One of the most common mistakes a business or a company makes is to assume what they are selling is a product or a specific service. When you are a subcontractor looking for work, you are marketing your materials and the expertise and skills of your team, but what makes you a better subcontractor than others competing for the job should also include your commitment to customer service.
There are several companies that have become icons in the world of customer service. These companies range from resorts and theme parks to online ecommerce stores. There are also large and small HVAC, Fire Protection business and industrial piping suppliers and any number of other businesses that do not necessarily have a better inventory or product line, but they create a better experience for their customers.
This is true for a business to customer transaction, but it is also true for a business to business transaction. When you are subcontracting, your customer is the general contractor and the property owners, developers, or the individuals otherwise involved in the project.
Customer Service is Not an Add-On
Thinking of customer service as a way to build connections and to boost your company’s reputation is more effective than thinking of customer service as a way to “fix the problem.” Ideally, with top customer service support, the contractor recognizes the subcontractor is going the extra mile to not just fix the problem, but to rebuild the lost trust and reputation that occurs as a result of the problem.
If all customer service agents can do is provide a repair or a replacement, or perhaps send the crew back out to make repairs, the contractor is still faced with complaints by the property owner, delays in the project schedule and possible coordination challenges for the subsequent work.
Empowering your customer service staff to be able to talk to the contractor and find out not only what needs to be repaired, but what the contractor sees as a way to correct the issue creates a positive impression of your business, even if there was a mistake, a defective product, or a problem with the original work completed.
Focus On Customer Support from First Contact
When working with the contractor, a subcontractor can create a working relationship that is spent on providing the best experience from the first communication. This includes working with all staff, from those answering the phones at your office to the crew that arrives on the work site, on how to respond to others on the job as well as how to use professional language and civil interactions with everyone.
Explicit behavior and communication expectations for your workforce means that the customer always has a positive interaction throughout their time in working with your company. They should be able to rate each interaction with employees as a positive and helpful event, both for addressing concerns as well as interactions in general.