Are you leaving money on the table?

Issue 7 2023 Editor's Choice, Security Services & Risk Management

How many customers have you helped since starting your business? Where does most of your new business come from? If the answer is not from the existing customers on your database, you might have a problem.


Charles Freedman.

Winning a customer can be difficult, time-consuming and expensive. Marketing in the security market can sometimes feel like trying to get someone’s attention on the opposite stand at a Springbok match at Loftus. Not impossible, but not easy.

Losing a customer is quick and easy. The scary part is it can happen without you noticing. A poor experience with technology, chips out the wall, cables not fitted cleanly, feeling ripped off; these are all silent killers of your customers. Remember, if you’re not taking care of your customers, your competitors will.

Five times more expensive

Acquiring a new customer can cost five times more than retaining an existing customer. According to Hubspot, an increase of just 5% in customer retention can boost profits by 25%. Loyal customers become advocates; advocates lead to referrals, and it snowballs from there.

Think about it. At ServCraft, our average customer has around 200 customers on their database, but the response is eerily silent when we ask how often they have asked for feedback or referrals from this group.

As a business owner, how do you make sure your customers get a great experience so that you can keep their repeat business and get referrals in the years to come? When all is done, your customer will remember the quality of their experience far beyond the work itself or even what it cost.

How do you show your customers love?

Get to the point – Your customers are busy, often looking at multiple quotes from different suppliers. What and how you communicate will help you stand out from the pile of paper on their desks. Whether it is quotes, invoices or project specs, presenting information clearly and concisely will help you win more business. Remember, your customers may not know the complexities of a security installation project – it is your job to help them understand without overwhelming them.

A commitment to clarity and efficiency fosters trust and showcases your dedication to customer satisfaction and your team’s success.

Cut the admin – You do not like admin. Your customers do not like admin, especially if you make your admin your customer’s admin.

Customer self-service tools empower them to handle tasks like accepting and commenting on quotes, paying invoices, viewing upcoming appointments, and even seeing a history of completed jobs. This saves your customers and your team from time-consuming tasks, such as phone calls, emails, WhatsApps and repetitive data entry.

Job management software like ServCraft enhances your customer experiences and sets your business apart from competitors. By making interactions more accessible and efficient, you demonstrate care and provide peace of mind to your customers.

Simple, powerful communication – Your customers are busy. They do not care that you and your teams are also busy. They want to be kept in the loop and bought on the journey so that expectations are set and met. This should not take loads of time and effort. Automated and personalised notifications can win you more business, faster and keep your teams and customers in the know.

Simple, short updates like “Hi James, we are on our way – see you in 25 minutes” may seem simple, but they are extremely powerful. Doing a good job is a given. Making your customers feel special by personalising their journey from the moment they reach out to the moment they pay will set you apart.

Tools like ServCraft exist today to take the burden out of delivering this level of service. Embracing these tools will allow you to be consistent and deliberate about keeping customers informed, engaged, and satisfied.

Be feedback fit – If you do not ask, you will not know. Actively seeking feedback, bad or good, is essential for business improvement and growth. It shows customers that their opinions are valued beyond their purchases, enhancing trust and engagement. Criticism can be hard to hear. Asking customers what they think may result in not everyone being happy. Embrace criticism as an opportunity.

I recently had a technician install a new alarm in my house. After the job was done, I found chunks had been taken out of the wall whilst fitting the camera. A day later, the team came back and fixed the problem. That same day, I received a box of chocolates and a personalised apology letter. The commitment to own the problem and the human touch to apologise resulted in me recommending them despite not getting it perfect the first time.

The bottom line – People buy from people. Caring about your customers and their experience matters to your business’s success. It cannot be delegated. It needs to be lived every day and shine through administrators and technicians.

Remember, your customers are your business. Make a point of showing your appreciation for them. Whether it is a simple ‘thank you for your business’ over the phone, by email or in person, it can go a long way.

Charles Freedman is the CEO of ServCraft (www.servcraft.co.za), a South African-designed and built job management application for security installations and other field service businesses.




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