Focusing on Serving Customers Leads to Sales

10/31/2019

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Industry Insights

It’s time for a shift in thinking. As a small business owner, you’re always focused on generating enough revenue to keep the doors open. And making ends meet is all about closing more sales, right?
 
Wrong.
 
If you want to build your pest management business and see solid future growth, it’s time to stop selling to your customers and start serving them instead. This is the only way to create those wow-factor moments that will not only build customer loyalty, but make them recommend you to their family and friends as well.
 
In today’s digital-driven convenience culture, it’s not enough for pest management services to compete on price. By the time the customer calls you, they’ve already researched pricing online and know what to expect. What they’re looking for is an experience, how a service provider makes them feel. Do they trust you? Do they feel like you have their best interest at heart? This is vital because a purchase for the home is emotional rather than logical. 
 
Business trainer and sales consultant Jeffrey Gitomer said, “People don’t like to be sold, but they love to buy.”
 
When you’re selling, the focus is on you and what’s in your best interest. When customers buy, they’re making choices they feel good about. Keep the focus on serving customers, and everything else will fall into place.
 
START STRONG
Serving customers starts before they ever contact you. A servant-leader anticipates needs, and wants and seeks to educate customers about their choices and the benefits of service.
 
Today’s consumers are researching their options online ahead of time, so make it easy for them. Make sure your website can be read easily on a smartphone. Make it easy for them to reach out and receive quick response in the way that feels best for them, whether that is phone, text, email, online forms or live chat.
 
Before engaging with customers, prepare your mindset ahead of time. Be positive, and don’t make judgments about customers based on what you think you know about them. A negative mindset will set you up for failure. Instead, shift your thinking to what a great opportunity it is to serve these customers.
 
Prepare yourself on the drive to accounts, to serve customers through education. Remind yourself that they have a problem you can solve to your mutual benefit, and put the focus firmly on serving them.
 
REAL-WORLD IMPRESSIONS
Each time you make a service call, customers are welcoming you into their homes. It is an extremely personal transaction, and while you may make dozens of calls a week, this is a rare experience for them. Set their minds at ease and show them they are dealing with a trustworthy professional.
 
To demonstrate this, make every point of contact with customers professional: The appearance of your vehicle, the cleanliness of your uniform, the way you greet them and introduce yourself — all should communicate that they’ve made the right decision in choosing your company.
 
During service calls, listen to your customers and respect their knowledge of their own homes. Supplement that knowledge with your professional pest management expertise. Ask great questions, listen to the answers, and take notes, all with a positive outlook, empathy and understanding. 
 
Present customers with clearly explained options, and be open and honest about the pricing and benefits of each. Consumers are used to being “sold,” and they’re extremely alert to the ways they might be taken advantage of. Earn their trust through transparency, and you’ll be more likely to earn their business.
 
GO ABOVE AND BEYOND
Always respect the choices customers make. If they went with the lowest-priced option you presented, validate that choice. Remember, they know their homes and finances best. Set clear expectations of what will happen next, including a realistic timeline, then honor those expectations. Keep your mindset positive, and wherever you can, add extra touches that will benefit customers and give them a great experience.
 
Keep serving customers after the call. Don’t operate on a “no-news-is-good-news” basis. Proactively reach out to customers to make sure your service is working within their expectations, and if it isn’t, make it right. If they are happy with the service, ask them to leave a review for you online. Then, send a thank-you note and consider enclosing a gift like a discount on their next service.
 
PRICE ISN’T ENOUGH
If you try to compete on price alone, you increase the chances that you will fail. Think of the flagship brands you know, like Disney, Apple or even Chick-Fil-A. They don’t compete on price, or even on the commodity they sell, but on superior, over-the-top service and customer experience.
 
Once customers realizes you are there to serve them, to solve their problems and make their life better, you have created brand loyalty for life. Service is the value proposition where we compete beyond price, the true currency of the experience economy. 
 
So, change your mindset. Change your focus. You can grow your business through this simple paradigm shift. Just remember that you’re there to serve, and the sale will come to you.
 
Courtesy: Brigham Dickinson is president and founder of PowerChats, an artificial intelligence-powered website chat service that specializes in helping home service companies generate and capture more leads. Learn more at powerchats.com. To read more articles like this, visit mypmp.net, and subscribe to Pest Management Professional magazine.

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