We know that homeowners are busy people, so we try to make it as easy as possible for them. We always want homeowners to feel like they’re in control of the process and never pressured into making a decision.
Let me start by stating that customer satisfaction and customer experience are of the utmost priority for my entire team at Phillips Home Improvements. And, even though we earned the prestigious Top 100 Customer Satisfaction Leader award in home improvements in the country this year, sadly, we did not succeed 100 percent of the time in wowing our client.
We have served over 40,000 valued clients since we started back in 1997, and we have an enormous amount of valuable data.
Some home improvement companies, many of which rely on high-pressure sales tactics, require both parties to be present at the appointment or else they won’t schedule it. And if their salesman shows up and one party is not present, he or she is required to reschedule.
This requirement is not currently our approach at Phillips. We do not want to come across as high-pressure, and we definitely do not ever want to be high-pressure. We are in business to earn a profit, but we are also here to serve our community.
Let’s take a look at what we’ve learned from years of data.
Spoiler Alert: In a nutshell… “Everyone is happier.“
Customer Satisfaction is Higher When Both Parties Are Present
Wasting less time back and forth to get questions answered
No contractor wants to waste time going back and forth with a homeowner. It’s not just about the contractor being able to sell more, it’s also about customer satisfaction. When both parties are present, there is less opportunity for misunderstanding. Homeowners have questions that they want to be answered before making a decision on their home improvement project–questions that many contractors don’t even know exist! For example: “What will my monthly payments be?” or “How much does this material cost?” In-home sales provide homeowners with an opportunity to get all of their questions answered in one place by someone who has been working in the industry for years and can help them make a confident decision. The contractor gets more sales opportunities because he/she doesn’t have to keep going back and forth to answer additional questions.
There Are Fewer Misunderstandings When Both Parties Are Present
A contractor is often the first person to have an in-home sales conversation with a homeowner. That’s why it’s so important for contractors to establish themselves as trustworthy, honest professionals who are there to help homeowners meet their goals. The contractor should always be looking out for the best interest of the homeowner and not just trying to sell them something they don’t need. There are fewer misunderstandings when both parties are present which can lead to better service all around.
There Are Fewer Questions Left Unanswered When Both Parties Are Present
When both parties are present, there are fewer questions left unanswered. No more mysteries or surprises that might come up after signing contracts with just one party present. The contractor should be upfront about everything because they want the best chance of closing a deal.
If you work with both parties, any issues can be addressed in person and handled right away; there’s no need for back-and-forth phone calls or emails later on down the line. Everyone understands where things stand and what needs to happen before the project is even contracted.
Customer Satisfaction Is Greater When Both Parties Are Present
Here’s another kicker… We only meet with both parties 20 to 25% of the time, so you would expect that with everything else being equal, then 1 of 4 or 1 of 5 dissatisfied customers would be from two-party appointments. However, this is far from reality. Our data shows that only 1 in 20 dissatisfied customers started out with a two-party appointment. The numbers are clear, customers are more satisfied when all interested parties are at the initial appointment. This reason alone is enough to justify asking, recommending, and asking again to meet with both husband and wife, or whoever all of the interested parties are. In addition to a spouse, this could be a parent, child, sibling, friend, or even a designer.
Customer Satisfaction starts at the initial sales appointment!
Dissatisfied Customers Cost Your Company Money
Yes, dissatisfied customers cost your company money, but probably in more ways than you think. When a customer is dissatisfied, contractors often try to remedy this dissatisfaction by throwing out discounts or “doing it for labor and materials”. Sometimes they will perform additional work for free. How about the negative online reviews that cause your marketing ROI to plummet? Not to mention that the customer will take their business and their referrals elsewhere. To top it all off, don’t forget to include your opportunity loss because your management and staff are spending energy trying to fix a customer service problem rather than wowing the next customer.
Sales Effectiveness Is Increased When Both Parties Are Present
Indeed, we all have this gut feeling that our sales go better when we happen to get both homeowners present for the appointment, but how much is that really? Can we quantify it? Actually, yes, we can. Our data shows us that when we meet with both homeowners, our closing ratio increases by 50%! Yes, a 50% increase! Your salespeople will love this. They will make more money. Just think about the positive impact this has on the ROI of your marketing spend. How about your NSLI (Net Sales per Lead Issued).
The old saying “The customer is always right” may not be true in all cases. But when it comes to your company, the customer should ALWAYS be present! Whether you are selling a product or service, there will inevitably be questions that need answering and uncertainties about what was agreed upon at an initial appointment. This is especially important if both parties aren’t present on the first visit because then they can work out any misunderstandings before they escalate into full-blown disputes over who said what and why something wasn’t done as promised. One of our top priorities, for this reason, is making sure we have time set aside for each client so they feel like their needs were fulfilled during the meeting with us – whether we sell them or not.
The success of your company depends on customer satisfaction. This is why it’s important to have both the homeowner and you present at the initial sales appointment for maximum knowledge, understanding, and satisfaction.