GROWING YOUR BUSINESS: Please don’t do this!

by Dan Beaulieu
Business consultant

A good customer is your most important asset!

One of the biggest complaints that people I know have about local contractors is that some of them, when they get busy, won’t give them the time of day. Not all of them mind you, but more than a few seem to act with a certain…dare we say smugness when their schedule gets filled up. If you are a contractor, whether a landscaper, a tree service, a builder, a plumber, or electrician and because of Covid-19 you now have a waiting list as long as you proverbial arm, please remember the lean times. Please remember what a privilege it is to have customers.

Look I know you are going to get very busy in the next few months. So many projects have been put on hold that, of course, you have a backlog of customers’ projects waiting to be attended to. And of course, you cannot get to them all at the same time. That is understandable and only makes sense. There are only 24 hours in a day and only seven days in a week, so there is only so much that you can do, and only so many projects that you can attack at one time.

I’m not asking that you take on more than you can handle, I’m not asking that you make promises you can’t keep, All I am asking is that you treat all your customers like you care. Let them know that their business and most importantly their loyalty is important to you and you are going to do the very best you can to get to them as quickly as you can.

Here are a few simple guidelines to make sure that you treat your customers right while they wait for you to get to their projects:

  • Return their calls as soon as possible. Making a customer wait for you to return their call is insulting and sends the message that you don’t care about their business.
  • If the customer has a project for you to get started on, politely explain that you are busy, that you will make time to visit the customer and take a look at the project within 24 or 48 hours.
  • And keep that appointment by all means. There is nothing more insulting to a customer than standing him up.
  • Quote the job as quickly and efficiently as possible.
  • With the quote include the time in your quote you are going to be able to get to their project and make sure you are accurate as possible with this timing.
  • And at all times, no matter how busy you are right now, make sure your customers realize how important they are to you.

These are just a few simple rules of business courtesy, but they are more important now than ever. Always remember the lean times and how much you appreciate your customers’ business in those times. And then consider these simple business courtesy guidelines as an investment in your future. An investment that will certainly help you grow your business.


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