Managing Your Business

Managing your business can be stressful, and leading others can add to that stress. If you are not conscientious of how your are projecting yourself as a leader, it can result in poor productivity and disorganization. Below are 20 ways to lead your team to a better place and promote a culture that embraces collaboration, ideas, and team vision.

  1. Give them the freedom to use their talents. The best leaders step aside and allow those on their team to do what they do best. Control leads to compliance, but autonomy leads to engagement – and, in return, unleashes greatness.
  2. Give them permission to make mistakes. Make sure your people know it’s better to fail than to be timid. If you are going to create great teams, ensure that those you lead understand that mistakes are part of the process – and they have the power to turn you into something better than you were before.
  3. Guide them to work together toward a compelling vision. Working toward a common vision is the beginning of progress for any team, and a sure sign they’re on the road to success. When your team learns to work together and instead of as individuals pulling in separate directions, things start to find meaning. It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you work together toward a shared vision.
  4. Show up as the leader and develop leaders within. As the leader, you’ll find that your own habits ripple out to your team, so show up as a leader and lead by example. Make sure what you say is in line with what you do. Then, take the next step by encouraging your team to step into their own leadership. Give every team member the ability to move into a suitable leadership role by empowering and encouraging them.
  5. Give them what they need to be successful. There’s a simple way to find out what your team needs. Ask them. You may not always be able to give them everything they want, but you can always work hard to make sure they have everything they need.
  6. Create an environment of fun and enjoyment. Everyone performs better when they are able to relax and are having a good time. Fun is the element that allows people to make it through the difficult tasks and overwhelming deadlines. The best leaders know how to make it work without compromising the team’s work ethic or commitment to excellence.
  7. Model accountability and teach responsibility. Be the kind of leader people can trust to follow through on everything you say. Great leaders know they need to develop a reputation for being true to their word. It tells others they can count on you and shows the kind of behavior you expect from your team.
  8. Be decisive and purposeful. Decisions need to be made on a constant basis. Thriving teams with great leaders know how to act decisively and with purpose. Growth and success are contingent on determined action. Procrastination and perfectionism will constantly slow everything down. The best leaders have the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others.
  9. Don’t underestimate the power of EQ. It can be hard to understand, but EQ is just as important as IQ. If your emotional abilities aren’t in hand, if you don’t have self awareness, if you cannot manage your distressing emotions, if you can’t have empathy and effective relationships – then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far with your team or leadership.
  10. Teach them that everything is hard before it’s easy. Encourage your team to persist until something happens. Remember that they will never know their limits until they’re pushed to the edge. Great leaders know that when you push people to their limits, you are teaching them to always go further. When you exceed your limits often enough, you realize that there are really no limits.
  11. Give them something to learn and grow on. The best teams, like the best leaders, are never stagnant. Build plenty of opportunities for your team members to learn and grow – whether it’s a class, a conference, or even a reading group or lunchtime seminar series.
  12. Show them fearlessness, and encourage them to be brave. As a leader, you need to show your team to take chances and go out on a limb. Great leaders coach and teach their team. They are right there with them, not on the sidelines screaming and instilling fear, but showing them fearlessness and stoking the bravery within them.
  13. Earn their respect, and give them yours. The way to unleash greatness in your team is to both show them respect and give them a reason to respect you. Mutual respect is critical to any team, so set an example by treating everyone you encounter with respect.
  14. Admit you don’t have all the answers. Transparency is important, and so is showing your human side. Let your team see that leadership doesn’t mean having all the answers – or pretending to. Instead, focus on leading everyone toward greatness by showing them the benefits of collaborative problem solving.
  15. Create win-win situations. The highest level of success comes not from beating others out but from creating win-win solutions. Everyone benefits from little gains along the way, and the more opportunities you create, the bigger the benefit.
  16. Be agile and flexible. Great leaders embrace agility and honor flexibility, because they know things are constantly changing. Flexibility is a fundamental requirement for leadership. Being an agile and flexible leader aligns with the need for your team to be collaborative and cooperative, and it empowers teams to hold those qualities.
  17. Get personal as you are being professional. Sometimes, building a great team means building a personal relationship with each member of your team. It doesn’t have to be a close friendship, but a recognition of people as fully developed human beings and not just team members who get the job done. Make sure you spend time getting to know them. Show them that you genuinely care about them and have their best interests in mind. In return, you’ll have a team that’s ready to unleash their greatness.
  18. Be honest and encourage candor. A great leader is honest. They encourage their teams to be transparent and speak with candor. It is important that everyone feels that they can speak with honesty, especially when things go wrong. Honesty leads to problems being dealt with and difficulties being solved. Honesty is the best policy.
  19. Be accessible and available. Part of being a leader involves being there for your team. If they have questions or need advice, make sure it’s easy for them to access you. With mobile email and cell phones, there is no reason your team shouldn’t be able to reach you when they need to.
  20. Consistently praise them, and always appreciate them. If you want a great team and happy people, you have to praise them, acknowledge them, and praise them some more. When you let your team know you’re aware of what they are and what they can become, you begin reaping the benefit of their growing greatness.

Customer Service Skills Needed by HVAC Technicians

The BLS reports that employers sometimes prefer candidates with technical training to those with no secondary education. In addition to having substantial technical expertise, HVAC technicians should also possess good customer service skills. Here are some customer service tips for HVAC techs entering the field.

Learn to Listen

Listening to customers about the specific issues they’re having with their heating and cooling systems helps technicians pinpoint problems more quickly. Being good means knowing which questions to ask and how to ask them. For instance, simply asking a homeowner to describe a certain sound that the system made prior to malfunctioning can provide you valuable information concerning the cause of the breakdown.

Communicate Clearly

HVAC repair and maintenance professionals should be careful not to use overly technical language when talking to customers, because most won’t be familiar with HVAC jargon. It’s essential to have the ability to explain the basics of how heating and cooling systems work in plain language. For instance, you should be able to explain clearly why regular filter changes help keep HVAC systems functioning smoothly without being overly technical.

Remain Focused

Besides knowing which questions to ask customers, it’s also important for you to ask yourself the right questions when you go on a call. Here are some questions:

  • What is the system is supposed to do?
  • What is the system failing to do?
  • Which are the missing or malfunctioning components preventing the system from working properly?
  • What steps need to be taken to solve the problem and get the system up and running again?

Be Patient and Understanding

Those with HVAC certification routinely find themselves in a variety of situations throughout the workday. Entering people’s homes to work on their HVAC systems can expose technicians to circumstances that require considerable patience and understanding. For instance, a hectic household with crying children and harried parents can be a difficult work environment. It’s easy to become impatient when trying to perform complex work in a distracting environment. However, it’s important for HVAC technicians to be handle these situations professionally. This increases the likelihood of getting the job done and keeping the customer happy.

Why Contractors Need to Deliver on the Customer Experience – Not Just a Quality Product

The customer experience is the new product. Today’s homeowners are evaluating contractors on the quality of experience not just the quality of the product.

Why construction contractors are falling short on delivering a positive customer experience?
As contractors, we’re not just building and delivering a project, we must build a relationship with the customer. When discord strikes during a construction project it’s usually not the final product that a homeowner is unhappy with, it’s the process.

What is customer experience?
Customer experience is defined by interactions between a client and a construction contractor throughout their project relationship. Interaction can include cultivation, advocacy, communication and service.

The customer experience is an integral part of a construction project because a customer who has a positive experience with a contractor is more likely to become a repeat and loyal customer. A positive customer experience can impact the willingness of a customer to be a loyal advocate by way of referrals.


Building Strong Business Relationships

  1. Be Authentic
    It’s easy to create a false persona, especially online, but that is not the way to start a relationship and short lived when we start qualifying people and companies. Find people and companies you feel a natural connection and ease of communication with and things you both have in common. The authenticity of connecting personality, beliefs and point of view can accelerate relationships.
  2. Identify Shared Goals and Values
    We seek out people in life we like and share similar goals and values with. Are they honest, kind, knowledgeable, helpful? How do they treat others? This is about moral character. Do we respect them? Too many people present themselves one way, only to take advantage of people once they have their trust. We may not always share the same point of view with everyone, but the shared values are a must.
  3. Develop Mutual Respect
    We prove ourselves over time and through different activities and experiences. Join a chamber, professional group, or online community, which are all great environments to develop relationships. Be patient, selective, and watch people in action. Building mutual respect is an essential for growing relationships.
  4. Share Some Vulnerability
    We are human and sometimes that means sharing and supporting people through difficulty, challenge and change. Showing our vulnerability is part of our authenticity. One word of caution: this is best shared with a select few rather than more publicly. Use good judgment here.
  5. Make Meaningful Connections for People to Network with Each Other
    The greatest compliment in business is a referral. We should be thoughtful, have the right motives, and be connecting people for the right reasons. Not all referrals work out. It takes two to make it happen and work, so don’t be doing all the work.
  6. Let Go of Expectations
    Always go into relationships with an open mind, realistic expectations, and never assume. People are only who we think they are based on what our interactions have been with them. If we have preconceived expectations of people, then we are setting ourselves up for disappointment.
  7. Schedule Brainstorming Time
    Block out dedicated time to brainstorm, engage, and do business together. Best to set a regular time, a time limit, and an agenda for what you want to accomplish in it. Leave some time for unexpected discussion.
  8. Offer Something Before Asking for Something
    When we educate, help, and inspire others with our experience and expertise, we are building the foundation for trust that underlies relationships that endure. When we blog, create content, speak, do a workshop, webinar, write an eBook, or go to events, we are serving and helping.
    When we get more serious and engaged on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media where community gathers and exchanges ideas, we are serving and helping. Serving and helping builds trust like nothing else.

Business Management Best Practices

  1. Assess yourself: Undertake a personal audit or self-assessment to identify your strengths and weaknesses. Work to your strengths and address your weaknesses – there is a great deal of help and assistance out there if you look.
  2. Surround yourself with a good team: You are responsible for producing, selling, customer care, financing, collecting bad debts, bookkeeping, etc. But it is not essential that you undertake all of these tasks unaided. It may be more cost-effective to allow professional and experienced people in particular sectors to assume some ‘chores’ with which you are not comfortable. This will you the time to undertake those tasks with which you are, paying for their work from the increased turnover you are now capable of earning.
  3. Assess your product: Are you confident that your product is of a high quality in design and production? Are you confident that there is a market for it? Are you confident that your potential customers will pay the price you calculate necessary to meet your costs?
  4. Know your market and competitors: It is essential that you know your market, as without this knowledge you cannot plan your route to market or the means of promotion you will use to inform your customers of your existence. It is also essential that you have a comprehensive knowledge of your competitors, as this knowledge will allow you to distinguish what the market will stand and identify the gaps in the market.
  5. The ability to recognize opportunities: Are you truly an entrepreneur? An entrepreneur will be studying the market and trends at all times and may go out on a limb (armed with good information) to seize an opportunity. All decisions should be taken based on information; knowledge is the greatest asset of any business.
  6. Costing and pricing: This is one of the most difficult tasks you need to address. It is imperative that you know your break-even point: the number of units sold that will cover the costs of your raw materials, your overheads, and your production time. Only when you know this figure (plus that of your competitors) will you be comfortable in the knowledge of how high or low your price may go.
  7. Good terms of trade and paperwork: Everything you communicate to your customer should be of a quality to promote you in a very positive manner. Your product should have good packaging, branding, and promotional materials. Your invoices should be clear and accurate and concisely show your terms of trade – how and when you expect to be paid.
  8. Keep clear records: There is no mystery to bookkeeping. It is nothing more than a filing system of the day-to-day transactions of your business. If you do not record and understand the transactions, your business will control you rather than you controlling it.
  9. Be tax-compliant: It is a legal obligation to register for tax with the Revenue Commissioners when you commence self-employment. Registering for tax does not necessarily mean paying tax in the early stages of your business. It may actually result in a repayment – should a number of circumstances be in play – for example, you may be paying PAYE on your employment while making a loss due to the investment in your craft business. Being able to claim the Artists’ Exemption on certain products also may be a benefit to registration.
  10. Planning: The key to a successful business is planning your project from day one. Planning is about making choices which should only be made on the basis of good information.

Building Your Business

Is it time to grow your business? Are you looking to expand into new markets or territories? Growing your business, regardless of whether you’re just starting out or have been in the industry for years, requires careful planning. In order to strategically scale up your operations, you must ensure you will have the resources (workers, equipment, etc.) to handle the additional work.

Here are 12 tips to help you successfully grow your business:

  1. Build a great team. Your people are your business. Hire dependable, knowledgeable and skilled employees. Retain your best employees by promoting and rewarding them for their hard work and reliability.
  2. Manage your business, but lead your people. Your employees want to be led, not managed. Be a great leader, and your employees will follow you anywhere. If you try and manage every aspect of your employees work, they will think you have no confidence in their ability to make good decisions and properly do their jobs.
  3. Invest in your business. If you want to earn more business, you have to invest time and money into your company. This means buying new equipment and technology when needed, training your employees, and actively marketing your business.
  4. Be selective to be profitable. It’s not enough to just earn more business. When you take on more work, it has to profitable. There’s no sense in doubling the number of jobs you take if you aren’t increasing your profits.
  5. Get the word out. Word of mouth remains the number one method most companies use to market their business and earn more work. Encourage your best customers to tell others about the great work your company does.
  6. Play to your strengths. Would you rather have your company be known as a decent all-around general contracting firm or the best general contractor doing LEED certified hotel renovations? Finding a niche market or specializing in a specific industry can set you apart from your competitors.
  7. Network to earn more work. One of the best ways to network is to join and be active in the local chapter of a trade association. Networking can be a useful tool to build brand awareness for your company, generate leads, and find vendors. Being active and giving back to your community is also a great networking opportunity for your business.
  8. Quality is king. Tread carefully when considering any measure that could sacrifice the quality of your work. Cutting corners to reduce costs and speed up completion of a project can be detrimental. Your company’s reputation for doing quality work is only as good as your last project, so never compromise your high standards of performing quality work.
  9. Change is good. Adaptability is one of the keys to success in your industry. As we’ve seen in the Great Recession, it can be quite a volatile industry. If you are unwilling to make adjustments in your business to keep up with the changing trends, you are setting yourself up for failure.
  10. Give great customer service. Pleasing your clients should be a top priority. This doesn’t mean you have to cave in to their every demand. You should be actively communicating with your client on all aspects of a project so you can be equal partners in the decision-making process. Satisfied customers will lead to repeat business and great referrals.
  11. Be proactive, not reactive. You can’t just sit back and expect more work to just fall in your lap. You have to proactively seek out new opportunities to retain and grow your business. Constantly reach out to the owners, architects, and general contractors you find to learn what projects they have on the horizon.
  12. Make smart decisions. We make thousands of decisions every day, many of which are inconsequential. When it comes to earning more business, this often means making hard decisions that will impact your success for years to come. Take the time to consider all angles and options and perform your due diligence for future success. Never get pressured into making rash or impulsive decisions.

Onboarding your Customers

Onboarding is a process, not a one-and-done action. It goes beyond the handshake not only to prove your value over and over, but also to sustain a meaningful, mutually beneficial relationship.

An on boarded customer is two things:

  1. One that has experienced “initial success” with your product
  2. One that sees the real value potential in their relationship with you

When is a customer onboarded?

  1. The moment they sign up, and
  2. The moment they see success with your product

Here are 6 tips to make your onboarding more successful –

1. Define Expectations — and Set Milestones – Immediately

Defining expectations and milestones is important in the first few days and weeks of engagement with your customers. The biggest question to answer is this: How do we define success? The word “success” is synonymous with the ultimate goal. That means defining what they want out of your engagement, what many in the customer success world call their “desired outcome.”

That will set the stage for setting the customer’s expectations.

Next? Make a plan and make it happen. This will require setting “success milestones” — a fancy word for goal deadlines — and letting your customer define what those will look like during the sales process, no matter what it looks like in your industry.

Most importantly, be very real: make sure you’re setting milestones you can accurately hit every time.

2. Customize the Onboarding Experience

There’s tons of stuff out in the interwebs about customizing the onboarding experience for new employees to make them feel at home. Here’s your lesson: treat your customers like you would a new, valuable employee — consider your customer as a partner and make their onboarding experience specific to them and their needs.

Part of the onboarding experience should be individualizing each account — that should be your general baseline practice, and it will come through defining those expectations, as seen above.

3. Onboard the Team

This means YOUR team. And not just your sales team — the whole team. Make sure everyone who will be involved knows the needs, pain points, story, background, and onboarding process of the customer.

Make no mistake — this is a relatively new concept, made popular by customer success. Doing an internal onboarding brief not only makes the customer an integral part of the everyday functioning of the company, but also aligns the team in a way that will allow for the proper flow and functioning of new ideas, less time briefing, and generally a better-oiled machine.

4. Gather Data

Gather data, gather data, gather data. Whether that looks like website analytics, buying tendencies, typical sales cycle length, how the customer fairs in the overall market, etc., gather data.

Data will also be your go-to not only through the onboarding process but beyond it. Having baseline data to compare progress or failure to will help you define the success of your sales. You must consistently prove your value beyond the onboarding process, but to do so you need to gather the necessary data during the onboarding process.

5. Focus on the Relationship

Again: This is not a sale. This is a partnership. It doesn’t matter if the sale is a matter of seconds or a couple of years but in selling you have created the opportunity for a relationship. Hint: Don’t let it slide on by.

So how do you create a relationship? Assign account managers. Check in. Follow, like, and comment on their content on social media. Call for progress checkups. It’s not rocket science. It’s simple, honest, earnest communication. Trust is the antithesis to churn, and relationships build trust and show value.

6. Bonus: Communicate

Notice throughout each best practice above, communication and contact is necessary for success. Good, consistent communication during the onboarding process will be what makes or breaks your relationship with your customer. Don’t leave them at the sale! Be with them during the initial stages of your engagement, and make sure they know you’re available.

Great customer onboarding is your shelter in the inevitable event of churn. So go forth, evolve, and welcome new customers with excitement, engagement, and enthusiasm.

The Hidden Benefits of Training

Training is vital to expand the knowledge base of all your employees. But these days, many employers decide that development opportunities are too costly to pursue, since employees miss out on work time and completing projects. These costs, however, are small compared to the benefits that training provides to both individuals and organizations. As a Home Upgrade participating contractor, you have access to a range of exclusive trainings – are you taking advantage of them?

Here’s why your company should invest in regular training:

Improved employee performance: Employees who receive necessary training are better able to perform their jobs. Training gives employees a greater understanding of their responsibilities, which in turn builds their confidence. This confidence will enhance their overall performance, and this can only benefit the company. Employees who are competent and on top of changing industry standards help your company hold a position as a leader and strop competitor within the industry.

Improved employee satisfaction and morale: Training shows employees that they are valued. It creates a supportive workplace. Employees who feel appreciated and challenged through training opportunities may feel more satisfaction in their jobs.

9 Vital Practices for Running a Successful HVAC Contracting Business

1. Plan:

a. The first step in any business is to set goals for the company and define how you will achieve them. Before you begin the working the numbers, review and, if necessary, update your mission, your vision for the next five years, and your unique selling proposition. What is your target for sales, gross profit, and net profit? Ideally, you are departmentalized and can break these down by department.
b. This is a seasonal business. Some months are better than others, so break it down by month. To achieve the revenue, how many service calls will be required? How many installations?
c. This leads to manpower requirements. How many technicians will you need? How many installers? How many salespeople? Remember to look at the calendar and make adjustments for holidays and weekends.

2. Analyze:

a. Every month, you should review full financial statements (many believe this should be done weekly). This includes your balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement. Calculate your rations, especially your liquidity rations. Companies do not close because they are not profitable. They close because they run out of cash.
b. In addition, you want to track other key metrics like gross profit, you average service call ticket, average installation sale, sales per employee, sales versus budget and last year, labor as a percent of service, labor as a percent of installations, service agreements customers as a percent of total active customers, and so on. Track all of these weekly or monthly.
c. Track incoming service calls, leads, service revenue, installation sales, new service agreements, non-renewal service agreements, total service agreements, and cash balance daily. Assign responsibility for the preparation of a daily dashboard to your bookkeeper. Look over these at the start of each day.

3. Communicate:

a. As business owner you are the chief communicator and evangelist for your company. A significant part of your job is external and internal communication.
b. Externally, you should represent your company in your community. Get involved in community organizations and events. Yes, this pulls you away from your company, but it also pulls the community to your company.
c. Internally, you should set the tone for the organization. If you are positive, your team will be positive. If you are gloomy, people will fear the worst. Your organization reflects you.
You owe it to your co-workers to let them know how they are performing individually and as a team. Take some time to talk with each person who reports to you to know how he or she is performing.

4. Recruit:

a. Maybe the most important role of a business owner is recruiting co-workers. Always be on the lookout for talent. Keep a list of people you think could work in key positions in your organization. If you aren’t ready to hire someone today, keep in touch with the individual so you can pick up the phone tomorrow when you are ready.b. Interview anyone, anytime. Recruiting should account for 25% to 30% of your time. Look for people with great attitudes and mechanical aptitude for your field service and installation positions. Send them to the various schools available in the industry that will get them up to speed quickly on basic service work.

5. Appreciate:

a. As we hire more Gen Y and Millennials, our approach to management must change. These are individuals who received participation trophies as kids. Like the kids of Lake Woebegone, every single one of them is above average. They have grown up being told how special and wonderful they are and expect that to continue.
b. You may think a paycheck is thanks enough, but this generation thinks not. If you want to keep them engaged on your behalf, show them appreciation. In fact, treat them like a volunteer workforce.

6. Measure:

a. Pick your sport – bowling, golf, you name it. If you are not keeping score, you will play sloppy. Once you keep score, especially if others see it, your performance will improve. The same thing happens with your technicians, salespeople, and customer service representatives (CSRs). Once they know their performance is being monitored, it improves.
b. Require your people to report their results. Display the numbers on a monitor or white board, and watch the results improve. It’s like magic.
c. Want to see greater improvements? Join one of the groups where technicians are compared with other technicians from across the country. Suddenly, the company hotshot is not so hot. This will drive top performers insane, and they will move mountains to move up the rankings.

7. Incent:

a. Business writer Michael LeBoeuf said the greatest management principle is “what gets rewarded, gets done.” Incentivize your people’s performance and you will get more of it. Yes, pay for performance.
b. Pay wages for time on the job and you will get time on the job. Pay incentives for productivity and that’s what you will get.
c. Of course the challenge is to examine your incentives for unintended consequences. Make sure you’re not incentivizing undesirable behavior. For example, when a contractor split the diagnostic, or response charge, with his technicians, he discovered that the technician were incented to run as many calls, as fast as possible, instead of slowing down, being thorough, and providing great service. Of course, not all incentives are monetary. Some people respond better to time off than additional income. Others simply crave recognition. It’s amazing what some people will do for a $10 plaque.

8. Delegate:

a. The most difficult lesson for many contractors is learning to let go. Even if you are the best at everything, you cannot accomplish everything on your own. You must learn to delegate. Control freaks take note: delegation does not require micromanagement. Accept that people may not perform a task as well as you, as fast as you, or exactly the same way.
b. Unless you learn how to delegate, you’ll never grow beyond your personal capacity. You’ll never have a company. You will only own a job. You cannot sell a job. You can only sell a company.
c. Your job as owner is to build a team and processes so that your presence is not necessary. Only then will you have a sustainable business.

9. Learn:

a. Society is not static. Business is not static. You cannot be static either. You must embark on a lifelong quest to seek more knowledge and new and better ways of growing your business. Your personal growth will be reflected in your company’s growth.
b. Read the trade magazines. Read business books. Attend conferences, seminars, and dealer meetings. Join contractor groups. Never before has our industry had such a wealth of information available. Moreover, the information available tomorrow will far exceed the information available today. If you do not keep up with the state-of-the-art, you will get left behind.


10 Ways to Better Serve Your Customers

  1. Give potential customers quick estimates. Send them a cost estimate within 24 hours of any initial meeting.
  2. Ask your customers how they want to communicate. Email, phone calls, texting—there are many options these days. Asking your customers what they prefer shows you’re in tune with their needs.
  3. Have a web presence. People want to learn about your hours and services online. A website is best, but a Facebook® page can also suffice.
  4. Respond to online comments. Whether someone leaves a comment on a social media page, a review website like Yelp, or sends a message through your website, it’s important to acknowledge and respond to each one in a prompt manner.
  5. Empower your employees. In addition to knowing how to do a job, your employees need to know how to treat a customer. Share your service guidelines with new employees—and offer refreshers to veterans employees as needed.
  6. Stay in touch with your customers. One way to do that is by sending an e-newsletter. E-newsletters can inform your customers of specials and new services. Seasonal tips on how to maintain their home are also appreciated.
  7. Give them something extra. Let customers know how much you appreciate them by offering a little something extra from time to time. It could be anything from an air filter if you’re an HVAC contractor or extra paint for touch ups if you’re in the painting business. Other options could include swag from your business like a calendar, key chain or notepads.
  8. Offer a satisfaction guarantee and/or warranties on your work. Having one shows your customers that you’re committed to great service.
  9. Follow up with your customers. Set a reminder to call your customers a few weeks after you complete a job. Ask them if everything is working as it should and if they’re satisfied with the job. Thank them for choosing your business.
  10. Immediately acknowledge any issues. If a customer has a legitimate complaint—or you simply sense that things aren’t up to snuff—act fast. Talk to your customer and apologize if necessary. Consider adding a discount to the work performed or offering an upgrade to compensate for the inconvenience.
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