Written by Ari Greenbaum, Co-founder of conXpros
If you have seen the recent Taraji P. Henson movie, What Men Want (2019), or the Mel Gibson movie What Women Want (2000), then you know the game changing advantage one gains by knowing what someone else is thinking. Although we do not have the magic formula that will allow you to literally read your customers minds, this article will offer up some powerful insights that will certainly help you feel like you know exactly what your customers want.
When it comes to choosing the right contractor for their home improvement project, there are many factors that will move the home owner to a decision. While the price is important to many, there is a lot more that the customers are tuned into. Here are some of the traits and qualities that your customers are basing their decisions on:
1. Care for their time: Whether you are responding to a lead from a service like conXpros or from any of your advertising, customers expect and want you to show that you are interested in providing them service. This starts with contacting a prospective customer in a timely fashion. Often in today’s world of instant gratification, that means immediately. The care for their time is not limited to making the first contact. When you set appointments, you must show up on schedule. Often, failure to be punctual is the primary reason a customer chooses to work with someone else that made a better first impression by valuing their time.
2. Exceptional quality of work: Customers will not have the ability to experience the quality of your work first hand until you have completed the job. Of course, the quality of your work and finished product is highly important, but it’s not the quality of work you do on the customer’s home that will determine if you have the opportunity to do the work for them. Customers prefer to be “shown” rather than “told”. Choose examples that best highlight the quality of work and craftsmanship that you offer and make them available to the customer. With the mobile technology available today (tablets, iPad, etc), there is no excuse for not having a “brag book” of projects you have completed for other highly satisfied clients. Additionally, have testimonials to support the pictures (I highly suggest video testimonials to make the best impression. Also, having a modern and high-quality website with photos will also help reinforce your professionalism and impress your potential customer.
3. Responsiveness: Back in the days before smart phones, SMS and messenger apps, it was acceptable get back to someone within 24 hours. However, in the modern world not only is it unacceptable to let hours pass by before responding to a customer, it is expected that you are available to your customers 24/7. This is a bit of an exaggeration, but because technology allows us to never be out of reach, there is a necessity to respond to customers much faster than ever before. Fortunately, there are many options at your fingertips; phone, text, email, & messenger. Send the message that you care about your customers’ needs by shining in this area. Your responsiveness will be judged and is a determining factor in whether or not you get hired.
4. Expertise: The old saying “knowledge is power” is accurate, but unless you share that knowledge with your potential customer, it will render you powerless. Customers need to know that they are dealing with a pro. Someone that can be relied upon because they have the experience, training, and expertise to meet the need of the customer. Offer advice and suggestions based on your knowledge and experience. How you speak with a potential client and leaving the image that they are dealing with a pro, will determine the level of trust & confidence the customer has in you, and ultimately determine if you are the right company for their needs.
5. Honesty & integrity: Customers want to trust the company they will hire to perform work in their most sacred place…their home. Don’t just say what you do, rather do what you say.
6. Clear & easy to understand estimates: There are very few consumers in the world to whom cost is not a primary factor. Customers want to have clarity of what they are paying for. They expect a simple and clear estimate with the details of where their money is going. Itemized estimates are the standard, and with easy to use software, providing a professional, clear, and itemized estimates is a piece of cake. This is an investment worth making. Of course, being fair and honest in your pricing will go a long way towards earning the trust of the client.
7. Friendliness: Customers won’t hire a contractor they don’t feel comfortable with or that they can get along with. They’re looking for someone not only who they trust, but who they feel comfortable enough letting into their home. You are not at there home on a social call, but you are a fellow human. Show genuine friendliness and desire to provide an exceptional customer experience. When choosing between competing companies and all else is equal, the customer is going to go with the company/person they feel most connected to. Be friendly, kind & smile often.
In conclusion, do some self-analysis of these areas and strive to improve where possible. This list is what customers want. If you approach every opportunity with this knowledge and you are prepared to give them what they desire, you will increase your success.