Expand Your Window Washing Business By Employing Some Solid Customer Service Tips And Techniques!

Have you ever heard the saying “Success is 90% attitude and only 10% aptitude”?

You may be thinking what in the world does this have to do with window washing and customer service. Well by working on becoming tops in customer service, you are automatically developing a more positive attitude which in turn generates more success for your window washing business.

If, on the other hand, we let the little irritating things creep in or those grumpy customers affect our outlook, then our attitudes take a nose dive. If that happens, our good customer service usually takes a
dive right along with it.

I’ve listed below 3 things that can really make your customer service shine through:

1. Communication…

Lack of communication is probably my biggest pet peave when dealing with most businesses. Maybe you feel the same way (or maybe you don’t) but I just feel it is so rude to leave a customer hanging in the breeze.

How many times have you contacted someone or some company and set up an appointment for them to come over and do some work, or set up an appointment for an estimate, and lo and behold they not only don’t show, but to make matters worse, they don’t even provide you a courtesy phone call.

I don’t have enough fingers and toes to count the times this has happened to me personally. It’s like they can’t be bothered to at least contact you and let you know they’re running late or whatever.

I place “communication” on the top of my customer service list in terms of importance. When you communicate properly, the amount of goodwill you are generating in your window cleaning business can be tremendous.

For example, the night before your scheduled jobs I recommend placing phone calls to your customers as a little reminder that you’ll be swinging by to do their job at such and such a time the next day.

If you’re running late for an appointment, give ’em a call and tell them so. It’s simply inconsiderate to make your window washing customers wonder and wait. So go ahead and create some positive vibes by making a quick 30 second phone call telling them you’re running a tad behind schedule and will be there shortly. They’ll appreciate it and be impressed you cared enough to call.

And contrary to what some window washers think, prospects need to be communicated with also. Yeah I know this is about customer service, but I wanted to throw in a little blurb about prospect service since it’s not talked about too much.

If you give a prospect an estimate and they need to talk it over with a spouse or just “think about it”, it’s super important that you give them a call in 2 to 3 days. It’ll give you a huge leg up over your competition because most of your competitors don’t know how to communicate properly, so they’ll wait
for the prospect to call them. Beat ’em to the punch and close the deal.

And if you’re running late for an estimate, give the prospect a call. All customers start out as prospects, so if you fall down on prospect service with a prospect, you may never get the opportunity to even use good customer service with him or her because they won’t turn into a customer.

So excellent communication with both prospects and customers = more business + more repeat
business + more satisfied customers. Can’t ask for anything more than that.

2. Treat your customer like a close friend…

I’ve been in restaurants and stores where I see waitresses and store clerks just sleep walking through the motions of doing their jobs. That is until a friend or a favorite customer comes in. At that point, they
smile, perk up, and become a different person.

I’m sure you’ve seen the same thing.

But if you can express that kind of friendliness and enthusiasm to ALL customers, you have a tremendous advantage. Why would a customer ever leave you and your company to try an unknown window washer? They won’t.

I’ve had invites to barbecues and family functions from my customers, ended up playing ping pong, foosball, and other games with some of my customers after window cleaning jobs, been asked to join them for dinner after a window cleaning job was done, etc. etc.

So be warm, friendly, and fuzzy, and you’ll gain the loyalty of your customer’s business forever, or at least until they move. :o)

3. Be a customer diplomat…

Being a customer diplomat really involves everything we talked about previously plus some additional aspects to give you even higher marks when it comes to great customer service.

I’m talking about doing a superb window cleaning job, having outstanding communication skills, handling any and all customer service issues or complaints pronto, and anything else that involves trying to make the customer super satisfied.

I stress being a customer service diplomat because most of our profit is derived from repeat business. So we need to go the extra mile to make sure they want us back many times over.

But what about difficult customers?

The beauty of our business is that the vast majority of our customers are quality people who will appreciate our efforts, our service, and our commitment to them.

BUT…there’s always that rare customer out there who feels they have all the answers and wants to duke it out with you over your pricing, your service, etc.

My first response is to definitely not get into some kind of an argument. Be cool, calm, and collected. It’s amazing how fast a person will back down if you can explain your position clearly and with confidence.

Recently, a window washer I know got stuck with what he called “The Negotiators”. Two different customers who were looking for free services, cheaper pricing, or a combination of both.

But in the end by sticking to his guns, he and both customers ended up winners. Paul actually ended up making MORE money on one of the jobs and received glowing reviews from the customer saying he hasn’t seen his windows that clean in 20 years.

The other negotiator, an attorney, said this after the job was done: “You did a really good job on my windows, Thank You! I want you to do the rest of my house and I want you to do my mother’s house too.”

And the icing on the cake was him receiving a referral from this attorney for him to do another attorney’s house.

So the moral of the story is when you run up against a difficult customer or a “negotiator” as Paul calls ’em, be firm, be specific, and be confident. We provide a valuable service done in a professional manner. All we need to do is prove it to the customer.

Worst case scenario…just walk away. I know it’s hard sometimes to walk away from business but I’ve “fired” customers before if I felt that a customer was not only going overboard in his or her demands but also doing it in a rude manner. It’s not worth it.

Anyway…if you need to fire a customer or walk away from a prospect, do it as a last resort obviously, but also remember that there is a boatload of glass out there to clean, so your area is filled to the brim with lots and lots of other prospects.

To close this talk about customer service…

Really focus a lot of your energies on the somewhat boring concept of customer service. I have seen poor customer service literally destroy businesses into the ground and I have seen businesses flourish by providing excellent customer service.

And as I stated above, the fact that our business is repeat in nature, customer service is even more important.

So be a customer diplomat. As I’m sure you’ve all heard, word of mouth is the best advertisement, so just imagine what kind of great things will be said by your customers on the receiving end of your
outstanding customer service.

This really will take your business to new heights while all the non-customer service oriented window washing businesses out there are whistling in the weeds wondering what’s going on and where all their window washing customers went to.

To your Success,

Steve

Small Business Lead Generation Web Sites

Everyone is familiar with e-commerce web sites where people can make purchases through a shopping cart and a check out area. There is another style of site that might be useful for local small businesses. These are called lead generation or business development web sites, and it is particularly effective if the product or service offered has a high ticket price, like real estate sales, for example. Also, if the long term value of the customer is high because the customer needs to use the product or service many times over a long period, then this type of business would benefit from having one of these as well. Examples of this case would be a local chiropractor or dentist.

These sites can work in conjunction with the small business owner’s regular site, which might feature the name of the business the URL in many cases. So having a lead generation web site is not an either-or situation, and the small business owner can have a couple of web sites working for him. The lead generation site might have a URL that is general in nature, like “San Diego Dentist” for example rather than name of the business.

Many small business owners are intimidated, however, with the price of having a web site built for them. This can easily cost from $2,000 to $8,000. Unless your enterprise is gushing money, that can be a hard pill to swallow for an individual real estate agent or other small business person.

Pay-per-click advertising can be used to bring in web traffic, but these types of sites work best with generic traffic that comes from search engines which is of course free, if you know how to get this traffic. So this means that the web site developer needs to really know something about search engine optimization. A lot of site developers will say they know what needs to be done, but most have little experience with actually getting onto the first page of search engine results.

If you do succeed in generating traffic then bona fide leads and real prospects need to be developed. The technique here is to interest visitors in the offer such that they will sign up on an email list to get more information about the products or services. A series of automatic emails is then sent to the prospect giving solid and useful information that the prospect can actually use. This helps build trust and a relationship between the prospect and the small business person, hopefully leading to sales.

Lead Generation for Small Business: A Simple and Effective Strategy to Follow

Lead generation for small business is one of the simplest and quickest ways to increase the number of customers and generate more revenue. That may sound like a bold claim, but in fact it’s borne out by facts from the real world – numbers of sales.

Here is why

Lead generation for Small Business

is such an effective strategy, and why you should certainly use it in your business.

Market differentiation. It sounds like a complex and difficult concept, but all this means is that generating leads makes you stand out in the market and appear different from your competitors, and that can only be a good thing. Most businesses – and that includes your competitors – will focus on making sales (for the most part a completely ineffective strategy) and will appear the same to your prospects.

It looks at the long term. Your prospects want to buy stuff, but they might not want to buy it just yet. If you concentrate on lead generation instead of making sales there and then, you accept this fact, and concentrate on getting your prospects to get to know you first.

More chances to sell. Funnily enough, by not concentrating on sales, lead generation gives you more chances to sell. In effect, you concentrate on building a relationship with your prospects, and selling over time.

Once you understand the importance of these three points, you can start to put a system together to get your lead generation moving. The first thing you need is a way to collect contact details, and as many as possible. This can include emails, postal addresses, phone and even old-fashioned fax (yes, some people still use them). But of all these, email is the best, simply because it’s cheap and convenient, and the strange thing is that most businesses are not taking advantage of it at all.

One of the best ways to collect email addresses is to advertise a page on your website that gives something away for free, especially some free information. A great method is to write a small report about how to choose a provider of your service. Titles can be things like: “Seven Things You Need to Know Before You Choose A…” then insert your business-type (electrician, plumber, house decorator etc.)

The great thing is that this makes you appear the expert, and probably nobody else in your market is doing this. In short, you’re starting a relationship by giving something for free, and also increasing the perception of your business as the best one to go to.

Once you have your prospects’ details, you can email them regularly, giving even more valuable information, and sell to them over time. This almost always leads to an increase in business, and great conversion rates to any offers or promotions you run. Even better, most other small businesses won’t have the courage to do this, or simply won’t be bothered to try, and that puts anyone who does do it at a great advantage.

All you have to do is simply put it into practice, and reap the rewards.

So what are you waiting for?

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