What would you say is the cornerstone of a successful water damage restoration company? Is it the quality of the drying services? Is it punctual arrival at the customer’s home or business and timely completion? Is it a knowledgeable team? All of these things affect success, sure, but if you look closely at the most successful businesses in our industry, you’ll discover they all have one thing in common – they’re able to exceed customer expectations.
What about Meeting Expectations?
Once upon a time, companies sought to meet customer expectations, and that was enough. Today, that’s no longer the case. Why? There are many reasons, including:
- Increased competition
- Changing expectations in terms of service delivery
- Increasing service quality in the industry
Simply put, just meeting expectations is the road to mediocrity. A mediocre experience is not going to net you raving reviews. Remember – most of your water damage customers will only see you once (unless they’re unlucky enough to have multiple water damages occur over time!). So that first chance is often your only change to make an impression.
The only solution here is to exceed customer expectations. How, though? It doesn’t have to be an insurmountable challenge. We’ll walk you through some of the most important considerations below.
Education and Empathy
According to insurance industry data, the average home floods only once in every 50 years or so. So, most customers don’t know what to expect. What they do know, however, is fast, dependable, quality service when they experience it. So, a critical initial step here is to inform and educate the customer on what to expect during the job. Videos, brochures and an empathetic voice on the phone as well as once you arrive at their location are all paramount to starting off on the right foot with the customer.
Your customers expect you to get their lives back to normal, as quickly and safely as possible, with as minimal disruption to their already-disrupted lives. Organized, clean job sites and constant communication with the customer are essential.
Provide Consistency Across All Touch-points
In your personal life, how often have you dealt with a company in one way, maybe in person, or on the phone, and then switched to another channel/touchpoint and had a completely different experience? It’s jarring, and it’s something that affects how you perceive the business in question. You must be able to deliver a consistent customer experience across all touch-points.
What does that mean, though? Simply put, your customer should be able to interact with you on the phone, through email, on social media, and in-person, and feel like it’s all one seamless experience. For instance, a customer contacts your restoration company on the phone, explains their water damage situation, and communicates with your project manager when they arrive on location. IN between, they check you out online and social media, looking for signs of trustworthiness and reputation. It should all be a seamless experience, anxiety-reducing experience.
Focus on Transparent Communications
Transparency is more than just a buzzword. It’s a vital customer expectation. What does that mean, though?
Be transparent about terms and conditions, about guarantees and warrantees, about the extent of damage and the underlying causes. Be open about the cleaning equipment and drying products you use, the water damage restoration processes you follow, and the prices you set.
Build Systems into Your Company
Making all this happen, on every single job you do, requires solid business systems. From the time your phone is answered until you get paid, you need to provide a quality, seamless and fluid experience for the customer. Business systems deliver a consistent experience at all levels, whether that’s marketing, customer service, or billing – regardless of which person/position in your company is interacting with the customer along the way.
In fact, with the right systems in place, you’ll exceed customer expectations and achieve the much sought-after competitive advantage you need to stand out from the crowd.
The Road to Success
Each of the tips we’ve covered is important to your overall success, but building systems is the most critical. You can learn more by downloading our free whitepaper, “Make My Restoration Business Work Without Me”.