Our handy guide to talking to customers for tradesmen
We bet you’ve heard this one before - 'the customer is always right.’ It’s not a bad slogan to run a business by, but there’s absolutely no question that interacting with customers can often be the most difficult part of working in a trade. If you’re an experienced tradesman - as many of our daily van hire customers are - this will probably already sound familiar!
Most of the time your customers will be a delight, praising you for your work and keeping you topped up on tea and biscuits. But if you’re very unlucky, in rare instances they can be pushy, demanding, and to be perfectly honest, just outright rude.
Mostly though, if you’re having issues with a customer this will often simply be down to the fact that they have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about. More often than not, you may find yourself in a position where you have to explain things a few times, in order to ensure you’re both on the same page.
It’s the kind of thing that can easily get frustrating, even to the most patient people in the world. So, here are a couple of the most important things to bear in mind when you’re communicating with clients!
First impressions are vital
When we’re young, we’re all told not to judge a book by its cover. However, let’s be honest - we all do it. That’s why it’s so important to achieve a good first impression when meeting customers (or anyone for that matter!).
Here are a few key tips to remember when it comes to meeting customers for the first time:
Beware of your body language - try to be open, friendly and engaged in what the customer is saying to you. Try not to cross your arms (however tempting it may sometimes be!), and do your best to nod when someone is speaking to you to show you are actively listening to them.
Reply promptly - whether it’s over email, text, or face-to-face, a timely response goes a long way with people. It shows a level of professionalism, and people will generally trust you more if you can formulate quick and effective responses.
Empathise with your clients - try and see their side, even if they’re being completely unreasonable, and be patient. This is easier said than done, but try to keep in mind that a lot of the time the things that seem obvious to you as a professional might be more difficult to grasp as a layman.
Most importantly, ensure that the conversation stays focused on the customer and their needs!
Avoid technical language, and follow up!
People prefer more personal interactions with other people, rather than talking to a robot. So, it’s important to try and use plain and simple language wherever you can, as throwing too much technical jargon at your customers can be confusing and a bit intimidating for them. If someone is having difficulty following what you’re talking about, they’re more likely to lose their patience, particularly if they’re spending a significant amount of money on your services.
As a final note - it’s always a good idea to have a follow up conversation with your customer to make sure everything’s alright. It’s a nice gesture that will be appreciated. This doesn’t have to be anything big! It could literally just be a text or an email to make sure they’re satisfied with your service.
Customer care is an important part of running any business, and clear communication is a vital part of that. With around 50 years in business here at Intack Self Drive, we know that as well as anyone. That’s why our friendly team is always happy to answer any questions you may have regarding our fantastic car hire, minibus hire and van hire services.
All of our rental vehicles here at Intack Self Drive come with the option to rent through daily hire, or our outstanding Flexi hire service, so wherever your intended destination, we’ll have a vehicle that suits your requirements. We pride ourselves on our friendly, concise and informative customer service, so feel free to give us a call on 01254 57811, and we’ll be happy talk to you!