You know you sell a great fencing product, but did you know that you are also selling something else? You are selling your customer service.
A recent survey by Harris Interactive found that nearly nine out of 10 American consumers said they would be willing to pay more for a product or service if they could be certain of a superior customer experience.
In order to stand out from your competition, gain more new customers and retain your existing customers for repeat business, great service should be an integral part of who you are and what you do.
It’s easier than you think. Here are five ways your fencing company can improve the customer service you offer.
Make it Personal.
Your customers want to know who they are dealing with. Tell them your story. Use your web page, social media and showroom walls to tell them your company history with words and pictures.
Highlight how long you have been in the community. Are you a family business? Show photos of you with your family. Has your business grown along with your town? Show photos of your first location and explain how you now give back to the community that has helped you build your business.
Do you have long-time valued employees? Share information and photos about these folks with your clientele. Also, by supporting what your employees care about, you reveal your interest in them as individuals and in your community as a whole.
Provide customers with a clear mission statement that explains your feelings about trust and accountability. Share your background and your experience in the fencing industry.
In today’s world, your competitor is just a click away. If someone looking for a new fence can’t reach you, you can lose them forever. Make it easy for customers to reach you, and offer prompt personal responses to inquiries.
Make sure your address, hours and directions are easy to find on your website and your advertising.
Don’t forget your website, email address and phone number, so customers can contact you with questions.
Don’t confuse your customers with inconsistent pricing or inaccurate discounts. Make your pricing transparent and easy to calculate for big jobs.
Many companies offer enticements for new customers, but these can leave loyal customers unsatisfied. Offer deals and special treatments to all your customers, so that they all feel valued and appreciated.
Pay particularly close attention to service calls. When you back up what you sell, your customers will return again for more when the need arises.
Communication is a two-way street, so offer your customers the opportunity to provide comments on the service they receive.
Provide short emailed surveys to every customer with specific questions on how they were treated throughout their dealings with your company. To assure a timely response, you could offer a discount on future purchases.
Another option is to provide a highly visible dedicated feedback form on your website. Offer short, easy-to- complete questions with multiple response options as well as an area for more detailed comments.
Respond to all comments promptly and courtously –
yes, even any negative responses – so that your customers see their opinions are being read and addressed. You can turn a negative comment into a positive for your company by responding to a problem and fixing it to the best of your ability.
Not only will you discover areas that need improvement, but your customers will realize that you are dedicated to providing top-notch service.
One of the best ways you can provide great service as a fencing company is by helping to educate your customers. Know your product inside and out and be ready to answer their questions with ease and accuracy.
Educate yourself on new materials and trends in the fencing industry and also keep up with what your
competitors are offering. Attend trade shows and seminars and read industry articles so that you can be ready to share current research and information with your customers.
If a customer asks you something you don’t know about a product, admit it. Then find out the answer and get back to that person promptly. Customers will appreciate your honesty and your time.
Here’s the takeaway. You may be in the fencing business, but you are also in the people business.
According to a new study by Forrester Research, 77 percent of respondents reported that “valuing their time” is the most important thing a company can do for them.
Another study by conversocial.com found that, within the past year, 54 percent of millennials, 50 percent of Gen Xers and 52 percent of baby boomers reported that they stopped doing business with at least one company because of poor customer service.
It doesn’t matter if you sell the best fencing products if your customers are not satisfied. Pleasing your customers should not be an afterthought. Make service a priority and watch your fencing business grow and thrive.