What makes a great customer experience? It may seem like a large question, but I hope to help unpack our perspective on customer service in this article. At No Drip Painting our goal is to provide an unmatched level of customer service and leave our clients beyond satisfied with the experience they shared with us.
A great customer experience has less to do with the quality of their paint job (although this is important too!) and more to do with the way customers end up feeling about their interactions, perceived respect and overall presence of the crew during work. Worksite professionalism is something that seems to get overlooked in construction, however, we think it’s the most important piece of our job.
Here are 6 things that we feel contribute to a successful customer experience.
First impressions matter! Whether you are early, on time or thirty minutes late-you are forever etching your first impression in the mind of the client. You have to have very real conversations with yourself about the impression you want to stamp on the project, then plan, proactively, to make that impression achievable. I get compliments all of the time on behalf of our crew members due to their prompt, and often slightly ahead of schedule, arrival; this is only possible by clear communication, advanced planning and scheduling and ensuring crew members have all the tools and resources they need to start the project.
At No Drip Painting we set ourselves apart by our appearance. The crew is expected to arrive in clean painters attire and to take pride in their daily appearance. We tell our painters that the way they look and feel about themselves has a direct impact on the work they produce for clients. We don’t want to be lumped in the group of painters that show up wearing the same dirty clothes they’ve been wearing for the last week. Our guys are provided with unlimited shirts, hats, sweatshirts and more in order to support our brand, build a sense of ‘team’, and leave no excuse to be anything but clean at each project. The real intent is to help spread the pride we take in our craft, and it begins by showing pride in ourselves.
Do What Is Expected
Demonstrate respect and competency on the job site by doing what customers expect you to do. A company is nothing without trust from their clients and being approachable and in line with the expectations of customers is just how you build that foundation.
Example: If your quote states you will do two coats then you should do two coats; just because the one coat seems to look ‘good enough’, there really is no such thing as ‘good enough’.
Cleanliness of Site
Keeping a clean and organized job site comforts your client. Cleanliness makes them feel as though you are taking care of their space and delivers even further on your perceived job competency. When we start a project we always identify a location, approved by the customer, to store our tools. We keep that area clean, protected and ready to organized for the duration of the project. In addition to a clean site, we over-stress to all of our painters that they must consistently maintain quality, safe and clean tools for each project.
Note: Cleanliness is not just for your client, it helps your crew too. Neat and orderly work leads to less mishaps and more work efficiency.
Interaction With Crew
Demonstrating respect to all team members on your project goes without question. Customers notice how you treat your painters and how your painters treat their teammates. Occasionally on job sites we come across a situation with another trade where the head honcho is ripping into one of their subordinates. We are often shocked about the lack of professionalism, but unfortunately these things seem to be acceptable to some. Rise above the frustration, unavoidable scheduling conflicts or difficult conversations that lead to tempers or confusion and consciously practice positive interactions and problem solving instead.
Communication is key when it comes to your customer. It is my experience that over communicating never does you any harm. On the flip side, if you forget to give a project update or don’t respond to a message, it could cast a dark shadow on your customer’s overall experience. Even worse- it could destroy your customer’s perception of the company. The last thing you want is your customer to think you’re too busy for them. Customers want to feel important and believe their project is your top priority, regardless of how busy you are. Practice time management and honest communication and your projects are more likely to excel.
We hope this helps re-center your focus on customer service and your customer experience. Never focus more on the paint than you do the people.