If you run a business that provides home services, you probably spend most of your time working in or around client’s houses. While you are primarily there to provide a service, it is important not to neglect your people skills while on the job.
You are not only selling your skills and expertise; you are selling your customer service and etiquette. If you do an excellent job for a client but don’t bother to establish a rapport or forget your manners, it could end up costing you a recommendation.
Clients always appreciate service providers that are respectful and friendly when they invite you into their personal space. To assist you in keeping you and your employees’ etiquette in check, here are a few do’s and don’ts for working at a client’s home.
Do: Be on Time
Your time is valuable, but so is your clients’. It is common courtesy to set clear timelines for when you will arrive to provide a service. A client will not appreciate it if you tell them you are coming at noon and don’t arrive until 3. Many clients take time from their jobs to oversee everything that is going on and will not recommend you if you are late.
However, if you happen to be running late, it is always a good idea to make a phone call to the residents to keep them updated. Providing your own contact information and ensuring you are available is also courteous.
Don’t: Be on Your Phone
Your smartphone is an incredible device that keeps you organized with appointments and in touch with your clients. However, if you are not doing anything business-related it is best to stay off your phone when working.
If a client has called upon you to perform a service, they expect you to work as efficiently as possible to maximize the time they have carved out of their schedules. Being on your phone is the new equivalent of napping on the job and is highly frowned upon. If you need to answer a call, inform the homeowner that you need to take a few minutes. Just remember you are there to satisfy your client, not scroll through Facebook.
Do: Have Proof of Licensing & Insurance
Before agreeing to do a job for a client, it is best practice to carry proof of licensing and insurance. Clients always have the right to ask for this in case of any injuries or property damage that occurs while performing a service. You wouldn’t drive a car without insurance in case of a crash, would you? The same principle applies for working on a client’s home in case of accidents.
Don’t: Ask for Payment Before the Job is Complete
You wouldn’t pay for a meal at a restaurant before your food even got to your table. The same principle applies when it comes to home services. Many homeowners would like to oversee the job being done and make sure it is up to their standards before any transactions occur. You should want your client to see your work in action before you discuss payment.
Do: Set a Clear Estimate with the Client
If you are on the phone with a potential lead, it is crucial to give them a quote ahead of time to see if it meets their budget. If you and the client agree on a price, stick to it. It is dishonest to give out a quote then add in mystery new charges later. If the job requires additional services, always consult with the homeowner before adding anything to their bill. Surprise charges will not be appreciated.
Don’t: Make A Mess
Even though you are there to provide a service, you are still a guest in someone’s home. It is always best practice to be courteous when entering another person’s home. If you are on a job that requires you to go inside a home, keep cleanliness and minimal disruption as top priorities.
Take the time to ensure you and your employees enter a home with disposable booties and tarp laid down so as not to create unwanted stains on carpets. Also, if you finish in one day it is courteous to bring in a shop-vacuum to clean up any dust or debris from your work. Clients will be more likely to recommend a home service provider that does an excellent job and cleans up after themselves rather than making more trouble for the homeowner.
Do: Establish a Rapport
Treat others the way you would like to be treated. Really take the time to establish a rapport with your clients when you enter their home to provide a service. There is no need to be all business and forget to say a friendly hello while introducing yourself. If something goes wrong or needs extra work, always be honest when conveying this information to the homeowner. Also, there may be time when you are working around families with children so always be respectful and mindful of family-friendly language.
Don’t: Get Offended if a Client is Dissatisfied
If a homeowner is dissatisfied with the work you have done, don’t take it personally. Always act with integrity and offer solutions rather than firing back at them with defensive remarks. This could turn into an ugly misunderstanding that could be prevented with some open communication. You never want to leave a customer’s home if they are dissatisfied because they may take it out on you in the form of a negative review online.