Every contact with a customer is an opportunity to stun them with your level of service.
How often have you left a restaurant or a service business and felt a tinge of regret from having to pay for sub par service?
Every customer, every franchisee and every tech we speak to needs to walk away from the interaction with one clear feeling: Wow!
In the locksmith business it is not a complicated set of standards:
1. Answer the phone quickly and friendly, who ever is calling probably didn’t plan to have to use us today. Be considerate of their time and LISTEN.
2. Be honest, give an upfront price and let them know that they won’t pay anything if we can’t solve the problem.
3. Give the best estimated time of arrival or schedule time that you can. If something is going to cause a delay, let them know immediately. If you call someone and don’t get through, text them the update if they are textable. Voice mail makes your problem into your customers problem…it’s not their responsibility to try and keep up with us.
4. When you get onsite greet the customer, introduce yourself with the intent of starting a life long relationship, not a one time event.
5. Tell them what you understand the problem to be, then let them confirm it. They have probably had to explain their problem from scratch to multiple people and don’t want to have to go through that again.
6. Fix the problem, go the extra mile if need be to meet the END RESULT that the customer needs, even if it means spending more time than you planned initially.
7. Don’t sell used parts as new. Give the customer the option to use an aftermarket part or OEM, don’t assume that they don’t want to pay a little more to go with OEM quality parts.
8. Offer an extra key, everybody needs one and we can do it right and for cheaper while we are already onsite. Don’t just assume that they can’t afford it or don’t want it. You are probably going to save them some money down the road. Ask about this early on in the job so they can give it some thought. Nobody likes being put on the spot at the last minute…do you?
9. Write a detailed, legible invoice with not only a description of what you did but WHY you did it. For example, “Installed guard plate on door to deter break ins due to exposed latch.” Charge what you quoted even if you had to do a little extra. If the job was completely different, make sure you communicate with the customer BEFORE incurring additional expenses on their behalf.
10. Follow up with a phone call, email or in-person a short while after to see if the service met their expectations. If you could only ask one question of your customer, it should be, “Would you recommend our company to your close friends and family if they needed our service?” If not, WHY NOT and how can you fix it in the future.
Customer service is not just a bunch of corporate speak, it’s a true, real-deal relationship with another human being…If done right it can last a lifetime.