Remodeling is a Service Business, First
Sometimes remodeling companies put all of their efforts into building the product. However, to be successful in the remodeling industry, your focus should be on offering top-quality service to your customers.
When you begin a remodeling business, you have entered a service industry that depends on referrals and repeat business. The amount of business, and the loyalty that you’ll generate, will greatly depend on the way you treat your customers. Building loyalty and generating repeat and referral business is the primary purpose of customer service. It pays to treat your customers as though they are long-term assets to your company—because they are!
Why good service is important
Today’s customers are demanding better service from the companies they patronize. Unfortunately, very few company owners realize just how important it is to provide good customer service. Tom Peters, coauthor of In Search of Excellence, puts it this way: “In general, service in America stinks.”
Because this is such a neglected part of any industry, delivering high-quality service is an opportunity with huge payoffs for those who are willing to invest the necessary time, money, and effort. Here are some of the benefits that your company will gain with a top-quality customer service program:
- Increased customer loyalty
- Increased referral leads
- A competitive edge
- Higher profits
Increasing customer loyalty and referrals
Believe it or not, most homeowners expect the worst in terms of service from home remodeling companies. And, unfortunately, that’s what most companies deliver. Creating a dissatisfied customer through poor treatment can hurt your company for years. On average, a typical dissatisfied customer will tell 8-10 people about the problem.
It generally takes 12 positive service incidents to make up for one negative incident. Few remodeling companies have the opportunity to overcome that type of bad publicity.
On the other hand, superior service will produce happy customers, because they have received better treatment than they expected. Quality service is often called the “extra-mile” ingredient. This simply means that in all aspects of your business, you’ll go an extra step beyond what they clients expect. These clients will then become your company’s best salespeople—singing your praises to all who will listen.
The average home remodeling business spends six times more to attract new customers than it does to keep old ones. Yet, over time, customer loyalty is in most cases worth ten times the profits from a remodeling project.
Beating the competition
If two remodeling companies were identical, except for the level of service they offered, most people would choose to work with the company that is more customer focused. In fact, a study conducted by the Forum Corporation showed that 40% of consumers would switch to a competitor just for better service.
Improving the bottom line
A company’s service efforts will be rewarded by loyal customers and new prospects who are willing to pay a little more to work with someone who understands their concerns. By following up and providing good customer service, your company will stand out from the majority of your competitors.
In all industries, there is a tremendous market for those companies that offer outstanding service. Studies show that consumers will pay an average of 10% more for a high-quality product or service.
In addition, customers who are unhappy with service will begin looking for problems on the job. Even if none are found, these people rarely pay their final bill on time. This costs the company heavily—in dollars and goodwill.
By providing good service, you end up with an improved profit margin along with happy customers, who will be the source of your best leads.
To be the best remodeling company possible, all your systems—both internally and externally—must be developed around what will make your company work most effectively for your customers.
If a service strategy is woven into the fiber of your company, it can be the key to improved competitiveness and growth. It will give you a long-term edge when it comes to distinguishing your company from your competitors.
What about you?
What internal and external systems do you have in place to ensure your customers are getting the best possible service? I look forward to hearing your comments below.