Long-standing customers form the backbone of a robust and well-established business. Make it your mission to ensure that most of your current customers stay with your company for many years.
Understanding the High-Profit Client
Most of them have personality traits commonly known as drivers. Folks accustomed to getting things done quickly and efficiently do not mind paying professionals for servicing, repairing, remodeling, or building new construction projects related to their houses and commercial buildings.
Why it’s vital to keep existing customers
Your current customers already have personal experiences dealing with your business and using its services. You won’t need to spend much time, money, and energy convincing them to continue hiring you.
You and your staff know your current clients well. They’re likely to increase the amount (or the frequency) of their purchases and recommend your business to others if you:
- Solve their problems.
- Meet their needs.
- Exceed their expectations.
According to the US Chartered Institute of Marketing, it costs between four and ten times more to win a new customer than to keep a current customer. Therefore, it’s vital to implement outstanding client service to convert occasional customers into loyal, long-standing regulars.
1. Communicate consistently and manage expectations
- Let your clients know what they can expect from your business, including timescales.
- Ensure emails are clear
- Your loyal clients deserve communications that are more personal and less formal. Using impersonal emails for your more extensive email list is fine, but use more personal touches with your best customers.
2. Show your customers you appreciate them
You can show your customers you appreciate them in many different ways, including:
- Thank them personally for hiring you. The more special your clients feel, the more likely they will hire you again. They’ll appreciate your thoughtfulness and value your service.
- Offer your long-term customers bonuses for their loyalty. Giving them a voucher, so they save money the next time. Or a voucher for someone they know who needs your service. It’s great to offer new customers rewards and incentives, but that leaves existing customers feeling ignored.
3. Develop customer service standards
Develop customer service standards for your business. You could use some of the following guidelines for your business’s customer service standards. Try two:
- Be polite, helpful, and friendly to your clients at all times.
- Respond to emails as quickly as possible, preferably within three hours but within a maximum of 24 hours.
- Listen carefully to questions and requests so that you can offer the most appropriate help or advice.
- Inform customers immediately if there is an unexpected delay in processing their requests or implementing change orders.
- Train your crew in customer service – everyone in your business who will contact customers should be trained in customer service.
- Use your business’s customer service standards as a basis for your training. Ensure staff knows precisely what’s expected of them when interacting with clients.
4. Deal with customer complaints effectively
Regard each customer complaint as an opportunity rather than an annoyance. This allows you to handle the complaint satisfactorily. If a customer complains, it shows they still care.
Steps to take when a customer complains
- Train your staff members to take several steps whenever a customer complains. They should:
Listen carefully to what the customer is saying. Understand exactly what they’re complaining about and why.
Admit any mistakes that your business has made and apologize to the customer.
Make amends quickly. If necessary, ask the customer what they would like you to do to remedy the situation.
Promise to do better next time.
- Test and improve your business’s customer service
There are several ways to find out how well your staff is handling their customer service duties, including:
Asking customers for feedback on how your business could improve its customer services.
Inviting your staff to suggest how your business could treat its customers better.
Use all these ideas to develop and extend your customer service skills. Ensure each employee has ongoing training.
5. Exceed customer expectations
Ways you can exceed your customers’ expectations include:
- Delivering an excellent product or service. You’ll keep customers for life if you exceed their expectations.
- Responding quickly to all customer questions, requests, complaints, and other communications.
- Training all your staff in excellent customer service skills.
- Managing all aspects of a transaction efficiently, from the sale to the delivery to invoicing.
- Dealing with complaints quickly and effectively.
- Delivering on your promises. Never promise anything that your business can’t provide.
Build relationships with clients and take time to learn more about them. Recommend solutions that address their specific problems. Go the extra mile to show your customers they’re important to you. Ask for their input, as well. They’ll get to know your products and services and offer insights into what’s working and what could be improved. If you engage them–and make changes based on their feedback–you’ll develop a loyal customer base.
Encouraging repeat customers makes solid business sense. It’s far less expensive to keep an existing customer than to win a new customer. Recognize the value of your customer base and invest in building an exceptional customer experience that will ensure your customers return for many years to come.
Thank you to our heroes who risked their lives with courage and bravery, we honor you today and every day.
About The Author:
Sharie DeHart, QPA, is the co-founder of Business Consulting And Accounting in Lynnwood, Washington. She is the leading expert in managing outsourced construction bookkeeping and accounting services companies and cash management accounting for small construction companies across the USA. She encourages Contractors and Construction Company Owners to stay current on their tax obligations and offers insights on managing the remaining cash flow to operate and grow their construction company sales and profits so they can put more money in the bank. Call 1-800-361-1770 or [email protected]
Access Code: FEAHEROS
Simply scan the QR code or search for ‘MyAccountants’ in the App Store and enter the Access code: FEAHEROS to utilize the powerful App features and capabilities and benefit from having our Construction Accounting App at your fingertips, 24/7.”
PS: Even if you are not a Construction Contractor, you will find plenty of benefits in the app, so we invite you to download it too! It’s Free so why not?