Give Your Company World-Class Customer Service

customer-service.gifWhen was the last time you were absolutely “wowed” by the service you received? When you bought your last car? At a restaurant? Or possibly when ordering something on the Internet?

The reality is that everyone wants to be treated like a business’ only customer, yet we are rarely treated to exceptional customer service in our daily activities. And that’s good for you and your electrical contracting business.

Why? Because by implementing a program to make your customer’s experience the best it can possibly be, you will stand out from your competition and create a reason for your customers to come back – and to recommend your business to their friends and neighbors.

Here are some guidelines for instilling a culture of exceptional customer service within your organization:

Treat your employees well.

Dealing with customers can be a stressful experience. Your employees represent your company and are one of the biggest assets you have, so it is important that you hire, train, and empower them to feel confident in making the right decisions. Creating a positive work environment is key to having happy employees. And happy employees mean happy customers. For example, one way to promote a positive environment is with a recognition program. When

feedback from a customer indicates that an employee has gone above and beyond, the company can reward the employee with recognition, whether in the form of a posting on the bulletin board or an e-mail to all employees letting colleagues know about the job well done.

Another idea if to have a week focusing on customer service with fun activities and prizes to recognize employees for top-notch service.

Consider implementing a similar employee program at your company, if you don’t already have one.

Establish procedures.

Make sure your employees know what is expected from them, and give them the tools to meet those expectations. Establish a set of best practices as guidelines for handling the many issues that will arise in their daily activities. Train them in your procedures and coach them to the point you – and they – are confident in their ability to represent your company.

Best practices can cover just about everything involved in dealing with the customer: how to properly answer the phone, how to schedule a job, how to prepare and present an estimate, and how to deal with any issues that may arise, as work is being done and when it’s completed. At each of these touch points your employees may have with a customer, you should have procedures for handling these in a positive and professional way.

Make it easy to do business with you.

Sometimes it can feel like companies are practicing “sales prevention” rather than making it easy to do business. Every aspect of your business should be designed to make dealing with you as easy as possible. This needs to flow throughout the total sales process: from the initial contact, to the site inspection, preparation and presentation of the estimate, to execution of the work and invoicing. Let’s look at each in detail:

Initial contact: Make sure you have adequate incoming phone lines so no one ever gets a busy signal or recording. Have 24-hour service available so customers can contact a company employee when they have an emergency. Make sure you have an easily navigable website with clear contact information. Make sure someone is assigned to responding to all e-mails in a timely manner.

Site inspection, preparation, and presentation of the estimate: Make every effort to schedule your inspection visit as soon as poss