How to Keep Your Clients Happy and Get Referrals
In every service industry it’s an ongoing challenge to keep customers satisfied and happy enough to return to any one business again and again, but as a flooring contractor we don’t have to tell you that it’s especially tough to retain clients in your line of work. Since floor installations are typically only needed once every few decades or so in a single home, getting repeat work from a single client can be tough—almost impossible in fact.
The key to creating a steady stream of clients lined up at your door is to keep every one of your customers so satisfied throughout their projects, that they refer you to their friends and family for work.
So, how exactly do you keep your clients satisfied enough to become a cheerleader for your business?
1. Be Professional
It may seem obvious, but maintaining a sense of professionalism from beginning to end with your clients will go a long way for your reputation, and eventually the success and growth of your business. It’s especially important when you’re making a first impression with your client that you strike a professional tone. Whether you’re making a cold call, or a potential client is reaching out to you, it’s important to conduct yourself in a mature manner that lets your client’s know they’ll be in qualified, capable hands.
2. Be Responsive
Whether it’s a potential client, or a client that you’re already working on a project for, it’s incredibly important to respond to them as soon as you can. Being attentive and offering clear and prompt communication not only gives your clients a sense of reassurance, but it will also help you stand out from your competitors. It’s no secret that contractors are stereotyped as being impossible to get a hold of, so the sooner you prove that wrong, the more likely you are to not only satisfy your customers, but exceed their expectations.
3. Tailor Service to Each Client’s Needs
You already know this better than anybody, but not all clients are the same. The best way to guarantee you give the customer exactly what they want is so simply ask them. Ask them right away how involved they want to be in the project, and act accordingly. If they prefer to be hands off and leave you to your job—perfect! Keep them in the loop in terms of deadlines and project milestones, but otherwise give them what they want and try not to over-communicate. If they prefer to be involved in the process, then be sure to make it easy on both of you. Browse for products online to accommodate both your schedules and ensure finding the perfect product together doesn’t delay the overall start date of installation.
4. Be Proactive
The reality is, sometimes things go wrong. Whether you come up against an unexpected structural or zoning issue, or the product your customer wants is out of stock or it’s shipment is delayed, it’s important to let your customer know about these issues right away to set and manage their expectations. An even better step to take though, is to work with employees and vendors that can prevent these issues from coming up altogether. Hire staff that are diligent in their surveying to minimize risk of unpleasant surprises. Order products from vendors that offer broad selection and real time tracking of order delivery. The best way to deal with things going wrong is to prevent them from happening in the first place.
5. Buy Floors Direct
It’s a safe bet to make that all of your clients will want the best possible product, for the lowest possible price. The best way to do this is to get your products directly from the manufacturer. When you buy from retail stores, you incur unexpected (and unfair) costs marked up by businesses to ensure they turn a profit from the sale. When you cut out the middle man and buy directly from a manufacturer, you also cut out all the associated costs.
6. Maintain Their Floors, And Your Relationship
Once you’re finished with a flooring installation, it’s easy to just walk away from the client knowing they may not need new floors for years, or even ever. Don’t. Set yourself apart from other contractors by letting them know that you’ll still be there for them if they need maintenance help in the future. Whether it’s fixing a squeaky floor board, or replacing a few warped planks under a leaky roof, even the littlest bits of maintenance go a long way for your working relationship.
At the end of the day, the customer is king. As long as you communicate with your clients clearly, often, and in a way you know they’ll appreciate throughout your project, there’s a very good chance they’ll communicate what a great service provider you’ve been to their friends and family. By following these 6 simple tips you can easily lay the groundwork for a budding network of happy clients for your flooring installation business.