A satisfied customer is likely to give your name to friends, neighbors and co-workers needing a professional painter. An angry customer is even more likely to give them your name – and tell them never to call you. What can you do to avoid making people angry with your business?
Engage with People Who Contact You
It’s hard to feel important as a customer these days. All of the big companies are using phone trees and automated systems designed to ensure you never talk to a live human being. One of the biggest advantages that small businesses have is that phone calls and emails are answered by human beings who want to help the customer instead of get rid of them as quickly as possible.
Make sure you take advantage of this! Although estimate requests can seem like an interruption if you’re completely booked, the way you treat the people making those requests will impact your reputation even if they never hire you. If you are in a situation where you aren’t going to be able to be focused and friendly (for instance, if you’re on a ladder) it’s probably better to let the call go to voicemail and deal with it a few minutes later.
Try to Fix the Customer’s Problem
When you’re interacting with customers, each answer you provide should get them closer to an answer to their question. Of course, this doesn’t always mean that you can give them exactly what they’re asking – sometimes, you can’t fit them in your schedule this week, no matter how much they might want it.
It does mean that the customer shouldn’t have to direct the conversation. Always make sure you’re leaning into a conversation, trying to find a solution to the problem the customer has. If a customer asks if you can help them with a specific job at a specific time, a simple “no” isn’t going to earn you much business – or goodwill. If you can’t meet customer requests, offer alternatives. If you’re unsure of an answer, offer to ask a person who is, and get back with them. For instance, if you’re booked with painting jobs for months, customers will appreciate a referral to another painting contractor if you know of one. And that business relationship may come in handy one day if you’re short of business and need referrals yourself.
Be Honest, Open and Accountable
If you’re trying to avoid a toxic reputation, the most important thing to avoid is promising you can help a customer with an important job, and then fail to show up and become unreachable. Moving companies are notorious for this – it enrages customers in three different ways. You broke a promise, didn’t let them know it was going to happen, and then failed to take responsibility or even acknowledge it happened.
Most reasonable customers understand that sometimes unexpected things happen that get in the way of life. People get sick. Employees leave for other jobs. If you aren’t going to be able to complete a job as promised, let the customer know as early as possible, take responsibility for the issue, and offer alternatives that work with the customer’s schedule.
To learn more about how ProPainter Websites can help your business become more profitable, call us at 855-385-1134 or email us at Team_PPW@ProPainterWebsites.com.