I love great customer service. It keeps me loyal to that business. One of the things I look for is how well they communicate effectively with me. Whether it’s through a text to confirm my appointment or an email to thank me for my business, it’s all wrapped into the service they offer. Follow-through is important to me from beginning to end. Now to raise the question, how do you communicate effectively with your clients?
Communicate Effectively with Green Industry Clients
The following are a few tips to have a win-win for both you and your client and keep them returning or referring your business to others.
- When a customer calls in to set up an appointment with your estimator, do you send a confirmation email? A confirmation email should thank them for calling, have the date, time and who will be arriving at the estimate or consultation from your firm. If there is a fee for the consult, let them know how much and how payment can be paid. Give them a basic understanding of what you will include in the consultation. When should they expect to receive the proposal? The more information provided will communicate effectively with your clients that you are a professional and run the company as such.
- The day before arriving and courtesy call or email reminder is always a good idea for both parties. Sometimes unexpected events occur, and the client might forget the set time. This reminder is an opportunity to communicate effectively again by reiterating what will take place at the first appointment.
- After the consultation meeting, it might be advantageous to email them letting them know that the proposal is in progress and when they should expect it. The email can also be used to clarify any questions the estimator might have before finalizing the proposal. Turning this document around within a week or less will give yet another reason for them to hire you and your company.
- When sending out the proposal, it might be appropriate (depending on the size of the job) to talk to the client on the phone before sending it. This email is yet another touchpoint when you can communicate effectively with your client about the costs and the products/plant material used. Giving details and explanations of how you will proceed with the project from start to finish will enable the client to feel more comfortable with the process and ensure that you are a professional in this industry.
- Did the client receive the email proposal? A number of apps give this type of information or call them to inquire and if they have any questions. Follow up one to two days after the sent proposal will ensure you are paying attention to their needs and ready to assist.
- Make it easy to get the job. Use an easy document signing app online (I recommend HelloSign) and take their deposit. The less paperwork they have to fill out and send in, the faster the job will get processed. Keep up with these documents in the client’s file for easy reference and payment records.
- Once the proposal is signed and the deposit is received, send out a confirmation email that states the projected date of their job installation. People like to plan. This date is also necessary, so the affected utility companies can be notified if there will be digging. Communicate effectively with your client around the date, time and how long the project should last.
- Five to ten days before the scheduled appointment, call or send out another email confirming again the time (weather can play havoc on a calendar schedule) and date expected to start the job. This touchpoint also gives a chance to remind the client to call 811 before digging and have the utilities located.
- A day before, call or email the customer. Tell them what to expect the day of installation. Remind them of the job foreman, the estimator’s phone number or office phone and what to expect of them for the job to commence smoothly. This touchpoint is a good time to remind them to keep children and pets inside or away from the installation space. Also, it is an opportunity to respond to their questions. Get information on where the trucks and equipment will be parked and how traffic will flow in and out. Inform them to please communicate with their neighbors of the work that will be in process. Communicate effectively through phone calls or emails will put the client at ease and build consumer trust and appreciation.
- If the crews are going to be late for the job, train them to contact the office and let someone know so the client can be informed promptly of the delay and when they will arrive.
Each step of the process from beginning to end needs the company representative to communicate effectively with the client. Keeping people informed helps to grow businesses for repeat business and referrals. How are you communicating with your clients? If you need help forming a series of emails, give me a call. I’d love to help you be a better communicator!