Do You Know Your Customer? 5 Ways You Can Get to Know Them Better


Lauren Pszonak
April 9, 2018
minutes to read

Get to the Point

  1. Use The Internet - Finding customers on social media, or asking for online reviews can be a great way to gain insight into what they need, and what they value in your service.
  2. Ask Questions - How will you know what your customer wants without asking? Don’t assume you know more about the problem (even if you are the expert) You can also ask about personal things (their dog, their hobbies, their job) while you are working in their home. All questions you ask can show you value what they need and gives you the tools to support them better.
  3. Just Talk - Talking when you are in the home will help you build trust, and to help develop a relationship with your customers. The more you know about their life, the better you get to know them.

You then me then you

In the past, businesses used to be community centric to the point where many business owners knew each of their customers by name. The only “demographics” they thought about were which people lived in their neighborhood. Nowadays, the increase in globalization and introduction of the internet has completely revolutionized how we as a society communicate with and view customers. Customers are thought of as groups and numbers rather than individual people.

In the field service industry, techs are in a unique position to get to know the customer better than many other professionals because of how close-to-home (literally) the work they perform is. While this has its pros, there are also a lot of cons to working so closely with customers, one being the heightened expectations they have.

A way to curb these expectations and improve relationships is to really get to know your customer. A tech is more than just a tech. They’re a teacher, a sales person, an expert, and a confidant for the customer. Not knowing who your customer is when your techs are wearing so many hats can have a negative impact in the long run. It’s time to get to know them!

1. Use the power of the internet

Just because customer service isn’t the same as what it used to be, shying away from modern forms of communication can have a negative impact on customer relationships. Have new customers create profiles on your website with their emails, names, addresses, and other useful information. This a great way to keep track of their data for future jobs, get to know your customer better, and keep in touch! Social media is a great way to communicate directly with current and potential customers, and join the conversation about what customers are looking for and how you can better serve them.

2. Don’t be afraid to ask!

There’s nothing wrong with asking your customers to fill out a survey when a job is completed. You can gain valuable insights about what the customer needs, wants, and expects. Alternatively, talking to them directly and asking them if there’s anything your company can do to improve in the future is a great way to break down any pre-existing walls the customer may have thought existed about transparency between the company and the job.

3. Don’t assume you know them

As humans, we’re often quick to make assumptions, even when we know that customers come in all shapes and sizes. Just because you go to the same neighborhood over and over again for jobs, doesn’t mean that you know those customers past face value. Assumptions can lead us to say things that don’t come off as intended, lose out on potential relationships, and ultimately damage others. Implementing field service software is a great way to avoid some of these assumptions. Providing techs with the proper information they need regarding a job or specific customer can reduce the potential of assumptions and help the job run smoother.

4. Get reviewed

Set up an area for reviews on your website, a Google My Business, a Yelp account, and other sites where customers can review your business and services. Read them! The good, the bad, and the ugly. While reviews aren’t always what you want to hear, they often provide valuable insights into what you can do to improve upon or change. More importantly, they allow you to really get to know your customer and what they thought about your service. Asking for reviews after you complete a job shows your customers that you value their experience and want to hear about it.

5. Talk to them

This seems like it should go without saying, but many people forget to talk to their customers about what they need. Open up the lines of communication and get to know each other. You’ll gain valuable insights and they’ll gain peace of mind knowing they chose a company who really cares about them.

Getting to know your customers isn’t something that can happen overnight, but implementing these changes can help current and future customers understand that you’re in it for the long haul.

Understanding your customers better can start with the click of a button. Using field service software can improve your customer relationships and allow you to stay more connected with them and the work that needs to be done. Pointman offers field service software to help streamline operations, digitize workflows, improve communication, and increase sales.

But why does it matter?

“Customers are no longer buying products and services– they are buying experiences delivered via the products and services.” – Gregory Yankelovich

Today, customers buy based on what feels good and who is trustworthy. You will grow your business when you can delight your customers. They will then be eager to turn to you for their next project, and to recommend you to friends and family. Strive to be the most trustworthy and friendly service company around. Your customers will notice, and you will continue to grow.

Look at Pricing

The start of the year is a great time to look at pricing. Usually, you have an idea of how your company fared the year prior, and you want to ensure you will continue to grow in the months to come. Many of us make New Year’s resolutions with respect to spending or saving in our personal lives, and it’s no different for business owners. Making sure your pricing is in line with where it should be is one of the strongest ways to start the year the right way.

Part of looking at your price book is finding where the issues are, and that can take time. An HVAC company in January is going to be very busy, so it’s a difficult time for a close look. However, a plumbing company might not be as busy. Whenever you tackle this job, your best bet is to look at what your labor rates are. Start there, and let it trickle down across the board. Ask yourself, “Are my labor rates helping my business stay profitable?”

Remember, there are many different services out there and many different groups or communities that you can engage. Never hesitate to say, “Hey, I’m a business owner in Florida. What should my labor rates be?” You can build your price from there. There are also some great billable hour calculators available.

Set Goals

There is no better time of year for looking inward than January. Set your personal goals and company goals for the following 12 months. If you can break those down into departmental goals, even better! Perhaps that means a CSR booking closing rates a little better, or a truck doing 250,000 a year rather than 200,000.

Many companies have found that using an Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) goal-setting system pays off. Looking for a guidebook when it comes to OKRs? Check out Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs by John Doerr. 

One key question is the best way to handle setting goals: Is it smarter for business owners to handle this solo, together with staff, or to delegate completely? 

The best approach is to set goals at the department level. As an owner, you need to take the time to understand what the goals are in each department, and make sure they are in line with your goals for the company. No one likes to set unattainable goals for themselves, so make sure you push your departments to set goals that are lofty, rather than simple ones to feel good about hitting. Entrust your staff to aim higher, and watch how they respond.

Pass Along these Points

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