4 Old-School Principles to Set Your Business Apart From the Competition
In today’s on-demand world, it’s easy to get caught up in the latest ways to reach new customers and increase the bottom line. Unfortunately, it’s also easy to lose sight of good customer service in the process. That’s why it’s important — perhaps now more so than ever — to slow down and put some old-school principles back into play.
Here are four easy ways to earn the respect and loyalty of your customers while setting yourself apart from the competition:
- Mind your manners: Manners matter; they’re often the first opportunity you’ll have to make a good impression. Answer every phone call politely — preferably stating the name of your business. Listen attentively, never interrupt, and always say please and thank you. Basically, treat every business interaction as if your grandmother is watching.
- Pick up the phone: When customers reach out, it’s because they want to talk to you about their projects. When they call, pick up the phone. If you’re unable to answer, be sure to return the call as promptly as possible — preferably within 10 minutes; at most, within 24 hours.
- Keep your commitments: Punctuality and reliability are among the cornerstones of a successful home services business. Keep your word. Be where you’re supposed to be when you’re supposed to be there, deliver estimates and finished products when — or before — you say you’ll deliver them, and always communicate as early as possible should you be unable to honor a commitment for any reason.
- Show your appreciation: Letting your customers know that you appreciate their business is a surefire way to set yourself apart. Handwritten thank you notes, thoughtful holiday cards and customer appreciation deals/coupons are just a few ways to make your gratitude known. An added benefit: They’re also great ways to stay in touch with loyal customers and encourage glowing referrals and reviews.
Integrating basic courtesies into your business practice may seem like a given — and it should be. But you might be surprised at how many businesses are letting such courtesies slide. The good news is that focusing on old-school business principles is one of the easiest ways to turn new customers into a loyal fan base. And, not only is it free, but it’s also a foolproof way to set yourself apart from your less conscientious competitors.