which have free options) make it easy for you to set up multiple mailing lists that you can add your customers to after the job is complete — provided you get their permission beforehand. You could set up lists based on the kind of job you did for the customer or the region they live in or even the kind of property they live in, for example. That way you could send targeted emails about seasonal or region-specific promotions.
Emails can be set up and scheduled to go out so you can plan your communications in advance. Not all of the emails need to be promotion heavy. A simple ‘happy holidays’ message with a picture of your team is a nice, personal way of keeping your business at the forefront of their minds long after a project has been completed.
Always have contingency plans in place for when things go wrong and make sure your employees are familiar with them
As great as it would be if every job went perfectly, 100% of the time, that just isn’t a reality. Breakages, delivery delays, errors and a hundred other things can put a job behind schedule, resulting in a frustrated customer and stressed out employees.
In those situations, the best thing you can do is show that you and your team are equipped to handle disruptions so the customer’s worries can be put to rest. Having a named and documented procedure that your employees can refer to and easily access is an important first step. For example, you might have a breakages policy in place that your team can immediately access and pass on to the customer in the event of a breakage that outlines the next steps and the expected length of the delay.
Most customers are reasonable and understand that sometimes things don’t go to plan. How you handle the fallout is what will set your glazing business apart from the competition.
Not sure where to begin? Check out our article on process mapping tips for glaziers to get you started.
Small changes can be mighty
“Improving customer service” is an abstract goal that many small businesses and contractors have but it is often pushed to the backburner. Hopefully this article has given you some ideas on how you can tackle this goal in a manageable way, by implementing small changes to your routine that make all the difference to your customers. We’d love to hear about different customer service methods you’re using in your glazing business, tweet us @SmartBuilder!
What to read next
Check out this article we wrote about how to make a great first impression with clients and prospects.
You can also filter all of our articles to just see articles about sales tips for your glazing business.