The power of the process: How home services businesses can build confidence with communication
Priscilla, our Director of Communications, shares her insight and real-life examples
It’s probably easy to guess what I’m most passionate about, just from looking at my job title!
Communication is critical at every stage of the customer relationship. In the early stages, it will help you build trust. As your relationship progresses, it will help you deepen that trust and build a long-lasting loyalty.
One core principle of effective communication with your customers is telling them about your process. What I mean by that is explaining what will happen before, during, and after the sale.
Why is having a process so important? People find comfort in knowing what will happen next.
By proactively sharing your process, you’ll:
- Give your customers the information they need
- Help them build confidence in the decision to choose you
- Ensure a smooth, successful working relationship, and
- Increase the likelihood of them recommending you to others.
Why communicating your process is so important for home services businesses
Communication is especially important for home services businesses, who live and die by word of mouth recommendations.
If you have great communication and a clear process in place, your customers are likely to sing your praises on places like Facebook, Nextdoor, and online reviews. With poor communication, however, you run the risk of negative reviews and a lack of recommendations.
To illustrate my point, I’d like to share an experience I had with a local roofing company earlier this year.
Like many of us, I’ve been working from home for the past several months. Because of this, I realized it was an ideal time to have some home repairs done. One of these projects was to fix some minor roof issues caused by a recent hurricane.
I contacted my home insurance provider who processed the claim and assigned a local roofing company to perform the work. I didn’t have the option to choose the company and when I researched them, I noticed a lack of online presence. Despite this, I felt confident that they’d do a good job because, after all, they’d been vetted by my insurance provider.
Then I noticed the first red flag. The roofing company contacted me to schedule the re-roofing project, but didn’t explain anything that was going to happen. After the call, I was left with several questions. Can I be at home when the work is happening? Will the construction noise disrupt my workday? Is it safe to go outside?
Then, 3 days prior to the work, they dropped off a dumpster in our driveway without warning. My family’s vehicles were all blocked in the garage! The roofing company didn’t call or email to let us know.
After the work was done, they left a pile of trash outside our home for three days before coming to pick it up. Again, they didn’t let us know or apologize for the inconvenience.
In the end (after a couple of fixes) I was satisfied with my new roof. But even if the final product had been completely perfect, there’s no way I would recommend this roofing company to anyone.
Why? Because, from start to finish, their communication about the process was terrible!
How home services businesses can power up their process
The importance of great communication doesn’t only apply to roofing companies.
It also includes:
- Plumbing services
- Electrician services
- HVAC installation & repair
- Home renovations & additions
- Home improvement
- Home cleaning
- Home painting
- Handyman services
- Garden & landscaping services
- Pool installation, repair & service
- Paving & pressure washing services
- and more.
If you offer any of these services, read on to learn how to build confidence with your customers by keeping them properly informed before, during, and after the sale.
- Explain what to expect
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. What is the basic information they need to know? Clearly communicate the length of the project, the cost, and so on. Remember, it may be the first time they’ve ever had this type of home service done.
- Let them know in advance how to prepare
Are there any safety precautions or procedures they need to follow before work can commence? Are there any access issues that need to be addressed?
- Don’t over-communicate
Your customer is hiring you because you’re the pro. Tell them the necessary steps—enough to give confidence that you know what you’re doing—but you don’t need to go into all the intricate details (unless they ask, of course).
- Do what you said you’re going to do
A quality home services business is built by performing quality work. During the project, make sure you and your team are following the process you outlined beforehand.
- Communicate how things are going
Explain any unforeseen hiccups to the customer and let them know how you’re working to overcome them.
- Don’t wait to be asked!
If your customer has to reach out to you, the chances are they’ve been worried for a while before getting in touch. Before long, this confusion and unease can start to harm your working relationship. To avoid this, my advice is to always be proactively communicating as the project progresses.
- Give your customers confidence in your work
Once the project is done, demonstrate your commitment to resolve any issues. You could give your customer a completed post-work inspection checklist, or perform a walkthrough with them if possible.
- Send a survey
It’s critical that home services businesses ask for customer feedback. If the survey shows there were problems along the way, you can address them with your team and let the customer know the steps you’re taking to improve.
- Request a review
Thank your customer for their business and if all went well as it should, politely ask them to leave your business an online review.
Create an extra level of professionalism by pairing your great customer communication with:
- A professional website, with a designated page or section when you explain your process to potential customers
- Branded collateral pieces (such as business cards, yard signs, estimates, and invoices)
- Branded uniforms
- Branded vehicles.
For home services businesses, how you interact with your customers can make all the difference. By following these steps to communicate your process, you’ll not only give them the confidence to hire you—but also the confidence to refer you to others.
Written by Priscilla Azzolini, Director of Communications at Different Perspective
Need help polishing your process?
We help home services businesses, as well as businesses in a variety of other industries, build confidence with their customers by explaining what they do and how they do it in a clear, easy to understand way.
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