by Dan Beaulieu
When running your own business, no matter what size, it is important to find ways to make your business stand out. This is especially true when your business involves working at your customers’ homes.
When it comes to being special and outstanding it’s important to remember that the devil is in the details. It’s the small things that are going to make your company special to your customers, make them remember you, and use you again and, best of all, refer you to other potential customers.
Here are six simple things you can do to make your company outstanding:
- Look professional: No matter what your business is, when you are going to people’s homes you have to look professional. Providing company shirts, for example. Make sure that your equipment is well-maintained and up to date. Make sure your vehicles are always clean and bearing your company’s name on the doors. It will make your look professional and, most important, serious about what you do.
- Respect the customer’s property: If you are going into the house, make sure your shoes are clean, wear shoe covers, for example, this goes a long way to assuring your customers that you are a true professional. If you are working outside, don’t leave your tools all over the place and most importantly don’t be blasting music loud enough to be bothering not only your customer but the entire neighborhood as well.
- Always be courteous and make sure the rest of your team is as well. You might think this is a given, but it’s not always the case. I have witnessed incidents where people were loud, or rude or, worst of all in one case, where a small business actually got into an argument with the customer! Always be impeccably polite. This puts the customer at ease and makes them comfortable enough with you to keep you coming back.
- Listen. listening is one of the most important characteristics of any great customer relationship. Listen very carefully to what you customer wants you to do. Make sure you actually hear what the customer wants. And then repeat it back to the customer to make sure you are both on the same page. In some cases, it will not hurt to actually write it down in front of the customer. These are your instructions and you will be judged on how well you fully followed those instructions.
- Clean up after yourself. No matter what your service, always leave the property as you found it, or even better than you found it. This will be very impressive to your customers and keep them coming back.
- Provide the extras: Offer to do more than the service you were contracted to do. Notice things that you can do for your customer. If you are there to mow the grass and you see a shrub that needs trimming and shaping, do it without being asked, if you notice that the driveway needs sweeping, do that. It’s those little things that the customer will remember about you. Make sure you “get caught” performing those extra tasks. It pays off in the end, and also can lead to more business.
And one more…follow up. Within 24 hours of completing your job contact the customer to make sure that he is fully satisfied. This will not only make a very good impression on the customer, but it will also be a good opportunity to ask for more business, or, better yet, a referral. And that’s a great way to grow your business.
Dan Beaulieu has owned his own business consulting firm since 1995, during that time he has helped hundreds of companies all over the world with their sales growth challenges and issues. Originally from Maine he returned a few years ago and is ready and willing to help his fellow Mainers start and grow their business. He can be reached at 07-649-0879 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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