WorkWave Service Customer Loyalty Kit

At WorkWave, we build field service software to help businesses operate more efficiently. And though our service management software improves how you run your business, we understand the power and importance customer loyalty can having on building a successful business. And you should too!

Customers have more control and buying power than ever before. With a few taps on a touch screen, the average person can find discounts from competitors, read reviews that change their mind, and even find cheap non-professional alternatives to most services on sites like Angie's List. Acquiring customers is ultra-competitive, with many businesses branching into multi and Omni-channel marketing across newspaper, television, PPC ads, and various social media platforms. But, while acquiring customers is crucial, many of us can greatly benefit from shifting some of our focus away from finding new customers and onto extending the lifecycle of our relationships with existing customers.

Why?
Data Shows of customers account of total profits, and lifecycle of our relationships with existing customers. 1

Building customer loyalty is harder than ever, but in a world where digital media and instant gratification make everything intangible, forming real relationships with your customers will make a difference. More importantly for you, building loyalty will extend your relationship with each customer, reducing costs by an average of 20% per sale, 2 improving your ability to offer quality service, and helping you and them to have a great experience each time you interact.

In this toolkit, we'll cover some of the facets behind building customer loyalty and how you can extend your relationships with customers using incentives, communication, good service, and honesty.

What are you waiting for? Click a chapter below to open the toolkit.

1 https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/229294 2 https://hbr.org/2014/10/the-value-of-keeping-the-right-customers

CHAPTER

1
Why Customer Loyalty?

Everyone wants their customers to come back and keep coming back. Luckily, repeat business in service industries is more common than in any other industry. Whether you're cleaning commercial offices or repairing pools, mowing lawns or servicing HVAC systems, your customers will repeatedly require the same services, providing you give them what they're looking for.

But first, why customer loyalty?

Building customer loyalty is the easiest and cheapest way to drive revenue. Return customers cost less per sale, because you're investing less in marketing and customer support to make a new sale. Once a customer trusts your work, they're more inclined to buy from you again. Customer loyalty is crucial because once you establish a relationship, you become the go to provider for that person.

At the same time, building customer loyalty is a lot easier than many people think. It’s not about offering the best deal or the cheapest product or even the highest quality service, it’s often about engaging with customers. If you can consistently engage and create positive connections, you will build relationships and therefore customer loyalty. But, it’s also important to keep in mind that your customer is bringing you value, they are a commodity and they have to be treated well in any relationship. It's like going on a date. It doesn’t matter how much of a connection you have if you don’t do or say the right things. Instead, you have to work to create a positive experience and build up good interactions so that they keep coming back.

Here are some key points for you to consider:

As many as half of all customers would switch brands for a coupon.

Businesses lose an estimated $1.6 trillion from customers leaving because of bad service (USA)

Only 20% of first-time customers will come back. 3 When they do, they'll spend more and more freely and are 60-70% likely to come back a third time. At the same time, 65% of all sales 4 come from existing customers.

Reducing churn, or the rate of customers leaving, by just 5%, can increase profits 25% or more 5

CHAPTER

2
Using Customer
feedback to
improve.

Most businesses have access to nearly unlimited customer feedback. Few of them ever take advantage. With social media, online reviews, and face-to-face discussion and feedback, you have the opportunity to collect the data you need to truly understand what the customer wants. And, with a little research, you can collect data left on your competitor's pages, forums, and websites as well.

You can also directly ask for feedback from your customers.

Solutions like WorkWave Service are designed with the customer in mind to make it easy to submit feedback from any device they're on. Customers get to inform you on how they appreciated or didn't appreciate your services, and you get valuable insight into how customers perceive your services. Getting unbiased opinions of team or your own performance can be painful, but it can allow you to make changes or offer the training and information your teams and field technicians need to truly excel.

Look at some of the reviews on your social media pages or some of the feedback on your website. Negative reviews are actually more valuable here than positive ones because they tell you what to work on and improve.

What to look for:

What concerns are customers expressing?

What are customers complaining about? What about on competitor's websites?

What are customers looking for (Look for phrases like "unfortunately they don't", "I wish they", "would be nice if they"... etc.)

What are customers requesting?

How do they talk about your customer service? Scheduling? Performance? Quality of work? Guarantees? Politeness of technicians or workers? Timeliness?

Identifying what customers are unhappy with or that they are not finding solutions for gives you clear avenues to improve, so you can directly invest in creating a better solution for your customers. You can be open about this, introducing new services or changes to policy as a direct result of customer feedback, or simply introduce it and wait for customers to notice.

CHAPTER

3
Customer Profiles.

Customer profiling or creating buyer personas is a lot like creating an imaginary character for each major type of buyer in your business life. Why? Recognizing your different types of customers and their individual goals and drivers will help you to create unique services and tactics that will keep each of those customers coming back. While buyer personas are most often used in marketing, they can create incredibly valuable guidelines for offering recommendations, services, and follow-ups for individual clients.

Sit down and put yourself in your customer's shoes. Chances are, you can define your customers based on different profiles, needs, wants, and even demographics like income, age, and expectations.

You can also create customer
profiles by:

Reviewing existing contacts to uncover trends like spending power, willingness to buy, general income, home value, value of purchases, age, etc.

Create a newsletter and request information about customers when they sign up

Paying attention to existing repeat customers. Consider offering a discount or coupon in exchange for filling out a survey to get more information

Make generalizations about different customers based on your own knowledge of their habits

Directly interview existing customers to determine what they like about your products or services, why they chose you, what they consider when returning, and how easily they consider your competitors. A quick phone interview is more than enough, and you want to keep it short and avoid probing too much. People still like their privacy.

Buyer personas can tell you when someone wants the cheapest solution, when they want the best, and when you can upsell with convenient or time-saving solutions.

Let's look at a two brief examples:

Persona

1
Meet Rene (70% female/30% male)
30-50, 1-3 children, typically
married, works full time

Income: $60,000-$100,000

Key concerns: Limited time, challenged by technology, high-demand on household utilities, wants customer service and respect

Identifiers: Often stressed, not typically concerned about costs, very concerned about ease of use or capacity

Stand Out By: Demonstrating a high level of professionalism and politeness, show customer how to use new tech, recommend a more user-friendly solution, be timely and complete work quickly.

Persona

2
Meet Jean (60% male/40% female)
25-45, 0-2 children, single or married,
typically works full time

Income: $21,000 - $35,0000

Key concerns: Costs, Value of purchase, warranty or guarantee, quality of work

Identifiers: Knowledgeable (has likely spent a considerable amount of time researching), typically not in a hurry, generally concerned with value

Stand Out By: Offer a realistic budget upfront, recommend cheaper/more durable alternatives to chosen products, showcase work or happy customers upfront on website, recommending a solution with a longer warranty or guarantee.

You can likely see how these buyer personas could help you to identify where and how to approach customers. If you know 'who' you're dealing with, or at least have a rough idea of what they want and what their problems are, you have a much better basis to offer them the experience and service that will delight them.

CHAPTER

4
Creating Incentive.

Sometimes customers will go to your business hoping to use your services once and never again. But, how do you specifically get these one-time customers to keep coming back? One of the easiest and most-utilized methods is to offer incentive in the form of a discount, coupon, or special deal for returning customers. Importantly, while these incentives can be costly to you, they will increase the chance of your customer coming back again. For example, SumAll showed that a customer who returns 3 times is 57% likely to return a fourth time. 6

However, it is important to approach incentives with care. Customer profiling tools work extremely well here, because you can better target incentives and offers. Tailoring incentives to the customer’s previous purchase is always a good idea.

Initial Incentives to Return

The hardest part of building customer loyalty is simply getting the single-purchase customer to come back a second time. Service-industry businesses have an advantage here, because you can work with the fact that your customer will likely need services again. Whether it’s maintenance, a clean house, or changing filters, you can capitalize on your knowledge of the customer’s recurring needs to make them an offer and incentivize them to return.

Follow up on your original service-call. “Hi, this is X Company, we just wanted to check that your X is working as expected”

Offer discounts for a returning customer but don’t hard sell

Make sure the customer is happy before offering an incentive

How does that work?

Let’s view an example of a company using incentives to drive a return sale.

Example

X Company has completed a roof inspection for Jeff and Lynda. The two are new homeowners and don’t really know how to take care of their home. Following the roof inspection, the technician recommends several repairs to fix a leak in the attic and offers to clean the gutters. With everything completed, the technician verifies that the couple is happy with the work and leaves. The next day, an X Company representative calls to verify that the work is satisfactory and sends the invoice. With it, they include a slip asking if the customer would like to receive a reminder for a fall inspection before winter, 6 months later with a 15% discount. The couple opt in, and 6 months later, receive a snail-mail and email coupon for a roof inspection and repairs, with a 15% discount. They repeat their purchase.

Using Loyalty Programs and Subscriptions

Many services fit very neatly into subscriptions, with recurring purchases and contracts. Signing a contract for a specific length of service guarantees income for a certain period, allowing you to cut costs by reducing risk. You can pass these benefits on to consumers as direct incentive to sign up. This tactic works especially well for cleaning services, landscaping and yard maintenance, and other frequently recurring services. Your biggest concern is to present loyalty programs and options as an offer or a perk for customers, so they think they have the option of getting a good deal because they’re a loyal customer.

Use loyalty programs to offer discounted or free services after X number of visits

Use subscription programs to offer discounts on recurring purchases. For example, “Summer Lawn Maintenance: Save X% On Weekly Lawn Care June Through September for Existing Customers Only”.

Not every service business can benefit from loyalty programs or subscription-based offerings, but many can. If you are one of them, the goal is to incentivize those concerned about price to commit to coming back, providing they need your services long-term and reminding existing customers that they still need your services. Most importantly, discounting your services likely costs less than the total advertising to gain a new customer so you’re still saving money.

6 http://blog.sumall.com/journal/the-importance-of-repeat-customers-2.html

CHAPTER

5
Brand Management

Take a minute and open a Google page. Search for your business. Everything you see on the first 2-3 pages of Google and on your social media is what your customers will be seeing. Anyone can find anything they want about your brand. A single bad response to a review can brand you as unprofessional and unworthy of business for the near future.

Brand reputation is increasingly hard to control. Customers each have their own platforms and their own ability to share anything they want to an audience that can include the entire web.

In fact, of customers look up online reviews and trust those options. 7

Brand management is about proactively working to control your brand image by actively ensuring that customers have a good experience and actively working to solve problems when customers don't. Most importantly, if you actively solve a problem for a customer, they'll be more satisfied and more loyal than they ever would if you just apologized or even if you just did your job well. That doesn’t mean you should create problems to solve, but it does mean being proactive and being willing to invest in your customer’s happiness.

Why Brand Management?

Your brand is becoming increasingly more important. Previous generations of consumers cared more about what you sell than who you are, but that is rapidly changing. Today's consumers care about who you are, what you do with your money, your professionalism, and even their friend's and peer's opinions and experiences. While this does mean that you can rely less on quality services and products as a primary sales point, it does mean that you can work to build a reputation or brand that customers buy from. Building trust and credibility are two key factors.

What this means for you is that unhappy customers present both more risk and more opportunity than ever before. You likely already know that customers don't usually see doing your job well as a reason to stay loyal to your brand unless your competitors are incompetent. But unhappy customers give you the opportunity to wow, to follow up and make customers happy before they feel they need to go online and complain. The thing is, those same customers who would have talked bad about you online will rave about you if you solve their problems and they will do your work for you, preemptively building trust to create more loyal customers.

Creating Trust

Customers must trust you before they buy from you. But if they don't trust you after they've purchased from you once, they won't purchase from you again. If they don't trust your integrity, they will go somewhere else. And, as we'll discuss in the next chapter, if you can build that trust, customers will share their stories about your brand, which will drive valuable referrals to customers who trust you by proxy, because their acquaintances and peers trust you.

How can you build this? Making good first impressions, offering quality service, focusing on professionalism, giving honest quotes, and offering good advice will make or break the relationship. It's hard to change a first impression.

For
Example,

many people will offer a reduced quote, knowing the final quote will be higher. This tactic improves competitiveness when customers are still price shopping. But anyone who gets a quote that's rudely higher than the original is going to be unhappy and considerably less likely to come back. Being honest upfront, offering recommendations and promises only when you have factual evidence backing them, and working to be transparent at all times, will help to build trust.

CHAPTER

6
Honesty and Reliability.

Your customer's time is money in your and their pocket. Many customers take time off from work, avoid to-do lists, and even sit and wait for your service agents. Being honest and reliable with your time, actions, and quotes will help you to build long-term relationships with your customers.

What can you do about it?

Start tracking total time spent on the job and use that to improve your prediction timetables. If you know how long similar projects took you'll have a better basis on which to gauge an estimate.

Best practice is to estimate additional time for a safety margin,
If you finish sooner, you'll delight
the customer.
Similarly,

If you expect you might run slightly late, a quick call to the customer to let them know is also helpful.

Honesty and reliability also pertains to quotes and making mistakes. Speak with the customer and clearly explain the challenge, and offer solutions. Most customers don't want to complain about you. Don’t give them a reason to. Actively manage your brand and quickly solving problems for unhappy consumers goes a long way towards driving customer loyalty – on an individual as well as a community basis.

Tips to gauge
your company’s
reputation:

Ask if customers are happy before you leave, if not fix it

Follow up within 24 hours with a call or email to ensure that everything is okay

Pay attention to social media and follow up when people express discontent with your brand

Don't ignore complaints, ever. Proactively fixing problems will earn you more return customers than good service ever will.

If public reviews aren’t enough, use WorkWave to send private review requests, where customers are more likely to submit completely unbiased feedback.

Identifying what customers are unhappy with or that they are not finding solutions for gives you clear avenues to improve, so you can directly invest in creating a better solution for your customers. You can be open about this, introducing new services or changes to policy as a direct result of customer feedback, or simply introduce it and wait for customers to notice.

Most common reasons
customers are
Unhappy:

The solution or service wasn't what they expected

Something went wrong, or quality was bad

Something went wrong with customer service. Your technician or you had a bad day andweren't polite

The customer was greatly inconvenienced and wasn't comfortable telling you to your face

Something went wrong after the technician left

CHAPTER

7
Face-to-Face Actions

The largest driver of customer loyalty is not quality of service (although that is essential), it's how your technicians, field agents, and staff directly interact with your customers. This means that professionalism and delivering on promises matter more than anything. Customers are accustomed to being over promised results and under delivered on, if you give them someone who exceeds their expectations, you will drive loyalty.

In addition, of brand loyalty is attributable to superior quality and service. 8

Customers don't think good service is a selling point, it's what they're paying you for. More importantly, if you simply meet needs, customers won't differentiate you from competitors. You have to excel and over deliver, and understanding pain points, or what your customer really needs, is crucial to that.

Does that mean you can go cheaper? Not really. Surprisingly, only about 9% of decision making is based on similar price-point comparisons. In short, you'd have to dramatically undercut competitors to actually make a difference. Customers don't want the cheapest option, they want the best for their money. If you can deliver value through face to face interactions, you'll have hit the 'sweet spot' of building customer loyalty.

Education is a primary key to adding value. Customers value when the people they interact with are educated and can intelligently look at situations and offer solutions. For example, making a recommendation on a product that will help the customer based on personal experience provides value. Delivering this insight also builds loyalty. This is especially important in service and maintenance industries where small helpful hints can save homeowners a lot of money.

Face-to-Face marketing is the concept of using direct actions and positive brand interactions to drive repeat sales. And it requires teaching your staff and field teams to be polite, to bring value, to be knowledgeable about products and offerings, and to know how to offer the best value to the homes they're visiting.

So, how do you over deliver?

If you know what your customer wants, even if they don't know it yet, you can sell it to them. Your ability to identify those pain points or the story behind the story, will define your ability to give the customer what they really want, a solution that's perfectly aligned with their needs and budget.

What does value look like?

What do customers really want? Time? Convenience? Professional work?

Offer value. If customers need real advice and help, offer it.

Upsell in ways that benefit the consumer

Offer ongoing advice and consultation

Provide emotional validation

Customers are often swayed by

Emotional validation helps you build better relationships helping customers feel good about their decision.

Here are some examples:

VALIDATE DECISIONS

"Wow, it's a good thing you called me out, this could have gotten worse really quickly", "This is a great bargain", "I like your choice", "This model always performs well that I've seen"

Offer recommendations to ease doubt

"If you're unsure, we have X model for $150 cheaper and I don't see why you wouldn't be as happy with it" "What about I give you a standing quote, good for 2 weeks, and if you decide to go for it before then, you can use this rate?"

Ease stress

"I know this looks bad, but I'll have it fixed for you before you know it". "Don't worry, I'll do my best to keep it in budget."

Share anecdotes

"I installed this model in X home a few years ago and it's running great"

Educate

Share model and brand information and offer tips to keep things running faster/better/longer.

Don't hard sell

Even if you're trying to upsell, the most important thing is still customer satisfaction placing emphasis on the customer and making users feel valued rather than sold to is the way to go.

Discuss the customer's needs

"What can I do for you?" "What do you need?" "What's your problem?" And use that to make an intelligent decision on what to offer. "Oh, it doesn't sound like you need our full cleaning package, what about I mark you down for a quick cleaning and tidying and then a deep clean once a month?

Offer good customer service

Proactively check to make sure the customer is happy. Follow up with a callback to verify. Respond to problems quickly.

8 Brand Equity, Brand Loyalty and Consumer Satisfaction

CHAPTER

8
Delight the Customer.

The largest driver of customer loyalty is not quality of service (although that is essential), it's how your technicians, field agents, and staff directly interact with your customers. This means that professionalism and delivering on promises matter more than anything. Customers are accustomed to being over promised results and under delivered on, if you give them someone who exceeds their expectations, you will drive loyalty.

Delighting your customers is about going above and beyond. 80% of customer service teams report that they offer a superior experience, but one study by Bain & Company shows that of their
customers agreed. 9
Why?

We've discussed it previously. Businesses often think that performing their job to a high standard is superior and deserving of commendation. Customers often feel as though this is 'just doing their job', or what they were paid to do.

If you want to be remembered, you must go above and beyond. That doesn't mean spending more, doing whatever the customer wants, or otherwise adding unnecessary cost and hardship to yourself. Instead, it's about paying attention, using small moments to deliver value, keeping your promises, and empowering the customer. Actively trying to make your customers happy, whether with advice and recommendations, tips to get a better deal, timely reminders to adhere to city regulation, or even a flexible service that meets the customer's needs will make a difference. And, it will keep customers coming back.

The best way to connect and to delight the customer is to give them personal interaction. Whether you are building a service package for this customer from scratch, keeping a customer informed that you are running late, or giving progress updates as you go, customers want to be valued.

Make sure your employees are equipped to keep customers happy.

Providing adequate training and information to field agents and technicians is crucial for your business environment. Hiring workers who are positive and outgoing and able to create relationships with customers. Instill trustworthiness, reliability, and empathy.

Make sure your staff is always:

Making eye contact

Smiling

Greeting people by name

Engaging in real conversation

Being Honest

Educating customers

CHAPTER

9
Building Customer Loyalty.

The internet gives most people more opportunity to research and decide what they want than ever before. Sometimes customers will call and ask for exactly what you're offering, and it will perfectly match those needs. Other times, customers need help, and not always because they can't figure out what they want but often because your website, brochure, and offerings don't precisely meet their needs.

Customer centricity is the concept of designing every aspect of your business around the customer. After all, that's what business is about. Even the person driving the truck must keep the customer in mind, because their timeliness, or lack of it, will dramatically impact the customer's experience. But customer centricity also means understanding what customers want and why.

Let's see a real-world example:

Case Study:
Rona Takeover by Lowes

In 2016, U.S. retailer Lowes acquired Rona for $3.2 billion. With 236 corporate locations and 260-dealer-owned stores, the acquisition was a chance for Lowes to expand into the Canadian market and merge their then 42 stores into a larger undertaking.

Canada's long-standing brand loyalty to Rona proved to be a barrier, and after the failure of other U.S. backed brands in Canada, brand continuity and loyalty were crucial. Lowe's combatted this by pledging to retain the original Rona brand in some areas, keep Rona Air miles and cash redemptions, and continued to offer Canadian products. By staying true to the original brand and catering to what customers wanted and were proud of, Lowe's managed to takeover Rona without losing a significant number of customers.

Put yourself in your customer's
shoes.

How easy is it for him or her to hire you?

How many steps does it take to contact you or get a quote?

How easily can the customer figure out exactly what you offer?

How long does it take for you to follow up and get back to them?

How fast do you respond to repairs and emergencies?

What is the process for signing off and work or paying for it? Is it simple? Complex?

What's your repair process like? Do you show up and then leave for parts or try to show up with necessary tools and parts?

Can you adjust schedules to meet customer needs? Do you allow changes to appointments?

Can they see when you're going to arrive? How long do they have to wait?

Are your quotes often accurate? What about time estimates/predictions? If not, that should change.

Do you try to stay out of the way and not disturb the household while on location? Do you clean up after work? Do you store tools and supplies out of the way?

The more intuitive your sales and service process, the more your customers will appreciate it, and the more likely they are to have an exceptional experience.

CHAPTER

10
Best Practices.

Retaining customers and building customer loyalty may seem expensive, but the Chartered Institute of Marketing suggests it's 4-10 times cheaper to invest in customer loyalty than customer acquisition.1 As we reviewed in the opening chapter of this book, it's also easier to sell to a return customer than a new one. Hopefully you now have a better idea of how to build customer loyalty to reduce churn and build repeat customers. These best practices go over some of our key points.

Offer Consistent Quality

Quality services are a key to building any relationship, but keep in mind that your customers expect them. Deliver any less, and they will consider you as sub-par.

Ask for Feedback

Use tools to ask for feedback and performance reviews. Customers will appreciate the ability to voice their opinions, but you'll also get the opportunity to reverse poor opinions and solve problems before they affect your brand. Paying attention to feedback will also help you to determine why customers are leaving.

Communicate

Communicate with your customers before, during, and after sales visits. Keep in touch on social media or via email. Follow up with service reminders via snail mail if you're running a necessary service like HVAC inspection. The more transparent you are with your customers, the more they will trust you.

Manage Your Brand

Actively work to create a positive brand experience for consumers.

Leverage Referrals

Use referrals, customer testimonials, and incitement to get customers to refer their friends and family.

Learn

Learn more about your customers and what they want. Use that to offer tailored services and help.

Knowledge

Actively share knowledge and help customers make the best decision for their needs. A repeat customer is a lot more valuable than a good upsell now.

Customer Service

34% of customers rank good customer service as the most important part of interacting with a business. Don't use an automated phone system. Instead, use a phone and offer social media and email support, which 44% of customers prefer over phone.

Use Tools to Improve

Integrate tracking and route optimization tools like WorkWave to reduce late-times, offer real-time arrival estimates to customers, and track performance.

Loyal customers are hard to come by, but once you've convinced a customer that they can trust you, they will come back again and again. In this book, we've reviewed the various tactics that promote customers to trust you, many of which extend well beyond offering good service and into honesty, integrity, and treating customers like you care. If you can consistently offer personal, empathetic service, connect with your customers in a meaningful way, and solve their problems first and sell later, you will build meaningful relationships that last.

Taking your field service company to the next level.

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