I will grant you that. You do need to do a good job. But — and I repeat — that is exactly the baseline expectation of your customers. When they call you, they expect clean carpet, a dry basement, whatever service you are providing.
For example, my carpet cleaning and restoration training company, Totally Booked University, recently completed a successful two-day Insurance Marketing Strategies event in Chicago. With some 20 restoration contractors coming together to learn how to get more water and fire jobs, do you think we discussed much about the technical side, such as how many airmovers or dehumidifiers it takes to get things dry?
Absolutely not. What we talked about was how to solve the “pains” of agents and adjusters, how to make restoration companies the “problem solving” entities in their local marketplaces, how to successfully network and make deals with insurance companies. We covered much more, of course, but the point is it wasn’t about the baseline expectations of customers who suffer from a fire or flood. It was about the “above and beyond” aspect of running a business.
You may wonder, are we talking about cleaning that extra entry mat on your way out the door? No. If you start doing extras and not charging for them, it is part of the deal the next time you are there. I’m talking about simple things that are above and beyond what your competition is doing.
Some of you may be sending “Thank You” cards or gifts after the job. That may work, but why not send a “Thank You” note before the job. You can do this with a literal card and using the U.S. Postal Service, or you can do it via e-mail, although the printed version is definitely better.
When the job is over, ask for feedback. Ask what else you can do next time to make the cleaning experience more enjoyable for them. I wouldn’t talk about the next flooded basement they might have. That’s just negative talk.
Add some services that you really can’t easily charge for (like that entry mat), but that you can mention you performed as a “Thank You” for choosing your company. An easy one would be to wipe down baseboards or walls when you move furniture. I bet each one of you has had a harried housewife frantically running behind you with a rag, trying to get those cobwebs and dead crickets before you moved the furniture back into place. I’m not saying to go crazy and use a bucket of hot water and soap. Simply dusting things off would suffice.
Change your attitude about you being a carpet cleaner or a restoration contractor. That is what you do, not who you are. If you think of yourself as a customer service expert, and act upon that belief, it will become easier to implement ideas that help you go above and beyond what is normal.
And, best of all, you just may go above and beyond normal profitability.