Service and Etiquette Tips for SMBs
If your small or medium-size business does service or sales calls to customer locations, everything the customer sees, hears, or smells is an integral part of your marketing efforts. Your field employees and contractors are the face of your company, and it is impossible to overestimate their role in marketing your company. The Tech Army offers these tips to help make sure that you and your team are presenting the highest level of service and etiquette.
It should go without saying but smoking while on a sales or service call is always unprofessional. Many business sites are smoke-free zones, but even if they aren’t you and your technicians should still act as though smoking is prohibited at all customer facilities. Vaporizers and smokeless tobacco products should also be avoided, along with never going to a job site while under the influence of alcohol or any other drugs.
When you are on a job at the customer’s location, you are there to work (and you’re probably billing them at a high rate). Don’t insult your customers by taking time out to smoke. Whether you’re in your company vehicle or a designated smoking area, smoking while on a call at a customer’s location is unacceptable. If you must smoke, do it between calls – preferably in the open air outside the vehicle so that you don’t smell like smoke when talking to the next client.
Your attention while on a sales or service call should always be on the customer and the task at hand. Believe it or not, we have heard stories about contractors falling asleep at a customer’s facility – dozing in their company vehicle in the parking lot or while inside the building! When you are at a customer’s facility, you need to be working and ready to address any concerns that your client may have. If you find that being tired in the middle of the day is a concern, consider building in a short nap during scheduled breaks or during your lunch period.
Always be courteous
Always be courteous and professional when working with clients. If you’re visiting a client or making a service call, dress appropriately and display your company’s logo. If your company provides polo shirts, dress shirts, or t-shirts for contractors to wear, be sure that they wear them when meeting with every customer. Make sure that all of your employees or contractors have business cards or identity badges that let the customer know that they’re with your company.
Customers can sometimes be chatty or, worse, combative. Even when a customer is rude, you and your employees have a job to do. Being rude in response only hurts you and your brand. If the actions of a customer impact your ability to perform the work requested, just do your best to complete the task. Take notes on the situation immediately afterward and address the issues with your primary contact at the business at the appropriate time.
Mind the Mess
Just as you would be upset if someone came into your office and made a mess without cleaning up, customers understandably get upset when contractors leave a mess behind. You should always leave the work site exactly as you found it. Always wear shoe covers when entering the customer’s premises to avoid tracking in mud, dirt, or other debris. All of the trash or packaging from items you’ve installed or brought into the site are your responsibility to dispose of – never leave boxes or other packaging for the customer to clean up.
If the space you’re working in was seemingly messy or cluttered when you arrived, resist the urge to clean up. While you may think that you’re doing the customer a favor or helping out, you should never do anything outside of your scope of work.
Professionalism at its best
From competing with bigger companies to trying to match the prices of larger businesses and attempting to win larger customers, small and medium-size businesses have enough to worry about. The best way for SMBs to differentiate themselves from their larger competitors is to provide the best customer service possible – make sure that your employees in the field and your contractors share that same commitment.
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