For home service contractors, customer service isn’t only about providing quality work at the right price. Setting and maintaining customer and prospect expectations is just as, if not more, important.
If you don’t meet or exceed expectations, your customers and prospects will let you know. You might think a bad review is the worst thing they can do, but their expectations start long before they hire you.
In fact, if you don’t start meeting their expectations right away, they will likely look for another contractor. So, if you want to keep growing your business, you need to understand how to manage prospect and customer expectations.
What Are Expectations?
Expectations are what a customer believes they will get from your service and your team. These will vary depending on the service they need, and many times, the contractor they choose to work with.
In fact, many of their expectations form long before they call you. It’s not uncommon for customers to have specific ideas about style, cost, and quality.
Additionally, they are often wary about how they will be treated by your team. This is often based on previous experiences, as well as online reviews. Sometimes these expectations are unrealistic, but are often easy to overcome as long as you handle them properly.
What Do Your Prospects and Customers Expect?
From their research of your company and services to how your team completes the job, it’s safe to say prospects and customers expect the best overall experience. Although they might value some qualities differently, most have expectations about the following:
- Trustworthy – Most customers want someone trustworthy, but they often worry they will get taken advantage of by home service contractors.
- Style – Although not every customer worries about style, some have a very specific look in mind.
- Quality – Most customers want the best quality possible, but that can vary widely from customer to customer.
- Cost – Cost is usually the most important factor for customers. However, it’s also the place where they can be the most unrealistic too.
- Value – Customers usually consider value as the right balance between quality and cost. With the right quality, they don’t mind spending a little more because of the perceived value.
- Communication – When it comes to communication, most customers want clear, honest answers and fast response. That doesn’t always mean talking on the phone though. It may be sending text messages or communicating via social media.
When Do Prospects and Customers Start Forming Expectations About Your Business?
It’s a common misconception that prospects can’t form expectations about home service contractors without contacting them first. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
It’s easier than ever for prospective customers to get a first impression of your business from information they find online. Instead of business listings or ads in a phonebook, customers and prospects can now get a detailed profile of your business.
Today, they can read reviews, see how you respond to comments, and check your Better Business Bureau profile. More often than not, this information is the reason why they aren’t calling your business. That’s why it’s important that you work to meet or exceed prospect and customer expectations.
How Can You Manage Prospect and Customer Expectations?
When it comes to meeting and exceeding prospect and customer expectations, you need to remember that they are always watching. Focus on creating the best experience possible for everyone.
1. Respond to Customer Feedback Positively
When it comes to reviews and social media comments, remember that your customers and prospects are paying attention. For this reason, you should always respond as positively as possible.
Start by answering their question or addressing their concern honestly. If they are an existing customer, let them know you will follow up with them too. Always give them a specific time so you set a clear expectation.
Responding positively is especially important if a customer leaves a negative review. Instead of arguing, you should always work towards a solution. This sets the expectation that you want to do right for your customers and prospects.
After you’ve resolved their issue, you can ask them to update their review. Although not all prospects and customers will, it’s worth a shot.
2. Respond to Prospects and Customers Quickly
One of the easiest ways to lose a prospect or customer is to not respond fast enough. If they are calling, they expect a response immediately. Make sure you have someone available to answer calls at any reasonable hour. If you can’t have someone available, make sure to post that information on your website and social media profiles.
However, your prospects and customers expect to hear from you sooner if they message you through social media sites. During normal business hours, you should respond to their message in a timely manner, but aim to get back to them within a few hours. Some sites even let you set up an automated reply, which is a great way to set expectations.
3. Communicate Clearly
From answering the phone to responding to messages, customers and prospects expect you to communicate clearly and honestly.
In fact, most negative reviews are caused by a misunderstanding. Whenever possible, work on setting expectations from the beginning. From the exact time you will follow up to the options available for their project, be as specific and transparent as possible with them.
4. Update Your Ad Campaigns and Messaging
Another way to manage prospect and customer expectations is to update your website, ad campaigns, and other messaging. Not only will this help you adjust to customer and prospect needs today, but you’ll remain more competitive and transparent within the industry.
You should review and update your website and marketing materials at least once a year. Ask friends, family, and even current customers for their input.
However, you should be reviewing your ad campaigns more frequently. Focus on setting and delivering on prospect and customer expectations to set you apart from the competition.
Launch Custom Campaigns That Keep up With Prospect and Customer Expectations
If you’re still not sure how to manage prospect and customer expectations, Keyword Connects is here to help. Our custom ad campaigns will keep up with customer and prospect needs, and generate more leads for your business.
The best part is, you only pay a low, flat rate for homeowners that are ready to buy your services. Contact us today to learn how easy it is to launch your custom lead generation campaign.