Exceeding customer expectations today!

Exceeding customer expectations today!

In my previous post You Should Be Charging More Today I outlined the reasons you should she be giving your customers more value to stand out from your competitors and to start charging more for your services. In this post I will be outlining a few methods that you could implement into you routine TODAY to start exceeding your customers expectations and begin leaving good impressions on the customers mind.

THE CUSTOMER FOLLOW-UP

The customer follow-up is a basic premise, but one that is a good habit to get in to.

After you have finished your service or sold your product, follow up with your client via a phone-call or email to find out how they found their experience with you or your service. This will show that you value your customers and will help you improve your service if any negative feedback is received.

Some good questions to ask are;

  • How did you find your experience with our company?
  • Were you happy with the product or service that you received
  • Did the product or service meet your expectations
  • Would you recommend us to a friend if the opportunity arose?

… and if you receive negative feedback for any of the questions above then you MUST follow up with this question;

“I am sorry to hear that you were not happy with our service/product, can you please let us know what you found unsatisfactory so we can make sure future customer experiences will be better.”

This will show your customers that you are human and can accept that you make mistakes and want to improve yourself and your business.

And finally, follow up with that customer in 6-months time and ask them how they are fairing in the current situation involving the service you offer. Chances are that if they are not happy with their current service or still struggling that they may give you a second chance.

LEAVE A THANK-YOU GIFT ON THE TABLE

Your aim is to exceed your customers expectations and stand out from your competition, and one thing you don’t see very often are those little touches that makes the customers experiences a great one.

Try the following on your next job;

1. THE THANK-YOU CARD.

With every new customer, leave a Thank-You card on the table after your job is completed. The card should have a hand-written note thanking them for the opportunity for working for them and if there is anything else they need, then to contact you.

2. THE GIFT

Leave a small box of chocolates with your thank-you card. This will sweeten up the day of your customer.

Leave on the table, a gift of flowers. This will look nice and make the place smell good and leave a good impression on your clients mind when they get home and the place is smelling lovley.

POST OUT A THANK YOU CARD (on the same day)

On the same day that you finish the job, post out a thank you card to your client. This will ensure that they will receive it a day or two after the job is done.

Include in this card a hand-written thank you note along with a gift card. The gift card could for the cinemas, coffee shop, or clothes outlet. Choose a retailer you think will suit them.

This is a simple yet effective gift. Each time they use the gift card to purchase something, they will think of you. There is also a chance that if they are with friends while purchasing, they will bring up how they go the gift card which is the side benefit of positive word-of-mouth.

Using the gift-card will also bring back good memories of the fantastic service you provided.

SEASON HAMPERS

Christmas comes but once a year, why not spread the joy with a small Christmas hamper for your long and short term customers.

Christmas hampers are a easy and fun way to say thank you to your customers.

For long term commercial clients, why not leave a hamper filled with a assorted snacks, tea and coffee. This can be placed in the middle of the staff kitchen table and can be shared with their staff throughout the season weeks.

For domestic clients, leave a smaller hamper of assorted snacks, aromatic items like candles and bath soaps. This will also leave a pleasant scent in the house.

For the clients that are not regulars, a small box of chocolates will be a nice way to say thank you for past business opputunites and will bring you back in to their minds for future prospects.

 


How do you exceed your customers expectations? Do you have any tips on how to add value to your customers?

I’d love to hear about it. Tweet me @zcleanaus or leave a message on our Facebook page with your stories.

Stay tuned so you don’t miss out when new articles in The Today Collection are released.


Why you should be charging more TODAY

Why you should be charging more TODAY

In my previous post Stop Paying Lower Prices TODAY, I talked about how you should change your mindset on how you think about finding the Best Price over the Lowest Price when it comes to goods and services.

In this post I will be outlining some of the benefits for you as a business for implementing these ideas and to start charging more for your services…. TODAY!

DOMINATING THE BOTTOM OF THE MARKET WILL AFFECT YOUR GROWTH

It seems nobel to believe that you can be the fair and honest business person that will not over-charge your customers and give them a fair and cheap price for your services. Although it may seem like a good idea, this is a mindset you need to change if you want to provide true value while making your business grow.

Charging a fair price in comparison to a cheap price means that you are not compromising the perceived value of your work as people correlate cheap prices with cheap quality, but it also makes sure that your knowledge and expertise is being compensated and you are taking the right steps in making your business grow.

Here are some points you should be considering;

  1. Over-charging is not the same as Value Based Pricing.
  2. Low prices may affect quality of work.
  3. Saying No means you can say Yes to better opportunities.
  4. If you want to charge a premium price, offer a premium experience.
  5. Longevity in low price bidding.

Lets take a look at these points in more detail.

1. OVER-CHARGING IS NOT THE SAME AS VALUE BASED PRICING.

People believe that if you offer a service that is priced higher then the average in your area, that you are over-charging or trying to make a greedy profit off your customers. To show your customers that this isn’t the case, you will have to show them the value you provide over your competitors.

Value Based Pricing is based on the idea that the services you are offering, or the benefit your customer receives due to the service you have offered exceeds their initial investment in you. Some points to keep in mind;

  • The value you offer your customer in your service should over exceed their expectations.
  • The potential increase in your customers profit margin due to the service you provide should reflect in the price of your service.
  • DO NOT use this as an excuse to abuse the idea to over-charge for the value you are providing.

For more on Value Based Pricing I recommend to check out the Seanwes Value Based Pricing Course.

2. LOW PRICES MAY AFFECT QUALITY OF WORK

You may think that you or your employee’s will be okay with working at close to cost price on services but the truth is that the quality of work will suffer.

Once the excitement of winning a bid has subsided and you are faced with long days of working low profit contracts you will find yourself sacrificing your quality of work and begin cutting corners just to get that job done.

I’ve seen people quote $20 for clearing out overgrown yards on community forums! That equates to at best $5 a hour before taxes when you take into consideration the time and disposal of clippings and shrubs. How long can that be sustainable before it feels overwhelming?

And the problem is that it can be hard to tell a long term customer that you want to raise prices or quit, so you end up stuck in this job that you start to hate until your quality of work diminishes and the customer ends the contract leaving in their mind a bad impression of you.

3. SAYING “NO” MEANS YOU CAN SAY “YES” TO BETTER OPPORTUNITIES.

There is a saying that has become popular in todays society when it comes to trying to grow your business;

“Grab whatever job you can”

Sure, grabbing every contract that comes your way is a easy way to grow your portfolio of clients, but are they really the right clients for you?

It may be hard to turn down a job when you are looking to grow your business but you really need to consider the type of jobs you are saying yes to.

“Saying No means you can say Yes to better opportunities.” This statement couldn’t be any more accurate. You need to fight for contracts that are a good fit for you, not what is convenient.

You can’t say Yes to a good contract if you cant fit it in to your schedule thats filled with smaller bad-fit contracts.

Remember: 1 great, high profit and well fitting contract could take the place of 2 or 3 smaller, less profitable contracts. Not only will you be doing one-third of the work, but you will have open space in your schedule to fit in more of these profitable contracts. Doesn’t that sound like the better option?

4. IF YOU WANT TO CHARGE A PREMIUM PRICE, OFFER A PREMIUM EXPERIENCE.

This doesn’t just mean buy expensive equipment or use expensive products. A premium experience is not just giving the customer the what you promised, but it is providing them extra value, the extra little touches that makes your interaction with them a memorable experience.

A premium experience can be summed up in one phrase;

The value you give should exceed the customers expectations.

Let me say that again;

The VALUE you give should exceed the customers expectations.

When the value you give your customer exceeds their expectations then it reinforces in the customers mind that you are a company that takes pride and cares about their clients. More importantly it makes them feel special that you took the extra care to go up and beyond what was promised to give them that experience. (Check back next week for ways to offer a premium experience)

This will not only leave a good impression in their minds about you and your company, but you are more likely to get repeat business and referrals.

LONGEVITY IN LOW PRICE BIDDING

One of the concepts often missed when considering low bids on contracts is the longevity abstained from winning these contracts.

If you want a quick job for the short term then low bids are for you. If you are looking for long term clients to offer value and build bonds with, then avoid at all costs.

A client that is after the lowest price will most likely only keep you around until next lower price comes along. This may be in a few months or in a year, but it will happen.

So why waste your time in short term projects when you can build up to bigger long lasting contracts that will value you just as you value them?

COMPETE FOR VALUE NOT PRICE

There will always be someone out there who will be able to outbid you on price. Competing on price just means you are another pawn in the fight against kings.

Instead of competing on Price, compete on Value.

Find out what your competitors are not doing but should be:

For example, As a Wedding photographer do you have multiple backups of the photos you take in case something happens to them before you send out your client the final product? This will give a potential client peace of mind, but other Photographers may not do this or promote this feature when trying to sell their services.

Ask business owners about the problems (relating to your field of work) that they are facing in their business or at home and implement solutions to those answers into your repertoire of services. These points can be used as a selling point for new bids.

Ask your current Clients about problems they face in their business or at home and come up with solutions you can implement into your services.

Take those extra steps to stand out in the crowd when you making a bid for a new contract and you will come across that you know the clients pains and struggles and you are the only company that will be able to fix the problem.

…and sometimes that is more valuable then a low price.

 


Have you come across any businesses that have exceeded your expectations? Do you have anything to add on the topic of giving your customers more value?

I’d love to hear about it. Tweet me @zcleanaus or leave a message on our Facebook page with your stories.

Stay tuned so you don’t miss out when new articles in The Today Collection are released.


Stop paying lower prices TODAY.

Stop paying lower prices TODAY.

“Stop paying lower prices today?”

“Did I read that right?”  you say.

“Why would I not pay the lowest price I can find?”

The race to the bottom is a very real and scary idea that we are experiencing now more then ever. Everyone is trying to beat the next competitor with lower and lower prices and at some point it will hit its breaking point.

Now of course the situation isn’t that dire, but it is becoming common practice that the lowest price is one of the deciding factors when choosing a service professional. With the advent of the internet it is even easier now to shop around and find businesses that will undercut the previous offer to win the bid.

This post is the first in a series of posts I like to call “The Today Collection”, in which I will be outlining things you can do today, before you go to sleep, to help change your mindset and bring value to your life or business.

FINDING THE BEST PRICE OVER THE LOWEST PRICE.

Now we need to make a distinction between the Best Price and Lowest Price.

Lowest Price is the minimal value you can find on a product or service that is chosen based on the core features that you are looking for. No considerations are taken into place about the quality or value you receive. It is a 1 to 1 transaction between you and the other party.

Best Price on the other hand takes in to consideration many factors to rank it on the scale of perceived value. In this instance the change in value is swayed in your favor.

The extra value you receive may include;

  • The quality of the product or service
  • Customer support
  • Extra features or bonuses
  • A better overall experience

In essence, you are receiving more value then you are paying for.

For example;

Sally hires a cleaning technician to do the average home clean that includes the basic service list of kitchen, bathroom, bedrooms and living room. While on site the technician notices the kitchen appliances are made out of stainless steel and are tarnishing from age.

Even though its not part of the service, the technician uses a stainless steel oil solution to clean all the stainless steel surfaces removing any tarnished areas and buffs them to a mirror shine. Before leaving the property he leaves a little bottle of this stainless steel cleaner with his Thank you note on the kitchen table so Sally can maintain and keep her stainless steel appliances shiny and tarnish free.

Sally’s experience with this cleaning technician will be memorable. The value she received was more then her investment in the cleaning and if she went with another company for the cheaper price, the attention to detail wouldn’t be there.

THE EFFECTS ON SMALL BUSINESS

In our current economic climate, it is important to keep in mind that people are starting to struggle. Smaller businesses are not able to compete with individuals who are offering services or products for near to no profit.

Now, the answer to smaller businesses is to change what they are doing. They need to evolve as the market evolves; after all its the market that decides what they are willing to pay. Businesses have to make themselves stand out with their work and offering, but the problem at hand is that the market losing focus on what value you and in turn they are robbing themselves of the experience and value you could be receiving.. all to save a few dollars.

FACEBOOK COMMUNITY FORUMS

Facebook classified groups are a great way to buy and sell used or new products to people in your local area. Although they may not have insurances that eBay provide when you receive a faulty or not-as-advertised item, they are easily to communicate with and can at times be more open as you can see the sellers Facebook Profile Page.

These forums also have become a free way to advertise your business, as people request services they need, and usually offers come by with incredibly low prices.

This may sound beneficial to some but you need to take into consideration some of the factors when choosing a low bid service on Facebook;

  • Are they a qualified and registered business?
  • If [NO] then are you risking your safety hiring a stranger off Facebook?
  • if [NO] do they have insurances in-case something happens to you or your property?
  • What sacrifices in quality are you losing in return for a low price?

These are some important questions you need to ask before sending that message to someone offering a low cost solution. Weigh out the Pros and Cons and find out what is the best value for you.

IN SUMMERY

Don’t rob yourself of value. Focus on what will be the best option for you for the right price. You get what you pay for is a saying people use, and it couldn’t be more true…. and i think its time we all brought in value into our lives.

 


Do you think people have lost focus on quality and value over price? Have you seen or personally had a bad experience due to choosing cheap prices?

I’d love to hear about it. Tweet me @zcleanaus or leave a message on our Facebook page with your stories.

Stay tuned so you don’t miss out when new articles in The Today Collection are released.