Water damage restoration is almost entirely customer service. While that does mean performing quality work, it also means communicating effectively with your customers. Your customers are less likely to have an issue with your work if you have good communication skills.
Take Ownership of the Relationship
Cleanup and restoration isn’t just dry out and put back, it’s about building a relationship. From the moment you answer the phone, you are responsible for managing the expectations of every one of your customers.
The key is effective communication. Be proactive in providing a detailed estimate and timeline for the project. If you can’t outline a specific timeline, provide best and worst case scenarios. Continue to update them throughout the project.
Avoid being vague or evasive when answering questions. If you don’t know the answer, let them know you’ll finding the answer even if their question falls outside of the scope of your project. Always commit to providing an answer by a specific time.
Dealing With Frustrated Customers
Occasionally a customer will be dissatisfied or even upset with your service. While dealing with an angry customer can be difficult, don’t take their frustrations personally. Always respond professionally and focus on resolving the situation.
Asking them to calm down or challenging their position is more likely to escalate the situation than solve it. Instead, allow them to express their frustrations. Listen to their concerns and try to empathize with their situation.
Offer a sincere apology after they finish, even if you don’t think you did anything wrong. Again, the goal is to resolve the issue, not place blame. If you did something wrong, avoid making excuses. Own your mistakes and focus on a resolution.
Phrases to Avoid
When dealing with a frustrated customer, working towards a solution should be your primary goal. While these phrases may seem benign, they are passive aggressive and will likely only frustrate the customer more.
This almost always has the opposite effect. Allow your customer to vent their frustration, then apologize and work toward a constructive resolution. This validates their concerns and shows you value them.
You Don’t Understand
While they may not understand, it’s your responsibility to guide them. Apologize for the confusion and explain the situation to them again. Use simple works and provide as much detail as possible.
It’s Not Our Fault
Always take responsibility, even if the customer’s problem is beyond your control. Whether it was something caused by a subcontractor or a limitation of insurance, own the problem and work to get it fixed.
Improving Your Customer Service
Mistakes happen, but using these customer service skills will help limit issues with customers. Manage your relationship with each customer and provide detailed estimates and timelines for each project.
While there will be occasional problems, allow customers to vent their frustrations and empathize with them. Apologize and admit mistakes, then focus on resolving them. With excellent customer service skills, you can overcome almost any customer issue.
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