We are very lucky to be able to run a business in the current time – information is at our fingertips, clients are able to contact us easily even when we are out on a job, suppliers are able to get products to us overnight (if not within hours); technology makes so many aspects of our business life easier.
However, no matter how amazing your pool and spa service software is, it all goes to waste if your customer service is letting your business down.
So how can you ensure that your customers are getting the very best service that you can provide? Actually, that goes back to being able to use technology to your advance and combining it with that amazing software.
What Do Customers Want?
When a customer leaves a review for a business saying that they received amazing customer service, what do they actually mean?
Generally, there are a few things in common:
- They are happy with the end result of the product or service
- They are happy with the amount they paid and consider that they have received value for money
- They feel that they were listened to
- They feel that the company or salesperson wanted to ensure their satisfaction
- The company representative was knowledgeable and able to offer helpful suggestions.
How do you know you have happy clients?
Addressing that first point – are you clients happy? Few people will spontaneously go out of their way to offer you feedback, good or bad, even with Google’s encouragement https://maps.google.com/localguides. They may tell their friends, family and recommend (or warn) people on social media, but in order for your clients to leave that amazing review you need to make it easy for them. This can be as simple as including a link to your social media or review page on every email that you send out or make asking for customer feedback that you can publish as part of your standard customer follow up after the final invoice has been paid.
This process also allows you to attempt to rectify a situation if you discover that the client isn’t 100% happy.
Hopefully the software system that you use to run your pool and spa business allows you to make notes about clients and jobs, customize standard forms like emails and invoices, and even allow you to create job flows that include customer follow-up.
Do you provide value for money?
If you are able to provide detailed quotes, with differing options to suit your clients’ needs versus your clients’ budget, and perhaps offer discounts or upgrades, you will have customers how feel they have received value for money. However, you can’t do any of that if you don’t know exactly how much you are spending and if you will come away from a job with a profit.
Having good quoting software and a strong point of sale (POS) allows your sales team to have access to this information so they know, in real time, where they may have some flexibility with pricing. Sometimes this may mean only being able to include an initial free pH test, other times it may include something grander, but being able to match the needs and wants of your customers and still be able to meet your bottom line helps you prove that you offer value for money.
Are you listening?
Making sure that you are on the same page as your clients can sometimes be an art all of itself. Again, if you have good software that is able to work in real time this can make the process easier. Being able to follow a template of tried and true questions to make sure that you ask everything you need to know before quoting a job means less back and forth. Being able to write up a contract as you go that provides detailed information about what was discussed, plans, and possibly even example photos shows your customers that you are on the same page as they are, that you genuinely are listening to what they want.
Do you know enough?
While you’re listening to your customer, being able to clarify things like the best cover for the area, the best size for the location or the best chemicals to use for their skin-type and the climate all show that your company only hires the best and most knowledgeable staff. You don’t need to make sure that all your staff have read a 300-page technical manual, all you need is to ensure that the software your staff have access to is able to provide useful data about the products that you use. Being able to take notes about your customers likes and dislikes (or allergies like this) also make your job easier in the long run.
Your customer may want to arrange their pool to be serviced more frequently than you’d recommend, being able to explain why they should space out servicing and explaining how this saves them in the long term, and then being able to set them up with a maintenance schedule that suits them on the spot takes customer service to the next level.
Think about the things that having technology at your fingertips could mean for you business. Other than the obvious things like being about to record measurements to generate quotes, being able to take photographs of the area before a pool is installed can give the person completing quotes additional information. When talking to a new client being able to show them ideas based around other similar projects that you have completed helps build confidence that you know what you are talking about and that your company will be able to provide the customer with their idea pool or spa.
From a business point of view, having happy customers alone is a great reason to look at having software that can aid your staff, but if you can combine customer focused software with an accounting package and an inventory control system you are better able to support your staff with access to information that can help them build and maintain relationships with your customers, without the need to spend additional time and resources training staff in multiple pieces of software.