We always talk about "building relationships" with people in order to build your cleaning business, and we truly believe this is the best way -- at least if you're looking for long-term customers.
Now that you've worked on building the relationships, how are you going to keep that relationship going with your customers? One of the most important things you need to do in order to keep your customers long-term, is to gain their trust. How can you do that?
- Under-promise and over-deliver.
Don't just strive for delivering exactly what you say you'll deliver. Strive for OVER-delivering. For example, if a customer asks if you can come in sometime in the next week to do some carpet spotting, don't just come in a few days later to do the spotting. Sure, that will make them happy, but if you come in TODAY to take care of it, then you'll probably WOW them when they come in to work the next day to see the spots are gone.
- Be reliable...always.
If a customer needs something, respond quickly. If you tell the customer you'll get back to them by tomorrow, then get back to them by tomorrow. If you provide a specialized service like carpet cleaning, follow up with them to see if they're satisfied. None of these things take a lot of time, but each time you do them you build trust with that customer.
- Tell the truth.
Never lie to your customers. You'll lose their trust and lose them as a customer faster than you can say Mississippi. Sometimes people lie, cover-up, or stretch the truth when they find themselves in a sticky situation. This is not the right way to handle your customers. They'll see right through you. If you've done something wrong or made a mistake, own up to it. You'll earn your customer's respect and probably keep them as a customer if you always tell the truth.
- Ask questions.
Asking questions shows the customer that you're taking an interest in their situation and want to help solve their problem. Asking questions helps you to understand what's going on, and gives you the information you need to find the right solution. The customer will trust you more because they know you're trying to the see situation as they see it.
- Provide excellent service.
Hold yourself and your employees to high standards. The fewer times your customer has to reach for the phone to call you with a complaint, the more trustworthy you'll become in their eyes. Chances are, when they pick up the phone it will be to ask for your advice in dealing with a problem they've encountered.
Building trust with your customers doesn't happen overnight, it takes time. However it doesn't take a lot of effort to build trust. It's those the little things that can make the difference - calling to follow up, replying to their calls immediately, and providing the best service you can, all contributes to building trust.