Top tips for keeping customers happy from Heating Engineer Andy Gibbs

In the latest issue of Installer magazine, Heating Engineer and regular columnist Andy Gibbs gave his top tips for keeping customers happy;

So this column is going to be about business development, or more specifically, customer relations, as without customers, your business won’t develop anywhere.

Customer service is key, and it’s something you don’t get taught in college, even though it’s possibly the most important weapon in your armoury.

It’s really, really important. Your work may be absolutely amazing, but if you drive a rust bucket and arrive looking scruffy, you’ve lost the battle already. First impressions really do count here.

Getting and keeping the customer onside is key. Once they believe in you, it doesn’t really matter too much what you do to their house, so long as you deliver heating and hot water at the end of the job.

You need to get them to absolutely love you; then they’re your customer for life.

So, how do we achieve this?

First, we must remember that we have been invited into their house. Therefore we must respect their rules. You have two ears and one mouth, so use them in equal proportion.

Listen to their needs and deliver what they want. Simple really isn’t it?

Well, almost, but obviously there are some hurdles to get over along the way.

I’m not giving away every single secret to winning and keeping customers, but here’s a few good ideas:

  • Keep the van clean, at least on the outside
  • Make sure you look tidy – this one is important
  • Ask how they like to be addressed
  • Ask if it’s OK to park on their drive and park your van nicely
  • Arrive on time, and phone them if you’re more than 15 minutes late
  • Communication is key. Explain what, why and when. Talk to them about what you are going to do, to achieve and what they want
  • Make a show of laying dust sheets and tidying up. It shows you care about their property
  • If you mess up, apologise and take ownership of the issue.

It’s all about giving the customer what they want, they pay your wages. The customer is King, or at least you must make them think that they are.