Good customer service is a hallmark of successful roofing businesses, and respect for the homeowner is a key feature in building the relationships with your customers that will earn you their referrals and future business. From your sales team, to your managers, and your crews, everyone must show respect to the homeowners that trust your company to solve their roofing problems and handle their projects. While you as a roofing business owner may understand why that respect is so important, crews or subcontractors may not hold themselves to your high standards.
To ensure your crew shows the level of respect you want to see, consider the five tips below.
1. Understand That Homeowners Do Not Always Understand
Homeowners do not have the extensive knowledge of the roofing industry that your crew does. They don’t know what a hip ridge is, or why you need to put a layer of felt underneath the shingles, so it is important to remember to have patience when dealing with them.
Make sure your crews understand this and can inform or instruct the homeowner to refer to their supervisor who will understand the expectations and be prepared to answer questions in a way that does not condescend or patronize your customer. This is a best practice that will prevent the homeowner from feeling disrespected and is not only beneficial for your crew to practice, but everyone else in your company as well.
2. Communication Is Everything
Making sure to follow up with communication is a surefire way to show respect for your client. When you forget to contact them later in the week or don’t send them promised information, it appears as if you cannot be bothered to spend your time on them. This is a huge mistake that can be easily avoided by making sure your crew properly communicates. Be sure to emphasize that communication is to happen in a timely and professional manner and encourage the use of group calendars and schedules so nothing is forgotten.
As a professional roofing contractor, field reps often need to play the role of educator, as well as salesman. It’s important to remember that most homeowners look to you as an expert, to guide them through the process. Consider these best practices when explaining roofing terms, insurance and other related topics to homeowners.
3. Listening the Right Way
Nothing is more frustrating than when you are talking and you can tell the other person is not really listening. These situations not only make you feel disrespected, but frustrated as well. To avoid this, stress to your crews and foremen that listening to the client is necessary to show respect. Not just ordinary listening either; but active listening. This means that instead of just hearing what the client has to say, you are also understanding the message behind the words.
You should be engaging in the conversation, asking questions to refine your understanding, and comprehending the points the homeowner is trying to make. You can follow up by putting notes into the job file, and setting reminders or tasks for the Project Manager to respond. This will reassure the client that their concerns and input are actually being heard and not just brushed off.
4. What You Say Without Words
While being polite is a no-brainer when it comes to respect, sometimes what we say with our bodies can be the opposite of well-mannered. Your facial expressions and body language can completely twist a polite statement into one that gets interpreted poorly. Be aware of this, because it can be extremely easy to let your facial expression and body language get away from you.
Tone is another trait that we do not always think about, but that can change interpretation completely and be off-putting to a customer. Make sure your crews are staying respectful even down to their facial expressions, body language, and tone to prevent any of these misinterpretations.
5. Cleaning Up
One last tip to maintaining a respectful relationship between your crew and client is to make sure everything is cleaned up when you leave for the day or at the end of a job. While it is understandable that some materials will get left on site, they should always be organized and out of the way at the end of the day. Remember that for residential jobs, you are working in your customers home, so when you go the extra mile to make sure there are no nails or debris in the yard, homeowners will take notice.
Showing respect to homeowners is not only a common courtesy in the business world, but a smart move for your company. Customers who feel respected will come calling when they have another project and are more likely to leave a good recommendation that could lead to more business in the future. Having a respectful crew is the foundation for this type of relationship and can be achieved by following the tips above.
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