Crush a crash course on customer success, NPS, and retention rates!
Hey y’all, it’s Coordinate Carlos here, and today we’re talking about a topic that’s near and dear to my heart: providing exceptional customer service so you can Crush the Rush.
Now, I know what some of y’all might be thinking – “Carlos, why should I care so much about customer service? Can’t I just focus on getting the job done?” My friends, customer service is the backbone of any successful field service business. After all, what good is a job well done if your customers aren’t happy?
Remember our marketing friends are always telling us, “it’s much cheaper to keep an existing customer than it is to replace them.” For once I think they are right on this one, there is a lot of data to back it up!
Studies have shown that acquiring a new customer can cost anywhere from 5 to 25 times more than retaining an existing one (Harvard Business Review). Additionally, a 5% increase in customer retention can lead to a 25% to 95% increase in profits (Bain & Company)
These numbers make it clear that focusing on customer retention is a smart business strategy that can have a significant impact on your bottom line. So, if you want to keep your business thriving and growing, it’s time to start paying attention to the customer experience.
Let’s dive a little deeper into each of the key aspects of providing exceptional customer service.
Understand Your Customers’ Needs
The first step in providing exceptional customer service is understanding your customers’ needs. What are they looking for when they hire you? Is it reliability? Speed? Attention to detail? By gathering information about your customers’ needs, you can tailor your service to meet and exceed their expectations.
One way to gather this information is to simply ask your customers. After each job, send out a survey or follow-up email asking about their experience and what you could have done better. You can also track customer complaints and feedback, and use that information to identify patterns and areas for improvement.
Communication Is Key
Communication is another key aspect of exceptional customer service. You’ve got to be responsive, friendly, and clear in your communication with customers. This means active listening, using clear and concise language, and responding in a timely manner to any questions or concerns. And when you inevitably run into a difficult customer or a challenging conversation, it’s important to stay calm, professional, and empathetic.
One way to improve your communication skills is to practice active listening. But this means really tuning in to what your customers are saying, and asking follow-up questions to show that you’re engaged and interested. You can also use technology to your advantage – consider investing in a customer relationship management (CRM) system that allows you to track and respond to customer inquiries quickly and efficiently.
Reliability & Trustworthiness
Reliability and trustworthiness are also critical when it comes to customer service. You’ve got to follow through on your promises, be on time for appointments, and provide quality service every time. And when you can’t meet a customer’s expectations – which will happen from time to time – it’s important to be transparent and honest about the situation, and work with the customer to find a solution.
One way to build trust with your customers is to set clear expectations up front. Let them know what to expect from your service, and follow through on those promises every time. You can also be proactive in communicating with customers – for example, if there’s a delay or a problem with their service, let them know as soon as possible, and work with them to find a solution.
Going Above & Beyond
But to truly stand out in the field service industry, you’ve got to go above and beyond for your customers. This might mean offering additional services, providing personalized attention, or even offering special discounts or promotions. By exceeding your customers’ expectations, you’ll create a loyal fan base that will sing your praises to anyone who will listen.
One way to go above and beyond is to personalize your service for each customer. For example, if you know that a particular customer has a dog, bring along a treat for the dog during your next visit. Or if you know that a customer has a birthday coming up, send them a card or a small gift to show that you care.
Another way to exceed expectations is to provide additional value to your customers. For example, you might offer a free inspection or consultation, or provide tips and advice on how to maintain their lawn, pool, or pest control needs. You could also offer a loyalty program or referral incentives to encourage repeat business and word-of-mouth marketing.
The best example I have seen was a friend of mine named Steve. He had a small pest control company and felt that if he just did a better job and and cared more for his customers than “the big guys” he could carve out a great living. One day he was on a route and stopped at a call back on some ants in a kitchen. It was for a single mom he had signed a couple months prior named Sarah. After he took care of the problem he noticed her kitchen needed cleaning and offered to clean it.
After an hour of scrubbing, washing and organizing, her kitchen looked brand new. She was ecstatic and wrote a glowing review of Steve’s service. Steve didn’t do it for recognition, but to provide the best service possible. His act of kindness created a loyal customer who will never forget his exceptional service.
Contrast that with the experience Jay Leno had “”I told the pest control guy, ‘I have termites.’ He said, ‘They’ll have to get in line behind the cockroaches.'”
Now, all kidding aside, you can’t spend an extra hour on every job and I know Steve went WAY above and beyond, but this is the sentiment your techs and your programs should be shooting for.
Measure the Impact
So, how do you know if your customer service efforts are paying off? The best way to measure the impact of your customer service is to track customer satisfaction metrics, such as Net Promoter Score (NPS), customer retention rate, and customer feedback like Google Reviews.
NPS is a widely used metric that measures the likelihood that a customer would recommend your business to others. You can calculate NPS by asking customers how likely they are to recommend your business on a scale of 0-10. Customers who rate you 9 or 10 are considered “promoters,” while customers who rate you 6 or below are considered “detractors.” Your NPS score is the percentage of promoters minus the percentage of detractors.
Customer retention rate is another important metric to track. This measures the percentage of customers who continue to use your service over time. A high customer retention rate indicates that your customers are satisfied and loyal to your business. If you plan to sell your business at some point this number can dramatically affect the over all value of your business so it is an important number to track and improve.
Simply take the number of customers your company had at the beginning of the period you want to measure (total customers). The most common is over a one year period.
Next, subtract the amount of those customers you lost by the end of that period (lost customers). That gives you the total number of customers you retained (retained customers). Take the number of retained customers and divide it by total customers.
Lastly, multiply that answer by 100 and you have your retention rate for the period.
Customer Retention Rate Calculation
🧮 Retained Customers Calculation:
(Total Customers) – (Lost Customers) = Retained Customers
🧮 Retention Rate Calculation:
((Retained Customers) / (Total Customers)) * 100 = Retention Rate
If you had 100 customers when I started the year and I lost 10 of them by the end of the year it would be:
100 – 10 = 90 Retained Customers
90 / 100 = 9 * 100 = 90% Customer Retention Rate
Notice new customers signed during that period do not count in either the total customer or the lost customer numbers since they were not there at the start of the period.
Finally, don’t forget to collect feedback from your customers on a regular basis. Ask them what they liked and didn’t like about their experience, and use that information to improve your service over time.
Make sure you monitor your Reviews and do not dismiss the critics lightly but instead look for areas to improve even if it is a Karen giving you much ado about nothing.
In conclusion, providing exceptional customer service is critical for success in the field service industry. By understanding your customers’ needs, communicating effectively, being reliable and trustworthy, and going above and beyond, you’ll create a customer experience that’s truly unforgettable.
Remember to track customer satisfaction metrics and collect feedback regularly to ensure that your customer service efforts are paying off. And most importantly, keep the customer at the center of everything you do – after all, they’re the reason your business exists in the first place.
Now, I challenge y’all to put these tips into practice and see the results for yourself. Trust me, your customers – and your bottom line – will thank you for it.
Happy servicing, y’all!