First Impressions Count – How Electricians Should Conduct Themselves With Customers
As the saying goes, ‘first impressions count’. As the other saying goes, ‘you never get a second chance to make a good first impression’. In the service industry, never has a truer word been spoken.
Making a good first impression starts even before you meet a client. It begins when the first interaction takes place, whether that’s over the phone, via email or via text message. It also involves every single facet of your business from email signatures through to phone manner and grooming. Remember, the first impression a client has of you or your business is the first step to your professional relationship and can set the tone for how the customer experience pans out.
The 2 keys for making a strong first impression
It’s impossible to know how long you have to ensure you make a great first impression. It’s also impossible to know what is important to others. While some customers will prioritise the importance of your grooming, others will emphasise how you interact with them. Because of this, it’s crucial to ensure you have every box ticked.
1. Be personable
Whether in person or on the phone, always be personable. This means talking with a smile (yes, people on the other end of a phone can hear whether you’re smiling or frowning), and addressing people by name. Over the phone, ensure you answer the call as soon as you can and provide your name.
If you’re dealing with customers via email, always reply in a timely manner and address all of their concerns. For example, if a potential customer poses three questions in their email concerning their lights, ceiling fans and electrical appliances, take the time to answer every query. In person, make eye contact, smile and pay attention to the client.
2. Be presentable
Dress appropriately at all times. If you’re going to a networking event, scrub up. Of course, if you’re going to a building site or to meet a client in their home, it’s best to wear appropriate work gear, especially if you’re going to be inspecting things. However, being presentable doesn’t just refer to what you’re wearing.
Make sure you’re well-groomed and avoid fidgeting when talking to others. It’s also important to use positive body language. According to a study, 70% of communication is body language so it’s important to get it right. Try to make sure your posture is straight, confident and relaxed and take note of what you do with your arms when talking. For example, crossing your arms during a conversation implies you’re distant and defensive, and unwilling to listen or compromise.
6 tips for interacting with customers like a pro
When you’re in the service industry, it’s crucial to know your customers. Regardless of what service you’re in, customers all want the same thing – assurance, excellent service and respect. So, here are some tips to ensuring your interactions with your customers – from start to finish – are top notch.
1. Be honest
Whether it’s how long jobs will take, whether you actually have availability and how much your services are going to cost, always be honest. This means also giving as detailed quote as possible. List out all the services you’re going to provide and allocate a cost to them. Ensure the quote is provided in writing and don’t leave anything out. If extra costs arise, be sure to tell your client immediately.
2. Don’t be late
There’s nothing worse than a tradie who turns up outside of the allocated window. If you’re giving clients a window for your arrival, stick to it. Of course, there will be times that you may run late, but if this is the case, always notify the next client so they can sort themselves out accordingly. Remember, people have put plans in place to accommodate that window of service, it’s best to respect their time too.
3. Manage your appearance
Run a comb through your hair, tuck in your shirt and make sure you’re dressed appropriately. It’s also a nice idea to bring a pair of disposable booties to slip over your shoes before you traipse through people’s houses.
4. Be clear on your terms
Make sure your terms are communicated upfront. This includes payment terms and how long you believe the scope of work will take.
5. Charge for your time correctly
Don’t undervalue yourself and always charge for materials. If you undervalue yourself, your clients will too and that’s never the way to start a professional relationship. Additionally, while it can be tempting to just throw in the extra materials that always seem to crop up along the way, always discuss the extra material with your client and never purchase it until you receive either written confirmation or payment.
6. Have a presence on social media
With the whole world on some form of social media nowadays, it pays to be online. Customers are turning to online reviews and recommendations in droves. Create a Facebook business page, and invite your customers to Like it and leave reviews. It’s also important to interact with customers as they engage with what you’re posting.
When entering into a professional relationship, remember that first impressions count. Customers will remember you, and will most likely refer you, if you’re genuine, personable, presentable and if you deliver on what you promise.
Platinum Electricians can help you make the right impression
To make sure that you are providing only the best customer service to your clients, learn more about how Platinum Electricians can provide you with training and mentorship today!