‘The customer is always right’ is a phrase that is constantly being preached by business experts.
If you are an entrepreneur, or you run company, you surely have heard this phrase one time or the other. How true it is! After all, it’s the customer who is spending money with you, so it’s the customer who must be treated right. This is particularly true in the highly competitive home improvement industry. Whether you are selling metal exterior doors or distributing plumbing fixtures and fittings, taking care of your customer’s needs must be your number one priority.
Here are 7 ways to provide perfect customer service in the home improvement industry.
Hire the right people
When it comes to hiring people for customer-facing roles, it’s always a better idea to hire for attitude and train for skills. After all, empathy, a key ingredient in customer service delivery comes from within. The world’s most successful companies recognized this. As James Cash Penney, Founder of J.C. Penney Stores once said: “Every great business is built on friendship.”
Give the perfect greeting
Amazing customer service starts as soon as people walk through your door. Make a memorable first impression by coming up with an authentic greeting for your customers. Avoid clichéd messages like “Can I help you?”. Instead, personalize your greeting and take the opportunity to get to know your customers better. For mesmerizing customer care, why not put in place a time limit for your crew to greet customers. Some of the best home improvement stores already do this, with a “Service in 2 minutes or less” promise.
Improve the checkout experience
Long wait times and an unfriendly checkout staff do not add up to a good customer experience. Home improvement stores with badly arranged shopping aisles, unfair queuing systems and long lines are going to leave your customers fuming. Put in place clear in-store signs and other information so that customers know exactly where to stand in line. Never forget, taking payment for your goods and services is probably the most important part of business!
Offer an easy online experience
As many home improvement stores are online these days, it’s imperative that your company gives a good impression to users of your website. Make sure your website is fast loading, easy to navigate and contains all the information your customer needs to make a purchase. Your contact details and return policies should be clearly displayed, and you may even consider adding a live chat function for giving an immediate customer response.
Demonstrate strong product knowledge
Make sure your staff are extremely knowledgeable on the product range and services you are offering within your business. Customers always sense if you know what you are talking about. People buy from people they trust and failing to know and understand your products may result in customers taking their business elsewhere.
Offer hassle-free installation
Not all customers have the skill or confidence to undertake a major home renovation project. By offering professional services such as door measurement and installation you will make your customers’ lives easier and ensure your products are properly fitted. Always use fully licensed and insured installers and provide a signed customer satisfaction report upon completion. Remember, a happy customer is a loyal customer.
Solve customers’ problems
Murphy’s law states that “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong” and that’s just as true when dealing with customers as it is in life. From time to time it’s inevitable that things will go awry. It’s how you deal with those times that matters most. First and foremost, empower your team to treat disgruntled customers well. Have written procedures to help staff know what to do if something goes wrong and give them the training and customer service skills needed to make unhappy customers feel better. Give employees the authority to process returns, exchange products, or offer additional products without having to ask for formal approval. Give your team the tools to act quickly and efficiently with customer complaints and there is a fair chance you can turn an unhappy customer into a happy one.
And that’s how you can build up a strong customer base and customer service reputation in the home improvement industry. You need to be presentable, be neat, be friendly, be helpful, be efficient. Be pleasant and professional when dealing with your customers and they will reward you with their custom for years to come. After all, you deserve it.