9 Customer Service Tips Every Installer Should Know
If asked what a company is known for, you might assume their logo, colors, or even a catchy tagline. And this isn't a bad guess considering the emphasis we place on marketing and brand recognition. But the truth is, a company's brand is ultimately defined by customer service. Therefore, how the public views an organization primarily hinges on the interactions between customers and employees - in our case, installers.
But, what exactly does good customer service look like in our industry? Of course, it includes a job well done and adequate conversational skills. However, the nature of working inside a customer's home requires an added layer of care. Installers have to be sensitive to this fact and go the extra mile to put their customers at ease.
Working in a client's home may sound like a daunting task, so we compiled several tips to make customer service a breeze, beginning with your first impression.
1. Nail your first impression.
First impressions are critical in customer service because they set the tone for the entire experience. Therefore, it's imperative to put your best foot forward during your introduction - speak clearly, make eye contact, and smile!
On top of a polite introduction, body language and a clean uniform are equally important aspects of a first impression. As an installer, you should stand upright, walk with confidence, and dress for success - tuck in your shirt, wear a belt, and iron your pants.
2. Be Patient.
It's important to remember that customers hire us for a reason - our expertise. Therefore, you should expect them to ask questions, voice concerns, and make requests.
To effectively answer questions or respond to concerns, you must be patient with your customers. Hear them out, never interrupt or respond rudely, and be willing to explain any step of the installation process.
3. Mind your manners.
In customer service, you should never forget your manners. The simple act of saying "please" and "thank you" will often win the respect of customers and reassure them of your professionalism. But remember, your etiquette includes more than simple pleasantries. A significant aspect of being polite is how you behave.
Here are some courteous gestures that go a long way in a customer's home:
4. Honesty is the best policy.
At times, it may feel easier to say what the customer wants to hear, but it's always better to be honest. Stay informed enough to respond to most inquiries and know where to turn if you're unable to answer a question.
Don't be afraid to tell the customer that you don't know the answer to their question. Customers will appreciate your honesty and your efforts to find the correct answer. Situations like these are why we have coordinators, so don't hesitate to pick up the phone. The Container Store Representatives are also helpful resources if you're unsure of something during an installation.
5. Bring a positive attitude.
When working in a customer's house, a positive attitude can be reassuring for the homeowners. After all, not everyone is comfortable having a stranger in their home. That's why installers need to be amiable and upbeat in everything they do.
As mentioned before, body language is a significant aspect of interacting with customers. Simply carrying yourself in a friendly manner will put the customer at ease. However, your most invaluable tool is your smile. It's proven that smiling elevates the mood of those around you and even reduces tension.
6. Practice active listening.
Active listening is the hallmark of good customer service. The customer needs to feel understood, heard, and served. When you're attentive to a client's every word, it demonstrates your commitment to creating a positive customer experience. Furthermore, the customer will feel comfortable expressing requests or concerns directly to the installer, likely reducing service orders in the future.
Fortunately, active listening is an easy concept master, as long you practice the following tips:
7. Be personable.
Customers expect to be treated as human beings, not statistics. That's why installers have to be friendly and show genuine interest in the customer and their installation. The best way to do this is to get to know the client - ask questions, exchange anecdotes, and share a laugh.
That said, remember that there's a fine line between being personable and inappropriate. When getting to know a client, remain within reasonable boundaries of what's acceptable in friendly conversation. Use appropriate language and never ask personal questions.
8. Learn to empathize.
Empathy is the ability to understand how the customer feels and where they're coming from. If you're not a naturally empathetic person, this may seem difficult. But fear not, empathy is a skill you can acquire through practice.
When listening to the customer, try to see the problem through their eyes and imagine how it makes them feel. This is an important customer service skill because they will be more receptive if they feel understood. It can also de-escalate a conflict and create a more enjoyable experience with the company.
9. End every installation with an invitation.
The end of an installation shouldn't be the end of a relationship. You should always conclude a customer interaction with an offer for further service. Doing so demonstrates that you're willing to go the extra mile for your customers.
Below are some examples of invitations that display your commitment to customer service.