Our annual Brothers that just do Gutters conference is the pre-season boost every division looks forward to. This year, a ton of wise words, tools, knowledge, and inspirational discussions were shared. Brian Altmann, Owner of DBS Remodel and our keynote speaker, as well as other members of our team went into depth about the importance of customer service and the value behind your company and product.
Brian’s definition of customer service is “The metric by which value and satisfaction are perceived during a transaction.” This definition touches on two of the most important aspects in client interaction and transactions; value and satisfaction. These two go hand-in-hand. Without value (which is mainly made up of customer service, and treating your client with respect) there is rarely satisfaction. Even if you have the best product on the market, and the most talented craftsmen, without customer service and an excellent, easy client experience, the client will likely not fully be satisfied, and with that, the value of your team, and services provided decreases.
Brian provided us with a very useful example in reference to this topic. He displayed an image of his wife in their home and said, “This is my house, this is my wife. She will never notice a miter joint, but she will notice if there is a mess, days without production, foul language, etc.” The client often notices how they and their home are treated, and their experience, before they actually notice the work you have provided. This in no way means that the work produced is allowed to be subpar because you provide excellent customer service, but it does mean that the superior quality of your work will mean far less if your attitude, and their experience is not also superior.
How Brian at DBS Remodel measures the level of client satisfaction with the service and experience his team provides is by asking each client. Yes, this may seem like we are stating the obvious, but do you really ask your clients, and if you do, are you asking the right questions? In addition to asking questions like “why did you hire us?” and “what did you appreciate most?” don’t forget to also ask “what they liked the least?” and “what areas can we improve in?”
There is value in your company, and your service. Establishing your value with your clients will help them to understand what they are getting, aside from product. These areas are what helps you stand out as a company from the rest. These “above and beyond” type customer service practices, COMBINED with the excellent work you provide to your clients, is the recipe that makes you valuable, and worth hiring.
If a client is strictly making a decision based on price, then there is a chance that they may not be the right client for you, and that’s ok. You are looking for the client that is making a decision based on the value, and the client experience you have created, as well as craftsmanship, not simply based off of price.
One of our Solutionists©, Dana Listemann, also discussed this topic of establishing value at our conference by making distinctions and providing examples of “price vs. value based decisions.” Homeowners are trusting that the contractor they select to work on their home will take good care of it, and will provide them with a pleasant, easy experience. It is very important that these homeowners interview the contractor prior to hiring them to make sure they are the right fit, and it is also important to remember to look for value when hiring someone to work on something that is as big of an investment as a home. The “little things” like customer service, and quality product and exceptional experience are really the big things at the end of the day. Aligning your brand with value is based on far more than the craftsmanship and product you provide. You understanding this as a business owner, or service provider is the first step. Helping your clients see, and understand it comes next.
“Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.” – Warren Buffett