You’ve worked hard to attract your customer. You (thought you) made a strong first impression. You performed the work without a hitch. Why did you never see them again? It may be something that seems minor to you, that to them was so much more. Here’s some easy-to-fix ways you may be losing good business:
1. Over pricing yourself
Getting the market right – for virtually every service – is tough. Make sure you know who is out there, what they provide, and how you compare with respect to price. Even if it isn’t apples to apples service, if it’s close enough, a consumer will likely go with the cheapest even if it delivers a bit less.
2. Showing up late
Being prompt is not old school, it shows you’re professional and reliable. In a recent study, we found 84% of US homeowners believe showing up to the job on time is a major indicator of a service provider’s credibility. Turning up late is a habit that you should quit fast – use a scheduling app, always allow enough time for holdups, and make tardiness a nonnegotiable for your small business.
3. Providing a vague estimate
Make sure your customer always knows exactly what they’re paying for upfront and as your project moves along. Nothing turns a good customer into a suspicious former customer faster than pricing that doesn’t match expectations. Use the estimate to communicate and build trust by providing full detail on expected costs and timing. The more detail you provide, the more transparency you offer around costs and processes.
4. Under communicating
You can never communicate with your clients too much. As a business owner you have to work at establishing trust right off the bat with each customer you serve. Good communication is essential for this to happen. If you expect changes to the timeline or the materials required, communicate it to them as soon as you know. Don’t leave room for any surprises, don’t leave them hanging, and there will be no reason to turn their back on you.
5. Making it a hassle to pay the bill
The payment process is one of the last pieces of the puzzle, and if this goes wrong, it may be all your client remembers. Make it easy, and offer all the options they expect. According to the Federal Reserve’s Cash Product Office, 65% of people would rather pay by debit or credit card than any other form of payment. By accepting online payments, not only are small businesses creating an easier way for customers to pay on the spot, they are seeing that money deposited in their bank account faster. If you’re not already accepting online payments through Invoice2go, you can learn how to turn this feature on here.
6. Failing to follow up
Whether it’s after you send the estimate, or after you’ve completed the job, follow up with your client within a reasonable period of time (typically 2-3 days). No matter how many times someone has done business with you, if they don’t get a follow up, there is the potential for them to think you’re too busy to give them the attention they need. Also, keep in mind your clients are busy too. Sometimes they would have moved forward with the job, but it just fell off their radar. Following up makes sure this doesn’t happen, and you’re keeping your pipeline full.
Looking for tips on how to make a great impression with customers straight off the bat? Read First Impressions Count: 4 Ways to Start Off Strong with New Customers.