What separates a good HVAC business from its mediocre competition? A good reputation of keeping clients happy, loyal and returning for more HVAC services. Each year, an estimated $41 billion is lost by U.S. companies alone due to poor customer service – negative company reviews online that follow can make potential new clients hesitant to reach out. Don’t become a part of this statistic. To help keep your small business booming, we scoured the web for methods other businesses have used to successfully handle angry HVAC clients. Keep reading to see how these simple tips can stop your client list from shrinking.
A.B.C. – Always Be Cool
Has a customer ever raised his or her voice at you? How did you respond? In his book, Corporate Management in Crisis, author, Joel E. Ross says, “Never underestimate the power of an irate customer.” So if a client begins to raise their voice, it pays to always be cool. Handling this in a calm manner can benefit your business in several ways. For starters, it can stop small misunderstandings right before they begin and it can prevent your client from writing a negative review about you, right before heading over to your competition.
One of the golden rules to remember when providing exceptional customer service is the customer is always right. In some cases, there can be exceptions to this rule. In their article, “The Customer is NOT Always Right”, HVAC-Hacks.com says, “The perfect CSR is a perfectly good listener, but when the conversation escalates with a rude loudmouth, limits must be imposed.” There’s a difference between lending a listening ear and taking verbal abuse, but before things escalate, listen carefully to see where things went wrong. Is their request unmanageable? Are they 100% clear on your rates and services? Be sure to open your ears before you open up your mouth.
Beating around the bush is a big no-no for small business looking to avoid the wrath of an angry client. Entrepreneur, Seth Godin believes, “The less people know, the more they yell.” Being upfront about rates, installments, work duration, etc. can help you avoid a hostile customer interaction and if any misunderstandings do occur, you can feel confident in knowing your client has been fully informed of every possible option beforehand.
According to Understanding Customers by author Ruby Newell-Legner, it takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience. However, positive word of mouth is one of the easiest ways to keep your business growing. With so many clients turning to Yelp, Angie’s List, Craigslist, and several other review sites to share negative and positive experiences, handling customer service with care could be what attracts and keeps your next loyal client.
Click here to learn how to handle negative reviews.
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