In recent years, with the persistent rise in inflation and soaring costs across various sectors such as fuel, food, utilities, construction supplies, there’s been a noticeable constriction in spending. For contractors specializing in concrete floor coatings, this tightening can sometimes translate to a slowing of sales or a drop in average contract prices. In times like these, it’s important to be proactive to keep your business thriving.

When we look at top-performing concrete coatings businesses, there are a few things that they all have in common. Among these are exceptional customer service, a solid foundation of brand trust and effective ads that perform. This article is the first of a three-part series that will explore this winning combination of factors and discuss proven methods that can greatly increase your success and bottom line.

Get Your Customer Service Dialed In!

Customer service is arguably one of the most important attributes that can make or break your business. Any experience from your customers that is viewed as poor can end a relationship and be spread as word of mouth in the same way that a positive one can. You want customers to keep coming back and recommending your business based on their positive experience. So, what does good customer service mean?

Responsiveness

When you’re out in the field, juggling phone calls, text messages, and emails can be a challenge. However, providing excellent customer service entails being attentive and responsive to customer inquiries, concerns, and feedback. Many prospective customers expect immediate assistance when planning a project, and if you’re not readily available to respond, you could risk losing a job to a competitor.
It’s crucial to ensure that incoming calls are promptly attended to (within three rings), even when you’re occupied with ongoing tasks or assisting another customer. Moreover, the individual handling these inquiries should possess adequate knowledge and communication skills to address customer questions effectively and put the customer at ease.

Empathy

No one wants to deal with people that don’t seem to care about them, and customers are no different. In moments where a customer is sharing with you their needs, concerns or frustrations, empathetic responses demonstrate that the business values the customer’s perspective and is committed to resolving issues satisfactorily. Customers who feel heard and understood are more likely to develop a sense of loyalty towards a business, as opposed to those who feel neglected or dismissed. Thus, fostering a culture of empathy within your customer service approach can significantly enhance customer satisfaction and long-term loyalty.

Knowledge

In the competitive landscape of the concrete coatings industry, instilling confidence in your customers hinges on demonstrating unparalleled expertise and knowledge. It’s imperative that both you and your customer-facing staff possess a comprehensive understanding of the materials used and their performance in various environments.

Being perceived as an authority in your field requires mastery not only of the systems you install but also of the intricacies of the installation process itself as well as issues of troubleshooting. By embodying this level of proficiency, you not only reassure your customers but also establish your business as a trusted leader in the industry.

Effective Communication

While we engage in communication daily, effective business communication differs from casual conversations and demands a level of formality and adherence to guidelines. To uphold professionalism, ensure clarity, and cultivate strong relationships with customers, it’s essential to adhere to some basic parameters. These guidelines serve as a foundation for maintaining professionalism and facilitating effective communication in business interactions.

• Answer the call within three rings.
• Immediately introduce yourself.
• Speak clearly.
• Only use speakerphone when necessary.
• Actively listen and take notes.
• Use proper language and avoid profanity.
• Remain cheerful.
• Ask before putting someone on hold or transferring a call.
• Be honest if you don’t know the answer.
• Be mindful of your volume.

Problem-Solving Skills

Few things frustrate customers more than encountering a problem and receiving no resolution. As a contractor, part of your responsibility entails adeptly handling customer issues, complaints, and challenges. This involves providing solutions to problems, taking ownership of resolving issues, and following up to guarantee customer satisfaction. When mistakes occur, taking accountability and diligently working towards resolution is paramount. By owning up to errors and taking proactive steps to rectify them, you demonstrate integrity and commitment to customer satisfaction.

Customization

In your business, you probably have set flooring systems and color options in place to streamline operations. Yet, there are instances where customers seek a more tailored approach. The ability to craft custom flooring solutions can give you a significant edge over competitors. It’s crucial to navigate these situations thoughtfully. Engaging in detailed discussions with the customer, providing mockups, and obtaining approval can foster trust and guarantee satisfaction. By investing time and effort into meeting the unique needs of each customer, you demonstrate a sincere commitment to their vision and preferences.

Consistency

Consistency is a hallmark of a well-managed business, showcasing reliability and building trust among customers. It’s the bedrock upon which your reputation for delivering exceptional customer service is established. Achieving this level of consistency requires that you provide comprehensive training for all staff and crew members.

Regardless of whom the customer interacts with, their experience should be consistently seamless. This entails implementing strict systems for customer interactions, on-the-job procedures, checkpoints, staging, installation, and post-project follow-up. By maintaining consistency across all facets of your organization, you reinforce your commitment to excellence and solidify your position as a trusted provider in the industry.

As you navigate the intricacies of running a concrete coatings business, remember that mastering customer service is an ongoing journey. By prioritizing responsiveness, empathy, knowledge, effective communication, problem-solving, customization, and consistency, you lay the foundation for long-term success and customer satisfaction.

Stay tuned for the next two posts in this series:

Part 2: Building Brand Trust: Strategies for Cementing Your Reputation
Part 3: Crafting Effective Ads: Capturing Attention and Converting Leads